American Elephants


Reading for Pure Pleasure, Or How to Get Lost in a Book by The Elephant's Child

I recommended a few books a few days ago to add to your knowledge. There are many kinds of reading, thrillers, histories, mysteries, westerns and romances, among others. If you are still locked down, or avoiding going out, you are likely to need more reading just for pure pleasure. To get lost in a book.

At the very tip-top of my list is Patrick O’Brien. with seventeen novels described variously as “the best historical novels ever written”, “the best sea story I have ever read,” books you will keep to read again and again. The series is about the Royal Navy in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and establishes the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey R.N. and Stephen Maturin. ship’s surgeon and intelligence agent against the thrilling background of the Napoleonic wars.

Details of life aboard a man of war in Nelson’s navy are faultlessly rendered; the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging and the roar of the broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

The first, Master and Commander, was published in 1970, the last in 1995. You can get the whole series from Amazon for a hefty $240.75 or one at a time for $10.89. One of the best investments you will ever make.

Another series I recommend highly is James Clavell’s Asian Saga which begins in 1600 with Shogun, followed by Tai-Pan, 1841, Gai-Jin,1862, King Rat, 1945, Noble House,1963, and Whirlwind,1979. Clavell is an excellent storyteller. Today’s China and Hong Kong add to the interest although the books are fiction.

If you are female and do not read books about wars and battles, shame on you, but you might enjoy anything by Penelope Lively, Joanne Greenberg, or Elizabeth Spencer.


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