Two books have swept me away while on the NMSOS US tour. The first was John Keegan’s The American Civil War: A Military History. It seemed like the right time and place to finally bring myself up to speed with this brutal part of America’s history and Keegan’s book was absolutely riveting. The accounts of the battles and politics and justifications for the war had me running to various American museums while I was on tour, such as the great Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War museum. I went along with Nick to see their extraordinary collection of artefacts  and the amazing 360degree, largest oil painting in the world that represents the Battle of Atlanta at it’s hight and takes your breath away with its enormous scale. I also took time out to visit the Missouri Civil War museum just outside St. Louis. 


The second book was one I wanted to read for a long time but never seemed to have the space.  So in Denver I picked up a new translation by Oliver Ready for Penguin Classics of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. What a great book this is and nothing like the dated, heavy Russian literature I thought I might have to wade through. It’s a page turner - a dark, comic thriller with an anti-hero akin to Macbeth and characters so perfectly rendered as to leap from the page. The style is really modern and constantly delves into the mad thoughts of the protagonist - if you can call him that - Raskolnikov. Try it, especially this high tempo version. It also has a funky cartoon cover by Zohar Lazar. See my Instagram for a pic.

Jamie Vickery