What NON- Civil War Books (Any genre) Are You Reading or Have Most Recently Read?

ewc

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#1
Sorry for the long-winded title. Just curious what non-Civil War related books folks are reading or have read lately? For me it would be Sir Ernest Shackleton's South, his account of his aborted Antarctic expedition stuck in the floes in 1914- 16. An heroic story, how he lost his ship crushed in the ice and saved his crew through great daring, courage, and sheer force of will. This is one not to be read in the wintertime unless you have a nice roaring fire close by. I also recently picked up a few Faulkner novels I hadn't read before, The Unvanquished I read in May, looking forward to reading Sanctuary & Go Down Moses this summer.
 

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#2
I usually have several going at once. Most interesting right now is Rommel and Patton... the author puts forth the idea that Rommel's command style would have done better with the Allies, and that Patton was more like a German in his command style. We'll see if the author can bear this out!

The last book I finished was Philip and Elizabeth, about the marriage of the Queen and Prince Philip. Well written but very gossipy, it appealed to my nosy mind and my streak of Anglophilia.

And of course the sweetest book I've read lately was Candy Freak by Steven Almond... one of the chapters featured the Idaho Candy Company, maker of my favorite candy bar, Idaho Spud!

Never without a book,
Zou
 

ole

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#3
Thanks for the question, Ed.

You've reminded me that I have a few novels I'd started but put aside. I'll round them up, along with Amar's American Constitution, and put them in a separate "to read" pile on the table by my reading chair. Just maybe I'll plan to re-read Robert Ardrey's trilogy.

Ole
 

matthew mckeon

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#4
I just finished "A H-ll of a Gamble" about the Cuban Missile Crisis. It takes advantage of the recent opening of the Soviet era archives to get insight into Khruschev's thinking, and Soviet goals in general. I was surprised both at how close to a large scale nuclear conflict we got, and how poorly each side understood the other.
 

samgrant

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#5
ewc said:
Sorry for the long-winded title. Just curious what non-Civil War related books folks are reading or have read lately? For me it would be Sir Ernest Shackleton's South, his account of his aborted Antarctic expedition stuck in the floes in 1914- 16. An heroic story, how he lost his ship crushed in the ice and saved his crew through great daring, courage, and sheer force of will. This is one not to be read in the wintertime unless you have a nice roaring fire close by. I also recently picked up a few Faulkner novels I hadn't read before, The Unvanquished I read in May, looking forward to reading Sanctuary & Go Down Moses this summer.
A great story also excellently told in Endurance by Alfred Lansing. I used to read it when a teenager only during the summer.

As for Faulkner, I find him too difficult to read. I have always wondered how his stuff might read had he been familiar with things such as commas and full stops and paragraphs.
 

mobile_96

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#7
Amerian history

Presently Reading "Witnessing American" from the Lib. of Congress. A book of firsthand accounts of life in American 1600-1900.
Gathered from diaries, letters, memoirs, court records, articles and more from the Lib. of Congress collection of first hand accounts of pioneers, schoolteachers, farmers and slaves who settled our country.
1 example.
Governor William Berkeley of Virginia in a letter written in 1671 to the Commissioners of Trade and Plantations in London.
"I thank God, we have not free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundreds of years. For learning has brought disobedience and heresy and sects into the wrold: and printing has divulged them and libels against the government. God keep us from both."

Chuck in IL.
 
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#9
At the moment I'm in the middle of Gary Wills's short (164 pp.) biography of James Madison, focusing on his presidency (the book is part of the American Presidents Series).

Probably not the best introduction to Madison, both because it reviews only briefly Madison's pre-presidential career and because Wills makes no attempt to be even-handed -- he pretty much rips Madison to shreds. But it's well-written, biting to the point of being humerous (the chapter I'm on is entitled "Foreign Affairs: Suckered Twice") and a great antidote to the many treatments of Madison that place him on High at the right hand of the Divine Jefferson (whom Wills also rakes over the coals).

Gary Wills, James Madison: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/08...104-2393479-0377556?s=books&v=glance&n=283155
 

gary

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#12
Sniper on the Eastern Front. If I hadn't read so much about sniping, I would be suspicious of the book. Sepp Alleberger's knowledge of sniping would either had to be gotten by extensive book reading or by actual experience. What helps Alleberger's credibility is the photo of him with his rifle. It's all too real. For instance, everyone should have known after the American Civil War that trees as hides offer no protection and once detected, it's buh-bye. Alleberger doesn't use a tree himself but the Russians did and he describes how he took out his Russian counterparts. His describes patience and how it saved him when he met his equal (he hunkered down and refused to show himself until darkness allowed his escape). It's a very graphic book that pulls no punches when it describes the atrocities committed during the war.
 

william42

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#13
Gary, how about the sniper in the bell tower scene in 'Saving Private Ryan"? I'm talking about the scene where the GI makes his way toward the tower, to just almost right underneath the German sniper up in the tower. The German finally spots his nemesis through his scope just a tad too late, just in time to take the GI's round right through his scope, into his eye IIRC. Spielberg even put in the sound effects for the German snipers scope glass shattering on impact. Was that real or what? I thought it was, by I've never been in that position.

Terry
 

ole

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#14
Minor detail, Terry, but I thought it a touch of ironic realism that the sniper jacked his bolt with his left hand. His rifle? M03-A3. Probably with a star barrel and some extra bedding. The 30-06 is still in use, unless they've gone to the .308. Remington 70 action, a smith's loving attention and you have a tack-driver.
Ole
 

william42

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#15
Well, I'm not that familiar with those firearms, and I didn't notice the left hand bolt jack. That is pretty unique isn't it? Every bolt action I've every fired had the bolt on the right IIRC. It seems unusual that the GI used his left hand on it. Did you catch when the German has the GI in his sights, and the camera is using his scope as the point of view? He sights down on the GI but before he can fire his weapon, he sees the GI already has drawn a bead on him. Then you see an orange spark from the GIs rifle barrel, and a delayed bang, just a half second before the German was going to fire. And you see it all happen through the Germans scope. The German takes the bullet in his sight eye, right thru the glass.That was too cool. Spielberg really took care with the details. Of course, he had a lot of WWII vets who advised him on that film, and they knew of what they were speaking.

Terry
 

ole

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#16
Have memorized that scene. Putting a round in a 1" bull at 2 or 300 yards is expected of a sniper. Most can do better. Especially enjoyed the kraut's panning. Scope the scene slowly. What's that? Scoot back. Holy sh----.
Ole
 
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#18
I just finished "The Voyage of the Vizcaina: The Mystery of Christopher Columbus's last ship". It's about the discovery of an ancient shipwreck off the coast of Portobelo, Panama. The ship, thought to be the Vizcaina from Columbus' fourth voyage to the New World, is in 20 feet of water and appears to be from before 1509 due to a lack of lead sheathing.
 
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#19
I just got done with; Tom Horn, last of the bad men by Jay Monaghan, Crazy horse and Custer by Stephen Ambrose, and I'm currently reading Holy Road by Michael Blake. The last is the sequel to Dances With Wolves and no I never did read the book, but they are Commanchees not Sioux like in the movie! This kinda irked me at first but hopefully I'm over it now. Great thread!
-Jesse
 

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