Books: What are you currently reading?

VonHutier

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H.P. Lovecraft's selected novels (one of my favourite authors - while I disagree with some of his philosophical views, I almost enviously admire his writing style and mind), Mark Solonins book about the 22.06.1941 (I don't have any news that was translated into English, though) and Wojciech Tochman's (Polish writer) reportage about poverty in Manila, "Eli, Eli".
I love H.P. Lovecraft too....have been a Call of Cthulhu player..
 

Actionjick

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Tolkien's fame comes from his imagination, his linguistic skills and his world building. I don't think an analysis of his storytelling abilities brings one to the conclusion he was superior at it. Which is okay since that's not why we read his books. His reliance on deus ex machina alone kind of points you to a different conclusion. He manages to break most of the most elementary rules of novel writing. Too many characters, with similar names (Saruman/Sauron), who come and go without advancing the plot (Tom Bombadil for just one), etc. It's one thing to introduce characters or references in order to expand the world and add to the tone of the story, but it's another to introduce them and have them lead the reader down a dead end.
Lol in Bored of the Rings he was Tim Benzadrine.
 

Actionjick

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Tolkien's fame comes from his imagination, his linguistic skills and his world building. I don't think an analysis of his storytelling abilities brings one to the conclusion he was superior at it. Which is okay since that's not why we read his books. His reliance on deus ex machina alone kind of points you to a different conclusion. He manages to break most of the most elementary rules of novel writing. Too many characters, with similar names (Saruman/Sauron), who come and go without advancing the plot (Tom Bombadil for just one), etc. It's one thing to introduce characters or references in order to expand the world and add to the tone of the story, but it's another to introduce them and have them lead the reader down a dead end.
I suck at remembering names. Probably took the fifth or sixth reading of LOTR before I could get Saruman and Sauron straight.

Russian literature was a major problem for me. Everyone has four names and all the names are similar. Combine that with the overall dreariness and tedium of the stories and it just wasn't what I wanted to read.

One short story always stuck with me and seemed to typify Russian Literature of that period. I think it was by Chekhov.

A pretentious woman of humble means borrows a pearl necklace from a well to do acquaintance. She loses the necklace and only has the case. Being too proud to admit to her friend that she lost the necklace she takes the case to a jeweler to replace the necklace. The price to replace it is enormous and the woman and her husband go into extreme debt to buy the replacement necklace.

They live in poverty for @ twenty years until the necklace is paid off. Meeting her friend she explains that they have been living a meager existence to replace the necklace she lost but felt too guilty to admit was lost. Whereupon her friend tells her that the necklace was just costume jewelry and not real pearls at all.☹

What an uplifting story.☹☹☹

Give the author his due as it is the only work of Russian Literature that I remember.
 

Actionjick

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I suck at remembering names. Probably took the fifth or sixth reading of LOTR before I could get Saruman and Sauron straight.

Russian literature was a major problem for me. Everyone has four names and all the names are similar. Combine that with the overall dreariness and tedium of the stories and it just wasn't what I wanted to read.

One short story always stuck with me and seemed to typify Russian Literature of that period. I think it was by Chekhov.

A pretentious woman of humble means borrows a pearl necklace from a well to do acquaintance. She loses the necklace and only has the case. Being too proud to admit to her friend that she lost the necklace she takes the case to a jeweler to replace the necklace. The price to replace it is enormous and the woman and her husband go into extreme debt to buy the replacement necklace.

They live in poverty for @ twenty years until the necklace is paid off. Meeting her friend she explains that they have been living a meager existence to replace the necklace she lost but felt too guilty to admit was lost. Whereupon her friend tells her that the necklace was just costume jewelry and not real pearls at all.☹

What an uplifting story.☹☹☹

Give the author his due as it is the only work of Russian Literature that I remember.
Should the well off woman give the real necklace to her impoverished friend or does A.2 apply?🤔😉
 

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Tolkien's fame comes from his imagination, his linguistic skills and his world building. I don't think an analysis of his storytelling abilities brings one to the conclusion he was superior at it. Which is okay since that's not why we read his books. His reliance on deus ex machina alone kind of points you to a different conclusion. He manages to break most of the most elementary rules of novel writing. Too many characters, with similar names (Saruman/Sauron), who come and go without advancing the plot (Tom Bombadil for just one), etc. It's one thing to introduce characters or references in order to expand the world and add to the tone of the story, but it's another to introduce them and have them lead the reader down a dead end.
But isn't Tolkien more of a modern Homer? I.e., his writings are more epic poems of antiquity than a novel per se. Plus it's perfectly understandable when one knows that story was just the outcome of the world Tolkien wanted to create.

I love H.P. Lovecraft too....have been a Call of Cthulhu player..
It is how I met HPL in the first place, in Chaosium's CoC! I even wanted to go back to TTRPG games (I had A LOT of them, Call of Cthulhu and Vampire: the Masquerade were my favourite ones), but ASL takes pretty much every spare time and money that I'm willing to spend - plus I think that I want to tell stories more than talk about them with group of players. Boardgames have this advantage over RPG's that you can chit-chat while gaming - it's not the case in roleplaying, where you actually have to stay in-character, unless your target is beer & pretzels experience (nothing wrong with that, though). And they are pretty much solitaire-friendly, whereas in RPG's playing solo is kind of missing the point IMHO.
 
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Actionjick

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But isn't Tolkien more of a modern Homer? I.e., his writings are more epic poems of antiquity than a novel per se. Plus it's perfectly understandable when one knows that story was just the outcome of the world Tolkien wanted to create.



It is how I met HPL in the first place, in Chaosium's CoC! I even wanted to go back to TTRPG games (I had A LOT of them, Call of Cthulhu and Vampire: the Masquerade were my favourite ones), but ASL takes pretty much every spare time and money that I'm willing to spend - plus I think that I want to tell stories more than talk about them with group of players. Boardgames have this advantage over RPG's that you can chit-chat while gaming - it's not the case in roleplaying, where you actually have to stay in-character, unless your target is beer & pretzels gamey experience (nothing wrong with that, though). And they are pretty much solitaire-friendly, whereas in RPG's it's kind of missing the point IMHO.
Interesting. I have never really heard anyone who was into RPGs talk about them. Very nice.

I think Starship Troopers was the only game that I played that was also a book I had read. That was wbitd and I didn't have the opportunity to play it much.
 

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Interesting. I have never really heard anyone who was into RPGs talk about them. Very nice.

I think Starship Troopers was the only game that I played that was also a book I had read. That was wbitd and I didn't have the opportunity to play it much.
I'll come clean here. For as many times as I read LOTR, and many is not an exaggeration, I hardly ever read the poems.☹🙄

Sorry, but the name is Actionburk, not Poeticburk.😉🤣🤣
 

Actionjick

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I'll come clean here. For as many times as I read LOTR, and many is not an exaggeration, I hardly ever read the poems.☹🙄

Sorry, but the name is Actionburk, not Poeticburk.😉🤣🤣
Brigadier Bacardi says if it's not Poeticburk then why did you take a poetry writing class at the University?

My reply: to find out how bad I was at writing poetry.

Lol I couldn't be Poeticburk if you paid me.

Although Fish liked one of my shortest poems a lot. I came across it a while back in one of my ASL notebooks. Perhaps best to publish it posthumously. 🙄

Grunthos would be envious.😉🤣🤣
 

KhandidGamera

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Six Victories: North Africa Malta and the Mediterranean Convoy War November 1941–March 1942: O'Hara, Vincent: 9781682474600: Books - Amazon.ca

Just started this. Naval stories bores me normally but a comment in a discussion - somewhere - made this one seem quite compelling, apparently the Italian navy was much better than one might think off hand.

From the book copy:

Shortages of ammunition and fuel ... compelled the Afrika Korps to retreat four hundred miles. Then, in the space of thirty hours, this all changed. First, Italian naval forces broke the blockade by fighting through a major convoy that arrived in time to blunt the British advance; next, the strike force plowed into a minefield laid by Italian cruisers; and finally, in a daring attack, Italian commandos crippled the Mediterranean Fleet's battleships in port. The swing in fortune was immediate and dramatic.
Michael. You may be interested in this, a talk by the author on a channel he runs. Its an obscure little channel, but judging by who's on the zoom call recorded presentations, its a who's-who of authors. From my understanding the Italian Navy's big short-comings were bad quality control on the propellant in their shells (making for inconsistent fall of shot), no radar, and bad leadership higher up. My impression is that securing the Med and oil from the Middle East was such a crucial and fearsome imperative for the British that it maybe a real underlying, unspoken driver for not going into France until 1944. The Italian Navy was certainly taken very seriously by the RN considering the resources put there and the RM certainly ruined Britain's plans - big reason for the Far East not getting what it needed. Have seen case made on Drach's channel that RM may have had some of the best range finding/fire direction as well as armor in WW2. Their Littorio's were pretty good ships. WW2TV has a recent long video on RM in WW2 .

Good one on RN: Swan Song: British Maritime Operations in WWII with Dr. Evan Mawdsley at time index 1:03 you'll run into an oil industry old-timer Ralph Norton with a lot of background knowledge on the state of the industry in WW2.
Studying the oil problem is driving a lot of my new book gains lately - like spending 90 USD+ for this that studies the British and Germans on their oil situations, 1914-45. Its striking just how dominant the US is in oil resources at the time.

Discovering Youtube channels with seminars and interviews with authors I've read for years has been my "discovery of fire" or "the wheel" in the past year - adds a lot to listen to who you've read - I do this at work now with a headset and my phone, and find there's added comprehension factor over and above reading. What comes across is that clear writers are also clear speakers, which makes sense - Jon Parshall and Richard B. Frank really stand out in this regard - its no surprise they've written such good books.

Was on a live chat video on WW2TV the other day with Jon Parshall and Tony Tully discussing Shattered Sword and got a comments from both to one of my questions - quite an experience.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Discovering Youtube channels with seminars and interviews with authors I've read for years has been my "discovery of fire" or "the wheel" in the past year - adds a lot to listen to who you've read - I do this at work now with a headset and my phone, and find there's added comprehension factor over and above reading. What comes across is that clear writers are also clear speakers, which makes sense - Jon Parshall and Richard B. Frank really stand out in this regard - its no surprise they've written such good books.

Was on a live chat video on WW2TV the other day with Jon Parshall and Tony Tully discussing Shattered Sword and got a comments from both to one of my questions - quite an experience.
I'll have to look into that. I've been to local seminars in person which I enjoyed - Martin Middlebrook talked about FIRST DAY ON THE SOMME, Marc Milner on STOPPING THE PANZERS and Tim Cook came to talk about SHOCK TROOPS.
 

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For the Canadians out there, here's a book I want to read now when it comes out: Simonds’s Lieutenants: A New History of the Normandy Campaign, John Rickard - due in 2021 - its going to be a real tome, sounds like.

Learned a whole lot I didn't know on Canadian experience and the tough roles played on the British-Canadian end of the line in the Normandy breakout campaign in this livechat.
A First Class Soldier - Guy Simonds in the Normandy Crucible

High recommend in general for YouTube channel WW2TV - its a goldmine of really good interviews:
Monty and Rommel
Eisenhower's Leadership

Next up for me:
The Career of Stanisław Maczek
(I love the way spell check throws up its hands and doesn't know what to do with his name :LOL:)

I know this is a book thread, but I'm not quite ready to start a whole new thread for YouTube stuff, when much connects back to, and adds dimension to books. If required by mods, I will.
 

Michael Dorosh

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For the Canadians out there, here's a book I want to read now when it comes out: Simonds’s Lieutenants: A New History of the Normandy Campaign, John Rickard - due in 2021 - its going to be a real tome, sounds like.
Rickard posts in the Canadian Military Library group on Facebook if you're interested in interacting with him (though it sounds like you may already be aware of that). I'd add it to my pile of wants, but it's already so big I probably wouldn't get to it. I'll look forward to your review here.
 

KhandidGamera

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Rickard posts in the Canadian Military Library group on Facebook if you're interested in interacting with him (though it sounds like you may already be aware of that). I'd add it to my pile of wants, but it's already so big I probably wouldn't get to it. I'll look forward to your review here.
Michael. Thanks. Have to ck that out. As you might remember, am a little bit fake Canadian through my dad and grandpa - named after latter.
 

KhandidGamera

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One thing forgot to mention about WW2TV above is that the guy lives in France and has done some pretty innovative multi-camera terrain walks while he's talking to an author in studio. Heavy use of google maps aerial view/powerpoint. I would think some of these would be very good scenario design source material. Anybody going there in person would probably find Paul a very helpful resource. Looked/listened to this one last night: Operation Spring - The Battle for Verrières Ridge David O'Keefe writer of this was Paul's asset. Would hope LCP knows about this material.
 

Michael Dorosh

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One thing forgot to mention about WW2TV above is that the guy lives in France and has done some pretty innovative multi-camera terrain walks while he's talking to an author in studio. Heavy use of google maps aerial view/powerpoint. I would think some of these would be very good scenario design source material. Anybody going there in person would probably find Paul a very helpful resource. Looked/listened to this one last night: Operation Spring - The Battle for Verrières Ridge David O'Keefe writer of this was Paul's asset. Would hope LCP knows about this material.
I'll annoyingly point out David O'Keefe is on FB as well, active in a number of groups. I'm a big fan of his work and he's been gracious with his time when the amateurs like myself interact with him.

Seven Days in Hell, which you link to, was really good in my opinion, but mis-named since it is so much more than a sniper story, but a "you are there" perspective of the Operation Spring disaster as experienced by the Black Watch.

O'Keefe is the same fellow who published the book about Dieppe and shared his primary research which led him to conclude the entire raid was a cover for a snatch party to grab German enigma code machine rotors from naval HQ in the port area. He spent the last few days posting copies of original documents to his personal FB page including a very interesting letter which debunks the idea the raid was done just to impress the Russians. One source in the primary documents in fact wrote about his fears that the raid would have the opposite effect on the Russians.

18687
 
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KhandidGamera

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I'll annoyingly point out David O'Keefe is on FB as well, active in a number of groups. I'm a big fan of his work and he's been gracious with his time when the amateurs like myself interact with him.

Seven Days in Hell, which you link to, was really good in my opinion, but mis-named since it is so much more than a sniper story, but a "you are there" perspective of the Operation Spring disaster as experienced by the Black Watch.

O'Keefe is the same fellow who published the book about Dieppe and shared his primary research which led him to conclude the entire raid was a cover for a snatch party to grab German enigma code machine rotors from naval HQ in the port area. He spent the last few days posting copies of original documents to his personal FB page including a very interesting letter which debunks the idea the raid was done just to impress the Russians. One source in the primary documents in fact wrote about his fears that the raid would have the opposite effect on the Russians.

View attachment 18687
Not annoying at all, half expected that might be the case. Interesting stuff on Dieppe. Just finishing up watching the WW2TV terrain walk covering the Falaise action at Saint Lambert sur Dive with him as the guest historian. Think I have a much clearer picture of that now. Have to get the book that "One Tough Canuck" SP scenario is based on. What's clear is the stream in that should be treated like an AT Ditch though, original scenario its not, haven't checked Errata. My kingdom for an AVLB or fascine tank and some bulldozers.
 

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Rereading The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson by Toobin, prompted by a whim rebinging of American Crime Story: The People vs O.J. Simpson
 
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