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Saturday, 3 December 2011

Christmas season, gifts, books

Here in Japan, it's only 21 days to the big one. Slowly Japan is becoming like North America with Christmas, including the holiday rush for gift buying.

But, I have embraced internet shopping for getting the gifts I can't find in Japan. This mostly consists of books and wargamming figures which I like.

On the literature front, I enjoy the Julian Stockwin novels. Mr. Stockwin is a former Royal Navy officer who is retired and has been writing for the better part of eleven years. His genre is about the Royal Navy from 1793 up to 1815. I enjoy his style of writing because he writes like someone who has been there, and it's not stuff, pompous. I had read some of Patrick O'Brien's Master and Commander series, but I just couldn't get around the imperialistic style of attitude which he approached his work.
I also make time for Bernard Cromwell's Sharpe series. I recently was able to find a DVD copy of Shapre's Challange, which was in a Japanese used book/dvd shop as whoever had bought it probobly didn't know what it was about. I recall reading his first novel Redcoat, which was set in Philadelphia in 1776-77 but there were so many accuracy problems that I was turned off of it. However, he did find his footing and his Sharpe novels are very interesting.

But I must plug my good friend Keith Blackmore. He's a fellow EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher who is also turning to writing science fiction. His first novel The Missing Boatman is a great read. If anyone wants to know what it's like living in Eastern Canada, or all of Canada at the start of winter, this is a good novel.

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