I was at Borders a few nights ago and I picked up 'Warhammer 40,000: The Killing Ground', 'The Art of Clint Langley: Dark Visions from the grim Worlds of Warhammer', 'The Army of Flanders and the Spanish Road: 1567-1659' by Geoffrey Parker, 'Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain's Asian Empire' by Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper and 'The grand Strategy of Philip II' by Geoffrey Parker.

I finished 'The Lover' by Marguerite Duras a few days back. I have just started on 'Battles of the Thirty Years War: From White Mountain to Nordlingen 1618-1635'. I am also in the midst of a few other books including 'God is not great: How religion poisons the world' by Christopher Hitchens.

What you are guys reading?

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Read as a duo: "The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000" by Chris Wickham and "The Forge of Christendom: The End of Days and the Epic Rise of the West" by Tom Holland. These books overlap each other in the Historical period they cover but are different in writing style and central theme.

Wickham's book is a chronological narrative of the evolution of the Mediterranean World after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and its successor states; The West dominated by Francia, Byzantium, and the Muslim occupied lands of the Middle East and North Africa. Covers all economic, political, social, and military points in a somewhat dry style. Its central theme is the transition from the Classical Age of Rome to the Medieval.

Holland's book starts at the end and flashes back to the beginning. Its central theme is the solidification of Christianity in the West through both political, social and missionary means. Then spreading outwards to take in new peoples such as the Northmen, Slavs, and Magyars which increased its strength in all ways and hanging on against Islam. Holland accomplishes this in a passionate writing style and separate stories that link together but are not necessarily in chronological order. The End of Days came and passed and the World still existed. The West then went over to the counterattack against its mortal enemy: Islam.

Both books are recommended.
I just finished reading One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa. This was one of the best accounts of the battle I have read from the ground level. John Wukovits dramatically and effectively weaves into the narrative a wide variety of eye witness accounts from Marines of all ranks, families of the soldiers who fought (and died), and war photographers and correspondents such as SSG Hatch and Robert Sherrod. The description of the fighting during all three days was riveting, and clearly impressed upon me at least the savage nature of the fighting on this mound of rock. And while armchair generals might continue to second guess the admirals and generals on whose shoulders rested the conduct of the Pacific War regardng the necessity of even conducting this campaign, there is no doubt that the American Fighting Man demonstated bravery and determination that was second to none. It continues to amaze me (even as a combat veteran myself) how soldiers of all nations can withstand the horrors of war, rise above their deadly circumstances, and go above and beyond for their fellow soldier. The book also shows that the Japanese soldiers were committed to their honor, brave soldiers, and were not going to lose the island without a fight. Excellent book, and highly recommended.
Borders was having a clearance sale and I had some coupons so...."Conflicts That Changed the World" by Rodney Castle; "Collins Dictionary of Astronomy", "Byzantium" by Judith Herrin; "Makers of Ancient Strategy" Edited by Victor Davis Hanson; "Queen Victoria's Little Wars" by Byron Farwell; and "Greatest Team Ever: Dallas Cowboys Dynasty of the 1990's" by Ron St. Angelo and Norm Hitzges.

Right now I'm reading John Tolland's 1970 classic, The Rising Sun. It still has some excellent insights on the Pacific War, from the Japanese perspective.
I am reading Otto Dietrich's " The Hitler I Knew". A good read if you want to know more about Adolf Hitler.
Read: "The Hittite" by Ben Bova. A historical novel on a Hittite officer with his squad who flees Hattusas, capital of the Hittite Empire, to the northwest in search of his wife and sons. He ends up at the siege of Troy where he joins the Achaians(Greeks). Ben Bova, more noted for his SF stories has a new twist on the Iliad. Very good and recommended.

"Napoleon's Pyramids" by William Dietrich. A novel on a American, tagging along with Napoleon with his invasion of Egypt. A little dash of SF added in, and a well done story that keeps your interest. Recommended.
I had just finished "The last kingdom" and "The pale horseman", both from Bernard Cornwell, and have "Lords of the north" and "Sword song" in the reading line.
I would classify them as a semi-historical fiction, and I found them very enjoyable.

Reading BLACK HEARTS on the horrible, horrible experiences of 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1-502 in the "Triangle of Death" in Iraq winter 2005-6. This should be mandatory reading for combat arms leaders on how things can go so very wrong; the leadership challenges drip with difficulty and realism. Good reminder to wargamers on how cardboard tactics leave so very much of the human factors out.

I have finally gotten down to reading 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. Incidentally, the film adaptation was excellent.
See the next two movies in this series too. Both are excellent. Have not read the other two books yet, but will.
Thanks. I will definitely watch them. The book is engrossing, a real page-turner.
I finally finished the trilogy and they are real page-turners! Compelling too.


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