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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It's a solid volume. I'm still in my Roman Civil War phase again right now - some interesting thinking along those lines....
I have finished 'Rogue Star' and its sequel 'Star of Damocles' by Andy Hoare. The two novels are about rogue traders in the Warhammer 40,000 world. The first edition Warhammer 40,000 game is titled 'Rogue Trader' but there has been precious few novels about them. Other than an early novel, 'The Eye of Terror', from Barrington J. Bayley, a forgotten New Wave SF writer, I can only think of these two by Andy Hoare.

The action-filled military SF of 'Rogue Star' and 'Star of Damocles' is essentially escapist fiction filled with intrigue and machinations of the different primary actors in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Star battle sequences dominate the two novels and one glaring point is in that the combat distances in the novels are absurdly short, as are the distances in the miniatures games. However, these discrepancies in distances in combat is probably there to cater for the scale in the miniatures gaming market. 'Star of Damocles' also features a conflict between the rogue trader and the religious which is bent on the extermination of a new alien race which is subverting the empire in a crusade.

Speaking of the irrationality of the religious, I am also in the midst of reading the excellent 'The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason' by Sam Harris. In the light of increasing religiosity and superstition today, this is a timely volume which predates the celebrated and well-written 'Letter to a Christian Nation' and will make uncomfortable reading for the religiously-inclined. The chapter on Islam should absolutely not be missed as it contains pertinent information on Islamic violence and extremism.

I have also read 'Orcslayer' and have started on 'Manslayer' by Nathan Long. These are the two latest Gotrek and Felix novels set in theWarhammer fantasy world. Long has taken over the series from William King who had written the first seven novels of the series. The entire series is splendid swords and sorcery, nothing complicated, just great fun nevertheless. The next two novels are 'Elfslayer' and 'Shamanslayer'.

I am always reading way too many volumes at the same time. I have started on 'The Three Trillion Dollar War' which I picked up over the weekend. I have also started on 'The Naked Brain'. On Saturday, I also read a chapter of Patrick Wright's brilliant 'Tank'. Now, this is a social history rather than a military history or technical treatise of the tank. Wright describes exploitation of the tank as a social and political tool, the cultural impact and more. Wright is a professor of modern cultural studies at Nottingham Trent University. I will need to focus. I will drop a few books from my list and finish some first.

I am still in the midst of the survey of Jomini's influence on military art and the impact of his seminal 'The Summary of the Art of War' (also more commonly known as 'The Art of War') in 'The Makers of Modern Strategy'. I am also looking at Azar Gat's 'A History of Military Thought: From the Enlightenment to the Cold War' in light of what I had read.

I have just completed the chapter on the Swedish model of social democracy in Peter Hall's 'Cities in Civilisation', titled 'The Social Democratic Utopia 1945-1980'. This described a form of a corporate welfare state where individual income taxes are high and corporate taxes low. Everything is provided for. Education, housing and more. An interesting system to say the least. State intervention in almost every facet of society.

The Swedish public housing programme is of interest to me as it bears comparison to the successful public housing programme here in Singapore which accommodates 80% of the people. Of course, the Swedish model underwent great changes in 1991 with a tax reform. Impact? I don't know yet.

Strangely enough, there was a comparison of the Swedish model with the Singapore model in the local media about a fortnight or so ago. I can't remember the thrust of it all but since the media is government-controlled, there must have been some point that the government was making. The release of more funds from the national reserves for welfare and the public perhaps? I can't remember anymore.

'Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism' by Peter Marshall is something I have also been reading bits and pieces of over the last decade or more. One day, I shall finish this history. There is also an interesting chapter on the New Right and Anarcho-Capitalism which is essentially modern American libertarians and are of a different tradition from classical anarchism whatever its myriad forms.

I picked up 'Sovereigns of the Sea' by Angus Konstam and 'Red Fury' by James Swallow at Borders two weekends ago. The first was a volume about the building of the renaissance warship and the mounting of long-range cannons on it and Angus Konstam spoke of the evolution of these ships and also Geoffrey Parker's 'The Military Revolution'.

The second is the latest novel in the series of novels about the enigmatic Blood Angels marines chapter.

A few weekends ago, I was tempted to purchase 'The Seventy Great Mysteries of the Natural World' by Michael Benton. However, for a glossy mass-market hardcover, it costs a whopping eighty dollars or so. I waited for another Borders discount and subsequently embarked on a purchase. I had also bought 'Reveries on the Art of War' by Marshal Maurce de Saxe, 'Empires of the Sea: The Siege of Lepanto and the Contest for the Centre of the World' by Roger Crowley, 'The Mark of the Beast and other fantastical Tales' by Rudyard Kipling, 'The Naked Brain: How the emerging Neurosociety is changing how we live, work, and love'* by Richard Restak, 'The New Nature of the Catastrophe' by Michael Moorcock**, 'The Three Trillion Dollar War: The true cost of the Iraq Conflict' by Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes, 'The Atlantic War (1): France' by Steven J. Zaloga, and 'Stalingrad: 1942' by Peter Antill and 'Victory of the West: The Story of the Battle of Lepanto' by Niccolo Capponi.

So many books, so little time! I shall have to prioritise. I shall have to drop some books and focus on others. This way, I can realistically read faster and also not lose my train of thought. Heh.

And there is so much to read about in the media today. Market meltdowns, financial turmoil, the end of independent investment banks.

I have also got a few pieces of artwork to finish and I want to start a book of sketches of people that I observe in the streets.

* I had bought this volume a year or so ago. I bought this for Bea.

** I own a copy of this. I bought this one for Wei Yi.

*** I bought the original in hardcover in London in 2006. I bought this for Wei Yi.

And you haven't read my book yet? The Games of War: A Treasury of Rules for Battles with Toy Soldiers, Ships, and Planes. Shameless plug, no?
I just got a copy of "The Russo-German War 1941-45" by Albert Seaton. I'll read this next. I'll be playing some Eastfront WW2 game soon I have a feeling!
Ok book to read. I found Seaton lacking in areas.
I don't know I've never read it, its widely quoted.It has to be better than Clarks" Barbarossa". "Ericksons Road to Stalingrad "and" Road to Berlin" are alright but exclusively from the Russian point of view. Erickson quotes Seaton frequently when giving his negligable German side of it. My only criticism of Erickson is that in a set of books that run over a thousand pages I doubt if theres 20pg's that tell the German side. The Russian perspective needed to be told and Erickson is objective but Guderian and Manstein gave the other side more than Erickson does. The sometimes maligned Paul Carrel (Hitler Moves East and Scorched Earth) quotes far more Russian sources than Erickson does German. Seatons "The Battle for Moscow" which I received as a throw in when I bought Proud Monster was an excellent read. So anyhow I'll read it and let you know what I think. At this point in time I'd say Carrels books are far and away the best I've read on the subject and launched me at the age of 12 into buying and playing a shitload of Eastfront wargames!
I agree - Clark is awful. Erickson is good but pro-Soviet. Ziemke is very good - dry but objective even if dated. Glantz often as goofy errors.
Recentlyrereading Sir John Hackett's books on WW II as I begin to prep to play DtopShot. They hold up well is some respects - in others the writing is tiring. Of course he completely doesn't get it right with Iran - but he also makes observations that the Western media is prodemocracy and in favor of supporting their governments....
Well, I am actually reading part's of John Bobek's Games of War, The Bay of Pigs by Peter Wyden, Germs, Guns and Steel by Jared Diamond, and Wonderful Tonight by Pattie Boyd.

I rarely read an entire book, only the sections that interest me.
"Germs, Guns, and Steel" by Diamond is an excellent book. There is a sequel to this by Diamond entitled "Collapse: How Societies Choose to fail or Succeed". Have not had time to read it yet. I buy books faster than I can read. Most of the time I read a book, cover to cover. Parts not as interesting, I read, but skim through.
Unless a book is really bad I don't think there's much point in reading it if you don't read it all. Of course it depends what kind of a book it is.
Currently reading "The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944" by Rick Atkinson. Excellent read- hard to put down.


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