Category Archives: non-fiction

“Where’s my Jetpack?” by Daniel H Wilson

For a while this was my chosen reading matter for Reading in the Smallest Room.   Daniel Wilson looks at all the gadgets and suchlike promised in science fiction books and films. Stuff like ray-guns, flying cars and underwater hotels. … Continue reading

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“The Hungry Years” by William Leith

I picked up this book in Biblus, a local bookshop and bought it because on the cover there was a quote: “This hilarious, self-lacerating memoir of a compulsive eater is a superb book.” It was also reasonably priced at 6.95 … Continue reading

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“The History of the English Language” by Brigit Viney

English is a mongrel language. A language from the fringes of Europe that came to be the international language by default. This is the story of English from its beginnings and its ancestors to its future. A fascinating story also … Continue reading

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“Going Solo” by Roald Dahl

This is the second part of Roald Dahl’s autobiography, the first was “Boy” about his childhood. Now in “Going Solo” we find the young Roald Dahl , fresh out of school with the Second World War looming. Generally, I only like … Continue reading

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“On Immunity” by Eula Biss

A fascinating and topical book about vaccination and inoculation. This is a book by an anxious mother looking into the pros and cons of the vaccination debate and looking at immunity through  history. The cover picture shows Achilles dipped into … Continue reading

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“Boy: Tales of Childhood” by Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was one of the first writers I was really into. As a pre-teen I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Danny The Champion of the World and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. This book, is … Continue reading

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“News of a Kidnapping (Noticia de un secuestro)” by Gabriel García Márquez

“News of a kidnapping, no matter how painful, is not as irremediable as news of a murder, and Hernando breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank God.” he said, and then changed his tone: “Okay. Don’t worry. We’ll see what we … Continue reading

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“Istanbul: Memories and the City” by Orhan Pamuk

This book is a real cabinet of curiosities. It resembles in part the İstanbul Ansiklopedisi by Reşat Ekrem Koçu, an unfinished work which so influenced Pamuk that he has devoted an entire chapter to it. Our author has lived in Istanbul all is life and … Continue reading

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“Homage to Catalonia” by George Orwell

“I had joined the militia in order to fight against Fascism, and as yet I had scarcely fought at all, had merely existed as a sort of passive object, doing nothing in return for my rations except suffer from cold and … Continue reading

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“The Junior Officers’ Reading Club” by Patrick Hennessey

There is not a lot about a reading club here. Hennessey started the reading club in Basra. At Sandhurst (“Hogwarts with guns”); books included: Jary’s 18 Platoon, Romeo Dallaire’s Shake Hands with the Devil and Michael Rose’s Fighting for Peace. The book is not … Continue reading

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