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About Tay

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    Does anyone actually write reading in here? :-), cats, going to gigs, dreaming.
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  1. Another of my favourite books by H. E. Bates. Glad to see he's a bit more attention.
  2. Two factual books have been best so far for me this year. Dresden by Frederick Taylor Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen
  3. Some great looking libraries.
  4. Good news, thanks Momac
  5. Thank you Luna :-)
  6. Herta Müller

    This sounds interesting. I've added it to the never ending TBR list.
  7. Hi Luna I'll be interested to know is this is good.
  8. Linda Grant

    Added to my Audible wishlist. Thanks MM.
  9. I used to like Modern Family but a couple of the story lines recently ( last couple of series) didn't sit well with me. One of them was when the older daughter was given a car for her birthday and they took her out for a drink before giving her the car! And then at the start of current series there was character they visited at his office and he was throwing things out of his window at a cat sitting on his car. Then there was the sound as if the cat had been hit by the thrown object and cried out in pain. I don't think either of these subjects treated in this way are right in a family show. If they'd shown that both were morally and legally wrong then fair enough bad things happen, but they didn't. Really spoiled the programme for me.
  10. The Larkins are such great literary characters :-) but beware you may find yourself craving a 'Full English' for breakfast, probably with champagne as well
  11. Published in 1954. Airey Neave former prisoner of war himself (later to be murdered by the INLA in a bomb attack outside The House of Commons) based this factual book on interviews he conducted with Andree de Jongh (nickname Dedee) and known as the Little Cyclone. Dedee created the Comet Line, a resistance group that operated in Belgium and France and helped allied Airmen and soldiers return to the UK. This short book gives an account of their practices and the brave (extremely brave) people who daily risked their lives to help the war effort and bring the end of the occupation of their countries and aid the downfall of Hitler and Nazism. Hundreds of helpers including Dedee ended up in concentration camps in Germany. These ‘ordinary’ people who opened up their houses to the escapees, who stole or forged papers, who dealt on the black market to provide food, who moved the men from location to location. They were captured and tortured and imprisoned. Twenty-three were shot, one hundred and thirty three perished of starvation and brutality. But their sacrifices saved eight hundred men of the allies. Not just saving lives and adding to the pool of men able to keep on fighting but bolstering the moral of those airmen daily (and nightly) taking the war to Germany. Dedee was 24 in 1940 when she started the line. She herself escorted 118 servicemen over the Pyrenees. Dedee survived incarceration for more than two years. She was awarded the George Medal. After the war she trained as a nurse and was working in a hospital in Belgium at the time of the interviews with Neave. The chapters in this book are filled with courageous selfless people who sought to free their nations from tyranny. They worked long hard dangerous hours week in week out constantly living with fear of capture and potential death. Throughout the book I kept thinking of the many self-serving, greedy, corrupt and yes thieving politicians we now have here in the UK and around the world. Of course we have always had corrupt leaders, humanity doesn’t seem able to shake off these parasites. But when we compare their nefarious manipulations of people and state with the men and women of the escape lines……….. Perhaps next time we stand in a voting booth considering which politician to vote for we should ask ourselves would this man or woman risk their lives in the same way as the operators of the escape lines. If as I suspect the vast majority would result in a no then perhaps we are voting for the wrong people and perhaps the sacrifices of those brave people should teach us to challenge corruption and demand a better world. (steps down off soap box ) On reading up on this chapter of history on Wikipedia I found this quote about some of the numbers involved on all escape lines - "The authors of the official history of MI9 cite 2,373 British and Commonwealth servicemen and 2,700 Americans taken to Britain by such escape lines during the Second World War. The Royal Air Forces Escaping Society estimated that there were 14,000 helpers by 1945.[3]”"
  12. Laura McVeigh

    Thank you Mr HG another on added to the list.
  13. H E Bates

    Obviously I hope you'll like his books Luna but either way will be good to hear your opinion.
  14. H E Bates

    I've just finished this novel and enjoyed it so much I had to write up a small review and then on searching BGO I find we already have a thread for this book. So here are my thoughts on the book. Bates seems to be out of fashion these days. When I mention him to fellow readers they either don’t know his work or turn their noses up as if to say they wouldn’t bother with such mundane stuff. Published in 1949, set in Burma during WW2. Japan invades. A small English community fights its way to safety. Within this community we find the usual mix of tensions, sexual, racial, petty squabbles based on class and insularity, familiarity and contempt. Paterson, manager of a rice mill gathers what’s left of the community together for the journey north to India. Much to the annoyance of some of his fellow passengers he also takes his Burmese mistress and her brother. With an immediate connection we join them on the journey. Through the heat and the flora, the light and dust of Burma. Through the arguments, the mistakes and the deaths. This isn’t some hermetically sealed message, no literary undertone, no pretence of genius just the telling of a story. The enveloping us in a time and place, characters deep enough to relate to, sympathise with, envy or despise. But not too deep that the well of wishes turns to delusion and literary allusion. A short novel, one that encompasses so much of human history. Invasion, empire building, suppression, rape of land and person, hidden hatred, hidden truths leading to laziness and failures then once again invasion. H. E. Bates never fails to make me care about his characters, he keeps me interested and wanting more.
  15. Thanks Tag, was just a thought. I'll stick to my old fashioned ways of logging off. As I use different computers it is for me a good habit to have.