Whaleoil Book Club

by Nige

Over the weekend we put it out in the Back Chat debate “What Books Have You Read Over The Break?” This is the fourth time we have done this and as expected the usual bookworms turned out.

I kicked off by recommending: “Show me the money honey” by Ian Wishart.

I said of it: “This is a book that which challenges the food pyramid which has been put on us by the world health organization. It points out how since it’s inception in the 1960s it really hasn’t made an impact on extending people’s lives. In fact study’s show that reducing some foods can increase your chances of dying.”

Jude recommended “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah.
She said: “I really enjoyed this book. It is about two sisters who each help victims of Nazi atrocities to escape Nazi occupied France.
One helped downed allied airmen and the other helped Jewish children.”


“The Drifters” by A Mitchener.

She said “[I] Found it a bit hard going to start but am enjoying reading about each character now!” A description I found said “The novel follows six young characters from diverse backgrounds and various countries as their paths meet and they travel together through parts of Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Mozambique. The story is told from the perspective of the narrator, George Fairbanks, who is an investment analyst for the fictional company World Mutual Bank in Switzerland. Mr. Fairbanks is connected with nearly every character in some way, and they all seem to open up to him throughout the novel in one way or another.”

Sally recommended “In Farleigh Field” By Rhys Bowen.

She said it is “A novel based?in the UK during WWII – involves espionage and the British aristocracy.”


“The Traitor’s Story” by Kevin Wignall.

“A 14 year old girl goes missing in Switzerland. The parents recruit their neighbour who is rumoured to be an a former spy. He agrees and once he starts investigating he discovered it is linked to tragic events that destroyed his career.”

Gasaxe recommended “Gotz and Meyer” by David Albahari.

He said “[It] Tells the story of two gas truck drivers who arrived in a town to help “transport” prisoners..gives some insights into how people just accepted the process without resisting..quite chilling”

XCIA recommended: “Vegetius: Epitome of Military Science” by Flavius Vegetius Renatus. A description said “”The only Latin art of war to survive, Vegetius’ Epitome was for long an essential part of the medieval prince’s military education. The core of his proposals, the maintenance of a highly-trained professional standing army and navy, was revolutionary for medieval Europe, while his theory of deterrence through strength remains the foundation of modern Western defence policy.”

KatB and phronesis recommended: “Reasons to Vote for Democrats”, by Michael J Knowles. A light read. Easy for all reading levels and eyesight capability. A review I found said “When I observed their record and reasons to vote for them – on reasons of economics or foreign policy or homeland security or civil rights and so on – I realised it was probably best to just leave all the pages blank.”

and someone else recommended: Arnold Kling’s “Specialization and Trade: a reintroduction to Economics”. They said it was “Just brilliant. A concise reexamination of economics, which shows how the economy is an evolutionary system, with constantly changing patterns of specialization
and trade.”

EveryWhichWayButLeft had a few. They were: “Soldier Five” by Mike Coburn

“Completes the set of books written about the ill fated SAS patrol Bravo Two Zero in Iraq 1991, by the Kiwi on the patrol. It provides a different view of the same event and IMO seems more authentic than the others and correlates with Asher’s book. Coburn had to fight the UK MoD to get it published and it exonerates a couple of patrol members that were unfairly blamed by McNab and Ryan for it all going wrong.”

then there was: “Bravo Two Zero” by Andy McNab.

“The original, although it seems to be a somewhat over dramatised account with a healthy dose of fiction thrown in.” ? [I’m an avid reader of the Nick Stone series of fiction by McNab, and it is no surprise that Bravo Two Zero was dramatised – Pete]

“The One That Got Away” by Chris Ryan

“Epic escape tale, but Ryan makes a couple of things up to make the story more exciting that reduce his credibility overall.”

“The Real Bravo Two Zero” by Michael Asher

“Investigative journalist and former SAS soldier that finds a number of flaws in the McNab and Ryan accounts.”

and finally: “Storm Command” by Peter de la Billi?re
“Not strictly Bravo Two Zero, more overall Gulf War command.”

Oarsum recommended: “The Human Advantage – a new understanding of how our brain became remarkable”

“We humans have a total of 86 billion neurons, of which 69 billion are in your cerebellum [ the big lump at the back of your brain], and 16 billion in our cortex, slightly fewer than 1 billion in all the rest. ?Humans have a primate brain, not a rodent nor other mammal brain”

David recommended: “Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction” by Philip E. Tetlock. “Everyone would benefit from seeing further into the future, whether buying stocks, crafting policy, launching a new product, or simply planning the week?s meals.”

and then there was…..

“The Selfish Gene” by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

?We are survival machines ? robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes. This is a truth which still fills me with astonishment.?
?Any altruistic system is inherently unstable, because it is open to abuse by selfish individuals, ready to exploit it.? Sound familiar?

and someone chucked in:

Bob Jones tautologically named “True Facts”.

“It postulates that Homo sapiens has evolved into two different species, and the hero is asked to edit a newspaper for the under species…full of exciting, headline grabbing, bs with no basis in fact whatsoever. All Sir Bob’s issues are covered, it’s an absolute scream, and while written years ago would be well worth reading again these days…..set in the UK but all his characters have NZ “celebrities” names. A total piss take…”.

Thanks to those who offered suggestions and please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments below or pop them up anytime, any day in either of the General Debates posts at 7am or 6pm daily.