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When I'm not flying, working, eating or sleeping I like to read. Mostly aviation or 20th century history. Not sure if this topic has been covered before but I thought you good, intellectual forum folk could list your favourite NON fiction books here. 


So to kick off, here's a couple of mine.


A Book of Air Journeys; Pub. Fontana/Collins. An anthology of air journeys compiled by Ludovic Kennedy. Lindbergh, Ernest K. Gann, (anything by him), Alan Cobham, Winston Churchill and many more are included. 


Wild Blue; Pub. adrenaline/ Mainstream Publishing. Another anthology with Michael Collins, Saint-Exupery, Roald Dahl and more.


I will add more later but please join in with your recommendations.


Now where's my pipe and slippers?



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Don't forget your smoking jacket. :D

Or the old leather armchair, a labrador at my feet and a brandy.


Here's a couple more if you're interested. Google these.


Empire of the Clouds by James Hamilton-Paterson. The post war British aviation industry. 


Chickenhawk by Robert Mason. His account as a Huey pilot in Vietnam. Heavy stuff.

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I just got Chickenhawk from the library after you had mentioned it in another thread, thanks. Finishing another book up first and then I can jump on it.


Edit: Great book, as I was reading it, the stories came back from my fuzzy memory. I must have read it before and still enjoyed reading it again. :thum: I don't think enough folks read it because it had a great moral to the story and here we are in the same situation again, just in another part of the world. :stars:  

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Wings on my sleeve by Eric Winkle Brown a fascinating auto-biography 
From Amazon...

Eric Brown went to Germany in 1939 on an exchange course, and his first experience of the war came when the Gestapo arrested him, not knowing he was an RAF pilot.

The rest is history. He is the only man alive to have flown every major and most minor combat aircraft of the Second World War (as well as all the early jets), and has been interviewed by the top Nazis.

While testing the Nazi jets in war-stricken Germany, he interviewed (among others) Hermann Goering and Hanna Reitsch. A living legend among aviation enthusiasts, his amazing life story deserves to be told in full—from crashing in front of Winston Churchill to unmasking a Neo-Nazi ring in the 1950s to his terrifying flights in primitive jets and rockets.




He's 94 now and June this year he was appointed honorary Patron of our local aviation group http://www.bwavg.co.uk/  whatta guy!


More http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01rw940

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A short list from the top of my head:


Aviation related:

Fate is the hunter, Black Cats and Dumbo's, Bury us upsite down, Flying the hump



Panzer Leader - Heinz Guderian, My early life - Winston S Churchil, The great white south - H.G. Ponting, The Silent Continent - W.H. Kearns & B. Britton



Dialogues - Plato, The art of War - Sun Tzu


Computer related (my hobby and my work)

Hackers - Levy, The art of deception - K. Mtnick



And God created the integer - S. Hawking


Lots more - but I am trying to keep the size of the list down. Otherwise you'll think that I'm just some nerd who reads all the time ;-) (guilty as charged)

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chickenhawk has been in my library for years, as has beeb wings on my sleeve, but here are a few of my favorites in my library which will remain there till they put the last nail in the box.

the feather men , ranulph fiennes (simply superb)

the nemesis file  paul bruce

baa baa black sheep , "pappy" Boyington

the tunnel,    eric williams

bomber pilot ,, leonard cheshire vc

voyager,  jean yeager and rick rutan

the hardest day ,, alfred price

the forgotten soldier  , guy sajer

most secret war   , r v jones

pq17 convoy to hell , lund

abandon ship , paul newcombe

the dambusters,  paul brickhill

Jet , sir  frank whittle

who dares wins, tony geraghty

the thousand plan , ralph barker

bring back my stringbag , lord kilbracken

we rendezvous at ten,  wing com ronald adam obe

ginger lacey ighter pilot ,, townhend bickers

combat crew, john comer

the tunnels of cu chi, tom mangold




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Wow! You lot are like buses, you wait for hours and three come along at once. I thought this thread was dead!


The Right Stuff. Tom Wolfe. Chuck Yeager and the Mercury astronauts. Brilliant film too.


I must add three WW-2 books by Antony Beevor. 


1. Stalingrad:  It makes you feel you were there.


2. D-Day: It makes you feel you were there.


3 Berlin: It makes you glad you weren't there.


I highly recommend these.

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I have read the following:


Empire of the clouds


Malta Spitfire by Beurling and Roberts,

Heaven next stop by Gunther Bloemertz,

Shot down in flames by Geoffrey Page,

Stapme by David Ross (Biography of Squadron Leader B. J. Stapleton)

Nine Lives of a Fighter Pilot by Terrance Kelly.

am currently reading Lightning from the cockpit and have a kindle version of Wings on my sleeve to read next.

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Suprised no one has mentioned Ernest K. Gann, Fate is the Hunter and many more. His accounts of the early days of commercial aviation in the US are just brilliant. You are in the cockpit with him.

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