Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

The first James Bond book that Ian Fleming wrote and I recognised some of the details from the 2006 film of the same name. Le Chiffre is a nearly bankrupt member of the secretive SMERSH organisation (SMERSH is a conjunction of two Russian words: ‘Smyert Shpionam’ meaning roughly ‘Death to Spies’. Le Chiffre and BondContinue reading “Casino Royale by Ian Fleming”

Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man by Christopher Hitchens

Thomas Paine was one of the greatest advocates of freedom in history and his Declaration of the Rights of Man, first published in 1791, is the cornerstone of his reputation. Christopher Hitchens demonstrates how Thomas Paine’s book forms the philosophical framework for the United States of America. Hitchens covers Paine’s life from his early daysContinue reading “Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man by Christopher Hitchens”

Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp – Review

Polish artist and soldier Jozef Czapski brought Marcel Proust’s A La Recherche du Temps Perdu to life for an audience of prison inmates in a series of lectures. Czapski gave these lectures entirely from memory. He and the inmates were in a Soviet prisoner-of-war camp. They were the lucky ones as the Soviet authorities killedContinue reading “Lost Time: Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp – Review”

Biggles and the Black Peril

This is a fine read, a really good story, set in 1934 in which we’re introduced to the character called Ginger, who’s a really imaginative thinker and notices things that Biggles, Smyth, and Algy don’t. Biggles is forced down off the Norfolk coast by bad weather and as always, stumbles across something strange going on.Continue reading “Biggles and the Black Peril”

The Nativity by Geza Vermes

Scholarship. I’m seriously thinking about putting all my other books that I want to read in a massive pile somewhere and just reading this author’s work one after another until I’ve completed them all. Geza Vermes places the story of The Nativity in its historical context and examines the Infancy Gospels to separate tidbits ofContinue reading “The Nativity by Geza Vermes”

The Hobbit – Book Review

First published in Great Britain in 1937, The Hobbit must be one of the most influential books of the first half of the 20th Century and should be read by anyone who enjoys a good story. Bilbo Baggins is the only son of Belladonna Took and Bungo Baggins and lives in a hobbit hole inContinue reading “The Hobbit – Book Review”

A Very Short Introduction : Spinoza

Normally, I like this series of books, but in the case of Spinoza I have to give only two stars out of five. I’m not sure if that’s down to Spinoza or the author. The only ideas that I understand are: Men are mistaken in thinking themselves free, and this opinion consists in this alone,Continue reading “A Very Short Introduction : Spinoza”

Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Review

A few hours after marrying Angela Vicario her husband, Bayardo San Roman, returns his bride to her parents. Angela’s family force her to name her first lover and once she does that, Santiago Nasar is doomed as Angela’s twin brothers are determined on revenge and let everyone know what they’re intending to do. This bookContinue reading “Chronicle of a Death Foretold – Review”

On Natural Selection – Charles Darwin

Who would have thought that the number of cats in a particular area would impact Red Clover density? He who believes in the struggle for existence and in the principle of natural selection , will acknowledge that every organic being is constantly endeavouring to increase in numbers, and that if any one being vary everContinue reading “On Natural Selection – Charles Darwin”

Journey into the Past by Stefan Zweig

This is such a sad book with an open ending but I can imagine what was going to happen. Ludwig is a young German from a humble background who gains employment with a wealthy businessman. He falls in love with his employer’s wife and his love is returned and they make a vow to liveContinue reading “Journey into the Past by Stefan Zweig”