If This is a Man and The Truce by Primo Levi are two painstaking books which must be read. Levi does not try to make light of his existence in the concentration camp or on the trip back to Italy. He tells his story very matter of factly, no embellishments, no emotion; just the way I like to read of such life experience. I think it took great courage for Levi to write such books. I felt honoured to read them.
The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes is an epic historical monument to the physicists behind the atomic bomb. I will not pretend that I understood all the physics associated with the eventual making of the atomic bomb or that I understood the number of committees involved in the final decision on where to drop the bomb but the book took me on a trip that began long before August 1945. Although, my knowledge of the science is limited, I appreciated the time and effort taken by Rhodes to engage his reader in understanding the physics and the personalities behind the bomb. It was quite an emotional read.
The Ethics of War edited by Gregory M Reichberg, Henrik Syse and Endre Begby is one of those books which I read for interest sake. I didn’t read every word but I am interested in war and why people wage war. This book took an historical look at a number of different philosophical viewpoints with a strong focus on just war theory (if a just war is possible).
The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie spans a region of the world which I would like to visit. I can’t say that I was ‘in love’ with this book and at times I was confused as to who was who but essentially the way Rushdie writes manages to capture you in a trance of time and myth.