Sunday, June 24, 2012

TTVBT - A Mixed Bag of Reading Material

By: Brad Fleming

I’m one of those readers who usually has at least three books going at the same time. There’s always at least one by my bedside, one in the lounge, another in the conservatory and most likely one in the loo as well.

The only exception to that is when I pick up a book which really grabs my attention. When that happens I tote it round with me everywhere I go until it’s finished. I’ll read it until the wee hours, or, if I awake early, I’ll squeeze in a chapter or two before rising.

Last time that happened was about a month ago with Jeffrey Archer’s latest book The Sins of the Father. It’s a sequel to Only Time Will Tell. The third of the trilogy is due out next year and I’ll be sure to have my advance order in with Amazon in good time. 

The sage follows the fortunes of Harry Clifton, who grew up in the back streets of Bristol, England, won a scholarship to Oxford and quit a promising academic career to serve with distinction in World War II. He was branded a deserter and a murderer and fought to clear his name in the boardrooms of Manhattan and the law courts of London.

Lord Archer, to give him his due title, may not be everybody’s cup of tea – indeed his career reads like one of his own thrillers – but he has an easy, relaxed style and his stories have enough twists and turns to keep his readers on their toes. He’s produced a score of books and I’ve read them all.

My second current book is The Mafia – a compilation by Nigel and Colin Cawthorne, subtitled A First-hand Account of Life inside the Mob. I bought this by way of research for a series of short stories I’m writing. It’s by no means my usual type of reading material, but I’m finding the nineteen fact-based tales quite absorbing.

I’m just getting into Michael Wolff’s The Man who Owns the News, an absorbing and penetrating look at what he calls “the secret world of Rupert Murdoch, “If Murdoch isn’t making headlines,” Wolff writes, “he’s busy buying the media outlets that generate the headlines.”

Although published four years ago, the book is amazingly topical, with the Leveson Inquiry, set up to investigate the role of the press and police in a phone-hacking scandal, still sitting in London. The adverse publicity directed against the Murdoch group led to his decision to cease publication of his flagship Sunday paper The News of the World and to abandon his attempt to obtain a controlling interest in SKY Television.

Now questions are starting to be asked about his News Corporation holdings, including The New York Post, Fox News and the influential Wall Street Journal. The British Prime Minister and Chancellor have been dragged into the mix and the revelations keep on coming.

About the Author

 Brad Fleming has been in journalism, broadcasting and public relations all his working life. Born in the small fishing village of Kilkeel, Northern Ireland, in the shadow of where the famous Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea, he served his time in local newspapers before moving on to a National daily paper in Belfast and later covered news and sport for the BBC. Later he made a career switch to join the British Government Information Service in London, working principally with the Ministry of Defence, a job which took him to many corners of the world. He lives in the pretty County Down village of Hillsborough with his American-born wife Nip and their border collie Sparky.


  1. Really enjoyed reading this! I've not read either of the books you have mentioned, but now I'll be sure to keep an eye out for them.

  2. I haven't either, Jennifer. Looks like they would be interesting reads.

  3. I really enjoyed the post as well. I haven't read either of the books...but I also tend to read more than one book at a time...and have them scattered about. A little more difficult with my Kindle :)

  4. Are you wondering what I have been reading lately? Check out my posting on Bruce Blake's blog at

  5. Brad, we do the same thing! Several different books, different genre's, different authors! Between research for our books, blogs and facebook material, and reading for pleasure, it is truely a smorgesboard of material!