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Ed's books

George Orwell: Homage to Catalonia (Paperback, 2013, Penguin Classic) 4 stars

[Homage to Catalonia][1] is [George Orwell][2]'s account of his experiences fighting in the 'Spanish Civil …

It looked at first sight as though Spain were suffering from a plague of the initials…

3 stars

Decent book about Orwells experience in the war. Limited in scope, but descriptive and personal.

Adam Higginbotham: Midnight in Chernobyl (2019, Simon & Schuster) 4 stars

Journalist Adam Higginbotham’s definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful …

An Engaging Immersive Book

5 stars

Well written fast-paced engaging book which covers the lead up and construction of the plants through to the present day. Does a great job following various people dealing with the crisis, explaining the dangers and challenges faced and the role the Soviet machine played.

Anthony Bourdain: Medium Raw (Hardcover, 2010, Ecco) 3 stars

The long-awaited follow-up to the megabestseller Kitchen ConfidentialIn the ten years since his classic Kitchen …

Medium Read

3 stars

As a follow up to Kitchen Confidential this felt like a collection of essays lacking the focus of the breakthrough. Not a criticism but I felt some of the chapters less engaging. He devotes entire chapters to specific people, and follow up on the whereabouts of certain characters from confidential. Was ok but I preferred the doco roadrunner as a follow up rather than this book.

Antony Beevor: Berlin (Paperback, 2010, Penguin Books, Limited (UK), imusti) 4 stars

Berlin: The Downfall 1945 (also known as The Fall of Berlin 1945 in the US) …

Dark and detailed

5 stars

Picked this up in a fleeting visit to the local library. First ww2 novel I’ve read focused on the German/Russian conflict packed with lots of detail on both sides. Enjoyed it. Well written without becoming a slog though took a while to get through.

Anthony Bourdain: Kitchen Confidential (2012, Ecco Press) 4 stars

A deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet of wild-but-true tales of life in the culinary trade …

Classic for a reason. Fans of the tv show The Bear would enjoy.

5 stars

Read this when it came out and a third time now with my own copy. Bourdains visceral in the trenches writing style still engages, it’s also a quick read that doesn’t outstay its welcome.

I have no idea of the level of embellishment, or how his pirate crew fits 20 years later but he seems reasonably self aware through. A great enjoyable read.

Andy Weir: The Martian (Paperback, 2015, Del Rey) 4 stars

I’m stranded on Mars.

I have no way to communicate with Earth.

I’m in a …

Can do

4 stars

I went in with the understanding this was a book about a bunch of whatif science problems so enjoyed it. The author did a good job of keeping things moving forward without getting too bogged down in detail. The structure of the story meant the protagonist was maybe the most upbeat superhuman I’ve met so it there was no emotional stakes but that was by design.