Books: What are you currently reading?

holdit

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
219
Reaction score
281
Location
Ireland
Country
llIreland
I find it difficult to concentrate properly on a book so I chew at it a bit at a time. Currently by my bedside:
In The Shadow Of The Sword by Tom Holland. His stuff is usually a worthwhile read.
Snap. I started In the Shadow of the Sword, but I've been distracted recently by his "Persian Fire", about the rise of the Perisan empire and its wars with Greece. I've always threatened to get into ancient wargaming and I started the ball rolling earlier this year by buying Field of Glory " on Steam, so it all fits together nicely.

Holland's "Dynasty" (the story of Rome's Julio-Claudian emperors) is excellent. He has a very entertaining writing style and isn't afraid to fill in the history gaps with a little of his own interpolation, although he's usually up front about when he does it. I get the impression that he's looked on a bit sniffily by other historians, though, which I don't think is deserved.

I'm also reading Adam Zamoyski's "Napoleon" which is very good. I recently finished Bernard Cornwell's "Agincourt", which was in interesting look into medieval warfare. Cornwell may not always be reliable historically (although his account of Agincourt tallies well with John Keegan's), but he knows how to convincingly plonk the reader down into the middle of a battle.
 

Paul M. Weir

Forum Guru
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
8,645
Reaction score
3,735
Location
Dublin
First name
Paul
Country
llIreland
I recently finished rereading "Persian Fire". He is a good storyteller. About the only downside is his overly cynical view of religious and political motivations of those times. He seems to forget that nearly all people really, really did believe that ... shituff, unlike now when the likes of ISIS and some 6000 year old earthers are all you have to worry about.

Bought "First To Fight" by Rodger Moorhouse about the '39 Polish campaign a week or so. Still have to delve into it.
 

Brian W

Elder Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
7,216
Reaction score
1,205
Location
USA
Country
llUnited States
I am selling a bunch of books because I am trying to slim my life down to just me and bare essentials. I am wondering if I will ever buy a paper product book again.
 

Ed Donoghue

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
147
Reaction score
118
Location
NC
Country
llUnited States
I have just started MONTE CASSINO TEN ARMIES IN HELL, by Peter Caddick-Adams. I have enjoyed Keegan's SIX ARMIES IN NORMANDY and have not read much about Cassino. Since I am not a fan of Mark Clark as a field Commander, my level of enjoyment may depend on Mr. Caddick-Adams treatment of General Clark. We will see.
 

TopT

Elder Member
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
2,216
Reaction score
976
Location
PA
Country
llUnited States
I am finishing Hue 1968 right now. I thought it was a very good book with a lot of first hand accounts.
 

Sand Bar Bill

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2006
Messages
573
Reaction score
455
Location
Putin's backyard
Country
llUnited States
Eager to start reading The Humans by Matt Haig, an alien takes over a mathematician's body in an attempt to stop an important mathematical discovery. Dark humor.

10761
 

Gordon

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Messages
991
Reaction score
899
Country
llUnited States
10766
Fascinating look at the Battle of Midway, almost exclusively from the Japanese perspective. I don't know how I missed it when it first came out. Based on primary and secondary Japanese sources it corrects a lot of the (at the time) "established" facts of the battle.
 

Kevin Kenneally

Elder Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
17,835
Reaction score
649
Location
Central Texas USA.
Country
llUnited States
Picked up to very old books last year and finally have time to read them.
The first is called "1931 The Great Pacific War".

The other is called "The Red Napoleon".

The Great Pacific War was written in 1925 and is a fictional account of how the Japanese would start a war with the USA.
It is a good read that can be related to what actually occurred before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Red Napoleon is a fictional account of a soldier in the Red Army that has "mystical persuasion powers" to get many people to follow him in his conquest of the Western world from the Russian Far East. The USA is the only country to fight back and withstand this new World Leader with a final big battle in the Gulf of Mexico between the US Navy and the Red Napoleon fleet.
 

JimWhite

Senior Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Messages
1,436
Reaction score
458
Location
Newark
Country
llUnited States
View attachment 10766
Fascinating look at the Battle of Midway, almost exclusively from the Japanese perspective. I don't know how I missed it when it first came out. Based on primary and secondary Japanese sources it corrects a lot of the (at the time) "established" facts of the battle.
This will be a definite buy for me!
 

Brian W

Elder Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
7,216
Reaction score
1,205
Location
USA
Country
llUnited States
Only about 20% through this, so far, but am quite enjoying it. It vaguely reminds me of The Bridge at San Luis Rey, a favorite of mine, if dated. But where it will go, I don't know yet. I think it won the Pulitzer Prize for 2018?

 

Brian W

Elder Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
7,216
Reaction score
1,205
Location
USA
Country
llUnited States
Also reading Germany and the Second World War: Volume IV The Attack on the Soviet Union. I'd read some parts, but am trying to get through all 1,200 pages consecutively in my spare time.

11072
 

Michael Dorosh

der Spieß des Forums
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
14,915
Reaction score
1,627
Location
Calgary, AB
First name
Michael
Country
llCanada

Just finished rereading this, probably read it 25 years ago. Comer actually flew 75 missions over Europe in B-17s, this one talks about his first combat tour with the 381st BG. Now that 12 O'clock High episodes are up on YouTube, it has renewed my interest in the period.

Currently rereading


Apropos of nothing, but the cover art for the reissues sure has gotten atrocious. I'm reading the original printings I bought decades ago.
 

KhandidGamera

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
404
Reaction score
148
Location
Greencastle, PA
Country
llUnited States
View attachment 10766
Fascinating look at the Battle of Midway, almost exclusively from the Japanese perspective. I don't know how I missed it when it first came out. Based on primary and secondary Japanese sources it corrects a lot of the (at the time) "established" facts of the battle.
Here, here. This remains probably the best naval history book I've ever read. What really helps is very good maps and diagrams, having to do with Parshall's day job ISTR in software and graphics. The chapter Why Japan Lost, on the Japanese strategic thinking and perspective is a book's worth of content and implication. Always remember the last line: "In the final analysis, it is no exaggeration to say that the conflict the Japanese military instigated in 1941 was not only beyond its resources, but also beyond its understanding". For those not aware here's a good site for all things Japanese fleet: Combined Fleet

For the American side up-to-date version - have posted here or some other thread - is The Battle of Midway, Craig L. Symonds - its a very good counterpart to the above. Its very good at breaking down the exact sequence and deployment of US planes, and studying various communication/leadership/personality issues/struggles on the US side. It has a good deal of lead up to Midway for background - including Coral Sea and the nature of what the code breakers were working with and how they put things together. Its only minor flaws are toward the end where it only vaguely covers the attack on the cruisers and the final end of the Hiryu.
 

holdit

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2006
Messages
219
Reaction score
281
Location
Ireland
Country
llIreland
I've recently finished "Gettysburg; The Last Invasion" by Allen Guelzo. It'a real deep dive into the battle; a very detailed account. I'll be visiting it again I think, and I'm not even an ACW gamer.

(It was actually the audiobook version - I assume that's allowed :))
 
Top