Mallard: How The 'Blue Streak' Broke The World Speed Record

Author: Don Hale
Paperback: 166 pages
ISBN: 9781845133450
Recommendation: would read again
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On the afternoon of the 3rd of July 1938 the streamlined A4 Pacific locomotive LNER 4468, better known as Mallard, was recorded travelling at 126mph; the fastest a steam engine had ever travelled before. Amazingly that world record still stands. In this fascinating book author Don Hale takes us through the full story of the development of Mallard and the record attempt itself.

The Gutenberg Revolution

Author: John Man
Paperback: 289 pages
ISBN: 9780553819663
Recommendation: would read again
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No one can argue against the fact that the printing press revolutionized the world. In 1450 the small number of books to be found in Europe were all written out by hand. Just 50 years later they were printed and there were millions of them. This explosion in the written word had huge consequences as ideas, previously confined to a small area or a small number of people were set free. This book documents Johann Gutenberg's invention of printing and the revolution it caused.

Dave Gorman vs. The Rest Of The World

Author: Dave Gorman
Paperback: 343 pages
ISBN: 9780091928483
Recommendation: would read again
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Dave Gorman fancied playing a board game; unfortunately he didn't have anyone to play against. Of course being Dave Gorman he turned this into an adventure, criss-crossing the country, visiting total strangers, playing games he had never even heard of. If you like Dave's humour or are interested in the weird variety of British games then you will enjoy reading this.

Java Performance

Author: Charlie Hunt and Binu John
Paperback: 693 pages
ISBN: 9780137142521
Recommendation: would read again
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While modern Java virtual machines are much faster than they used to be, when writing software where performance matters it is important to understand how to optimize your code and how to configure the JVM to get the most out of your hardware. Whilst highly technical this book is easy to work through and provides a whole host of invaluable performance tips. A must for any serious Java developer

The Duchesses

Author: Andrew Roden
Paperback: 237 pages
ISBN: 9781845135997
Recommendation: would read again
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The Duchesses (officially the Coronation Class) were the most powerful passenger steam locomotives ever to work the British railway network. In this absorbing book Andrew Roden takes us through the history of these magnificent machines, from their inception through the record breaking trains the hauled across the country and right up to date with details of the three examples that survived into preservation. If you find steam engines fascinating then you will find this book just as fascinating.

The Disappearing Spoon

Author: Sam Kean
Paperback: 346 pages
ISBN: 9780552777506
Recommendation: would read again
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The history, discovery and use of many of the elements that make up our planer are vividly brought to life in this fascinating book by Sam Kean. From Gandhi to gold rush via the disappearing spoon of the title, this is no dusty science book but a collection of highly engrossing stories. Well worth a read even if you aren't usually interested in science.

The Serpent Pool

Author: Martin Edwards
Series: Lake District Mystery, Book 3
Paperback: 347 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7490-0879-6
Recommendation: would read again
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When DCI Hannah Scarlett moves house she starts to investigate an apparent suicide in the local tarn, the Serpent Pool. As Bethany was afraid of water, Hannah refuses to believe she would have committed suicide by drowning herself. When she discovers that her partner Marc Amos had kept quite about knowing Bethany, Hannah no longer knows who to trust, and turns to historian Daniel Kind for help solving the mystery. Before long they find themselves in real danger as they get closer to the truth than is comfortable for those with a secret to protect.