Summer “What We’re Reading” Wednesday

I’ve got two books on the go at the moment. Having seen ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ on the stage recently, a musical which satirises the senseless carnage of World War I, I felt the need to read in detail about how the War began and how it was conducted.

1914-1918: The History of the First World War by David Stevenson (Penguin) is a superb work. It explains how a group of civilised, Christian nations could set about destroying each other for little apparent reason, and how millions could go their deaths to win a few yards of earth. A sobering book, showing that humankind learns very little from history.

The second is a thriller by Lee Child, Gone Tomorrow. Lee Child is the master. Understated, economical, totally gripping. I dread reading another chapter because it will bring me nearer the end. I have to ration myself with severe penitential rigor. Oh that I could write about liturgy as Lee Child writes about Jack Reacher, the drifter hero!

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  1. Richard, I share your sense of the senselessness of the Great War and the immensity of its losses. One of my favorite books from that period is Vera Brittain’s memoir, Testament of Youth. It really captured for me the devastation and deep changes brought about for her generation, so many of whom died in that war. Thanks for the reference to Stevenson’s book.

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