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Read: "Theodora: Empress of Byzantium" by Paolo Cesaretti. The brilliant wife of Justinian the Great, but also ruthless, who put her stamp on this historical period right along side her husband. Without her, Justinian would of not been "Great". Very Good and Recommended.
"Constantinople: Capital of Byzantium" by Jonathan Harris. Starts in 1200 A.D. and gives a excellent history of this great city. Gives some flashbacks but covers the military, political, social, religious, and economic history from this central year to its fall to the 4th Crusade, with better reasons for this than I've read before, then carries on till its final fall in 1453A.D. Very Good and Recommended.
"The Lost Capital of Byzantium" by Steven Runciman. This is a history of Mistra and the Peloponnese, from the fall of Constantinople to the 4th Crusade in 1204A.D., to its conquest by the brutal muslims, then continues to its freedom with the rebirth of the State of Greece in the mid 1800's. Very Good and recommended.
"John Carter of Mars" Vol. One, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. This is the first 3 books in Mr. Burroughs series on John Carter. Read all these in my teen years and enjoyed them. Still very good after all these years. Highly Recommended.
"Mongols and Mamluks: The Mamluk-Ilkhanid War, 1260-1281" by Reven Amitai-Preiss. This is a excellent coverage of this period but mainly from the muslim side of things. The war continued after this period but the author covers just this opening round with coverage of battles, trade, social, and politics. See GMT's GBOH game, "The Devil's Horsemen" and module, "Mamluk", on this Historical Period. Recommended for book and the games.
Read: "Khartoum: The Ultimate Imperial Adventure" by Michael Asher. An outstanding history of this piece of British History, 1883-1898. Reads like a suspense novel. Highly Recommended. Dug up my old game on the Battle of Omdurman by Richard Berg in S&T Mag that is the climax of the book.
"The Victorians" by A.N. Wilson. A history of Queen Victoria's reign, 1837-1901. Very good and recommended. Nice little side story on the possibility that Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, were not legitimate. The author presents his evidence that both Victoria's and Prince Albert's mothers had lovers. Quote by author: "If the suspicions about Victoria and Albert are well-grounded, this means that many of the crowned heads of Europe are descended jointly from an unscrupulous Irish soldier and a German Jew."
"The Caspian Gates: Warrior of Rome" by Harry Sidebottom. The 4th book in this Historical fiction series on the Third Century Crisis of the Roman Empire. The hero of the story, a Romanized Angle, is fighting Goths in Anatolia and then sent on a mission to the Caspian Gates in the Caucasus Mountains. I Think I know were the author is going. Very Good and Recommended.
Read: "Sahib: The British Soldier in India" by Richard Holmes. A excellent history of the British military in India from Clive to about 1914. It covers all aspects; such as weapons, tactics, social, political, economic, and free time of these soldiers. Highly Recommended.
"Wolves of the North" by Harry Sidebottom. The 5th book in the author's Warrior of Rome Series. The hero is sent on a diplomatic mission to the Germanic Heruli in the Steppes of the Ukraine by the Roman Emperor. The Heruli and Goths have been carrying out large raids into the Empire and the mission is to divide and conquer. Some Heruli are in GMT's Game, Cataphract, which is a great game. Very Good and Recommended.
"Mr. Churchill's Secretary" by Susan Elia MacNeal. A suspense/mystery novel on a plot against the English and Churchill in 1940. Very Good and Recommended.
"The Death Relic" by Chris Kuzneski. A mystery on the Spanish conquest of the Maya and Aztecs where Mexican Drug Lords and the CIA are in competition. Very Good and Recommended.
"Echo Burning" by Lee Child. A suspense/mystery novel on Jack Reacher in Pecos, Texas. Reacher finds himself in the middle of "something" he would have rather passed on and in a heat wave of 110+. Outstanding and Highly Recommended.
Read: "61 Hours" by Lee Child. Jack Reacher arrives by bus accident into a icebox where a old military facility, closed for decades, is tied to a Mexican Drug lord. The countdown begins: 61 Hours and counting. Very Good and Recommended.
"Die Trying" by Lee Child. Another Jack Reacher Novel on the kidnapping of a FBI Agent to Montana with Jack along by bad luck. Very Good and Recommended.
"Starhawk" by Jack McDevitt. A SF novel on Patricia Hutchins, space pilot. This is a prequel to the author's series on his "Hutch" character. Very Good and Recommended.
"Phantom Prey" by John Sandford. A novel on Lucas Davenport, detective, in the wilds of Minnesota. A mysterious murder with "Goths" involved somehow. Very Good And Recommended.
"Storm Front" by John Sandford. A Virgil Flowers novel of a mysterious stone stolen in Israel, with the Mossad, Turks, Hezbollah,a Texan, etc. all looking for it in Minnesota. Tongue-in-cheek humor galore and suspense. Great Read and highly Recommended.
"Weird Space: The Devils Nebula" by Eric Brown. A SF novel on a expedition to the unknown space of the Devil's Nebula. Something is "waiting" for them and not so friendly. Outstanding and Highly Recommended.
"Kings of Eternity" by Eric Brown. A SF novel on a link between 1935 England and 1999. Just OK.
Read: "The War of the Three Gods: Romans, Persians, and the Rise of Islam" by Peter Crawford. This is a military history of the early 7th century A.D. The Romans and Persians bleed themselves dry and then by default make way for the brutal Mohammedans to take over. Lots of maps to go along with the story which is very helpful and the reasons of victory or defeat of the three adversaries. Very Good and Recommended.
"Alamein" by Jon Latimer. An excellent coverage of this famous battle of the defeat of the Nazis in Egypt, late 1942. Highly Recommended.
I just finished the Osprey Campaign Series volumes on Kharkov 1942, and the zeppelin raids on London, 1914-1917.
Read: "Hunting Shadows" by Charles Todd. An Inspector Ian Rutledge Scotland Yard Mystery. A Sniper is killing people and no apparent link between them. The possibility is a link to the Great War. It is 1920. Excellent story and Highly Recommended.
"White Fire" by Preston and Child. A new novel on the strange FBI Agent Pendergast. Up in the Colorado Rockies, at a elite ski resort, someone is murdering the Super Rich by fire. The mystery links to a Grizzly Bear attack 150 years ago and a lost Sherlock Holmes story. Very Good and Recommended.
"The Fall of Berlin 1945" by Anthony Beevor. A excellent telling of the final death of brutal Nazism by the equally brutal Marxists. A fitting demise. Recommended.
"The Opium Wars: The Addiction of One Empire and the Corruption of Another" by W. Travis Hanes III and Frank Sanello. This reads like a suspense novel. Couldn't put it down. This is the story of Britain's pushing of opium on Manchu China. The pros and cons for both sides are the same excuses used today with the drug addiction of the USA. Very Highly Recommended.