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  • #58456
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    Finished reading “With zeal and with bayonet only” which was fantastic.
    A super-thorough breakdown of British organization and tactics in North America.
    If you are interested in the revolutionary war at all, it’s a must.

    Also finished Haythornthwaites book on the English civil wars.
    A touch dry but I’ve read enough of him to find his style endearing and he always strives (strove? maybe he’s dead now) to have a lot of excerpts from period writings including a bit of amusing anecdotes.

    Good breakdowns of pike&shot tactics and a ton of colour drawings for the miniatures gaming inclined.

    Started “Swordsmen of the British empire” which is solid.
    The writing layout is a bit amateur I suppose and I’d have liked better spacing for readability, but the book is markedly higher quality than some books I’ve had from lulu in the past and the content is top notch.
    Just page after page of personal accounts of swords man ship organized to deal with particular topics in sequence.

    Roleplayers might find this of particular interest too.

    What have you lot been reading, nerd-related or otherwise?

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #58469
    zippyfusenet
    Participant

    Thanks for your post, I’ll pick up Zeal and Bayonet one of these days. And thanks for asking, I am a voracious reader.

    Recently finished:

    Kyle E. Zelner A Rabble in Arms, a study of the Massachusetts militia in King Phillip’s War. A bit dry, worth the trouble if you like 17th century North America. Establishes first that in KPW, most soldiers were pressed from civil life for active duty. Then examines in detail exactly who was pressed from several different towns, how they were selected, how they responded to the call-up, and what the outcome was for the soldiers, their families and their towns. Some surprises.

    Simon Armitage The Death of King Arthur. I thought I was buying a new translation of Mallory’s Morte de Arthur, but no, this is a different poem, the so-called Alliterative Death of Arthur. This one is curious on a couple of counts. It was written after the Norman conquest, in the early 1100s, but in Middle English rather than in Norman French, and in the alliterative poetic form rather than in rhyme. Although this is a very Anglo-Saxon poem, the hero is Arthur, King of the Britons and, um, scourge of the Saxons, wasn’t he? Translation is needed, Middle English is a foreign language to me. This is a *very* Anglo-Saxon poem, it seems older than the high middle ages. There is no courtly love at all, women hardly appear. It has nothing to do with the ‘historical’ Arthur, whoever he was. This epic is all about the noble lords, feasting and boozing and boasting and defying, hacking and spearing and spilling each others entrails, about who has the best gold-chased armor, the fanciest twinkly jeweled sword. It’s repetitious and tedious in parts and the alliteration is often contrived, but it read faster than I expected. You’ll like this if you’re an Anglo-Saxon buff.

    In progress:

    Peter G Tsouras Warlords of Ancient Mexico. Finally! A thorough, well-written popular history of the civilizations of Anahuac (the Valley of Mexico), starting with Teotihuacan and running through the Aztecs, told not in the National Geographic ‘we dug this up’ genre, but as a narrative history of the great conquering kings, their campaigns and the empires they built, and how they fell. Copiously illustrated, lots of color, including a series of paintings commissioned for this book. A+++. I gotta get busy painting my Aztecs and Tlaxcallans.

    James Boswell The Life of Samuel Johnson. I’m reading this one for penance. It’s taking a long time. Thank gawd this edition is abridged. It’s authentically 18th century, interminably 18th century. Recommended only for the hard core philosophe.

    Mark F. Seeman Cultural Variability in Context, Woodland Settlements of the Mid-Ohio Valley. A collection of academic papers from 1992, surveying recent archaeological results from my region. *Very* dry, but the individual papers are mercifully short, only 3 to 6 pages. Probably hard to get a copy – I bought mine from the Sunwatch Village gift shop. Recommended only for those who have an abiding interest in prehistoric American Indians, especially in the Ohio valley. This book will help me set up authentic settlements for my Raid the Smurf Village wargames. “Oh no! It’s Gargamelle!”

     

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by zippyfusenet.

    You'll shoot your eye out, kid!

    #58470
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing!

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #58481
    Alexander Wasberg
    Participant

    Right now I’m reading the Crimson Worlds series by Jay Allen.

    It’s a good read, starting out with a personal perspective of a marine in the armed forces of one of the great powers in the setting, and then broadens into a bigger scope of the greater conflict in space and on the ground.

    I’m on book 5 out of 9 right now, and by the 4th one I was really sold, it’s a great read!

    #58502
    Thuseld
    Participant

    Crimson Worlds has been one of the bigger recent inspirations to my wargaming. It sold me on Sci fi gaming. I have read the first 6 and am holding off on the final trilogy because I don’t want it to be over. Although I just discovered a new trilogy by him that is based on the same characters which I will also read.

    I love his world’s asthetic. I love how he deals with space combat.

    #58503
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Also finished Haythornthwaites book on the English civil wars. A touch dry but I’ve read enough of him to find his style endearing and he always strives (strove? maybe he’s dead now)

     

    He’s only 65 🙁

    And still breathing.

     

    I can’t be arsed with history lately, so I’m reading my way through Christopher Fowler’s Bryant and May stories. Bite me 🙂

     

     

    "I'm not signing that"

    #58504
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Reading (slowly) Philippe de Commynes memoirs straight through. I’ve been dipping in and out of them for bits of interest for scenarios and general information for about 35 years but I’ve never read them through. So I decided in fairness to the man I ought to have a go. Surprisingly modern- though I suspect a fair bit of that of that is the translator – the slowness is because of real life getting in the way rather than de Commynes fault.

    Picked up a copy of Shirley Jackson’s ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ last week and just started it. Slightly disappointed/irritated by the style initially. It’s a short book, only c150 pages and I should have read it through by now but I can’t care about any of the characters at the minute. I picked it up because it was recommended on ‘A Good Read’ on Radio 4 some months ago and I thought it sounded intriguing. I should have realised it was probably going to be problematic when they said it was an ideal read for a coming of age experience for a sixteen year old girl (which I’m not).

    Bryant and May – came across them in Fowler’s ‘Rune’ years ago and didn’t realise until much later that he had developed them in a very different direction. Rune was a sort of crossover with Fowler’s mystical/magical material. I read that he thought using Bryant and May in Rune was a mistake as he didn’t really see them in a world of the supernatural, however peripheral to their existence. I’m glad he didn’t re-write it, a la Stephen King, as I love it even though I can see it sits at odds with the ‘normal’ Bryant and May series.

    #58508
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Reading (slowly) Philippe de Commynes memoirs straight through. I’ve been dipping in and out of them for bits of interest for scenarios and general information for about 35 years but I’ve never read them through. So I decided in fairness to the man I ought to have a go. Surprisingly modern- though I suspect a fair bit of that of that is the translator – the slowness is because of real life getting in the way rather than de Commynes fault.

     

    Didn’t M R James mention de Commynes in one of his ghost stories? Not surprising I suppose, given that Monty was a medievalist

     

    Picked up a copy of Shirley Jackson’s ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ last week and just started it. Slightly disappointed/irritated by the style initially. It’s a short book, only c150 pages and I should have read it through by now but I can’t care about any of the characters at the minute. I picked it up because it was recommended on ‘A Good Read’ on Radio 4 some months ago and I thought it sounded intriguing. I should have realised it was probably going to be problematic when they said it was an ideal read for a coming of age experience for a sixteen year old girl (which I’m not).

    Her last novel. If you haven’t read Jackson before, try The Haunting of Hill House. It’s another slow burner, but worth the effort. Made into a film, The Haunting in 1963. A really creepy affair, where you don’t actually see any ghosts. Or do you?

    Bryant and May – came across them in Fowler’s ‘Rune’ years ago and didn’t realise until much later that he had developed them in a very different direction. Rune was a sort of crossover with Fowler’s mystical/magical material. I read that he thought using Bryant and May in Rune was a mistake as he didn’t really see them in a world of the supernatural, however peripheral to their existence. I’m glad he didn’t re-write it, a la Stephen King, as I love it even though I can see it sits at odds with the ‘normal’ Bryant and May series.

    A slightly bonkers octogenarian and his septuagenarian sidekick solve weird crimes in that London. A truly daft premise for series of detective novels. Fowler isn’t that good at plotting either, and makes an awful lot of continuity mistakes that his editors also seem to miss. Enjoyable waste of time though 🙂

     

    "I'm not signing that"

    #58683
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Just the digital/virtual books, need to look at the hard/paperback pile by my chair…

    Nook – Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell
    Audiobooks – Andersen’s Fairy Tales
    iBooks – The Hobbit (unabridged)
    Kindle – War if he Spanish Succession by James Falkner

    This does not include hardback or paperback books I am also reading of course.

    Edit: Finished the Thomas Sowell book this morning and found my book mark in Rickenbacker’s book so picking up there on the nook.

     

     

    #58725
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Getting to the end of a copy of John Prados’ “Pentagon Wargames” (HarperCollins 1987) I forgot I had. My previous book completed was Dudley Pope’s “Flag 4” (USNIP 2006) which I found oddly dull for such an intrinsically fascinating topic, coastal forces in the Med. Prior to that I polished off David Zabecki’s excellent “Steel Wind” (Praeger, 1994), a fine account not only of Bruchmuller’s artillery tactics, but also of the influence they subsequently had on the artillery doctrine of other major powers. At work I seem to have accidentally read practically the whole of Rosenberg and Dekel’s “Terminal Ballistics” (Springer, 2012) which I was tying to just dip into to extract a few key formulae, but I got distracted. I started Liddell-Hart’s “The Rommel Papers” (da Capo, undated) but drifted off a bit before France has even fallen properly. I may return to that first, or else continue the naval theme with one or other of the next two on my reading pile, Frederick Bell’s “Condition Red” (Uncommon Valor, undated) about destroyers in the Pactific or Mike Pearson’s “Red Sky in the Morning” (Pen and Sword, 2007) about the battle of the Barents Sea.

    All the best,

    John.

    #58727
    Ruarigh
    Participant

    Currently reading:

    Ashby, S. P. 2014. A Viking Way of Life. It’s turning out to be a really interesting look at combs in the Viking Age with some fascinating insights into gathering antler to make them, so far. The blurb suggests that he will get to the social meaning of combs later. If it continues as it begins, it could be an interesting insight into everyday existence. I’ll maybe report back after I have finished it.

    Next up:

    Rekdal, J. E. and Doherty, C. (Eds). 2016. Kings and Warriors in Early North-West Europe. It has an interesting range of Viking-related essays in it that I am looking forward to getting to grips with.

     

    Never argue with an idiot. They'll only drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    https://envirocitizen.eu
    https://emidsvikings.ac.uk/

    #61079

    Richard dawkins and Tony bath ancient wargaming.

    #61080
    Just Jack
    Participant

    I recently finished “Not A Good Day To Die,” about Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan, March 2002.  It’s really weird reading a book about something you were at (or at least it was for me).  In some cases the author is wrong, and I’m thinking “that’s not what happened, that’s not who was in charge of that unit, that’s not what the plan was,” in some cases he’s right, at least as far as my terrible memory goes, and sometimes it’s very eye opening.  Of course you really only know what you saw/experienced yourself, and there were quite a few things I was completely unaware of (I knew a helo had gone down, but I didn’t know the story of the whole “Robert’s Ridge” debacle until years later; I had my own problems at the time!), or had heard only pieces of (TF Dagger’s problems with the NA guys).  It was very interesting.

    Then I finished the first and am still working on the second book of a two-book series on a Marine Special Operations Team in the Bala Murghab (sp?) Valley, called “Level Zero Heroes” and “Dagger 22,” respectively.  The book is set in 2009, and while some of the issues they experienced are quite familiar, some are very much different.  The only constant is change, I guess…

    V/R,
    Jack

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