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Read: "The Gothic War: Rome's Final Conflict in the West" by Torsten Cumberland Jacobsen. This is Emperor Justinian's wars to reclaim the Western Part of the Roman Empire. This book's focus is on the War against the Ostrogoths in Italy. This climatic conflict over Italy decided the political future of Europe. This war lasted from AD535-554. The Ostrogoths had shown to be the main power in Western Europe at this time and with their defeat by Justinian, would create a vacuum that the Lombards in Italy would fill, the Franks transforming Gaul into France, and without a major force remaining in North Africa, would make it easy for the mohammadans to fill the void. Very Good and Recommended.
"Persepolis Rising" by James S. A. Cory. The seventh and latest SF novel in the Expanse series. It is 30 years since the last book in this series. 1300 worlds have been colonized by humanity through the Alien stargate. The Solar System is at relative peace. On the lost colony world of Laconia, a hidden enemy has a new vision for all of humanity and the power to enforce it. New tech is being discovered from the Ancient Aliens but clashes with the old. Forces have been unleased that have a price that will change the shape of humanity and of the Rocinante and its crew forever. Outstanding and Highly Recommended.
Read: "Cataphracts: Knights of the Ancient Empires" by Erich B. Anderson. Cataphracts were the most heavily armored form of cavalry in the Ancient World. Originating among the Central Asian Tribes of the Steppe and then adopted by the more civilized peoples of the south such as Persians, Romans and Byzantines. The riders and horses were both armored, sorta like ancient tanks, and could be deadly under the right conditions. This book covers it all, equipment, tactics, and leadership. Very Good and Recommended.
"Yahweh and the gods and goddesses of Canaan" by John Day. This book traces Yahweh as one god among many and how he acquired the attributes of other gods and would eventually become the only god. Concentrates on the Ancient Canaan historical period. Very dry reading and only for the most inclined.
Read: "How Churchill Saved Civilization" by John Harte. This book's main purpose is to provide an account of Churchill's policies before and during WWII and their consequences for readers who don't want to read a multi-volume history of the war. The author attempts to tell the story how the world we know it was almost ended in the 1940's. But there is a problem, the author is very short on the historical facts of WWII's play-by-play. The battles and campaigns are all jumbled up and out of chronological order. The insight into Churchill and how he accomplished what he did is very good and I recommend the book only on this.
"Churchill & Orwell: The Fight For Freedom" by Thomas E. Ricks. Two different men, ideologically, and from different social backgrounds but both are Giants on what they stood for and accomplished against the odds. They stood for Freedom of the individual over all else. Churchill the aristocrat and politician and George Orwell the writer and leftist fighter came to the same conclusion, totalitarianism whether from the right or the left is the same: the end of Liberty. Outstanding and Highly Recommended.
Read: "Don't Let Go" by Harlan Coben. A novel of mystery and suspense. 15 years ago, Nap Dumas's twin brother and his girlfriend were killed by a train under mysterious circumstances. A few days after the train accident, Nap's girlfriend disappears. Is there a connection? Now a police officer is murdered on a routine traffic stop. The car the killer was in, has Nap's girlfriend's fingerprints in it. Now Nap goes all out to solve the mystery of his brother's death. Very Good and Recommended.
"Strange Dogs" by James S. A. Corey. A SF novella for the "Expanse" book series. On the planet Laconia, a group of explorers and their families are checking this planet out among all the other 1300 worlds open up by the Ancient Aliens stargate. Then the soldiers came. Cara, a little girl born on this new world, makes a discovery that will change everything. Very Good and Recommended.
Read: " City of Endless Night" by Preston & Child. A Pendergast mystery novel. FBI agent Pendergast and police detective D'Agosta are reunited in solving a group of diabolical murders of powerful people in NYC. A problem with the bodies, they are all missing their heads. Lots of twists and turns till the end. Very Good and Recommended.
Read: "Invisible Prey" by John Sanford. A Lucas Davenport mystery novel. Two old and wealthy women are beaten to death. Nothing very expensive was stolen or maybe there was. There is a link with this crime to others. Virgil Flowers, a new character, is introduced and will receive his own book series. Outstanding and Highly Recommended.
"Shock Wave" by John Sanford. A Virgil Flowers mystery novel. A bomb goes off at a billionaire's superstore Hqs. in Michigan. Then another in a small town in Minnesota where the superstore is trying to open a new store. There is a problem: environmentalists fearing a natural disaster and local business men fearing total loss for their livelihood. Time for Virgil Flowers to come in and figure everything out. Things might not be so clear cut. Very Good and Recommended.
Read: "The Second World Wars: How The First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won" by Victor Davis Hanson. This is not a history of WWII but examines how combat was carried out in the air, at sea, and on land. The author's theme is that WWII began as separate wars in different parts of the globe and then merged into one Global War. Reformulated ancient ideas of racial and cultural superiority fueled this bloodbath and led to 60 million killed, mostly civilians by the Axis. The author also contends the outcome was not surprising. The Axis were well prepared to win local border conflicts but once they stupidly blundered into global war, they had no hope of victory. Very Good and Recommended.
"Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk; Defeat into Victory" by Michael Korda. The author was 6 years old in 1940 and from a well to do family of Hollywood aristocrats. The author draws on his memories of the time and mixes this with the heroism of those by-gone days, the world leaders of both sides, the people in the streets, and the Great Events that unfolded from the fall of Poland to the fall of France and Dunkirk. One person stands out over all others: Winston Churchill. The author captures this pivotal turning point in World History with great relish that triumphantly demonstrates that even the most horrendous defeats can become most legendary victories. Outstanding and a must read.
"Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England" by Lynne Olson. Could also add "Saved the world of their day too". On May 7, 1940, the House of Commons began the most crucial debate in British Parliamentary History. On its outcome hung the future of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's government and also of Britain and maybe the world. This book is the dramatic account of the prelude, the debate, and the final outcome. This historical drama, is like no book of fiction could ever recreate, nail biting to the end even tho we all know the ending. The author puts you "there" and no amount of accolades can due it justice. A Must, Must Read.
Read: "The Few: The American "Nights of the Air" Who Risked Everything to Fight in the Battle of Britain" by Alex Kershaw. This is the story of 8 Americans, who despite their government's warnings to stay out of the fight in Europe, went ahead to help Britain anyway. Only one of these 8 would survive the war. Later more Americans would arrive and form Eagle Squadrons, but this book is primarily on the Battle of Britain. Very Good and Recommended.
"The Liberator" by Alex Kershaw. The true story of the bloodiest and most dramatic march to victory of WWII: the battlefield odyssey of a maverick U.S. Army officer and his infantry unit as they fought for over 500 days to liberate Europe from the Nazi Germans....from the invasion of Sicily to the gates of Dachau. Outstanding and most highly recommended.
Right now I'm reading Hammer Slammers, complete volume 1, by David Drake.
It's military sci-fi, about a mercenary company and their many contracts and adventures. The main weapon of the mercs are the hovercrafts and energy guns, the writer is a veteran and have a way of portraying things clearly and graphically.
Is very easy to read and as the book is a collection of many short stories you don't have to read it all in a single stride, you may read a few stories and let some time pass with losing nothing.
Read: "The Gone World" by Tom Sweterlitsch. A Navy Seal's family is murdered and Special Agent Moss, NCIS, is assigned to the case. In time, it is discovered the Navy Seal was an astronaut aboard a lost space/time ship. This is Quantum Physics at its most mind boggling. The US has had a secret Space and Time project since the 70/80's and the present is 1997. Oh, Agent Moss is an Astronaut too. There are infinite Future's for everyone, nothing has been set in stone. From the future, something has been discovered that could mean the end of Humanity and Moss's case is central to this. Very Good and Recommended.
"Gunpowder Moon" by David Pedreira. A SF novel on mining on the moon. Every Luna walker since Apollo 11 has notice a gunpowder smell to the moon. It is 2072, helium-3 mining is powering the fusion reactors back on earth. Brazil, Russia, India, USA, and Red China are in competition for this most valuable resource. It is the oil of its day since Methane Hydrate broke free on earth in the early 21's Century. North America and Europe are the "New Third World". A murder has been committed on the moon, a first, and has grave political consequences that could lead to war. Very Good and Recommended.
"The Gate Keeper" by Charles Todd. An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery novel. It is 1920, 2 years since the Great War and Rutledge is out driving in the middle of the night and comes across a murder. A woman saw the whole thing but is in shock. Is she guilty or someone else. Rutledge probes the background of the victim and then another murder occurs. Is there a connection? A most ingenious plot and Highly Recommended.
Read: "Traitor" by Jonathan de Shalit. A spy novel that pits a secret group of ex-Mossad agents against a mole buried within Israel's government at the highest level for decades. Very Good and Recommended.
"Gaius Marius: The Rise and Fall of Rome's Savior" by Marc Hyden. Marius was Consul of Rome seven times, a unreal occurrence. He rose from humble origins to power and wealth in Ancient Rome; a brilliant General and Statesman of his day but with faults just as large. Very Good and Recommended.
Read: "Deep Green" by John Lyman. A novel on DNA research. A research vessel in the Congo goes missing and a month later runs aground on the Texas coast and no one is found alive. Then special ops teams show up to check out the ship. What was the ship's crew doing and what happen to them. Very Good and Recommended.
"Tepui: The Last Expedition" by John Oehler. In 1559, a group of Spanish explorers are on the Orinoco River in Venezuela. They are looking for riches but find death near a mountain called Tepui Zupay. Only six survive along with a Friar who writes a journal of the expedition. This journal is rediscovered today and a group of Americans set out to find the riches it spoke of but never found. The Amazon Jungle is unforgiving of errors and hides its secrets well. Very Good and Recommended.
"Anomaly" by Peter Cawdron. A SF novel on first contact. Something appears out of nowhere in NYC. At first confusion reigns on what this is, a natural anomaly or what. The anomaly cannot be seen but its effect can be detected. Later it is determined to be an Alien spaceship way beyond Human understanding. Just so-so.