Cicero and Genghis Khan

For light reading, I enjoy historical novels. I found Robert Harris's Pompeii a good read, so his latest title Imperium caught my eye in Waterstones a week or two ago. When I read the blurb and found that it told the story of Cicero's rise to become Consul, I could not resist it. The narrative is put in the mouth of Tiro, Cicero's amanuensis. I recommend it if you like this sort of thing.

One I have just started is Conn Iggulden's Wolf of the Plains. Apparently this is the first in what is to be a series of books about Temujin, better known as Genghis Khan. My detractors might want to suggest that I would find the protagonist a bit left-wing for my tastes - in return I upbraid them for their lack of due cultural relativism. (I was amused to discover that in addition to his historical novels, Iggulden is the co-author of the best-selling "Dangerous Book for Boys.")

One niggle about Imperium: as with most best-selling hardbacks, the pages are glued rather than sewn. Hutchinson have managed to produce a real turkey with this one - the pages fall out all over the place.

Harper Collins, the publisher of Iggulden's book have done a better job. It is not properly bound but the pages do not drop into your soup when you try to to read and eat your lunch at the same time.

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