BookPick: Across the Pond, a Double Helping

BookPick: Across the Pond, a Double Helping

by BigJules

I’m crossing the Pond for this Double Helping of BookPicks! I became fascinated with espionage during research for the Kydd series, in particular for my book Treachery, so I was exercised to read John A. Nagy’s ‘Spies in the Continental Capital’ on the critical role of intelligence operations across Pennsylvania in the eighteenth century and was not disappointed. And in another field of interest for me, Michael G Laramie’s book ‘By Wind and Iron’ provided me valuable insight into America’s rich maritime history, focusing on a natural invasion route into the heart of North America from the seventeenth century through to the early nineteenth century.

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HMS Pickle, The Swiftest Ship in Nelson’s Trafalgar Fleet



Depends on the size of your pockets, but this is a pocket-size book that packs a big punch. A great deal of information is packed into this volume, including a very good photo-plate section. There are also charts, tables and sketches through the body of the book to provide a significant amount of illustration, all to a high standard. This is a fine account of a part of the most famous sea battle that has received very little coverage. It is nicely produced and offered at a very affordable price. Naval enthusiasts will be keen to obtain a copy, but this is one of those books that should be a priority for anyone starting to develop an interest in the story of Nelson and the Royal Navy. Very highly commended.

The World’s Most Extreme Challenges


Paul Moore

Published by Bloomsbury 8 October, 2015

£25 Hardback

Every now and again the world takes notice of someone who has done something truly extraordinary. Whether that involves jumping from a balloon on the edge of the earth’s atmosphere, trekking through the depths of the Antarctic winter or sailing solo around the world, these exceptional feats of endurance and bravery capture the imaginations of individuals around the globe.

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Group Captain John ‘Joe’ Collier DSO, DFC and Bar, The Authorised Biography of the Bomber Commander, Air War & SOE Strategist & Dam-buster Planner.



The subject of this biography had a very active and interesting war. It is surprising that his story has not been told a long time ago. He was there from the first day of WWII and continued in RAF service through the 1950s, including a tour as Assistant Chief of Staff at NATO in Norway. This account provides an absorbing account of some of the key events in the Bomber Command campaign that did so much to shorten the war, if at heavy cost in aircraft and aircrew. This is a book that every bomber enthusiast will wish to read and re-read. It provides a very useful overview for those developing an interest and provides an enthralling personal story.

This is a very interesting person and a very interesting career that provide fresh insights into important aspects of the development of British bombing capabilities. Highly recommended.

Tracing Your Ancestor’s Parish Records, a Guide for Family and Local Historians



Tracing family history has become a very popular activity. The Internet and television programs have spurred fresh interest, but one of the rich sources of information is to be found in Parish Records. This book provides a fascinating tour of the nature and accessibility of these local records, providing a wealth of information, showing how and why the records were kept and what information they can provide. This book is an obvious first choice for anyone starting to research the origins of their family, but it also provides images and text that is interesting also as a clear insight into local affairs and the taxation due to the Church in tithes, dating back to the period when the Church was effectively a State within a State, owing its loyalty to the Pope. An excellent read.

The author has produced one of the most interesting books on the subject and the inclusion of many images through the body of the book has painted a picture that contains many absorbing facts and surprises.Highly recommended.

Images of War,Nazi Concentration Camp Commanders, 1933-1945, Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives



This new book follows the well-established and popular format of the ‘Image of War’ series. All books in this series stand on the quality of their images, but they also pack a surprising amount of information into the text. This is a worthy addition to a successful series and it provides a chilling review of one of the major genocides of history through the nature of the images. This is an important book that deserves to be widely read.

Images of the Past, Coalminers



The author has already established a reputation for mining histories and writes with feeling. This book follows the well-established format of strong image content with text in support as introduction, background and captions. In less than 40 years, British mining has reduced from a major employer and wealth generator to almost complete extinction. There are many reasons for this, including inadequate funding and renewal, but the work of climate fraudsters has not only finished the destruction of British mining but also destroyed the importation of coal from cheaper sources. This book will provide readers with a very able introduction to an industry that they may have known almost nothing of. Highly recommended.

Images of War, German Army on the Eastern Front – The Advance, Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives



This new addition to the Images of War series follows a popular format with an excellent selection of images being supported by introductory and caption text. Once again, the images are the main driver for the book, but this is deceptive. The text packs in a great deal of information and the book covers all of the aspects of this bitter conflict. This book covers the early stages of the war on the Eastern Front as the Germans made rapid advances into Russia and the Ukraine, taking large numbers of prisoners and destroying a vast amount of Russian equipment. The rare photographs will be of great interest to professionals and enthusiasts, but this is also a very good starting point for the novice and represents very good value for money.

Modern Warfare, The Afghan War, Operation Enduring Freedom, 2001-2014



This new addition to the Modern Warfare series follows a popular format with an excellent selection of images being supported by introductory and caption text. Once again, the images are the main driver for the book, but this is deceptive. The text packs in a great deal of information and the book covers all of the aspects of this lengthy conflict. Stealth aircraft to the infantryman make this a very complex operation and also a fairly unique combat environment. A very useful addition to available knowledge on the shape of current asymmetric warfare.