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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picked up a new book yesterday! The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer. I've made it about 15 pages in, and WOW! I've already learned more about Hitler (or Schicklgruber quite possibly!) than I'd ever known. I've always been interested in WW2 and Vietnam history in particular, and try to read as much as I can.

I almost bought another book "Rising ’44: The Battle for Warsaw" by Norman Davies but haven't heard if it's any good. I've always been proud of my Polish ancestry, and fascinated about the role Poland played in WW2, but haven't found any books on the subject. I just may have to buy Rising '44 next time I'm at the bookstore, or after I finish The Rise and Fall.

Anyone read Rising '44?
I haven't read Rising '44, but Shirer is virtually required reading when trying to understand Hitler. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is one of the most important books on the subject.
I'm reading Hitler by Ian Kershaw. Its quite in depth. Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is something anyone interested in WW2 should read however its quite dated since Shirer wrote it 50 years ago.
True, Rise and Fall... is over 40 years old. And so is WWII. ;)

(Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

I know R&F3R is 'back there' a bit, but it doesn't read badly, so I have a hard time of thinking of it as dated. (Perhaps that's because I am over 50, too!) It isn't like reading a history from the 19th century, where the phrasing is so stilted that it is hard to wade through. Shirer had to work so hard to get it published since it was 'too soon' at the time. Plus he had to push through the blacklisting BS, and all the rest to get this important history on the table. He had access to files and materials that had been ignored up to that point. So it brought facts into the light that might still be in the dark if not for him.

The uproar (and occationally, the firestorm) that greeted its publication was a big deal. And yet, more than one 'historian' has used his work to complete their own 'research' while calling Shirer a 'journalist' rather than an historian.

Just finished Hitchens' "The God Delusion". A damn fine read. Well argued and logical. A bit light on Islam but I guess we know what happens when you question anything in that morass. Almost through a book on the Templers. Now there is a wacky bunch of chaps. Also reinforces why you should never trust the French!
Dawkins, right? Or Hitchens' 'God is not great: How religion poisons the world'? I thought both books were masterly expositions. Wonderful wonderful reads. Possibly books of the year for me.
I just started Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson. He's a damned good writer, but I've heard that he gives short shrift to the 442nd "Go For Broke" Regiment in Italy; I'd like to see for myself. Also, he writes about the British delegation at the Trident conference getting confused at a Washington Nationals baseball game, when that team was the American League Washington Senators. That's one that any American sports fan should have caught.
I thought the level of detail in these books was great. When I read these last year, I wrote all my friends and said, "This guy does for WWII what Shelby Foote did with The Civil War." Atkinson tells not just about the battles, but delves into personal letters to paint the battle field as the participants saw it. They were really quite good.
Read that and now have followed up the set with his An Army at Dawn that won the pulitzer prize. I was highly interested in his tale of Italy and initially liked the style. After around 1/3 of the way in, however, it appears that he was running short of materials and began repeating himself in his oft repeated theme and never let up repeating this for the last 2/3 of the book. I think he was heady after his wonderful book that I am reading now and thought it easier to use fill where substance was used in a fabulous way in book #1.
Army at dawn 9...........Day of Battle 4
I picked up 'Eyewitness Travel: Czech and Slovak Republics', 'Panic! The Story of Modern Financial Insanity', 'Warlords of Republican Rome: Caesar versus Pompey' and 'The Encylopaedia of Modern Aircraft' (<-- mainly for the development history of airliners) yesterday.

Two other volumes that I saw on Saturday and wanted were sold out.

I also picked up CDs. Enigma 'Seven Lives Many Faces', 'Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies, Overtures' and 'Chopin The Piano Sonatas, 5 Etudes, 4 Mazurkas'.
I'm almost done with 'The Strongest Tribe'.
I found a hardback copy of this at an antique store -- The Hundred Years War: The English in France 1337-1453 by Desmond Seward. I'm up to Poitiers. More mechanical than A Distant Mirror with a more detailed account of the movements. A nice wingman to Tuchman's seminal work.



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