Reading

Random Review

Azincourt

Bernard Cornwell

Azincourt cover image

This is the first Bernard Cornwell book I've reviewed on Goodreads, which means it is entirely too long since I have read a Bernard Cornwell book! I'm a casual fan of Cornwell, having read some of his books—I'm particularly fond of his Arthurian trilogy, and I like his Hundred Years' War stuff—and eschewing others—like the Sharpe series, or the Starbuck series, because those two historical periods appeal less to me. That is the most enduring and endearing thing about Cornwell: his remarkable versatility as a writer of historical fiction. Give him a time period, any time period, and a battle, and he will find a character and a story that fits. Azincourt* demonstrates this skill perfectly with the character of Nicolas Hook, an archer who finds himself at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

I rather liked Nicolas, and that surprises me, because he seems like a rapscallion and—sometimes—a coward. After all, it takes the voices of saints to urge him on to commit noble deeds! But Nicolas is…

Why I Read

Mostly for entertainment and edification. Reading is fun, and reading is a great way to learn. Although I indulge in television, movies, and video games, reading is my favourite way to relax. With a book, I can experience the story at my own pace, moving faster or slower as my interest demands. Books offer an infinite canvas for the imagination of both the author and the audience; with books, anything is possible.

What I Read

Everything! Well, almost. I try to read as widely as possible in recognition of the fact that genres are more of a marketing label than an adequate way to categorize books. But I have some favourite areas of fiction and non-fiction, and there are areas I avoid.

When I first began reading on my own, I devoured mysteries: Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Agathie Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle. Then I discovered science fiction and fantasy, and those remain my favourite genres today. I still delve into mysteries, historical fiction, and a variety in between, but science fiction and fantasy are my mainstays. For non-fiction, I mostly read books about science and technology. In particular, I love books about the history and philosophy of science, technology, or mathematics.

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