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: "Joan of Arc: A Military Leader" by Kelly Devries.  A look at the the "Why" did French soldiers follow a woman into battle and her abilities to win battles in a man's world of the Hundred Years War. She was a heroine to the French but considered possessed by the devil and a "whore" to the English.  Just OK.

"Tripwire" by Lee Child. A Jack Reacher Novel where Jack is in the Florida Keys. A PI, from NYC, comes a visiting in search of him and is murdered a few hours after meeting. Jack goes to NYC to find out why the PI was looking for him. He never expected the reasons to be so twisted or dangerous. Very Good and Recommended.

"Gone Tomorrow" by Lee Child. A Jack Reacher novel. Jack is on a subway at 2AM in NYC with 4 other passengers. A woman is acting very suspicious and attracts Jack's attention. She has a big secret that moves between D.C., California and Afghanistan. Jack just may be in over his head but again....Very Good and Recommended.

Read: The Norman Commanders: Masters of Warfare 911-1135" by Paul Hill. Covers major and junior leaders of the Normans in Normandy/England, Southern  Italy and  the Middle East first, then tactics, strategy, weapon types, and samples of battles. Very Good and Recommended.

"Erich von Manstein: Hitler's Master Strategist" by Benoit Lemay. Manstein was probably the greatest commander of any side in WWII but what was he as a man. This book gives a expose of not only Manstein's military exploits but his humanity. He served Hitler and the Nazi Party willingly as did the Wehrmacht and its soldiers. Manstein and the Wehrmacht were tied at the hip to the Nazis. They worked with the Nazis in their genocidal plans for Eastern Europe and were not innocent bystanders. Manstein was lucky at the end of the war. Based on this book, he should of been turned over to the Poles and/or Russians for Judgement. They would of hung him. I agree. Very Good and Recommended.

Read: "Stonewall Jackson: Portrait of a Soldier" by John Bowers. A great man and leader in the Confederate Revolutionary War of Independence. Could not put it down. Outstanding and Most Highly Recommended.

Read: "Stephen and Matilda: The Civil War of 1139-53" by Jim Bradbury. Stephen promised King Henry I of England to honor a pledge to recognize Henry's daughter Matilda as heir to the English throne. He reneged along with other nobles that did not want a woman as King/Queen of England. This brought on a civil war that lasted 14 years. At the end, Stephen made a compromise with Matilda's son, Henry of Anjou, that upon his death Henry would succeed him as King of England.  Henry II ushered in the Plantagenet Dynasty that would rule England till 1485. Very Good and Recommended. 

Read: "Abandon" by Blake Crouch. A novel about a Colorado mining town that on Christmas Day in 1893, everyone disappeared. No bodies or remains were ever found. Food was left sitting on tables ready to eat, belongings left behind.  Now in 2009, a new expedition is going to find out what happened after an earlier expedition also disappeared. They are about to find out they are not alone and the past is very much alive. Very Good and Recommended.

Read: "The Last Human" by Zack Jordan. A SF novel in the distant future where Sarya, the last human, lives incognito on a space station circling a gas giant. She doesn't feel like the most terrifying creature in the galaxy. But her adopted mother, a sentient arachnid, called a Widow, keeps her safe with the occasional evisceration of too nosy neighbors.  A thousand years ago Humanity was destroyed by the Network, controller of the galaxy. They were deemed to dangerous. But Sarya is thrown into a grand conspiracy that could save herself and a second chance for Humanity. This is Quantum Reality at its craziness, AI's, a multitude of Aliens, and for our present times a look at free will/choice, individuality, to live as you choose vs the 1984 syndrome. A roller coaster ride that took me 2 days to read the 400+ page. Take the ride if you dare.

Read: "Vikings at War" by Kim Hjardar and Vegard Vike. A comprehensive military history of the Vikings.  Covers their weapons, tactics, strategy, leadership, ships, and diplomacy. They were brutal but brought immense changes wherever they went. They gave Russia its name and, and spread though out Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Very Good and Recommended. 

Read: "Going Underground" by Michael Leese. A mystery novel about a billionaire that goes missing and Scotland Yard runs out of ideas in solving this mystery.  The Yard falls back on a one-time consultant, Jonathan Roper, brilliant but Autistic. He has people problems but he is the last and only way to solve this mystery. Just OK.

Read: Read "Brute Force: Allied Strategy and Tactics in The Second World War" by John Ellis. The title explains the book excellently. The Allies won by Brute Force. The author pulls no punches: all sides were Stupid in their conduct of WWII. The Nazis and the Japanese thought the Western Democracies and the Soviet Union were rotten to the core and therefor, just kicking down their doors and they would collapse. The Allies just kept throwing more men, and material resources at the Nazis and Japanese and swamped them with Brute Force. The back of the book has lots and lots of charts covering resources and industries of all sides compared to everyone. The Allies with more finesse could of saved lives and ended the war earlier. Very Good and Recommended.

"The Codicil" by Tom Topor. A novel on a rich man worth $100 million dollars or more makes a Codicil to his will, leaving $50 million Dollars to a Vietnamese love child from 20 years ago. He served 2-3 tours in 'Nam. No one in the man's family new about this love child until this Codicil was read. Then the man ups and dies shortly later of a stroke. All hell breaks loose. A PI is hired to find this "love child" if it exists. The dead man has so many secrets that he has kept from family and friends, that the poor PI keeps running into brick walls and a killer is tracking him to find this "love child" first, if it exists. Outstanding and most Highly Recommended.

Read: "Empire of Horses: The First Nomadic Civilization and the Making of China" by John Man. This is the rise and fall of the Xiongnu(Hunn-nu) Nomad Empire in Mongolia from 200 B.C. to about 200 A.D.. They dominated East Asia and fought a war with Han China for 400 years. The Chinese in their drive north to expand against the various nomads of Mongolia would cause these peoples to unite into the Xiongnu Empire, the first Nomadic Empire in History. When the dust settled, the Xiongnu had split into a North and a South Branch. The North fled west(becoming the Huns??) and the South would conquer North China. The Mongols trace their ancestry to these Xiongnu. Very Good and Recommended.  

"The Dark Spring" by Brandon Q. Morris. A hard science fiction story. In 2014 a ESA small probe is landed on a comet orbiting the sun near Jupiter. Two years later it goes silent. Suddenly, in 2026, it wakes up. Impossible. NASA sends a spacecraft to investigate, but it drops off the map. It starts to look like something is wrong, big time. A looming danger to the Earth now seems possible. Very Good and Recommended.

"Rare Earth" by Kurt Allan. A SF novel about a lost mining crew 400 million miles from earth. A retired miner goes to find out what happen. Big monies involved. The journey out to this asteroid becomes an exercise in survival. Accidents start happening, way to many.  Something is out there... Just OK.

Read: "Clouds of Venus" by Brandon Q. Morris. A SF novel on 2 expeditions to Venus by NASA and Russia in the near future. Life is discovered in Venus's harsh environment. This lifeform is proven dangerous. Just OK.

"The Path of the Martyrs: Charles Martel, The Battle of Tours and The Birth of Europe" by Ed West. This is the story of the saving of Western Europe from the brutal muhammadans  Covers the lead up to the battle and the battle itself in a "tongue in cheek style". Very Good and Recommended.

Read: "The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World" by A.J. Baime. This is the story of a ordinary man who is thrust in over his head with the death of FDR. This is not a bio but just the 120 days of Truman's Presidency. This is the end of WWII, concentration camps, the Atomic Bombs, beginning of the cold war, mass starvation in Europe, etc. Harry S. Truman proved to be the "Man at the right time and place" who faced these unwanted challenges with intelligence and courage. No other President had ever had to face so much in such a short period of time. Very Good and Recommended.

"A Call to Arms: Book One of the Damned" by Alan Dean Foster. A SF novel on a galactic war that has been going on for thousands of years. On one side are the good guys, the Weave, a coalition of Alien Races fighting the bad guys, the jihadist Amplitur who have mind control talents. The Amplitur wish to rule the galaxy, that is their destiny. The Weave are always on the lookout for new aliens to join their coalition.  They find one, Humans, that could be their salvation or destruction. The Humans are the most savage, cunning, ruthless race ever discovered. They could win the war against the Amplitur as allies but what happens with them after this. Very Good and Recommended.

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