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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 Still, many of the more obscure fronts lack any dedicated book, as many works are either too superficial or a bit outdated.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
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    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 05:32 PM.

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  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
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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.
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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.
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  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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    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.
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  8. #2868
    z3n's Avatar State of Mind
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    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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  9. #2869
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?



    Just finished this.
    It didn't restore my faith in Humanity




    Bleak subject, great artwork.




    Joker 1.0


  10. #2870

    Default

    They're damned good books -- from my memory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dejeyo View Post
    I've just finished the left one. I am reading right one at the moment.

    A damned good book. It reads incredibly smoothly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the Drunk Penguin View Post


    Just finished this.
    It didn't restore my faith in Humanity




    Bleak subject, great artwork.




    Joker 1.0
    Is G.R.R. Martin's non-Game-of-Thrones very good?
    I know he wrote Sci-fi, but, I've never read any. How would you summarise it? Obviously, it's very different from G.O.T.

    Enjoy reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    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).
    You like fantasy. Do you think much of Mr Brent Weeks?
    Last edited by z3n; October 12, 2019 at 02:22 PM. Reason: merged posts

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  11. #2871
    z3n's Avatar State of Mind
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    I did enjoy his books, especially the Night Angel trilogy. I tried to get into Lightbringer but it didn't have quite the same vibe sadly so I haven't read the latest one in the series yet.
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  12. #2872
    Lord of the Drunk Penguin's Avatar Praefectus
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Is G.R.R. Martin's non-Game-of-Thrones very good?
    It's basically the same thing, only with spaceships and lasers.
    Tuff Voyaging was his earlier work, so it kinda drags on.
    But Nightflyers was good & sinister.
    Enjoy.




    Good study on how not to conduct a war.
    Or an invasion.


  13. #2873

    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    I did enjoy his books, especially the Night Angel trilogy. I tried to get into Lightbringer but it didn't have quite the same vibe sadly so I haven't read the latest one in the series yet.
    Ah. Yes. The Lightbringer is markedly different to the Night Angel Trilogy. It took me a bit of getting used to it, but now I think that -- in some ways -- it's better than the N.A.T. Kip could do with acting more maturely though. Dazen Guile & Gavin Guile, & Andross Guile are very well-written.

    For sheer enjoyment, I'd probably side with the N.A.T. over The Lightbringer though.

    Can't wait for the last book though.

    Who's your favourite character in N.A.T.?

    Take care,

    -V

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the Drunk Penguin View Post
    It's basically the same thing, only with spaceships and lasers.
    Tuff Voyaging was his earlier work, so it kinda drags on.
    But Nightflyers was good & sinister.
    Enjoy.




    Good study on how not to conduct a war.
    Or an invasion.
    Ah. Okay. Thanks.
    I just looked on Wikipedia, and it said that he'd written a vampire novel: Fevre Dream.
    It sounds reasonably good, & I wondered if you had read it?
    Is there any romance in Nightflyers?

    Take care,

    -V

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  14. #2874
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Re-reading Handmaid's tale (read it in the 2000's, it has aged quite well) after reading The Testaments.

    This is typical Atwood. She's a real novelist, but stays strong when venturing into alternate futures (apparently she doesn't like to be called a sci-fi author, preferring "speculative fiction" as a genre title as there's no squids from space).

    The mode is familiar, split narratives with important past events being recalled as the "present" narrative unfolds (as in Oryx and Crake). Like Oryx and Crake the sequel is less strong and she ties off some bows in what amounts to mature fanservice. Still its a decent look mat a phoney theocracy and pretty much every detail has happened (a lot of it in Puritan New England). The stuff about diminished fertility and the US being its own greatest threat doesn't jar, it has stood the test of time.

    The Testaments gives a palette of views of the regime after the events of Handmaid, and makes a fist of demonstrating how societies reward and generate loyalty as well as the raw edge of oppression thats more prominent in Handmaid. The novel goes across the border more, and you see outside in as well as inside out.

    Attwood's not afraid of harsh feelings and personal cruelty and characters stumbling into their own weaknesses. Another familiar trope is barbed friendship transformed in different contexts.

    Read Testaments if you liked Handmaid, but its not a better book than the first, more a second look at the world.

    I'd love to see Oryx and Crake made into a series, now that would be a bloody harsh viewing.
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  15. #2875

    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    Re-reading Handmaid's tale (read it in the 2000's, it has aged quite well) after reading The Testaments.

    This is typical Atwood. She's a real novelist, but stays strong when venturing into alternate futures (apparently she doesn't like to be called a sci-fi author, preferring "speculative fiction" as a genre title as there's no squids from space).

    The mode is familiar, split narratives with important past events being recalled as the "present" narrative unfolds (as in Oryx and Crake). Like Oryx and Crake the sequel is less strong and she ties off some bows in what amounts to mature fanservice. Still its a decent look mat a phoney theocracy and pretty much every detail has happened (a lot of it in Puritan New England). The stuff about diminished fertility and the US being its own greatest threat doesn't jar, it has stood the test of time.

    The Testaments gives a palette of views of the regime after the events of Handmaid, and makes a fist of demonstrating how societies reward and generate loyalty as well as the raw edge of oppression thats more prominent in Handmaid. The novel goes across the border more, and you see outside in as well as inside out.

    Attwood's not afraid of harsh feelings and personal cruelty and characters stumbling into their own weaknesses. Another familiar trope is barbed friendship transformed in different contexts.

    Read Testaments if you liked Handmaid, but its not a better book than the first, more a second look at the world.

    I'd love to see Oryx and Crake made into a series, now that would be a bloody harsh viewing.
    A good summary of Ms Atwood Sir, and a good summary of her novel you are reading / have read.

    I myself could never get in to Atwood. I didn't like Handmaid's Tale. I found it boring, but, perhaps I ought to have persevered.
    I found 1984 boring, but, once I got half-way through, I bloody loved it, & am glad that I carried on reading it.

    Incidentally, Ms Atwood wrote a good essay about my favourite writer: George Orwell.

    Here it is, if you'd like to read it:

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...-orwell-atwood

    It's crazy that, when Margaret Atwood read Animal Farm, in 1948 -- aged nine -- George Orwell was still alive.

    Take care,

    -V

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  16. #2876

    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord of the Drunk Penguin View Post
    It's basically the same thing, only with spaceships and lasers.
    Tuff Voyaging was his earlier work, so it kinda drags on.
    I can't agree with you. Martin's Tuff book is nothing like his Game of Throne. I like his Tuff storiesz which were originally a set of independent stories he wrote at various times that were collected into one novel.

    Unlike the Game of Throne's cast of thousands, there is only one main character the stories are based on, and just a handful of supportinf characters are found in more than one story. It is nothing at all like the Game of Thrown, it is not nearly as violent. You don't see rapes, or kids being murders in it, not nearly as violent.

    Completely different from Game of Throne.

    But Nightflyers was good & sinister.
    Enjoy.
    Yes. That was good.

    Martin wrote a lot of good short science fiction stories. He had another series of short stories, called the Wild Card series, set in an alternate universe where post WW2 earth was infected with a virus that caused people to mutate in all kinds of strange and u predictable ways to, giving some people superhuman like powers, others into inhuman monstrousities. You sometimes see the same characters pop up in different stories, all set in the same universe.

  17. #2877

    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    [QUOTE=Vengeance208;15842106]They're damned good books -- from my memory.


    Is G.R.R. Martin's non-Game-of-Thrones very good?
    I know he wrote Sci-fi, but, I've never read any. How would you summarise it? Obviously, it's very different from G.O.T.
    I like his Sci-fi work, but it is a lot different than The Game of Thrones. A lot more PG, not as violent. Seemed geared for a younger audience, perhaps young adult? A lot of it was short stories set in the same universe, usually with one main character. Night Flyer was just a short novel, a novella, and while it has a romantic interest, no romance as such.
    Night Flyer has romantic interest, but no real romance I would say. Keep in mind his earlier work was all short stories or short novels.
    Last edited by Common Soldier; October 14, 2019 at 01:06 AM.

  18. #2878

    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    I can't agree with you. Martin's Tuff book is nothing like his Game of Throne. I like his Tuff storiesz which were originally a set of independent stories he wrote at various times that were collected into one novel.

    Unlike the Game of Throne's cast of thousands, there is only one main character the stories are based on, and just a handful of supportinf characters are found in more than one story. It is nothing at all like the Game of Thrown, it is not nearly as violent. You don't see rapes, or kids being murders in it, not nearly as violent.

    Completely different from Game of Throne.



    Yes. That was good.

    Martin wrote a lot of good short science fiction stories. He had another series of short stories, called the Wild Card series, set in an alternate universe where post WW2 earth was infected with a virus that caused people to mutate in all kinds of strange and u predictable ways to, giving some people superhuman like powers, others into inhuman monstrousities. You sometimes see the same characters pop up in different stories, all set in the same universe.
    Okay, thanks, that's a good explanation, & you're selling Martin's work.

    Is there much romance? I wouldn't suppose so, but thought I'd ask.

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Vengeance208 View Post
    They're damned good books -- from my memory.
    Did you quote this by mistake? It's 'crossed-out' because I wrote it by mistake, or it was irrelevant (I forget which, now).

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Soldier View Post
    I like his Sci-fi work, but it is a lot different than The Game of Thrones. A lot more PG, not as violent. Seemed geared for a younger audience, perhaps young adult? A lot of it was short stories set in the same universe, usually with one main character. Night Flyer was just a short novel, a novella, and while it has a romantic interest, no romance as such.
    Night Flyer has romantic interest, but no real romance I would say. Keep in mind his earlier work was all short stories or short novels.
    Ah, thanks. A good explanation.

    His works sound pretty good, & I'll add them to my list.

    Do any of his non-G.O.T. books, that you know of, have strong romantic themes?

    His Wild Card series -- introduced to me by Common Soldier -- sounds bloody good.

    Thanks very much,

    Take care,

    -V
    Last edited by Vengeance208; October 14, 2019 at 02:37 AM. Reason: Added relevant '[/QUOTE]'.

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  19. #2879

    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyriakos View Post
    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.
    It's good that you have an opinion on the book you've read. That might sound like a banal, or sarcastic comment (it is not), but it is surprising how many people don't have an opinion on things they have read.

    That's a pity. I was going to read some H.G. Wells, but, maybe I won't bother.

    Have you read anything else by him?

    -V

    -
    G. Ward


  20. #2880
    Kyriakos's Avatar Praeses
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    Default Re: What book are you currently reading?

    I read Arthur Machen's "The Red Hand". Only because someone in some webpage claimed it is among the best works of Machen.
    No, it is not. I found it to be quite problematic structure-wise. It does have some of the signature Machen atmosphere, but isn't as refined as his best stories.
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