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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment?

 
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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/20/2019 9:48:06 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

The British are Coming-the long-awaited first book in the revolutionary war trilogy by Atkinson. Very good read thus far (about the first quarter).


Just finished this. It's an absolutely excellent take on the first two years of the Revolutionary War, from before Lexington to Trenton and Princeton (1775-1777). Atkinson does an incredible job in going through British, Hessian, American and other letters, speeches to inflect personality and realism to the times. The battlefield descriptions are riveting and the major characters really come alive.

The battles of Concord and Lexington were actually exciting for me to read. The build up and the tension leading up to this pivotal moment in history were taut, suspenseful and emotional. Atkinson's writing puts you in a 'you were there' sort of third-person narrative.

It has the gravitas and tight prose that I would expect from a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. A great deal of documented research went into this work.

Its like saying goodbye to an old friend after a too-short visit. You're sad to see them go, but you know that you'll enjoy seeing them again in the near future. No word when book II is due.

< Message edited by Chickenboy -- 8/20/2019 9:52:44 PM >


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/21/2019 4:04:25 PM   
Boonierat1972


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Reading Hirohito's War: The Pacific War, 1941-1945 by Francis Pike and find it very good so far, curious to know what the WitP:AE crowd thinks about it.




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< Message edited by Boonierat1972 -- 8/21/2019 4:05:00 PM >


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/21/2019 7:35:35 PM   
aleavz

 

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The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 8/21/2019 8:40:24 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Boonierat1972

Reading Hirohito's War: The Pacific War, 1941-1945 by Francis Pike and find it very good so far, curious to know what the WitP:AE crowd thinks about it.





Sorry. Haven't read it. But I can tell you with reasonable certainty that the plane on that cover is an A6M3, not an A6M2, A6M3a or an A6M5b, c or d.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/6/2019 4:44:25 AM   
warspite1


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Still struggling through the book on Gorbachev.... In between times I've found myself picking at other books I've previously read and reading specific chapters. Having seen Rise of the Nazis (see film thread) I shall take Hitler and Stalin Parallel Lives (Bullock) to read on the train to work.

I need to get the Gorbachev book finished but my mind is wandering - as it always does - back home to WWII!

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/7/2019 1:02:40 PM   
wodin


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Audible has become a big thing for me these days.

I've just started listening to Child Thief by Brom. WOW it's a dark horror re imagining of Peter Pan. Excellent so far.

Book link

"The acclaimed artist Brom brilliantly displays his multiple extraordinary talents in The Child Thief—a spellbinding re-imagining of the beloved Peter Pan story that carries readers through the perilous mist separating our world from the realm of Faerie. As Gregory Maguire did with his New York Times bestselling Wicked novels, Brom takes a classic children’s tale and turns it inside-out, painting a Neverland that, like Maguire’s Oz, is darker, richer, more complex than innocent world J.M. Barrie originally conceived. An ingeniously executed literary feat, illustrated with Brom’s sumptuous artwork, The Child Thief is contemporary fantasy at its finest—casting Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, even Captain Hook and his crew in a breathtaking new light."

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/15/2019 5:00:26 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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I’ve just completed Colleen McCullough’s Master of Rome series of historical novels. There are seven novels:

The First Man in Rome
The Grass Crown
Fortune’s Favorites
Caesar’s Women
Caesar
The October Horse
Anthony and Cleopatra

A grand total of 4951 pages covering the 84 years of the end of the Roman Republic (from 110BC to 27BC). I don’t remember exactly when I started, but it took less than six months. Most I had read before, except for the last one. Traveling through them again was great fun. She really immerses you in Ancient Rome in its most fascinating period, with a long string of titans across the stage.

And the characterizations of the principle characters (Gaius Marius, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Marcus Licinius Crassus, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Antonius, and Gaius Octavius) are superb. (Although she clearly favors Caesar over all others, with Pompey & Anthony especially getting dumped on).

But the supporting cast is just as richly characterized (Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, Quintus Caecilus Metellus Numidicus, Publius Rutilius Rufus, Quintus Lutatius Catulus Caesar, Lucius Appuleius Saturninus, Quintus Sertorius, Quintus Servilius Caepio, Marcus Livius Drusus, Lucius Cornelius Cinna, Quintus Caecilus Metellus Pius, Lucius Licinius Luculus, Publius Clodius, Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, Marcus Porcius Cato, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Marcus Junius Brutus, Titus Labienus, Decimus Junius Brutus, Gaius Trebonius, Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, Lucius Julius Caesar, Gaius Cassius Longinus, and Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.

Principle women get fully fleshed out as well: Aurelia Cotta (Caesar’s Mother), Livia Drusa (Cato & Servilia’s Mother), Julia (Caesar’s Aunt), Julia (Caesar’s Daughter), Servilia (Mother of Brutus and Mistress of Caesar), Octavia (Octavius’s Sister), and Livia Drusilla (Octavius’s Wife).

And foreign enemies too: Jugurtha (Numidia), Boiorix (Cimbri), Mithradates VI (Pontus), Gaius Papius Mutilus (Samnites), Spartacus (Slave revolt), Vercingetorix (Gauls), Cleopatra and Caesarion (Egypt).

Yet all of that is just the tip of the ice berg. It’s literally a cast of thousands!

And battles all over the place: Arausio, Aquae Sextiae, Vercellae, Nola, Colline Gate, Carrhae, Alesia, Pharsalus, Philippi, and Actium, among many others. Rome was basically in the business of War, and it shows.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/18/2019 7:13:24 AM   
dengken

 

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i remmember i have read this book when i was young, it is fantastic book

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/18/2019 8:52:12 PM   
wodin


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Just listened to this audio book. Fantastic. Crazy Sci Fi mentalness.

Pandaemonium by Christopher Brookmyre

"The senior pupils of St Peter's High School are on retreat to a secluded outdoor activity centre, coming to terms with the murder of a fellow pupil through the means you would expect: counselling, contemplation, candid discussion and even prayer...not to mention booze, drugs, clandestine liaisons and as much partying as they can get away with.

Not so far away, the commanders of a top-secret military experiment, long-since spiralled out of control, fear they may have literally unleashed the forces of Hell. Two very different worlds are on a collision course, and will clash in an earthly battle between science and the supernatural, philosophy and faith, civilisation and savagery. The bookies are offering evens."


LINK

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/18/2019 9:00:32 PM   
wodin


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Recommend all these audible books

First World War: The Complete Collection: Voices from the BBC Archive (great actually listening to the voices of those whose memoirs you've read)

"A unique collection of authentic eyewitness accounts chronicling the events of the First World War from Sarajevo to the Armistice.

In this selection of historic recordings from the BBC Archives, British, French and American servicemen recall their harrowing experiences of the conflict. German officers also tell their stories, their misery palpable in defeat. Inevitably the horrors of the Western Front dominate and the battles of the Somme and Passchendaele evoke bitter memories. But the war was fought on many fronts - on land, at sea and in the air - its scope illustrated with reminiscences of Russia, Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, Palestine, the Austro/Italian line, the Battle of Jutland and the Royal Flying Corps' 'bloody' April of 1917.

Also included among the many memorable voices are participants from both sides of the Easter Rising, conscientious objectors defending their beliefs and women contemplating their lasting grief. With diplomats, politicians and poets offering a range of differing opinions, the honesty and intimacy of these recollections brings the period vividly to life.

This exclusive compilation concludes with a postscript on 1919 and the Treaty of Versailles, followed by a sequence of First World War poems read by Stephen Moore, Tim Pigott-Smith, Juliet Stevenson and Samuel West.."


LINK

Tommies: The Complete BBC Radio Collection

"A major BBC Radio 4 drama series following the lives of those on and behind the battlefront of World War I.

Meticulously based on unit war diaries and eyewitness accounts, each of these 42 episodes of Tommies traces one real day at war, exactly 100 years ago.

We follow the fortunes of Mickey Bliss and his fellow signallers from the Lahore Division of the British Indian Army as they experience life - and death - on the front line. Meanwhile, Dr Celestine de Tullio battles to save soldiers suffering from gas gangrene and trench fever - and experiences the fighting firsthand when she enlists in the Serbian Army and commands a dangerous offensive.

They are all cogs in an immense machine, one which connects situations across the whole theatre of the war, over four long years. Through their voices - and a host of others - we hear untold stories about the conflicts in Gaza, Gallipoli, Salonika, Serbia, Mesopotamia, Russia, Macedonia, Italy, Turkmenistan and Tanzania as well as on the Western Front.

Lee Ross, Pippa Nixon and Indira Varma are among the extensive cast of this gripping series, created by Jonathan Ruffle, who produced the acclaimed real-time radio dramatisation of Len Deighton's Bomber. Based on actual historical records, it paints a vivid portrait of daily life for soldiers and their families during 1914-1918 and sheds new light on the reality of the Great War. Also included is a bonus behind-the-scenes feature about the making of Tommies. "


LINK

Napoleon the Great A Roberts

LINK

I advise subscribe to AUdible. You can return a book whenever you fancy, so you can return after you've listened and go get a different book.

< Message edited by wodin -- 9/18/2019 9:02:35 PM >


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/20/2019 1:57:36 AM   
Greybriar


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Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 by Nathaniel Philbrick.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/20/2019 5:10:10 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dengken

i remmember i have read this book when i was young, it is fantastic book
warspite1

Hey, great story - tell us more.....


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/23/2019 5:44:41 PM   
Fantomas228

 

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Arab stories)

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/23/2019 10:26:42 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fantomas228

Arab stories)


i remmember i have read this book when i was young,it is fantastic book

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/24/2019 7:38:26 AM   
loki100


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So, got paid by a client at the same time as the Edinburgh Book festival was on, so went over and treated myself.

First up Tom Devine To the Ends of the Earth, a study on migration from Scotland from the 14C to date (though the prime focus is post 1750). Really first rate history writing, blends good hard data, detailed work in the censuses (both Scottish and external), converts several sacred cows into haggis. One of those books that you end up knowing far more at the end than you did at the start.

Gleefully takes Prebble's (Clearances/Colluden etc) lugubrious nonsense out for a really good kicking, and then returns in the conclusion just to finish it off.

Careful study of the reasons behind the different flows of migration (mostly by choice and linked to a combination of relatively low wages in Victorian Scotland and Scotland's odd land inheritance laws), how this saw both leaving and returning (incl in the mid-19C a period of regular seasonal labour in the USA) and the impact on the host countries. And yes, he covers the cruelty of the clearances but with that firmly put into perspective.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/24/2019 1:02:47 PM   
Saint Ruth


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin
Napoleon the Great A Roberts

That's a great book. I'm only half way through, but a great read.

< Message edited by Saint Ruth -- 9/24/2019 1:03:23 PM >

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/24/2019 3:33:48 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Fantomas228

Arab stories)


i remmember i have read this book when i was young,it is fantastic book
soojan

I like arAb friends) it is My stories


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/24/2019 3:52:33 PM   
warspite1


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So I finally finished Gorbachev. Not a page turner and, to be frank, a quite difficult read. The main problem is that I don't know enough detail about the situation at the time, the structure of the Soviet government and what exactly MG was trying to do (or even if he knew himself). This made following the story very difficult.

That said, the book was certainly not uninteresting and Gorbachev was trying to do a good thing - even if its not clear he really had what it took to achieve whatever it was he was trying to achieve! But then I am not sure anyone could - and a whole lot could have done it far, far worse.

His story perhaps provides an interesting 'what if' - I wonder if anyone has written such a thing - whereby no MG-type character existed (and it was left to just another Central Committee dinosaur to take decisions as the Soviet Union began to unravel) and instead of taking the road he did, the General Secretary at the time decided to fight for Eastern Europe and fight to keep the Soviet Union in place. Scary thought....

The book also brings up the question as to whether the west did enough to help MG (certainly given what he delivered). Interesting arguments for and against here.

Certainly glad I read it, but would want to read something more high level about the time before attempting another more detailed book in order to gain a better background understanding.



< Message edited by warspite1 -- 9/24/2019 3:55:15 PM >


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/24/2019 4:26:43 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

...
Certainly glad I read it, but would want to read something more high level about the time before attempting another more detailed book in order to gain a better background understanding.




I've a book by Kotkin (Armageddon Averted) on Soviet politics 1970-2000. It was written in 2001 so I suspect is now wrong about the details but it was interesting and informative. He basically starts with the question is why would a nuclear armed dictatorship allow itself to be abolished - not just a shift of power within the regime but state abolition?

His argument is that Gorbachev basically believed in the system and its notional goals. And in that lay the avoidance of a war as a means of lashing out but also his failure.

The failure came when he started to remove the CPSU from the government, in other words to allow the Soviet constitution to work (remember there were lots of elections and votes embedded in the system). What he didn't realise/fully grasp was this was akin to blowing up the Soviet state as unintended (by then) party/state were politically co-terminus. The argument is long and complex but I found it feasible.

The reason for not going out in a bunch of nuclear fireworks? Well its probable that some hard liners wanted this - if the August coup had worked then that may have become more feasible. Kotkin basically argues that Gorbachev had no interest in this, in his mind a reformed USSR would then beoome attractive again, in effect leading to a more political version of the old Soviet dream of wider expansion. For the other side, the chaos in August 1991 was such that they didn't realised their state was gone till it was gone.

One other little bit - and this fits the international political competition model. Gorbachev was the Soviet representative at Enrico Berlinguer's funeral even though at the time he was a fairly junior politician and Berlinguer had been leading the largest CP in the non-Soviet bloc. Basically Berlinguer had really miffed the orthodox but had set off some radical thinking among potential reformers. Pons (Berlinguer e la fine del communismo - sorry not sure if it was ever translated from Italian) develops this line of argument. Basically the PCI's eurocommunism set off the ideological basis for Gorbachev's political reforms.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/25/2019 12:57:02 AM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

So I finally finished Gorbachev.


I'm just curious when the book was written. If post-2010 or so, I'd be suspicious that the old revisionist tendencies of the old (and newer) Soviet...erm...Russian state had reared their heads again.

According to modern Putin-centric narratives, the collapse of the Soviet Union was an utter catastrophe. Boris Yeltsin was a complete stooge and Gorbachev misguided at the best or traitorous at the worst-allowing 'the West' to let the Soviet Union crumble while they enjoyed the show. Putin and Putinism is the modern savior and anything that counters that omniscient / omnipotence needs to be...well...rewritten.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/25/2019 1:00:25 AM   
USSAmerica


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

So I finally finished Gorbachev.


I'm just curious when the book was written. If post-2010 or so, I'd be suspicious that the old revisionist tendencies of the old (and newer) Soviet...erm...Russian state had reared their heads again.

According to modern Putin-centric narratives, the collapse of the Soviet Union was an utter catastrophe. Boris Yeltsin was a complete stooge and Gorbachev misguided at the best or traitorous at the worst-allowing 'the West' to let the Soviet Union crumble while they enjoyed the show. Putin and Putinism is the modern savior and anything that counters that omniscient / omnipotence needs to be...well...rewritten.


Always the Putin fanboi!

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/25/2019 6:08:26 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

So I finally finished Gorbachev.


I'm just curious when the book was written. If post-2010 or so, I'd be suspicious that the old revisionist tendencies of the old (and newer) Soviet...erm...Russian state had reared their heads again.

According to modern Putin-centric narratives, the collapse of the Soviet Union was an utter catastrophe. Boris Yeltsin was a complete stooge and Gorbachev misguided at the best or traitorous at the worst-allowing 'the West' to let the Soviet Union crumble while they enjoyed the show. Putin and Putinism is the modern savior and anything that counters that omniscient / omnipotence needs to be...well...rewritten.
warspite1

The book was written in 2017 I believe. But no, there are no 'revisionist tendencies'. In the final analysis its very much a pro-Gorbachev book but also appears balanced and is not afraid to criticise and question some of his decisions.

Because its a book about him - his life and times - its not a blow by blow account of the USSR 1985-1991, hence my comment about needing to have read more about the background before being able to properly evaluate the man himself and truly understand some of the things being written.

The main takeaways I personally have of this book - and I accept this is based on one book plus whatever I can recall from the papers at the time - is that:

- Gorbachev faced a mammoth task (the USSR was in a total mess)
- He wanted freedoms for the people and a better quality of life but didn't really know how to achieve it - he still believed in Communism (just not the awful version the USSR had cobbled together)
- The job - as was emphatically proven by Yeltsin - was too big and to succeed needed someone far more capable than either Yeltsin or Gorbachev.
- He was genuinely a man of peace who did not think going to war was the way to resolve issues
- The west, and the old Warsaw Pact countries, owe him a debt of gratitude. He could have handled the Eastern European countries and the unification of Germany very differently
- No one seems to have a definitive answer on whether he was responsible for sending troops into Lithuania, but given his previous MO I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.
- His relationship with his wife and family was touching and emphasises his humanity.


As for any commentary on Putin and the current regime, I will say nothing as that is modern day politics.


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 9/26/2019 4:12:42 PM   
warspite1


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Next up






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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 10/6/2019 10:36:11 AM   
warspite1


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Has anyone tried this? Could be interesting.....




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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 10/13/2019 1:07:14 AM   
Curtis Lemay


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Finished another Colleen McCullough historical novel. This one was The Song of Troy - about the Trojan War.

It covers the entire war, not just the Iliad (which I could never make much sense out of). She makes it much easier to understand. She takes one liberty with the tale: She postulates that the feud between Achilles and Agamemnon was a ploy hatched by Odysseus to get the Trojans out from behind their walls. And she further postulates that, while that ploy worked, it caused such loss and chaos for both sides, that they decided to keep it an eternal secret. Each chapter is told from the point of view of one of the principles - an interesting plot mechanism.

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 10/13/2019 9:02:26 AM   
Pvt_Grunt

 

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Midnight in Chernobyl. After watching the excellent series earlier this I wanted to read more.




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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 10/13/2019 2:07:28 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pvt_Grunt

Midnight in Chernobyl. After watching the excellent series earlier this I wanted to read more.



warspite1

Please let us know what you think - I would be interested in this.


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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 10/13/2019 4:37:22 PM   
Zorch

 

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From Arrian to Alexander: Studies in Historical Interpretation by A. B. Bosworth

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 10/15/2019 4:41:16 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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The British Are Coming by Rick Atkinson. First of a new 3-part trilogy on the American Revolution. He is the guy who wrote the Liberation Trilogy on WWII in the West from the invasion of North Africa to the surrender of Germany. I decided to read some history after going through several second-rate but very entertaining sci fi novels.

https://revolutiontrilogy.com/

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RE: What Book Are You Reading at the moment? - 10/15/2019 5:12:53 PM   
RangerJoe


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I wonder if he has anything about the Minutewomen who guarded a bridge and captured some Redcoats.

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