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: "Great North Road" by Peter F. Hamilton. A SF novel in the near future; 2143AD. In this future, Star Gates exist between Earth and other planets. There is a ruling dynasty, the Norths, that permeates throughout this Future; they are all clones. They own a whole planet that has oil and is a vegan's paradise. No animals of any kind. A group of Norths are massacred on this planet and a woman is found guilty and sent to prison. They were killed in a most unusual way. Now in the here and now, on Earth, another North is killed by the same method. Looks like the woman is innocent. She always claimed a "Monster" did it. Herein begins the tale that has numerous roads to travel and a alien life form called the Zanthswarm, that is unstoppable. Humanity's existence is at stake. Very good and Recommended. Note: 948 pages. 

I have read two or three of his Hamilton's novels, the Greg Mandel ones, and I own close to every work he has ever published. There simply isn't time to read them all.

I am trying to recall if I own this.

I've read the Commonwealth trilogy which was very good, ending could of been better, but then tried the Void Series, first book, no good. Earlier this year "Salvation", Bad. "Great North Road" was very good as stated but on the wordy side. I don't buy fiction; I use the library. Saves money. I have lots of books, paper and Kindle, not enough time to read them all plus using the library. The library, tho, forces you to finish reading the book. A time limit.

Read: "Black Sun" by Owen Matthews. A novel on the so-called Cold War. It is 1961. Khrushchev is the Soviet boss, the Soviets have sent the first man into space, and at a top secret city in the forests of Central Russia, a brilliant young physicist is found dead. Arzamas-16 is the home of the Soviet nuclear program. A KGB major is sent from Moscow to investigate this death. In 10 days the most powerful thermonuclear device in history will be tested. (I remember) This device could mean the end of Humanity. This novel is based on true events, names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty. The actual person in charge of this city was Dr. Sakharov. A page-burner and Most Highly Recommended.

"Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History" by Nicola Di Cosmo. This is on one nomad power, the Hsiung-nu Empire. Time period is 900-100 B.C.  Covers early Chinese history to the early Han and their response to the Hsiung-nu and the victory of the Han over these nomads. The author calls it a Pyrrhic Victory. Just So-So.

"Octavia Gone" by Jack McDevitt. An Alex Benedict SF novel.(8th) Gabe, Alex's uncle, is back from being lost in space. A artifact goes missing from Gabe's collection and is found to be possibly, Alien. There is a possible connection to the greatest mystery of Human Space, the disappearance of the Octavia Satellite that was in orbit around a Black Hole searching for Worm Holes. This is the "Amelia Earhart" story of this time. The search is on. Very Good and Recommended.    

Read: "Rise of the Tang Dynasty: The Reunification of China and the Military Response to the Steppe Nomads AD581-626" by Julian Romane. This history examines the military events behind the emergence of the Sui and Tang Dynasties from 581-626AD. Covers the battles, campaigns and strategy used to combat the steppe cavalry vs. Chinese infantry armies. In the end the Tang, taking over from the Sui, would defeat all enemies and continue the Chinese imperial colonialism to north, east, west, and south with their Manifest Destiny. Without this "China" would be much smaller today. Deja Vu. Very Good and Recommended but a problem: No Maps.

"The Outside" by Ada Hoffmann. A SF novel where in the future the galaxy is ruled by super-intelligent AI Gods. Their algorithms determine the rewards you reap before and after death. A autistic scientist creates a new energy drive that could change the future of humanity. But the Gods declare her work heretical which usually means instant death. This time the Gods offer her a deal she cannot refuse; help them find her mentor who taught her the math that helped her create this device or die. No one can be trusted, not even the Gods. Very Good and Recommended.

Read: "Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India" Vol. I(1000-1526) by J. L. Mehta. This period begins with the Ghazvanid muhammadans' invasions of the Indian sub-continent primarily for riches, slaves, and, as holy crusaders for muhammadanism, to spread the faith by the sword. Then came the Ghorid muhammadan invasions that would conquer most of India by the end of the 13th century AD that became the Sultanate of Deli. The author calls these invasions the "Holocausts". Per the author, the Indians with their innumerable kingdoms fighting each other and the apathy of the Indian people brought this on themselves. Similar to the Occidental World of today. This Sultanate of Deli would be brought to an end in 1526 by the muhammadan Mughal dynasty. Very Good and Recommended.

"The Battle of Plassey 1757: The Victory That Won an Empire" by Stuart Reid. The muhammadan Mughals, conquers of India, saw big monies to be gain by trading with Europeans, so trading posts were allowed with various European states. Chance circumstances would lead England to go to war with the local muhammadan governor of Bengal. Hence the Battle of Plassey in 1757 that would lead England to become the dominate European state in India. The Indians replaced one conquer for another. Just so-so.

"Warrior Woman: The Story of Lozen, Apache Warrior and Shaman" by Peter Aleshire. Lozen was the sister of Victorio, a chief of the Chihenne Apaches. Lozen was born in the 1840's and supposedly had "magical powers" to know when enemies were nearby.  She could shoot, ride, kill, better than most Apache warriors. Victorio called her his right arm and would use her as one of his chief advisors. She was involved in most of the battles/campaigns of the Apache Wars. She surrendered with Geronimo in March 1886 and would be sent east with Geronimo and his band of warriors plus families. She passes from history but is believed to have died at Mt. Vernon, Alabama, of tuberculosis in the late 1880's or early 1890's. Her brother, Victorio, called her "the shield of her people". A most fitting epitaph. Very Good and Recommended.

Read: "City of Victory: The Rise and Fall of Vijayanagara" by Rarnakar Sadasyula. The history of the Vijayanagara Empire, which stood like a mighty bulwark, protecting the Hindu dharma in South India. It was a rock against the muhammadan brutal invasions that ravaged and destroyed large parts of Northern India. Today it exists only in stones and stories, but its legacy would forever be remembered. Founded in 1336 by two brothers and would be as large as the Austrian Empire of its day in the 1500's. It was destroyed by the muhammadans at the Battle of Talikota in 1565. It was winning the battle but muhammadans in its army betrayed the Vijayanagarans and caused the total defeat of same. The capital was sacked and utterly destroyed with its inhabitants. The rest of the Empire would be overrun in coming years. Today the Indian Government does not allow muhammadans in its armed forces to face off against their own kind. Very good and Recommended.

"The Decisiveness of Israeli Small-Unit Leadership on the Golan Heights in the 1973 Yom Kippur War" by Major Oakland McCulloch. A case study of how the leaders of Israel's small units on the Golan Heights managed to slow down the invasion of the muhammadans' from Syria. In doing this they bought time for Israel's reserves to arrive to eventually drive the Syrians back. Covers the critical part of this battle from Oct. 6-10. Excellent and Highly Recommended. 

"Perilous Glory: The Rise of Western Military Power" by John France. Starts in Neolithic times and concludes with Today. This is a survey of warfare in search of a understanding of the origins of Western warfare, challenging accepted ideas about the development of military might, impact of culture, and the possible future of Western dominance. Mr. France has some strong opinions about the "Western Way" of war. Example: There is no "Western Way" of war and calls this "nonsense". He goes on to state:"styles of warfare do not arise from democratic (or undemocratic) decisions, but from experience and brute material circumstance." Mr. France has a tendency to ramble a while, then stop to clarify a point. Has some excellent points but also areas I disagree with. Just Good.


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