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: "Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War Between Islam and the West" by Raymond Ibrahim. The title says it all. Begins with the first muhammadan attacks on Christendom in the 7th Century in the Middle East, Anatolia, North Africa, the Med, Spain, France, Italy and the Balkans.  Then there was the Christian counterattack in all these same areas after being provoked first. Then the muhammadan invasions of the Balkans and Russia in the 13th Century, etc.  This war continues to this day. Outstanding coverage and Highly Recommended. 

"The Sack of Rome by the Visigoths in 410AD: The History of the Event that Marked the Final Decline of the Western Roman Empire" by Charles River Editors. A short but good coverage of this important year of Roman History. Recommended.

" My Forever Heartache: Four Years of Discovery with the Kalahari Bushmen" by Bernard Horton. The author, a Welshman, moves to Botswana to live with the Bushmen, to be able learn their ways of life. The Bushmen are almost extinct. They use to live all over the southern part of Africa but the Bantu(Zulus, Xhosa, etc) moving from Central Africa carried out ethnic cleansing at best and worst, genocide. Very Good and Recommended.

"The Singularity Trap" by Dennis E. Taylor. A SF novel in the near future where an asteroid miner, down on his luck, is put in the position by dumb luck, as the only one who can save the Human Race. A pageburner of  a story. Could not put it down till finished. Outstanding and Highly Recommended.

Read: "Legion Versus Phalanx" by Myke Cole. This covers the period 280-168 BC when the Legion and the Phalanx clashed. The author shows how and why the Legion, with its more flexible organization, versatile tactics, and superior discipline would replace the Phalanx and dominate the ancient battlefield. Very Good and Recommended.

"Laughing Shall I Die: Lives and Deaths of the Great Vikings" by Tom Shippey. The author sets out to prove the Vikings were exactly what they were: vicious, ruthless, with their berserkers, valkyries, and cults of Valhalla and Ragnarok which have been verified by there own actions, words, their victims, and archaeological evidence. There has been attempts to whitewash the Vikings by the pc crowd but the author debunks this. The author presents the Vikings for what they were: not peaceful explorers and traders, but bloodthirsty warriors and marauders. I'm convinced. Great in the telling and Highly Recommended.  

Read: "The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History" by Paul Andrew Hutton. A "white eyes" boy is kidnapped in 1861. This set in motion a war that ended the freedom and identity of the Apache People. This boy, renamed "Mickey Free" would not be trusted by both sides, although he was more Apache than American. He was the only man that Geronimo ever feared and played a pivotal role in this long war starting in 1861 until its end in 1890 with his pursuit of the renegade scout Apache Kid. A Winner and Most Highly Recommended.

 "Tarzan of the Apes" and "The Return of Tarzan" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Not much to say but Great Adventure and Highly Recommended.

Read: "Twisted Prey" by John Sanford. The latest Lucas Davenport novel and he is pitted against an old enemy. A woman Senator(D) from Minnesota who intends to be the first woman President of the USA. She intends to do this by hook or crook. ummm, sounds familiar. Anyway, the other Senator(R) from Minnesota stands in her way. She has a plan. A road accident??? happens to this Senator(R) and Lucas is called in to investigate. He gets another bite at the apple because this woman Senator(D) had probably carried out some murders in the past but Lucas was not able to prove it. Ex-naval seals' hit men, CIA hit women, corrupt CEO's, etc. make a hell of a ride. Take the ride and enjoy.

"Holy Ghost" by Jon Sanford. The latest Virgil Flowers novel. Wheatfield, Minn. is a hamlet of 600 souls. It is on its way to oblivion but a miracle occurs.  The Virgin Mary appears at the old shut up Catholic Church. Pilgrims pour in with all that money for the locals. Things are lookin up but then disaster strikes. Shootings start happening and then people are killed. A sniper is loose. But Why? Virgil is called in to solve the case with his ever tongue-in-cheek style. Another Fun Ride of a story. Highly Recommended.

Read: "The Viking Wars: War and Peace in King Alfred's Britain 789-955" by Max Adams. This is a history of Britain in the Viking violent period, from 789 to their final expulsion in 955. Covers Wales, the future Scotland and the future English with Ireland brought in as needed. Very Good and Recommended.

"The Beasts of Tarzan" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. This is the third book in the series. Begins in 1913 with Tarzan and Jane have a son. They are all kidnapped by a Russian criminal. Tarzan of course, through many trials and adventures, prevails. Great Read.

"In a House of Lies" by Ian Rankin. A mystery novel. Everyone has something to hide, everyone has secrets, and nobody is innocent. A PI, who disappeared 12 years ago, is found in the trunk of a car buried in a woods, murdered. Sets off a new investigation with crooked cops, Drug Lords, corrupt businessmen and the Hero; John Rebus. Rebus is retired but was involved in the original case. Rankin's Rebus at his best. Very Good and Recommended.

Read: "Red Hope" by John Dreese. A SF novel. The Curiosity Rover discovers on Mars the remains of a humanoid and artifacts that could mean a Tech Civ on Mars millions of years ago. A rush is on to send a maned spaceship there. Starts out very hot but then sinks to ice cold. Disappointed. Could of been so much better.

"End of an Era" by Robert J. Sawyer. A SF novel on two paleontologists going back in time 65 million years to find out info on the demise of the dinosaurs. Was it an asteroid or something else. They discover earth's gravity is half its 21st century strength but also some Aliens are running around on earth. Finished in one day. Great Read and Highly Recommended.  

Read: "Past Tense" by Lee Child. A Jack Reacher novel. Reacher is bumming rides in New England and sees a sign for a town his father was born in. Why not, what is one extra day. At the same time a Canadian couple's car breaks down. Now their stranded in the middle of nowhere. Reacher and the Canadians paths are going to cross with a Big Bang.  Action like only Lee Child can handle with his character Reacher. Highly Recommended.

"The Black Ascot" by Charles Todd. An Inspector Rutledge novel. In 1910 a man who supposedly murdered a woman and almost her husband after the Black Ascot race, popular for the aristocrats of the day, is convicted in the media and seeing the cards were against him, disappears for 10 years. He is, maybe, spotted in Wales in the here and now. Inspector Rutledge is quietly sent to fine out if this story/rumor is true. With his sanity questioned and his shell shock from the Somme in 1916 maybe exposed, Rutledge must prove his sanity and his honor by finding this man at all costs. Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Read: "Avenger" by Frederick Forsyth. A thriller/suspense novel of a free lance "Avenger" hired to avenge the death of a young man, who disappeared in Bosnia years ago. A suspect is found but is hidden in a fortress in South America. Along side this is a CIA agent bent on stopping a muhammadan terrorist and the Avenger is in the way. The CIA must stop the avenger before the world is thrown into chaos. Very Good and Recommended.

"Military History of Late Rome 284-361" by Ilkka Syvanne. The first book in a series on the Late Roman Empire to 641. Covers everything on the evolution of the Roman Army from the Emperor Diocletian to Constantius II. Starts with some background on the "3rd Century Crisis", then shows how tactics, weapons, leadership, enemies and economics brought about changes where the legions looked a lot different by the end of this book from Julius Caesar's day. There is a lot of info on all this and can be somewhat overwhelming. Very Good and Recommended.

Read: "Manuscript 512" by Rick Chesler. A novel on a crooked American Historian, Dr. Winslow, who steals "Manuscript 512" from a Brazilian museum. This manuscript holds the key to finding the lost city of "Z" in the Amazon jungle. The Brazilian police are after him as Dr,. Winslow goes deep into the Amazon to seek the treasure of a thousand lifetimes. Or maybe its "best laid plans..". Very Good and Recommended.

"The Komnene Dynasty:Byzantium's Struggle for Survival 1057-1185" by John Car. After the fall of Anatolia to the muhammadans, invasions by nomadic tribes across the Danube, and the Norman invasion of Greece, things look very bleak for the Roman Empire of the East. Then came the Crusaders from the West to fight the muhammadans' crusaders. Poor Byzantium is in the middle. The Komnene Dynasty managed to save the Empire from total collapse.  This is the history of that struggle. Very Good and Recommended.

Read: "The Tanks of Tammuz" by Shabtai Teveth. This is the story of the Israeli Armored Corps in the 6 Day War of 1967. This victory over the muhammadans astonished the world. The author was a reporter attached to General Tal's armored division in the Sinai.The play-by-play is very engrossing and covers not only the Sinai but the Golan Heights. Very Good and Recommended.

"Duel for the Golan: The 100-hour Battle that Saved Israel" by Jerry Asher with Eric Hammel. It is the first Saturday in October 1973 and Yom Kippur. The muhammadans launched a surprise attack against Israel from Syria and Egypt. This is the life and death struggle on the Golan Heights where Israelis' crushed this attack and saved themselves from extinction, again. The heroism, smarts, boldness, and "never give up" attitude of Israel and its people is a Light unto the world at large. This book is a roller-coaster of a ride. Outstanding and my utmost admiration for the Nation of Israel. A must read.

Read: " The Hole: Hard Science Fiction" by Brandon Q. Morris. A mysterious object is heading on a collision course with the Sun. The earth and mankind are at risk. Nobody believes a young astrophysicist. At the same time a group of outcasts are mining an asteroid near where the object will pass. They may be the only ones that can save the Earth. The author has 20 pages of Hard Science to explain his "hole" which could happen some day. Excellent and Highly Recommended. 

"Tiamat's Wrath" by James S. A. Corey. The 8th book in the SF Expanse series. One more book to go?. A new god-king has taken over humanity while at the same time he has decided to take on a "Alien God" of billions of years old that destroyed the previous Alien rulers of the galaxy. Talk about Stupid, but makes for a great story and a roller coaster ride. Now I have to wait another year for the 9th book to see what happens. Outstanding and Highly Recommended.

Read: "Patricians and Emperors: The Last Rulers of the Western Roman Empire" by Ian Hughes. This book gives the bios of the elites that welded power in the final decades of the Western Roman Empire from the assassination of Aetius, the Last Roman, in 454AD to the death of Julius Nepos in 480AD. Very Good and Recommended. 

"The Elamite World" ed. by Javier Alvarez-Mon, Gian Basello, and Yasmina Wicks. A new book with the latest info on the land of Elam which existed in Southwest Iran from about 3200BC to mid 500's BC. Just OK.


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