Recent Reads

Some books I’ve read, and enjoyed recently….

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. Jonas Jonasson (translated by Rod Bradbury)

A funny and heart-warming story about Allan Karlsson and his flight from an old people’s home on his 100th birthday. Drug dealers, explosions and communist dictators are all involved and the way Jonasson interlaces Allan’s story with almost every pivotal event of the 20th Century is brilliant.A geriatric Forrest Gump if you will.

The translation is just brilliant, you’d have no idea it was originally written in Swedish. The author is also a pretty interesting fellow.

One of the best books I’ve read in a long while.


Bad Lands. Tony Wheeler

Tony Wheeler, founder of Lonely Planet, recounts his travels to some of the most dangerous, repressive and least travelled countries in the world.Countries featured include; North Korea (of course), Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Albania and Burma.

It makes for an interesting read with lots of anecdotes and short history lesson about each country. I’d recommend the book, but can’t say I’ll be visiting any of the countries soon.


Life After Death. Damien Echols

In 1994, Damien Echols, along with two others, was convicted of murdering three young boys as part of a “Satanic Ritual” — a crime he didn’t commit. They became known as the West Memphis Three. Released after over 18 years on Death Row this is a honest, open and often terrifying account of his time there.

The injustices Damien and the other two boys experienced often saw my jaw hitting the floor, but the love of a woman he’d never met, Lorri Davis, who mounted a campaign to release him restored my faith in humanity.

Having previously known nothing about this case I caught a Guardian article about him and bought the book. I’m glad I did, and will probably try to check out several of the documentaries that have been made about the case now.


The Eagle Has Landed. Jack Higgins

Having seen and enjoyed the 1976 film starring Michael Caine, I picked up this book for cheap on the Kindle store.

It’s by no means a literary classic but the story of a crack German parachute regiment taking over a sleepy East Anglian town to try and assassinate Winston Churchill is a classic war caper and an entertaining read. Reminded me of my childhood passion for Commando Comics.



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