Last week two very different books were released. I want to read both of them, as soon as I have a chance.
The first is Conchie- What my father didn’t do in the war by Gethin Russell-Jones, who’s whetting our appetites by posting related material on his blog. We used to go to the church where he moonlights as Baptist minister and good egg, but his more substantial claim to fame is the successful My Life in Hut Six he wrote with his mother about her wartime experiences at Bletchley Park. Lord Kinnock says of Conchie:
This is a searingly honest account of a son’s efforts to comprehend his father’s decision to be a conscientious objector rather than fight in the Second World War. He offers reasons not excuses,gives insights not alibis, details his own youthful embarrassment rather than pride,and shows deep respect for the courage of resolute conviction rather than exhibiting unconditional love. Because of that candour,readers will be left with greater understanding of “a different kind of courage” – and they might join me in having strengthened confidence in a rational system which wages war to defeat evil and,in doing that,protects the right of individuals to believe that it is wrong to fight and kill. The test of civilisation is,after all,not in the treatment of consenting majorities but in the toleration shown to non-conforming minorities.
Getting Started in Historical Fiction by Emma Darwin, was on my Christmas list, even though it wasn’t published yet and I’ve no intention at present of writing historical fiction. But the book has evolved from her blog, The Itch of Writing, a Godsend to me many times. If I come across a writing problem, she’s probably been there first and blogged about it.