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Welcome to Bookmarked!

Your new online book community

We are very proud to introduce you to Bookmarked – the first Australian book forum run by an Australian bookstore. It's a novel place, and we wanted to give our Booklovers their very own online home to come and talk about the books they’re loving and the books they’re itching to read. Bookmarked is a Booklover’s hub that never sleeps, so come join the conversation today. 

Most Recent Discussions

Close Enough To Touch by Colleen Oakley

I was lucky enough to have a sneak preview of this novel and absolutely loved it. My review is fairly short but hopefully it conveys how much I enjoyed it! :)

Jubilee Jenkins has a rare disorder: she's allergic to humans. 


It makes for a fascinating premise, and this novel deals with the issue elegantly, slowly releasing the multitude of emotions Jubilee inevitably feels. It begins with Jubilee living as something of a recluse, when a change of circumstances forces her to leave the house for the first time in nine years. What follows is the thoughtful portrayal of a woman blossoming into a self-assured woman in spite of the cards life has dealt. Close Enough to Touch is, at its core, a warming exploration of the human heart.

The key characters are intriguing and well-developed, and relationships are built cautiously, creating realism through layered characterisation. Eric is likable enough but the true charmer is troubled son Aja, whose quirks endear him almost immediately. The rest of the ensemble round out the story giving it variety without too much to keep track of.

The alternating chapters from both Jubilee and Eric add extra depth to the tale, and insight into two very different dynamics. While Jubilee is somewhat timid and naive, Eric is dealing with pieces of a broken family, and has almost a wearied quality to him; you can clearly picture the frazzled father struggling to keep control over a rapidly unravelling thread. This contrast between the two is the soul of the novel.

Overall a fantastic read with delightful characters and an intelligent story. Highly recommend for lovers of atypical chick-lit. Enjoyed it immensely and my sincere thanks to Allen & Unwin for the advanced copy!

The Girl Before by J P Delaney

This one has finally hit shelves so I figured it's time to share my review! :)

Being compared to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train leaves one with big expectations for this novel and it does not disappoint. I was lucky enough to win an advanced copy of the novel through a Goodreads giveaway and I'm so excited to see the reactions when the novel receives the inevitable momentum it rightfully deserves!

This is a tangled web of complex characters running quietly rampant with the inherent flaws of humankind. The alternating stories of 'Then' and 'Now' thread together seamlessly, crafting suspense through the slow release of suggestions and the accompanying chills. As the reader learns more about each character, the mystery of The Girl Before becomes increasingly convoluted, surrounded by deception and gradually darkening until its thrilling conclusion. The depth of these characters allows the reader to feel their experiences and react viscerally to their vices. Their layered formation allows one to, if not sympathise with, at least understand the nature of these flawed beings.

The writing is solid, building the story with small, quick, steps into a crescendo of suspense. The similarities between the alternating stories unite the two narratives brilliantly, creating the connection between the two women and permeating their stories with recurring characters. That being said, the subtle difference between style and the slow release of information forks the narratives elegantly, allowing each to take on their own life as the novel gains momentum.

Absolutely loved it from start to finish, as can be assumed from my finishing it in a single day. There's not too many novels these days that sink their claws in quite like this one did!

Highly recommend for fans of suspense and an absolute must for anyone who enjoyed The Girl on the Train or Gone Girl. Get it as soon as it hits shelves - this one is going to be big!

In Between The Lines....Of Men. Poetry and War,and Homecomings...

Hi History Lover, Two wonderful books just in today.....: " Robert Graves War Poems: ed. by Charles Mundye, Seren Publishers Wales and " From The Line: Scottish War Poetry 1914-1945"  ed. by Daniel Goldie and Roderick Watson , Assoc. for Scottish Literary Studies, Glasgow. Both are handsome hardbacks and most welcome editions to one's library  collection. Seren has produced a solid book of Graves' war poems including the much sort-after collection "A Patchwork Flag" and other fragments not before printed. I could imagine this book will be sort after by academics as well as the occasional reader of war poetry. Already, it has been in and out of printing since its release in October this year and from where I'm standing, I'm glad I have my copy, having chased it around the globe for weeks since you first put me onto it. Hope you are well and reading some interesting and thought-provoking books.

RE: In Between The Lines....Of Men. Poetry and War,and Homecomings...

Hi Ghost writer, sounds like two excellent books on poems, poetry and poets from the Great War. Nice additions to your library :)

At the moment I am reading a book on Alexander the Great, his father and the empire they forged between them. I am thinking about reading this new book I received a few weeks ago: "The Day the Renaissance was Saved: The Battle of Ahghiari and Da Vinci's Lost Masterpiece" by Niccolo Capponi.

​Other than that no new books for me for awhile although I have a few on order, hopefully I will receive a few in the mail before Christmas, fingers crossed :)

RE: In Between The Lines....Of Men. Poetry and War,and Homecomings...

Hi History Lover,  I saw that book " The Day the Renaissance was Saved.." in your listings and I put it in my wishlist for a future purchase. Those two wonderful books I received today were the last for me before Christmas( I planned no more deliveries  this side of Christmas for good reason!). Some on order, including " Hemingway At War:  Work as a War Correspondent in WW11" by Terry Mort, " The Last Post: Music and The Great War". A new biography of "Wilfred Owen: The Man and The Myth" by Barry Matthews is going to be published February 2017. I see there are a few books on Alexander the Great around, just like a plethora of books on Hemingway in the coming months.Good find, History Lover!  Have you caught the series on The Art of Spain on the Arts Channel(Foxtel)? Airing on Sundays. The episode on Velasquez and El Greco was good though sketchy in content. At least when the guy is in the gallery one gets an idea of the sheer size of some of these paintings....Cheers

RE: In Between The Lines....Of Men. Poetry and War,and Homecomings...

Hi Ghost Writer, I just got back from some shopping and checked my PO Box on the way home and found these two books waiting for me: "Putty From Tel-El-Kebir to Cambrai"  by Anthony Leask and "the Rise of Athens" by Anthony Everitt, one of my favourite authors covering the Greeks and Romans of ancient times.

​There is no shortage of books on Alexander the Great, as Arrian, one of the earliest historians stated; "different authors have given different accounts of Alexander's exploits, and there is no one about whom more have written, or more at variance with each other".

​Anyhow I am just going up to my library with a glass of red wine and my two new books to browse through to finish my afternoon :)

RE: In Between The Lines....Of Men. Poetry and War,and Homecomings...

Oooooh, nice one for you History Lover. Books arriving is always a joy.

RE: In Between The Lines....Of Men. Poetry and War,and Homecomings...

No books at the Post Office today, very disappointing :(

​However I visited a cafe/second hand book shop today to chat with a fellow bibliophile and came home with a nice 1870 edition hardback; "Pius the Ninth and His Times" by John Francis Maguire. I just love handling old books, a piece of history in my hands to cherish and enjoy when reading.

 

RE: In Between The Lines....Of Men. Poetry and War,and Homecomings...

Hi History Lover, Sorry to hear nothing in your PO box today..still have two more delivery days this week, so maybe...... I quite agree with you  History Lover, old books are very delightful to handle, to read and to cherish in one's library, much like when I found some very old documents in my days in Archives; old history, memories, thoughts. Those books had some really nice bindings. Craftsmanhip.

RE: In Between The Lines....Of Men. Poetry and War,and Homecomings...

I usually don't like buying second hand books with markings inside the covers but occassionally I pick up a book published in the 1800's with the previous owner or owners names inside the cover along with the dates. I reckon that is a piece of history in itself. In one book on Napoleon that was published in the 1880's there is a lovely hand writen letter between the the book owner and the author, very nice :)

​My copy of "Hold at all Costs: The Battle of Delville Wood" finally arrived, not sure when I will get around to reading it as I have just started the second volume of David Glantz four book series on Stalingrad, over 800 pages!

​I hope you are well and enjoying a good book :)

 

RE: In Between The Lines....Of Men. Poetry and War,and Homecomings...

I like books without markings in them, however,  some of my books are heavily annotated in pencil or with stick- it notes inserted in the pages by me. Your current purchase sounds like a real boon. I bought Kershaw's Hitler: Hubris and it had someone's markings in it, in biro(gughhh!!) . When one finds personal letters in books it does add another dimension as to the history and  previous ownership. Glad to hear you " Hold At ll Costs!" arrived. Surprisingly, the postman came to my door this  morning with my copy of " The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth- Century  British and American War Literature" ed. Adam Piette& Mark Rawlinson . I wasn't expecting it until late next week when the POffice goes back mid-week. Nice surprise. What am I reading? " Bloody Good( as in medieval terminology ) : Chivalry, Sacrifice and The Great War" by Allen Frantzen , Chicago University Press, 2004. I had wanted this for a long time as I had Stefan Goebel's book on the subject " The Great War and Medieval Memory", Cambridge University Press 2007. Let you know more when I've finished. Just begun. Thank you, I am well. Not too flash on this hot weather heading our way. Hope you are well. 800 pages spred over four volumes ,on Stalingrad! That is dedication to a subject, History Lover.

Before the War came to far-off Gloucestershire......

In 1913, a small eclectic band of  emerging poets gathered in  rural Gloucestershire, in the hamlet of red brick farmhouses with thatched roofs, called Dymock. The group consisted of Rupert Brooke, Edward Thomas, John Drinkwater, Robert Frost, Wilfrid Gibson, Lascelles Abercrombie, the occasional visitors Eleanor Farjeon, Edward Marsh( who surrounded himself with brilliant, gorgeous,  young men in his Gray's Inn apartment at breakfast times), Ivor Gurney, W.H. Davies (with his peg-leg), patron and  solicitor John Haines( who got the poets out of many a situation) and others. They became the Georgian Poets we have come to know today( Marsh coined this name for the group as well as publishing their poems). Edward Thomas began his prodigious output here in Gloucestershire before dying in the War. War came here , too, in 1914 and took away the best of youth including  some of the poets such as Brooke and Thomas . The poets had but a brief interlude in this idyll. A year. But what a year!  Frost left for America, Brooke died, followed by Thomas, most of the brilliant young things had wandered  off to the battlefields of France where they were to produce their best work, some to die, Abercrombie became depressed about the war and couldn't write, Frost kept writing in America far from Dymock. They came and went like the seasons. Sean Street has written a small volume of 168 pages chock full of information and anecdotes from meticulous  research in his " The Dymock Poets" ( published 1994 by Seren Publishers, Bridgend, Wales). After finishing this book  I was left with the wanderlust to go and seek out this Gloucesterhire of the Georgian poets for myself ( being the incurable romantic) but I know in 100 years it too has changed somewhat. For anyone interested in the Great War poets, this book is a must for their library as it fills an important gap not really found elsewhere. The amount of detail given to these poets and their families and relationships with each other is incredible. Every so often a book such as this appears and is greatly appreciated for its content and diligence to detail.  Seren Publishers  have recently printed " Robert Graves War Poems"( with a Patchwork Flag) ed. by Charles Mundye. They are worth looking up . The catalogue of books is small but very impressive, concentrating on Welsh poetry and history.

Birdwatching , Fishing and Riding to the Hounds on the Western Front

"Where Poppies Blow: The British Soldier, Nature, The Great War" by John Lewis-Stempel is a delight to read. Similar in writing  style to his previous " Six Weeks: The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War", Lewis-Stempel provides an easy  but reasonably comprehensive book on the subject of an otherwise neglected aspect of life at the front in the Great War. Away from the roaring din of noise and destruction, he gives the reader a respite from these  agonies and a look into the other world of soldier. Bird-spotting, looking for nests, flowers ,were   favorite pastimes of many offiicers who literally went out of their way to spot and record  bird life. One officer, Major Sladen, birdwatching in Palestine, recorded his findings of over 100 birds( listed in Notes). Some were noted naturalists in civilian life. Gardens were planted, flower beds sprung up in the most unlikely of places, along trenches, pets were kept and Lewis-Stempel supplies a list of some of the most exotic ones like kangaroos and bears. It is anecdotal with diary entries and letters to loved ones from the front lines. His book is a wonderful relief from the daily grind of mud, blood and angst. It is just released in hardcover and depending on where you buy it, depends on the price. It is a most welcome addition to anyone interested in the Great War.

My Recommendations

x

RE:My Recommendations

The most epic recommendation I've ever read  :D

RE:My Recommendations

The most epic recommendation I've ever read  :D

RE:My Recommendations

Hi! I guess it was test post. Here is my recommendation
  1. The Host - Stephenie Meyer
  2. A Song of Ice and Fire - George Martin
  3. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (this one I should read in high school but in fact I have to ask bigassignments to help me with my homework) But now I’ve finally finished the reading and I have to say It’s the best book I’ve ever read
  4.  J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (of course if you like HP-saga) :)

Poets, Padres and Counting the Cost......

Hi History Lover, Back from a hiatus( recovering from a virtual plague of Biblical proportions of mosquitoes...not locusts). Well, winter chills and deluges are over and welcome to a warmer clime. Three new books are in " Ghosts of War" A History of WW1 in Poetry and Prose" by Andrew Ferguson, "Muddling Through: The Organisation of British Army Chaplaincy in WW1" by Peter Howson ( Helion) and " Report of the War Office Committee of Enquiry into Shell Shock" a fascimile of the original 1920 report. " Ghosts of War" is a just released book from History Press in a tidy little hardcover. Written by ' a patron of the Imperial War Museum', it is a nice collection of anecdotes and poems with much ado about dates etc and the poems  written in that year. It looks nice visually, not overdone or fancy but an inexpensive volume of WW1 poetry books to mark the centenary. " Muddling Through" is a book I was meaning to get for awhile to fill in a gap of my knowledge of 'the other side of the canteen stall". It loooks a well researched and dedicated volume by Howson who is more than well qualified to write on the subject and finally, " The War Office Report into Shell Shock, this small book of 214 pages is chock -full of the ignorance and small-mindness that prevaled around shell shock, particularly when it caame down to the ordinary soldier. This document is very important also for the named  " witnesses " that came forward to give their testimony to the frailty of the soldiers in question and pander to the officers who were sent to Craiglockhart in Scotland for some R&R and a good talking to, not the ill represented squalor the ordinary soldier was sent to, it is insightful to the general mindset of a military hierarcy that refused to really acknowledge and treat a  very serious condition that dehabilitated thousands during and after the war and if  service pensions were given or withheld. A must for any serious military history reader. My previous copy of this book, well-thumbed and annotated, fell apart from extensive use. I do hope you are well, History Lover . Any good books for you?

Literary Terrorism or The Impressionist Terrorism of Literature?

Hi History Lover, Back after a short hiatus. Hope you are well and in good spirits. Adam Parkes' " A Sense of Shock: The Impact of Impressionism on Modern British and Irish Writing" is a well researched and written book on such literary greats as Joseph Conrad, Walter Pater, H G Wells, Virginia Woolfe, Henry James and Ford Madox Ford  etc.and the infuence of Impressionist painting on their writings. Terrorism in the world and in literature is certainly not a twenty first century phemonena. It has existed in Europe and England long before Jihad terrorism . The perpetrators were called " Anarchists or Conspirators back then. A rather nice literary term. A study such as this doesn't get too much better. Conrad's idiot  anarchist who blows himself up before the novel opens and the consequences of his acttions and 'impressions' of those left behind, the sensationalism of the new press of the late nineteenth century( what has really changed there?), the exploration of the Ruskin/ Whistler trial followed by the likes of Wilde, Pater and James. Wells' terrorist Invisible Man who, still in spite of all his efforts, remains not visible to the world even in death.Such is the fate of anonymous terrorists!  Exploring the real concept of impressionism,terrorism, the media and literary tropes, Parkes has produced a complex book  on literary modernism but highly readable,and will probably stand along side  Sarah Cole's books on Modernist literature. Literary impressionism is an interesting and sometimes unquantifiable term and ought not to be used by modernists too lightly. In painting, it is more easily defined by technique and colours. I'm more than inpressed with Parkes' volume. Lots of book goodness too: " The Poetry of Shelll Shock" by Daniel Hipp, " From Trench and Troopship" by David Kent, " David Jones and the Great War" by Thomas Dilworth, " Heroes' Twilight' by Bernard Bergonzi, " Courage Without Glory" by Spencer Jones, " Memory, Narrative and the Great War" by David Taylor and yesterday from my local Dymocks store, "At The Violet Hour: Modernism and Violence in England and Ireland" by Sarah Cole. Have you had any good books in recently? After days of rain and blusterly northerly winds, the sun is making a weak apologetic appearance here in Geelong.

RE:Literary Terrorism or The Impressionist Terrorism of Literature?

Hi Ghost Writer, I've been busy around the house, getting my library painted and then putting everything back in place, all done now :)

​I am currently sitting up in my library sipping a glass of Basedows 1986 Shiraz, looking out the window onto a grey cloudy sky ready to drop some rain and listening to some nice music on my stereo, a nice way to finish the day eh!

​Sounds like some excellent books there. I have a few on the way, a mixed bag of Franco-Prussian War, WW1 and WW2 books. I am currently reading a book published by Osprey; "Battlefield Angels: Saving Lives under fire from Valley Forge to Afghanistan" by Scott McGaugh. Its a nice, easy to read account of combat medic's in the US armed forces.

​I also recently received a copy of "The Emperor and the Saint: Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, Francis if Assisi, and Journeys to Medieval Places" by Richard Cassady (published 2011). Another recent purchase was "They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else: A History of the Armenian Genocide" by Ronald Grigor Suny.

Well back to my glass of wine and my book, hope all is well down your way!
,

RE:Literary Terrorism or The Impressionist Terrorism of Literature?

Hi History  Lover, Glad to hear everything is back in order. The wine sounds good as well as the music. Also it sounds like a great load of books on the way. I have restricted my reading of the Franco- Prussian War to Wawro. I seriously admire your wide tastes in reading though for practical purposes and research I do  WW1. There is such an overload of books on war  and its cultural extensions. " Glum Heroes " by Peter Hodgkinson is a real find and I am impressed with it and hope he writes more. Still reading it. " A Touch of Paradise in Hell: Talbot House, Poperinghe" by Jan Louagie landed on my doorstep last week from the UK, as did "Poetry and  Myths of the Great War": by Martin Stephen, and a curious monograph " Rivers : A Life" by Richard Slobbidin. " Tolkein and the Great War: by John Garth.. and " The Street of Wonderful Possibilities: Whistler, Wilde and Sargent in Tite Street" by Devon Cox (2015) etc. Your recommendation,  " Breakdown " by Taylor Downing due this coming week, with " A Moonlight Massacre"( Helion) ( another of your remmendations, cheers for those) in  the next 10 days after that .We have had so much rain here it feels like Flanders  muddyfields, squashy terrain underfoot. My apple tree has bloomed extra well  this year so it looks like a bumper crop. Did you get around to reading tha book on Dracula? 

RE:Literary Terrorism or The Impressionist Terrorism of Literature?

Hi History Lover, Sorry.....I meant to say Welcome Back. You were missed!

RE:Literary Terrorism or The Impressionist Terrorism of Literature?

Hi Ghost Writer,

​Its nice to be missed :)

​One book that I failed to mention that I have on order is; "The Telegraph Book of the First World War: An Anthology of the Telegraph's Writing from the Great War" by Gavin Fuller. A nice large and apparently well presented HB of 576 pages. It has received some very good reader reviews and should contain lots of gems from war reporting during this conflict.

RE:Literary Terrorism or The Impressionist Terrorism of Literature?

Hi History Lover  , I'll check that out. I nearly missed another one that I ordered this morning: " Letters, Vol 1( of 3) of Otto Dix, trans. Mark Kanak. Just published in September. Otto Dix was famous for his " Krieg" series of drawings and paintings and his blatantly poignant  portrayals of crippled veterans. He served on the Western Front  with the German army, dying in 1959(!?). I've always admired his work though some of it looks pretty scary and real.  Your recommendation " Breakdown" by Taylor Downing arrived on my doorstep today. Hope you are well . We have sunshine with a coolish breeze bustling around like a harried old person, this way and that, without really going anywhere. Without much ado. What a change from sodden rain.

RE:Literary Terrorism or The Impressionist Terrorism of Literature?

Hi Ghost Writer, I've finally gotten around to starting one of my Somme purchases. I am currently reading; "Somme" by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore, only a few chapters in but I am enjoying it so far.It has some decent maps, 21 in total, and his writing style is easy to read, its close to 600 pages so it may take me a while to finish :)

​What do you think of "Breakdown", have you had a chance to have a good flick through it yet?

RE:Literary Terrorism or The Impressionist Terrorism of Literature?

Hi History Lover, Hope you are well. I was just about to post about " Breakdown" by Taylor Downing.( Postmortem on the Somme....) I'm not too impressed with it...the book reads like  potted "history" of the British Army in France in WW1, precious pages taken up with information a reader should have knowledge of. This continues to fill up the book. The information of shell shock  is scarce and very sketchy to say the least. To me, it is like watching Tony Robinson jaunt around the world being an historian when he is a tv personality, all flair and flounce and no substance. Downing  hasn't even read essential references and the book is filled with do-or-die exploits rather than sticking to the subject of shell shock! I'm really looking forward to Tracey Loughran and Stephanie Linden's two intelligent and forthcoming books on shell shock( Helion and Cambridge Uni Press) . This is just my opinion of " Breakdown". I'm shelving it! I'm disappointed with it , however, for those readers wanting a popularised and uncomplicated  history, it's okay. " A Moonlight Massacre", " A Touch of Paradise in Hell: Talbot House, Poperinghe", " Theirs Not to Know The Reason Why: Horsing the British Army 1895-1925"( just got this ordered  28 hours  before it became unavailable, can be lucky some times), and " The Fir Tree Aerial Map of The Somme" touched down at my doorstep the last couple of days.  Waiting for " The Twilght of the Belle Epoque" and" Letters of Otto Dix, Vol 1(0f 3)" to come (next couple of days). Getting the new stuff ordered tomorrow. Phew!  It sounds like you are enjoying Sebag-Montefiore's Somme, and decent maps! They make all the difference. I hope you'll be writing a review when you're finished. The aerial map is really good and well made. What new  books are you expecting?  Cheers

RE:Literary Terrorism or The Impressionist Terrorism of Literature?

Hi Ghost Writer,

​Funny enough I have unread copies of; "The Twilght of the Belle Epoque" and by the same author; "The Dawn of the Belle Epoque". I have no idea when I will get around to reading them, one day soon I hope :)

I've got some interesting and varied books on order including a reprint of this 1842 book; "Life of lieut. general Hugh Mackay of Scoury, commander in chief of the forces in Scotland, 1689". Plus a book on the War of the Roses, another on the US Fleet in the Pacific 1944-45, a US Civil War book and a new book on the 1777 Battle of Saratoga.

I've also order this new release: "The Landmark Julius Caesar: The Gallic Wars and the Civil War"

​Way too many books to catch up but sometimes I can't help myself :) 

RE:Literary Terrorism or The Impressionist Terrorism of Literature?

Hi History Lover, I still admire your eclectic tastes in war history. I don't have her first one, "Dawn of the Belle Epoque". Maybe a little later. My copy of " Twilight of the Belle Epoque" landed this morning and though I was reading " Theirs Not To Reason Why: Horsing the British Army 1875-1925" by Graham Winton( Wolverhampton War Studies no2), I'll halt(heh) and read " Twilight of the Belle Epoque" because I need to recap some information for what I'm doing. Get into that horse book as well....Have you seen " The First British Army 1624-1628, The Army of the Duke of Buckingham" by Laurence Spring, Helion? It looks rather interesting, not that I'm any expert in that time period. I was thinking about getting it a little down the track. By the way, I have eight voucher things worth $100 wine gift cards from Naked Wines. I don't drink so if you can use them , please let me know and I'll post them to you. Free! It sounds like the wines may be cleanskins. I don't know. Cheers

RE:Literary Terrorism or The Impressionist Terrorism of Literature?

Hi Ghost Writer, I'm quite enjoying my book on the Somme, vety much in the style of Martin Middlebrook. At the moment I am still reading about the first day, sector by sector, some great first-hand accounts used by the author, mostly from the British side but a few German accounts as well, like this one from a German artillery observer just behind the German lines on the day of the attack:

"But the crisis had not passed. It was evident that these machine-gunners were not the only ones experiencing this problem. As Lais could see, 'Jets of steam were shooting up into the air from almost all the regiment's machine guns. Their hoses had likewise either been ripped or shot away.'

Added to that there was a new problem:

The machine gunners' hands were so burned that the skin on their fingers hung down in ribbons. What were once their left thumbs became shapeless swollen lumps of meat thanks to their having to repeatedly press down on the safety catch. Cramp became a problem caused by the need to hang on to the machine guns' vibrating hand grips.

As the number of bullets fired reached the 18,000 mark, the man who was feeding the ammunition belt into the machine gun was shot through the head. It was his fall that led to the twisting of the belt, and the jamming of the gun. However, even this setback was not allowed to interrupt the flow. 'His corpse was dragged to one side,' Lais explained. Another man took his place, removed the loading mechanism, reloaded the gun, and then started firing it again."    

​I will keep an eye out for that Helion book, it will be on special soon at various book sites in the UK and I may consider buying a copy then. I will e-mail you about the wine vouchers shortly.

"Old Bill did find a Better 'Ole( Glum Heroes on the Front Line).....

( Hi History Lover)......in Peter Hodgkinson's " Glum Heroes: Hardship, Fear and Death, Resilience and Coping on The Western Front 1914-1918"( Helion). For a good change, from the plethora of books on how it was all so negative and hostile on the Western Front, gas, bombs and bullets and horrible deaths in a hell on earth Bosch-like terrain, Hodgkinson's detailed analysis of how soldiers coped rather than the oppostite, is a welcome relief  and more upbeat approach to military history. Hosdkinson is a clinical psychologist who is used to working with traumatised people who have experienced sudden and violent events in their lives. So he is well qualified here. Frontline soldiers were able to cope in many ways through trauma, be it in religion, supersitition, or just plain practical ways to ease their passage, talking it through to themselves, or to mate, writing home, or finding a coping mechanism to suit themselves. It didn't always work 100% but it seems to have worked during a shelling or dugout cavein. Generally the soldiers came from working class backgrounds, hard farm or factory labour that made them more suited mentally and physically, to cope better with stresses and trauma(I really think we have becaome too soft) of " getting through it rather than caving in". Hodgkinson is a must for the serious military history reader and their library. They will benefit from the insights the author has to offer in this very rare glimpse of the coping side of the Great War participants. I really do hope Hodginson contributes more books on the Great War and its social issues. Well done Peter Hodgkinson and  to Helion for having the chutzpah to print it!

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