I've spent a lot of time recently sitting on aeroplanes, queueing at security and hanging around in departure lounges and I've been killing time by reading a lot, some of which I'd share here as I reckon you might like it.

Fusiliers: How the British Army lost America but Learned to Fight by Mark Urban has gained a new cover and more provocative subtitle between the hardcover and paperback editions but don't let the dodgy artwork on either put you off. This is a very readable account of the American War of Independence from the perspective of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, using them to demonstrate how the British Army developed tactics that would enable them to be so effective in the wars with Napoleon, despite almost forgetting them in the interim. It is a good read, packed full of first hand accounts only let down by the (as-ever) severe lack of great maps. If you want those you should probably start here.

The British Soldier of the First World War by Peter Doyle is a great little book from our sister company Shire. Although only small there is loads of great information packed in here supported by some great photos. From details on how to remove lice to the popular name for the original gasmasks (google eyed buggers with the tit) the book takes you through the soldier's life from joining up to demobilisation taking in a lot more than just the trenches. In 1916 Lieutenant Charles Carrington spent 101 days at the front, 120 days in reserve, 73 days at rest and 72 days travelling so it is good to see a more rounded picture of their lives.

Finally and nothing to do with Military History I must recommend Devil May Care the new James Bond by Sebastian Faulks. More Fleming than Fleming it is full of bizarre villains, beautiful women and more sixties detail than you could possibly hope for. Perfect for bored travellers everywhere.