Jump to content


Photo

Whatcha Reading?


  • Please log in to reply
240 replies to this topic

#181 ianhay_7

ianhay_7

    General

  • General
  • 3,150 posts

Posted 23 February 2012 - 09:11 AM

James Patterson is the literary equivalent of a New Jersey landfill: Full of bad smells and questionable garbage.

FJB


:)

Yep, total garbage.

#182 PaulV

PaulV

    General

  • General
  • 1,721 posts

Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:28 AM

HMS Surprise

I wasn't kidding when I said the lengthy thread on wooden ships and iron men inspired me to continue on in the Aubrey/Maturin series.

#183 FJBoccia

FJBoccia

    General

  • + Editor
  • 2,912 posts

Posted 23 February 2012 - 10:34 AM

HMS Surprise

I wasn't kidding when I said the lengthy thread on wooden ships and iron men inspired me to continue on in the Aubrey/Maturin series.


I'm on the next to last volume in the series, The One Hundred Days; I've read them all one after another over the last couple of months; the final one is Blue at the Mizzen. What's impressive about the series is not only O'Brian's elegant style, but his astonishing research into the minutiae of naval life in the Napoleonic era.

One of the amusing and interesting facts to come out of his books is how many every-day expressions we use come from the British Navy, but have lost their original meaning and now sometimes mean the opposite of the original context: "By and large" and the "bitter end" are two fine examples. "The cat's out of the bag" is another, although in this case the modern meaning and the original are similar.


FJB

#184 PaulV

PaulV

    General

  • General
  • 1,721 posts

Posted 23 February 2012 - 01:37 PM

What's impressive about the series is not only O'Brian's elegant style, but his astonishing research into the minutiae of naval life in the Napoleonic era.


Absolutely. I bought a lexicon, A Sea of Words, to go with the series. Otherwise I'd be lost in those long descriptions of what the crew is up to with the rigging.

#185 FJBoccia

FJBoccia

    General

  • + Editor
  • 2,912 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:20 PM

Just finished Seal Target Geronimo. If you haven't bought it, save yourself the dough and get it from the library. It's chaotic, fragmented and poorly written. To begin with, only a third of the book deals with the Bin Laden raid; first come several chapters of the obligatory chest-pounding and self-congratulation that seem to be part of the SEAL uniform (read this and you form the idea that SEALs have won every war since the Revolutionary War by themselves) and then there is an interminable chapter on the Maersk Alalbama, which can be summarized in a few words: There was a lot of waiting nd then finally they shot the guys. It's mind-numbingly repetitive; fingers on the triggers, fingers off; oh why the wait? fingers on the triggers, fingers off; but something might go wrong... fingers on the --you get the idea.

Along the way, he ravages every agency in the government except for the Seals --the Army, the CIA, the FBI --they're all fools and only the SEALs can be trusted. Finally, after breaking his arm patting himself on the back, he gets to the raid itself, but can't keep a coherent narrative thread going, switching randomly between past, present and future, offering dime-store psychological analysis of Bin Laden and a couple of other senior Al Qaeda leaders, touching briefly on planning to dart breathtakingly into the raid only to revert back to the political situation before 9/11...

Couple of points of interest: He presents the case that Bin Laden was betrayed by his #2, Zawihiri, who persistently and deliberately used a courier known to be compromised to contact his chief --Bin Laden NEVER used electronic means of commumication, neither cell phone or e-mail-- and who, even though a qualified doctor and a graduate of one of the better med schools in the mideast, failed to diagnose Bin Laden with the easily-identifiable Addison's Disease. He also believes that Zawihiri may have been implicated in the betrayal and capture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the architect of 9/11, because of jealously and a fear that Khalid was supplanting him as Bin Laden's #2.

The second point is that, according to him, it is well-known that the WMDs that supposedly didn't exist in Iraq were dispersed and made their way into Al Qaeda's hands, and particularly into Zawahiri's control; he has used them to launch several attacks against coalition forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but that the administration (for poltiical reasons) and the media (because they've had so much invested in the idea that there were no WMDs) are not reporting these attacks.

Provocative statements, but they'd carry more weight with me if he weren't so obviously partisan --not politically; he damns Repub and Dems alike-- in his advocacy of the SEAL missions.

Interesting, but a very ponderous, badly-written book.

FJB

#186 Danman1116

Danman1116

    Major

  • Major
  • 451 posts

Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:19 AM

Just read The Right Stuff which basically covered the first astronauts of the Mercury program. Pretty interesting read. Might read some more on NASA down the road.

Right now I'm thinking of picking up one of these (or all of them for that matter):

The Nuremberg Trial

http://www.amazon.co...229YXXHHNWWJ1T1


Kennedy's Wars

http://www.amazon.co...EN8WRP556BXATHF


The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

http://www.amazon.co...229YXXHHNWWJ1T1


Has anyone read any of these? Thoughts?

#187 AQuaker

AQuaker

    General

  • General
  • 3,389 posts

Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:21 AM

The last one is a classic work.

Just read The Right Stuff which basically covered the first astronauts of the Mercury program. Pretty interesting read. Might read some more on NASA down the road.

Right now I'm thinking of picking up one of these (or all of them for that matter):

The Nuremberg Trial

http://www.amazon.co...229YXXHHNWWJ1T1


Kennedy's Wars

http://www.amazon.co...EN8WRP556BXATHF


The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

http://www.amazon.co...229YXXHHNWWJ1T1


Has anyone read any of these? Thoughts?



#188 ianhay_7

ianhay_7

    General

  • General
  • 3,150 posts

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:24 PM

Just re read Auschwitz by Laurence Rees and now reading Gulag by Anne Applebaum.

As an aside my friend was talking to a local author about the Kindle and e readers, the author is Iain Banks and he states the book you read on kindles etc is not the same as written by the authors. He also stated that some authors will start to write for Kindle instead of the published book. Just a wee health warning folks!

#189 Danman1116

Danman1116

    Major

  • Major
  • 451 posts

Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:46 PM

Just re read Auschwitz by Laurence Rees and now reading Gulag by Anne Applebaum.

As an aside my friend was talking to a local author about the Kindle and e readers, the author is Iain Banks and he states the book you read on kindles etc is not the same as written by the authors. He also stated that some authors will start to write for Kindle instead of the published book. Just a wee health warning folks!

Thanks for the heads up on that Ian. Definitely good to know.

#190 Steve1979

Steve1979

    General

  • General
  • 1,472 posts

Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:16 AM

I just finished reading this book:

Lima-6: A Marine Company Commander in Vietnam
written by Richard D. Camp Jr. and Eric Hammel

For six full months, Dick Camp commanded Lima Company in alternating periods of intense combat and intense waiting—a typical, virtually emblematic experience shared by his
peers in the 1967-1968 phase of the war in northern Quang Tri Province, bordering the DMZ and North Vietnam. In early September 1967, Camp’s battalion was almost overrun near besieged Con Thien in an ambush sprung by a full North Vietnamese Army regiment. In early January 1968, Lima Company ambushed the commander and staff of a North Vietnamese regiment apparently charged with assaulting the Marine lines at Khe Sanh. Three weeks later, Lima Company and the rest of the reinforced 26th Marine Regiment were besieged inside the Khe Sanh Combat Base by two North Vietnamese divisions.


In my opinion, one of the best books written about the life of a Marine line company in Vietnam I´ve read so far

#191 Danman1116

Danman1116

    Major

  • Major
  • 451 posts

Posted 06 June 2012 - 07:59 AM

Anyone ever read/have books out there that cover the history of say the USMC? I think it'd be an interesting read of the development of them from the Revolutionary War - present.

#192 AQuaker

AQuaker

    General

  • General
  • 3,389 posts

Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:17 AM

It seems to me that there is a recent pub. on the history of the USMC, but I cannot think of the title, and apparently it is not in our collection. Amazon has these:

The United States Marines: A History by Edwin H. Simmons (Dec 1, 2002) Five stars out of six and reasonably priced.

USMC: United States Marine Corps- A Complete History by Jon J. Hoffman (Oct 21, 2003) No reviews and pricey - check your library for an interlibrary loan.



Below is a new book that may interest you as well as others on the forum.

A People's History of the U.S. Military : Ordinary Soliders Reflect on Their Experience of War, from the American Revolution to Afghanistan / Michael A. Bellesiles.
by Bellesiles, Michael A.
New York : New Press, 2012.
ISBN: 9781595586285 : HRD
1595586288 : HRD

Summary: Draws from more than two centuries of soldiers' personal encounters with combat--through excerpts from letters, diaries, memoirs, audio recordings, film, and blogs--to capture the essence of the American military experience firsthand.




Anyone ever read/have books out there that cover the history of say the USMC? I think it'd be an interesting read of the development of them from the Revolutionary War - present.



#193 Danman1116

Danman1116

    Major

  • Major
  • 451 posts

Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:22 AM

It seems to me that there is a recent pub. on the history of the USMC, but I cannot think of the title, and apparently it is not in our collection. Amazon has these:

The United States Marines: A History by Edwin H. Simmons (Dec 1, 2002) Five stars out of six and reasonably priced.

USMC: United States Marine Corps- A Complete History by Jon J. Hoffman (Oct 21, 2003) No reviews and pricey - check your library for an interlibrary loan.



Below is a new book that may interest you as well as others on the forum.

A People's History of the U.S. Military : Ordinary Soliders Reflect on Their Experience of War, from the American Revolution to Afghanistan / Michael A. Bellesiles.
by Bellesiles, Michael A.
New York : New Press, 2012.
ISBN: 9781595586285 : HRD
1595586288 : HRD

Summary: Draws from more than two centuries of soldiers' personal encounters with combat--through excerpts from letters, diaries, memoirs, audio recordings, film, and blogs--to capture the essence of the American military experience firsthand.

Thanks for the reply Quaker! Looked up that last one you recommended. Looks like Bellesiles book comes out Sept 11 this year. Got it in my queue to order when it comes out.

#194 gilliesisle

gilliesisle

    General

  • General
  • 2,190 posts

Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:33 PM

Reading James Sheeran's No Surrender. Pretty quick read and I really like it.

Lisa

#195 AQuaker

AQuaker

    General

  • General
  • 3,389 posts

Posted 18 June 2012 - 09:56 AM

On my list to read is Trapeze which is a fictional account of one of the many brave young women who worked for the British and parachuted into France as spies. It came out under a different title which was much more profound than this idiotic American title.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users