I’m reading First Light by Geoffery Wellum, which is an amazing autobiography of a 17 year old who became a fighter pilot in WW2. I’m a little bit obsessed with how people behaved during the war at the moment, and this one cuts through a lot of the stiff-upper-lip propaganda that went on. Thoroughly recommend it both as an action story but also as an antidote to the ever present outrageous douchebaggery in the world these days.
(It’s not, however, the fighter pilot autobiography I was looking for, a book which blew my mind as a teen in an --o my god I had no idea it was that hard-- kind of way. All I can remember is it starts with the author on standby as the airfield gets bombed and they have to run for cover, before flying mission after mission on the edge of his nerves and sleeplessness. Driving me nuts trying to relocate this book.)
Also rereading all of Sebastian Faulkes books, which are surprisingly mixed in quality. Birdsong is the best novel I’ve ever read, but sequences in others are frustratingly weak, dull, or weird. Luckily Faulkes can’t write a poor sentence. He’s one of those writers whose lyrical prose is a balm for the mind. Therefore, even his worst moments are very enjoyable.
Reading Nick Robinson’s history of the BBC again, which is fascinating in all it reveals about the turbulent relationship between government and the press, not least Reith and Churchill who detested each other.
Lots of books about comics - Supergods, again (always makes me chuckle when Grant casually implies he created the Ultimates), Professor Chris Murray’s exhaustive study of British Superheoes The British Superhero(best to get that from the library it’s £70), and Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution by Ronin Ro, which is as fascinating as it is depressing. I mean, if that’s how the industry treated Kirby, the greatest creator of superheoes we’ve ever seen, a man who created an art style which defined a whole genre, and an entire company, then what hope have the rest of us got?
I seem to be reading lots of books for the second time, books about real events that have already occurred. Nostalgia is comforting in troubling times, I guess. We study the past to negotiate the future.