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Thread: What book are you currently reading?

  1. #2861
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Eugene Rogan's Fall of the Ottomans.

    It's a nice book about the participation of the Ottoman Empire in WWI. A bit too small to cover the subject in a completely satisfying manner, but I enjoyed it nonetheless, although I would prefer it if more attention was directed towards the conflict in Persia and the internal politics in Istanbul, between the Sultan's court and the Committee of Union and Progress. Still, many of the more obscure fronts lack any dedicated book, as many works are either too superficial or a bit outdated. The biggest issue, however, was the translation, so I should have bought the English version. Concerning the most glaring mistake, the translator has confused the Turkish names Cemal and Kemal, with the result that Djemal Pasha (the Ottomal leader in Syria and Minister of Navy) is presented either as Cemal or Kemal Pasha.

    Michael Leggiere's Napoleon and the Struggle for Germany.

    Great book, full of information, which is interpreted in a very sober and impartial way, something which is not very common even in modern Napoleonic historiography. Unfortunately, I have only managed to read the first volume, because Amazon managed to miss the second's copy, for which I am waiting more than half a year. In the first volume, Leggiere has covered, in a rather detailed manner, all the events from the end of the Russian campaign to the 1812 ceasefire, so I wonder how well he has succeeded in integrating everything from Dresden to Hanau in the second volume.

    Abbash Kadhim's Reclaiming Iraq.

    I was a bit disappointed to be honest. The subject of the book is supposed to be the Iraqi Uprising against the British in 1920, but the author concentrates very little on the military and political events that shaped the conflict. Instead, he focuses almost entirely on the most innovative aspect of his work, the study of primary sources from the revolutionary side. Moreover, although Kadhim is careful enough to often distance himself from the revolutionary narrative, he really cannot hide his bias. Although he accurately criticises British historiography for being negatively pre-disposed towards the Iraqis, his approach is hardly more objective and has a clear agenda of highlighting the role of nationalism as the main force behind the revolt.

    Antoine Roquette's La revolution et la restauration espagnole.

    A very interesting work about one of the least known military interventions, that of Bourbon France against revolutionary Spain, following the collapse of the absolute monarchy. Where Roquette truly excels is in the description of the political background in both Paris and Madrid. Everyone, from constitutionalists to Ferdinand VII and Louis XVIII was forced to manouevre very carefully, if he wished to avoid the overthrowment of his regime. Unfortunately, the book's description of the actual invasion is too summary, although I agree that the Spaniards barely offered any serious resistance. Still, very enjoyable, although I am not sure if it has been translated to any other language than French.

    John Davis' Naples and Napoleon.

    Found it for free in the Internet, but I would have easily paid to buy it. It should be noted that Davis does not examine the entirety of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, but he instead concentrates his attention solely on Naples and southern Italy. Still, his analysis is exhaustive, from earlier attempts of the Bourbons to reform the poor kingdom to the social stratification of the countryside. He mentions several fascinating events, from local peasant rebellions to the dispatchment of an Ottoman expeditionary force to facilitate ther restoration of the royal dynasty, but the most brilliant part of his work remains the extremely profound study of Naples' and the surrounding province's social issues and structure.

  2. #2862
    Lord Oda Nobunaga's Avatar 大信皇帝
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    Jun 2011
    Azuchi-jō Tenshu

    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    If you're going to read Leggier then you might as well follow it up by reading all of Leggiere and then all of Nafziger.
    Usually people don't start in 1813. I suppose you could end it with a book or two about 1815. Currently I have the two volumes of Waterloo The Campaign of 1815. Although someone recommended me the old tome by Henry Houssaye, which all things considered might be better than John Hussey's two volumes at getting its point across.
    Last edited by Lord Oda Nobunaga; May 13, 2019 at 04:32 PM.

    "Famous general without peer in any age, most superior in valor and inspired by the Way of Heaven; since the provinces are now subject to your will it is certain that you will increasingly mount in victory." - Ōgimachi-tennō

  3. #2863
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    @Abdülmecid: Those look good, I think they will accompany me on my summervacation.

    Currently reading "Brains and Bullets" of Leo Murray.
    A very readable book about military Psychology and the four F´s; Fleeing, freezing, fussing and fighting and which factors will motivate soldiers to do the things they´re supposed to do.
    And it has some very funny anecdotes of Murrays life as a military researcher.

  4. #2864
    Mhaedros's Avatar Brave Heart Tegan
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Finished reading Great at Work yesterday (can't remember the author for the life of me now, a Norwegian guy), very interesting look at corporate life and how you can improve yourself and your work-life..The interesting part will be to incorporate it into actual day-to-day stuff.

    Also slowly getting through Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, the first of his novels I've read, but a fascinating read for sure.
    Under the patronage of Finlander. Once patron to someone, no longer.
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  5. #2865

    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    A rather her dystopian world with one frozen side and one blazing wilderness. Charlie Jane Anders gives another great story again.
    One thing is for certain: the more profoundly baffled you have been in your life, the more open your mind becomes to new ideas.
    -Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

  6. #2866

    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Finished ''How democracies die''.
    Decent on history, garbage on current affairs, though the last few pages are interesting.

  7. #2867
    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Nov 2012
    Thessalonike, The Byzantine Empire

    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    I read the Invisible Man, by H.G. Wells.

    Well, I suppose I expected something more... organized?
    The entire story is a mess. The revelation is a bit formulaic too, although it is the same thing which happens (more elegantly there, though) with Dr. Jekyll's own account of his strange predicament. Namely the Invisible Man (Mr. Griffin) presents his own story, speaking to a friend.
    But the entire story is a bit farcical. And not in a way which seems dramatic, in my view. The Invisible Man basically does nothing of importance, and is defeated by a rather boring stratagem, mostly because he is outrun and then lead to the village center where various people attack him.
    Also, I think I had read somewhere on the web that he actually died by being killed by dogs (which would indeed be a more interesting ending; now it seems he just dies on a bed, after being wounded by some people).
    The epilogue chapter is (imo) very bad.

    I did like the first few chapters (that is up to the point the Invisible Man is betrayed for what he is). But the pace should have been a lot different, I think.
    Λέων μεν ὄνυξι κρατεῖ, κέρασι δε βούς, ἄνθρωπος δε νῷι
    "While the lion prevails with its claws, and the ox through its horns, man does by his thinking"
    Anaxagoras of Klazomenae, 5th century BC

  8. #2868
    z3n's Avatar State of Mind
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    Aug 2011

    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    After a bit of a book drought, I discovered Amazons "Kindle Unlimited", hundreds of thousands of books to sate my appetite.

    I've found a few fantasy books I haven't read yet (shockingly)! Woohoo. Better spent money than subscribing to netflix.

    As a direct result I'm currently reading a little known author who wrote the "Beggar's Rebellion", relatively fun stuff and very well written. I'm surprised he's not more well known yet, his writing style is quite mature and definitely not weak. His writing and worldbuilding reminds me of the Malazan series, except slightly less complex and thought out, while better in other ways (it's hard to out-worldbuild that series due to the story behind the making of it).
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