Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight, by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm (Hill and Wang, 2019)

The story of the Apollo 11 moon mission, juxtaposed with a history of human engagements with the moon. An excellent graphic novel retelling, finding ways to add new detail and texture to a well-known story. Clear on the contexts of Apollo, and of its relationships to wider US society, while drawing on mission logs for authenticity. Recommended.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation, by Sid Jacobson & Ernie Colón (Hill and Wang, 2006)

The 9/11 report, distilled into a graphic novel. Excellent summary of the report, offering clarity and comprehensibility into timelining the events leading up to 9/11, into what went wrong, ongoing failures of national security, and from that what needs to be done to make different agencies work together. It’d be fascinating to read an updated version.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Far Side of the Moon, by Alex Irvine & Ben Bishop (Tilbury House, 2017)

Subtitled “The Story of Apollo 11’s Third Man”: a graphic novel biography of NASA astronaut Michael Collins. Brisk and efficient, conveyed in lovely artwork reminiscent of blueprints, concept art, and movie storyboards. A spotlight shone on a perhaps overlooked member of the Apollo mission team, and accessible to boot. Recommended for fellow lunar enthusiasts.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Stuntman! My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life, by Hal Needham (Little, Brown, 2011).

The autobiography of the leading stuntman-turned-movie director. Packed full of anecdotes, this gung-ho version of events emphasises can-do attitude while giving plenty of insights into moviemaking and into what’s involved in executing high falls and car crashes. Lots of fun, even if you’re left wanting to know more about the stuff (and movies like Megaforce) that gets glossed over.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Field Notes: Walking the Territory, by Maxim Peter Griffin (Unbound, 2022)

A possible diary in images and words of a year in the East of Lincolnshire. Can’t say more than that – and this isn’t a review, ‘cos family – but if you’re familiar with Maxim Griffin’s work then this is the motherlode to date. If you haven’t, then this is your departure point. Get on it now before the inevitable Werner Herzog/Ben Wheatley/Johnny Nice bidding war begins. Onwards, as Maxim is wont to say.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Sausages: The Making of Dog Soldiers, by Janine Pipe (Encyclopocalypse Publications, 2022)

A celebration of / making of the 2002 minor squaddies-v-werewolves classic. Unashamedly fannish, while a bit undisciplined (odd personal tangents and a couple of unforced errors), this overview of Neil Marshall’s debut movie Dog Soldiers gets by on charm, enthusiasm, access to almost of the main cast and crew, and a lingering sense of camaraderie from those involved in the movie’s production. Recommended for fans, certainly.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Hostage, by Guy DeLisle [trans. Helge Dascher] (Jonathan Cape, 2017)

An NGO administrator in Chechnya is kidnapped: he spends the next months cuffed to a radiator. Low-key biographic study (of Doctors Without Borders worker Christophe André) of resilience: effective, moving, and at times hypnotic in its study of rhythm, of being alone, and of working up to take the opportunities and relish the details that even the worst circumstances may bring. Recommended.

My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

In Praise of Walking, by Shane O’Mara (Vintage, 2020)

Why walking is good for you, and why we should all walk more. An interdisciplinary popular science approach is offered, linking health in both physical and mental terms, town planning, social interactions, and evolutionary theory. Basically, humans are built and socialized to walk – it’s a key distinction between homo sapiens and other animals – and so we should. Takes a little time to settle into its pace, but worth your perseverance. Recommended.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Walking: One Step At A Time, by Erling Kagge [trans. Becky L Crook] (Penguin, 2019)

Philosophical musings on walking, drawing on both personal experiences (both poles and Everest included) and wider literature. Maybe a touch whimsical for some readers, but nevertheless a useful first-hand perspective about how and why walking is necessary for being both human and centred.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.