Editor John Brockman’s compilation, This Explains Everything (ISBN 978-0-06-223017-1, Harper Collins, 2013) has tackled what would seem an impossibility - explaining the inexplicable! He proposes discussion on “What is your favorite, deep, elegant or beautiful explanation,” and has 48 different scholars put forward their views.
For many of us adults, we look back on our school years with memories of sports after school being foremost. How many of you played soccer, rugby, tennis, athletics? How many of you wondered as a 15 year old if you could make the Olympics, World Cup or what have you at the pinnacle of sporting endeavor? A large percentage I am sure. I remember using Franz Stampfl’s book as the bible as I trained every afternoon with “interval running”. Alas, my knees gave out before I could pit myself against the top athletic crowd. No gold medals for me.
I have always enjoyed Colin Cotterill’s books. He writes in such a way as to drag the reader into the plot, and makes the reader think of what is coming next, and how to circumvent the future problems, lurking on the next page!
One would imagine that a history of the world has, by now, been done to death. We know when the ‘Big Bang’ went off (give or take a millennium or two), we know when the dinosaurs met their doom, and we even have it nailed as to where we all came from. However, there are always ‘holes’ in our knowledge and I was hopeful that Andrew Marr’s History of the World (ISBN978-1-4472-3682-5, Pan Books 2013) might help the total picture, or make it more sensible than before.
A very interesting book arrived on the review table from one of the book agents round town. It is “Air Base” (ISBN 978-616-305-707-5, and published by the author Leonard H. Le Blanc III). The front cover states that the book is part of the U-Tapao Royal Thai Naval Air Base Series - II. This prompted me to contact the agents, asking “Where is Book I?” The response was that there was another in the series, and it was III, so just call II One and III Two. The fact that the book is part of a military detective mystery, seemed to fit immediately. The mystery then starts with the numbering on the front cover!
Thais seem to have a fascination for Korea and all things Korean, and I thought this week’s review book from Tuttle Publishing might explain this.
Written by Daniel Tudor, a western journalist with extensive knowledge of Korea and its history, “Korea The Impossible Country” (ISBN 978-0-8048-4252-5, Tuttle Publishing, 2012) is a hard-back with many color plates.
A couple of weeks ago I was in the Bookazine in The Avenue, and picked up “True Colours”, written by Stephen Leather. In my review I mentioned another couple of writers of thrillers, notably Lee Child and Christopher G Moore. When in Bookazine again this week, I noticed that Lee Child’s book starring his hero Jack Reacher “A Wanted Man” (ISBN 978-0-553-82553-4, Bantam Books, 2013) was on the shelf beside “True Colours”. Taking this to be an omen, I took “A Wanted Man” home with me.
Stephen Leather is a prolific author, with 14 novels and another nine in the Spider Shepherd series. He has just penned another Spider Shepherd action thriller with the title True Colours (ISBN 978-1-444-73657-1, Hodder and Stoughton, 2014).
With “Maggie May” running through my subconscious, I opened “Rod, the Autobiography” (ISBN 978-0-09-957475-0, Arrow Books, 2012) and began reading. After several hours of chuckles to guffaws, I found I had to change my pre-conceived opinion of this man Rod Stewart.
22 Walks in Bangkok and written by (walked by?) Kenneth Barrett (ISBN 978-0-8048-4343-0, Tuttle Publishing, 2013) arrived on my desk, brought in by our foot messenger. Now, I have never been known as a champion of the cause of walking, for me, a long walk means I parked my car at the far end of the car park. So, with that in your mind, let us have a look at Kenneth Barrett’s ode to shoe leather.