Thursday, 21 January 2010

2010 Reads - Corelli Barnett

My new, more organised approach to tracking what I read is already paying dividends. For the curious, it is 21 January and I have so far read 17 books, with another couple just waiting to be completed. More importantly, it has already taught me something about my reading habits, namely that many more of my books come from the library these days - no less than 13 out of 17 so far. Yes, it is a wrench reading a book and then not being able to keep it, but I have calculated that if I keep up this sort of ratio then my library membership might be saving me as much as £1,000 a year before tax.

In addition to the Bryant and May mysteries, which sadly I have now finished, I already have one outstanding book to recommend: The Collapse of British Power by Corelli Barnett. Despite the title, it has just as much relevance to Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Germany, France and Italy, and is one of those very rare books that makes you look in a completely new and different way at a historical period which you thought you knew well. Excellent stuff - should be required reading in schools.

It is part of a series which continues with The Audit of War, but I would also particularly recommend his history of the Royal Navy during WWII, Engage The Enemy More Closely, which I have read several times and is one my desert island books.

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