What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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gkaplan
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:18 pm

This morning, I finished reading Prussian Blue: a Bernie Gunther Novel by Philip Kerr.

It's 1956, and Bernie Gunther is on the run. Ordered by Erich Mielke, head of the East German Stasi, to murder an acquaintance of his by thallium poisoning, he finds his conscience is stronger than his desire not to be murdered in turn. Now he must stay one step ahead of Mielke's retribution.

The man Mielke has sent to hunt him is an ex-Kripo colleague. As Bernie pushes towards Germany he recalls their last case together: in 1939, summoned by Reinhard Heydrich to the Berghof: Hitler's mountain home in Obersalzberg. A low-level German bureaucrat had been murdered, and the Reichstag deputy Martin Bormann, in charge of overseeing renovations to the Berghof, wants the case solved quickly. If the Fuhrer were ever to find out that his own house had been the scene of a recent murder, the consequences wouldn't bear thinking about.

So begins perhaps the strangest of Bernie Gunther's adventures, for although several countries and seventeen years separate the murder at the Berghof from his current predicament, Bernie will find there is some unfinished business awaiting him in Germany.

This was very good. It may be the best in the Bernie Gunther series. In fact, I think it is.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by katwillny » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:31 pm

Just picked up Jason Kelly's "Neatest little guide to stock market investing" and Spencer Jakab's Heads I win, Tails I Win". Will start reading tomorrow night.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:37 pm

Am starting on thrillers recommended in a recent BH thread. The plan is to read two books from each of several seleted authors to determine if I want to continue with the author/series.

Am currently reading David Ignatius's The Director, a modern spy/Langley thriller. It's hard to put down. Graham Weber, an ex tech CEO with no Government/intel experience is brought into the CIA as an agent of change -- to bring the agency into the 21st Century, and to clean-up the agency after a corrupt predecessor. Weber is confronted immediately with a crisis -- the CIA's communications networks have been hacked, which may involve an insider. Weber, who is astute despite his lack of intel and bureaucratic experience, devises ways to figure out who to trust and runs "stress tests" to smoke out traitors. There's lot of good local color on the European hacker underground. The book rings with authenticity, probably because the author is a journalist with the Washington Post who covers national security issues.

I recently finished The Inspector and Silence by Hakan Nesser. I think the series will be good, but this was not the best intro since Inspector Van Veeteren was not working with his normal detectives. The detectives did not seem to know how to investigate a case, which was a bit frustrating at times. The plot dealt with a religious cult in the forest for prepubescent girls, called "Pure Life", with a messianistic leader and a trail of bodies.

I started Frederick Forsyth's Day of the Jackal prior to the thriller thread, but realized it requires more attention than I had given it, so I'll start it again from the beginning at a later date.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ddurrett896 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:45 am

Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns

Excellent book - every American should read.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Minot » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:17 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns

<snip>
By Glenn Beck

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by heartwood » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:29 pm

The Secret Place by Tana French. It's the 5th book in her Dublin Murder Squad series. I've read the previous ones and enjoyed each. I'll admit to having to google some of the Irish idioms used occasionally, several teaching me new words for private parts. As well as reminding me of that phrase "and Bob's your uncle."

As jebmke noted previously "I have read all the Tana French novels. Each one introduces a new character who becomes the main character in the next novel. In that respect, they are best read in sequence."

I've got the 6th (and most recent) book queued up after this one.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ddurrett896 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 7:59 pm

Minot wrote:
ddurrett896 wrote:Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns

<snip>
By Glenn Beck
Correct. Here's the link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1476739870/re ... szbJ7H1VAR

LeeInTN
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LeeInTN » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:55 pm

"Thou Art That" - Joseph Campbell

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:18 pm

Yesterday, I finished reading Gone: a Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung by Min Kym.

This is a memoir of a violin virtuoso who loses the instrument that had defined her both on stage and off – and who discovers, beyond the violin, the music of her own voice.

The memoir is sad and very tragic. It will resonate with musicians and music lovers alike.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:07 pm

katwillny wrote:Just picked up Jason Kelly's "Neatest little guide to stock market investing" and Spencer Jakab's Heads I win, Tails I Win". Will start reading tomorrow night.
I read Heads I Win, Tails I Win and really liked it. Jakab, a WSJ columnist and former top stock analyst, has written a very good Boglehead-type book basically about the "behavior gap," but also with humorous examples of people, including his plumber and some of his relatives, pushing him for stock tips no matter how many times he tells them he can't help them.

Especially loved the book's opening line: "Hey, good-looking."
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:54 am

I'm almost done with Rules of Prey by John Sandford. It's the first in the Minnesota-based Lucas Davenport cop series and is way grittier and swearwordy than expected. I did get a laugh though since the bit about swear words is a common complaint and the author's son has done a statistical study of the number of swear words in the Prey novels. Overall, I didn't find any of the characters particularly likeable and there wasn't much suspense (until near the end) but I understand the later books in the series are better.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Christine_NM » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:44 am

I'm reading American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal, pub. 2016.

Basically, it explains why there are so many medical billing questions on this forum. So far I have read about the MBAifying of doctors, hospitals, pharma, and medical devices. I have not got to the solutions part yet.

It shows how thoroughly the model of healthcare that we of a certain age grew up with has been taken apart. I knew about a lot of the changes, and I watched as my old nursing school in New Haven was demolished for a cancer center, and the nearest small hospital in Albuquerque also became a cancer center. These changes are purely business decisions according to this book.

Perhaps medical devices companies are the worst offenders for lack of regulation and lack of accountability to patients. But there is a lot of blame to go around.

It's well written with plenty of supporting data and only a few anecdotes to make the statistics come down to earth.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:55 am

Steven Brill has done quite a bit of writing on this subject as well.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by FreeAtLast » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:37 pm

"Embrace An Angry Wind" by Wiley Sword (HarperCollins 1992).

Sword was a top-notch, highly respected "amateur" historian and this tome may have been his best work. If you are going to truly comprehend the totality of the Civil War (CW), then you must drag yourself away from the saga of the Army of the Potomac vs. the Army of Northern Virginia and study the important battles of the West. As the CW was approaching its climax, John Bell Hood decided - with Richmond's approval - to make a strong incursion into Tennessee towards Nashville, with the hope of forcing Sherman's army to pursue him (and give up its rampage through the coastal states of the Confederacy). Hood commanded the Confederate Army of the Tennessee, which while always hungry and often barefoot, remained a spirited and powerful force that had to be respected by the opposing Federal Army of George Thomas and John Schofield..

What happened next is still hard to believe. Hood (and his subordinate generals) missed one of the golden military opportunities of all time by failing to destroy a large part of the retreating Union Corps at Spring Hill. He then rashly decided to attack them head-on after they had firmly entrenched and fortified themselves at Franklin. The result was a debacle for Hood's dedicated and courageous troops, with very high casualties and the loss of twelve Confederate generals killed, wounded, or captured. Hood then chose use the remainder of his severely damaged Army to attempt a siege of Nashville. In another disaster for the South, the very capable George Thomas and his men attacked out of the incomplete siege and essentially destroyed what was left of the once proud Confederate Army of the Tennessee.

This history is richly detailed and footnoted. Some of it is definitely not "easy reading", as Sword takes particular care in faithfully describing the agonies and horrors of a CW battlefield. For those who may obsess about the supposed "Glory" of CW combat (or any combat for that matter), those descriptions should be a brutal tonic. I borrowed this book from my public library, but I believe it is so comprehensive and well-written that I will probably purchase a copy to add to my military bookshelf.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:12 pm

Just finished The Fall by John Lescroart, the latest legal drama in the San Francisco-based Dismas Hardy series. Hardy's daughter, Rebecca (The Beck), is a new associate in his law firm and is handling her first murder case, a high-profile case that involves a young black woman thrown off a tunnel. The case is entwined in politics as the city wants a conviction involving the killer of an African-American to finally stick. The police eagerly settle on a young white male as suspect without much further investigation, and the case is rushed to trial. The Beck has good courtroom instincts but may be a little naive about her client, who seems innocent of the killing but lied to the police on some important things. There are some interesting twists near the end.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:33 am

FreeAtLast wrote:"Embrace An Angry Wind" by Wiley Sword (HarperCollins 1992).

Sword was a top-notch, highly respected "amateur" historian and this tome may have been his best work. If you are going to truly comprehend the totality of the Civil War (CW), then you must drag yourself away from the saga of the Army of the Potomac vs. the Army of Northern Virginia and study the important battles of the West. . . . .
I completely agree. Ft.Donaldson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chicamaugua, Chattanooga, Kennesaw Mountain, Atlanta, etc. were fully as important as anything that happened in the East.

Thank you for the book suggestion.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by book lover » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:03 am

American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt For The Criminal Mastermind Behind Silk Road by Nick Bilton
The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales Of Life On The Road by Finn Murphy
Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History Of The Cowboy West by Christopher Knowlton
Dinner With DiMaggio: Memories Of An American Hero by Rock Positano
A Fine Mess: A Global Quest For A Simpler, Fairer, And More Efficient Tax System by T.R. Reid
Ernest Hemingway: A Biography by Mary Dearborn
Killers Of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI by David Grann

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:38 pm

William Tecumseh Sherman: in the service of his country, by James Lee McDonough.

This biography covers more than the Civil War. The book also covers his Army service before and after the war, as well as his private life, his youth, and his years in retirement. I was not aware that all his life he suffered severe asthma, had financial difficulties from his wife's spending, and sometimes had a troubled marriage.

I recommend this book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by rakornacki1 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:01 am

The Generals by Winston Grooms.
A very good review of three great heros who won World War II, Generals MacArthur, Patton & Marshall. Truly inspiring.
I am, however, saddened that Grooms did not include General of the Armies Eisenhower as one of the primary Generals.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:27 am

The Black Widow, Daniel Silva. Always like a good Gabriel Allon story but his last few have been formulaic and predictable. In this one, like Vince Flynn he could not resist injecting his personal political views into the story line. This will be my last one.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:18 pm

This morning I finished reading Dead Letters, which centers around a missing woman who leads her twin sister on a twisted scavenger hunt. Caite Dolan-Leach is the author.

This was a great read. I decided to read the book after seeing a review in Library Journal, which gave it a starred-review. (Publishers Weekly also gave it a starred-review.) Some have compared the book to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, which I have also read, but I think Dead Letters is much better. I posted a review on this book on Amazon. I also posted a review on Google Books. I tried to post this on Goodreads, but Goodreads would not accept my login credentials, and when I tried to sign up to get a new account, Goodreads said that they already have an account with my email address, so I don’t know what’s going on. I also posted my review on my library's website, where I borrowed the book. I rarely post reviews, no matter how good (or bad). I posted my review for Dead Letters, because I thought the Dead Letters was that good.

I went to the author’s website, because I wanted to let her know how much I liked the book and request that she add Portland to her tour schedule, but she does not have an email link on her website, just an email link for her publishers, for media inquiries, and so on.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by dia » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:52 pm

I am a WWII freak and the only books I read (aside from investing books) are historical accounts from the WWII era. I probably read 10 -12 historical books a year on the subject.

I just finished one of the best true accounts of what life was like for the average family in Germany in the 1940s as their country is taken over by monsters. The book is "German Boy: A Child in War by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel. Amazing account of life during the war through the eyes of a boy trying to make sense of what's happening around him. Amazing German boy that grows up to become an amazing American. Strongly recommend it.

Always looking for recommendations on historical accounts -- I've read a ton, but there's a lot more to discover I'm sure.
Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. --Winston Churchill

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:37 am

"Prayers for Rain" by Dennis Lehane
Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro seres

Kenzie and Gennaro, PIs, investigate the death of a woman who jumped off the Boston Customs Building. She was a former client and appeared cheerful just six months ago. During the investigation it becomes clear the woman changed drastically during that short time in both temperament and sexual behavior. Tracking the psychological changes leads to secrets, deceptions and an ambitious plot by some clever people. The plot, characters, and writing were all excellent. My only nit is that the book was too long. The second half could have been cut by half or more.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:18 pm

dia wrote:I am a WWII freak and the only books I read (aside from investing books) are historical accounts from the WWII era. I probably read 10 -12 historical books a year on the subject.

I just finished one of the best true accounts of what life was like for the average family in Germany in the 1940s as their country is taken over by monsters. The book is "German Boy: A Child in War by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel. ...

Always looking for recommendations on historical accounts -- I've read a ton, but there's a lot more to discover I'm sure.
Two excellent articles about what it was like just before and during WWII were written back then for The New Yorker. One, titled “Paris Postscript” and dated August 1940, is by A.J. Liebling on the fall of France as the Germans neared Paris. The other, “Letter From London” dated September 14, 1940, is by Mollie Panter-Downes writing about the Blitz. These, plus several more articles about the war, appear in a book by the New Yorker, The 40s: The Story of a Decade. The detailed, understated writing styles about daily fear, horror, and death have the effect of putting a reader in the midst of it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:26 pm

dia wrote:I am a WWII freak and the only books I read (aside from investing books) are historical accounts from the WWII era. I probably read 10 -12 historical books a year on the subject.

I just finished one of the best true accounts of what life was like for the average family in Germany in the 1940s as their country is taken over by monsters. The book is "German Boy: A Child in War by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel. Amazing account of life during the war through the eyes of a boy trying to make sense of what's happening around him. Amazing German boy that grows up to become an amazing American. Strongly recommend it.

Always looking for recommendations on historical accounts -- I've read a ton, but there's a lot more to discover I'm sure.
Are you interested in accounts by and about those conducting the war as opposed to those affected by it? If so I can provide a few good candidates for you, mostly from Great Britain. They seem to have written more about it than anyone else.

I also can recommend similar books about WWI.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke » Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:25 pm

azurekep wrote:"Prayers for Rain" by Dennis Lehane
Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro seres

Kenzie and Gennaro, PIs, investigate the death of a woman who jumped off the Boston Customs Building. She was a former client and appeared cheerful just six months ago. During the investigation it becomes clear the woman changed drastically during that short time in both temperament and sexual behavior. Tracking the psychological changes leads to secrets, deceptions and an ambitious plot by some clever people. The plot, characters, and writing were all excellent. My only nit is that the book was too long. The second half could have been cut by half or more.
the Kenzie and Gennaro series were early in Lehane's career and he was developing as a writer. They are good stories but the writing was uneven and, as you note, sometimes not well edited. Later books, Mystic River onward were really his breakout as an author. The Given Day is probably the best work he has ever produced.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dave55 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:20 pm

Just finished "The Force" by Don Winslow. Gripping page turner. Outstanding story of an elite New York City police detective and his partners. Police and political corruption intertwined in a magnificent plot. Highly recommended.
Enjoy,
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by dia » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:01 pm

bertilak wrote:
dia wrote:I am a WWII freak and the only books I read (aside from investing books) are historical accounts from the WWII era. I probably read 10 -12 historical books a year on the subject.

I just finished one of the best true accounts of what life was like for the average family in Germany in the 1940s as their country is taken over by monsters. The book is "German Boy: A Child in War by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel. Amazing account of life during the war through the eyes of a boy trying to make sense of what's happening around him. Amazing German boy that grows up to become an amazing American. Strongly recommend it.

Always looking for recommendations on historical accounts -- I've read a ton, but there's a lot more to discover I'm sure.
Are you interested in accounts by and about those conducting the war as opposed to those affected by it? If so I can provide a few good candidates for you, mostly from Great Britain. They seem to have written more about it than anyone else.

I also can recommend similar books about WWI.
I read all books in the WWII era--accounts by those conducting as well as affected. There are many stories to tell--that need to be heard. I've read the Albert Speer books, holocaust survivor accounts, some british accounts, polish accounts etc etc. I would certainly be happy to hear your suggestions as I am positive there are many many stories I haven't heard. The WWI era would be interesting as well--I have read some but not nearly the volume I have read of WWII. Thank you.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by dia » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:08 pm

Fallible wrote:
dia wrote:I am a WWII freak and the only books I read (aside from investing books) are historical accounts from the WWII era. I probably read 10 -12 historical books a year on the subject.

I just finished one of the best true accounts of what life was like for the average family in Germany in the 1940s as their country is taken over by monsters. The book is "German Boy: A Child in War by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel. ...

Always looking for recommendations on historical accounts -- I've read a ton, but there's a lot more to discover I'm sure.
Two excellent articles about what it was like just before and during WWII were written back then for The New Yorker. One, titled “Paris Postscript” and dated August 1940, is by A.J. Liebling on the fall of France as the Germans neared Paris. The other, “Letter From London” dated September 14, 1940, is by Mollie Panter-Downes writing about the Blitz. These, plus several more articles about the war, appear in a book by the New Yorker, The 40s: The Story of a Decade. The detailed, understated writing styles about daily fear, horror, and death have the effect of putting a reader in the midst of it.
Excellent! I haven't read "The 40s: Story of a Decade" sounds like a great read---I just put a hold on it at my local library. Thank you.
Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. --Winston Churchill

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by reggiesimpson » Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:25 pm

Old School
by Bill O'reilly.
Gone but certainly not forgotten.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:56 pm

dia wrote:I would certainly be happy to hear your suggestions as I am positive there are many many stories I haven't heard. The WWI era would be interesting as well--I have read some but not nearly the volume I have read of WWII. Thank you.
(Comments.descriptions mostly cut from Amazon page for each book.)

WW II
  • Strange Defeat by Marc Bloch -- A renowned French historian and Resistance fighter ― later executed by the Nazis ― analyzes at first hand why France fell in 1940.
  • Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945 by Leo Marks -- Soon recognized as a cryptographer of genius, Marks became head of communications at the Special Operations Executive (SOE), where he revolutionized the codemaking techniques of the Allies and trained some of the most famous agents dropped into occupied Europe.
  • No Cloak, No Dagger by Benjamin Cowburn -- Explains the methods of special agents who were dropped into France during the war and the ways that agents would set about establishing secure networks with the French Resistance
  • SOE The Special Operations Executive 1940-46 by M. R. D. Foot – Recruited from remarkably diverse callings, the men and women who were members of this most secret agency in the Second World War lived in great and constant danger. The people Leo Marks supported.
  • Enigma: The Battle for the Code by Hugh Sealy-Montifiore -- Relates the never-before-told, hair-raising stories of the heroic British and American sailors, spies, and secret agents who faced death in order to capture vital codebooks from sinking ships and snatch them from under the noses of Nazi officials.
  • The Double Cross System by J. C. Masterman -- The amazing true story of how British intelligence penetrated and practically operated Nazi Germany's spy network within the British Isles.
  • Great Escapes: The Story of MI9's Second World War Escape and Evasion Maps by Barbara A. Bonds – More than just the maps, but also about those who created and used them.
  • Abduction of a General: the Kreipe Operation and SOE in Crete by Patrick Leigh Fermor – Fermor was described by the BBC as 'a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene'. SOE operations in WWII Crete from one who was there. The Germans controlled Crete. The British captured the top German in Crete! An Agatha Christie book even plays a part.
  • Ill Met by Moonlight by W. Stanley Moss and Patrick Leigh Fermor – How Fermor was infiltrated into Crete.
  • Hide and Seek: The Story of a Wartime Agent by Xan Fielding. More on the SOE operations in WWII Crete from another who was there.
  • The Cretan Runner: His story of the German Occupation by George Psychoundakis, Patrick Leigh Fermor translator and introduction -- The story from the point of view of a twenty-one-year-old shepherd and member of the Cretan resistance. “Runners” were used to pass messages between the various allied forces and local resistance fighters on the island.
WW I
  • The Zimmerman Telegram by Barbara W. Tuchman -- The Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message to the president of Mexico, inviting him to join Germany and Japan in an invasion of the United States. This is the story of how Britain managed to inform the American government without revealing that the German codes had been broken.
  • Revolt in the Desert by T. E. Lawrence. A shortened and more readable version of Lawrence’s famous Seven Pillars of Wisdom about the Arabs (British allies) against the Turks (German allies) during World War I under Lawrence's leadership. Yes, they DO blow up trains.
  • Mission to Tashkent by Colonel F. M. Bailey. This is a firsthand account of the experiences of a British "secret agent" in Central Asia during WW I. It was mostly written in 1924, shortly after the events described and first published in 1946 after its contents were declassified by the government. Tashkent is in central Asia -- still a hot-spot today.
  • Memoirs of a British Agent by R. H. Bruce Lockhart. A British attaché in Russia Before and during the Bolshevik Revolution, and therefore WWI.
Last edited by bertilak on Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:48 pm

jebmke wrote:
azurekep wrote:"Prayers for Rain" by Dennis Lehane
Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro seres

Kenzie and Gennaro, PIs, investigate the death of a woman who jumped off the Boston Customs Building. She was a former client and appeared cheerful just six months ago. During the investigation it becomes clear the woman changed drastically during that short time in both temperament and sexual behavior. Tracking the psychological changes leads to secrets, deceptions and an ambitious plot by some clever people. The plot, characters, and writing were all excellent. My only nit is that the book was too long. The second half could have been cut by half or more.
the Kenzie and Gennaro series were early in Lehane's career and he was developing as a writer. They are good stories but the writing was uneven and, as you note, sometimes not well edited. Later books, Mystic River onward were really his breakout as an author. The Given Day is probably the best work he has ever produced.
Good to know. While reading the first half, I was prepared to write that of the new (to me) thriller authors, this was my favorite. But once into the second half, I was just thinking "this needs to end". :)

Still thought it was excellent, so I look forward to reading his more seasoned works.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by The Woodbutcher » Thu Jun 29, 2017 7:24 pm

I just finished A Speck in the Sea about a Montauk fisherman an who fell overboard in the Atlantic and......great read

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by dia » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:27 pm

bertilak wrote:
dia wrote:I would certainly be happy to hear your suggestions as I am positive there are many many stories I haven't heard. The WWI era would be interesting as well--I have read some but not nearly the volume I have read of WWII. Thank you.
(Comments.descriptions mostly cut from Amazon page for each book.)

WW II
  • Strange Defeat by Marc Bloch -- A renowned French historian and Resistance fighter ― later executed by the Nazis ― analyzes at first hand why France fell in 1940.
  • Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945 by Leo Marks -- Soon recognized as a cryptographer of genius, Marks became head of communications at the Special Operations Executive (SOE), where he revolutionized the codemaking techniques of the Allies and trained some of the most famous agents dropped into occupied Europe.
  • No Cloak, No Dagger by Benjamin Cowburn -- Explains the methods of special agents who were dropped into France during the war and the ways that agents would set about establishing secure networks with the French Resistance
  • SOE The Special Operations Executive 1940-46 by M. R. D. Foot – Recruited from remarkably diverse callings, the men and women who were members of this most secret agency in the Second World War lived in great and constant danger. The people Leo Marks supported.
  • Enigma: The Battle for the Code by Hugh Sealy-Montifiore -- Relates the never-before-told, hair-raising stories of the heroic British and American sailors, spies, and secret agents who faced death in order to capture vital codebooks from sinking ships and snatch them from under the noses of Nazi officials.
  • The Double Cross System by J. C. Masterman -- The amazing true story of how British intelligence penetrated and practically operated Nazi Germany's spy network within the British Isles.
  • Great Escapes: The Story of MI9's Second World War Escape and Evasion Maps by Barbara A. Bonds – More than just the maps, but also about those who created and used them.
  • Abduction of a General: the Kreipe Operation and SOE in Crete by Patrick Leigh Fermor – Fermor was described by the BBC as 'a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene'. SOE operations in WWII Crete from one who was there. The Germans controlled Crete. The British captured the top German in Crete! An Agatha Christie book even plays a part.
  • Ill Met by Moonlight by W. Stanley Moss and Patrick Leigh Fermor – How Fermor was infiltrated into Crete.
    Hide and Seek: The Story of a Wartime Agent by Xan Fielding. More on the SOE operations in WWII Crete from another who was there.
  • The Cretan Runner: His story of the German Occupation by George Psychoundakis, Patrick Leigh Fermor translator and introduction -- The story from the point of view of a twenty-one-year-old shepherd and member of the Cretan resistance. “Runners” were used to pass messages between the various allied forces and local resistance fighters on the island.
WW I
  • The Zimmerman Telegram by Barbara W. Tuchman -- The Zimmermann telegram was a top-secret message to the president of Mexico, inviting him to join Germany and Japan in an invasion of the United States. This is the story of how Britain managed to inform the American government without revealing that the German codes had been broken.
  • Revolt in the Desert by T. E. Lawrence. A shortened and more readable version of Lawrence’s famous Seven Pillars of Wisdom about the Arabs (British allies) against the Turks (German allies) during World War I under Lawrence's leadership. Yes, they DO blow up trains.
  • Mission to Tashkent by Colonel F. M. Bailey. This is a firsthand account of the experiences of a British "secret agent" in Central Asia during WW I. It was mostly written in 1924, shortly after the events described and first published in 1946 after its contents were declassified by the government. Tashkent is in central Asia -- still a hot-spot today.
  • Memoirs of a British Agent by R. H. Bruce Lockhart. A British attaché in Russia Before and during the Bolshevik Revolution, and therefore WWI.
Excellent! A lot of amazing material here-- already started seeking out some of these! Thank you.
Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. --Winston Churchill

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by reggiesimpson » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:04 pm

dia wrote:I am a WWII freak and the only books I read (aside from investing books) are historical accounts from the WWII era. I probably read 10 -12 historical books a year on the subject.

I just finished one of the best true accounts of what life was like for the average family in Germany in the 1940s as their country is taken over by monsters. The book is "German Boy: A Child in War by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel. Amazing account of life during the war through the eyes of a boy trying to make sense of what's happening around him. Amazing German boy that grows up to become an amazing American. Strongly recommend it.

Always looking for recommendations on historical accounts -- I've read a ton, but there's a lot more to discover I'm sure.
With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge. By far and away the finest book I have ever read on the war in the Pacific....or anywhere else for that matter!

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Ruger » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:17 pm

Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter by Josh Gates.
Hilarious and entertaining; gives background of the series, how it came to be, and the adventures that happen during filming that you don't get to see on TV.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:42 pm

This morning I finished reading The Card Catalog:Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures, which was published by the Library of Congress, with a forward by Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, and an introduction by Peter Devereaux, a writer-editor for the Library of Congress.

This book celebrates the library card catalog, the gateway to the wonders of a library's collection, with the following five chapters:

Chapter 1: Origin of the Card Catalog
Chapter 2: The Enlightened Catalog
Chapter 3: Constructing a Catalog
Chapter 4: The Nation's Library and Catalog
Chapter 5: The Rise and Fall of the Card Catalog

Librarians, Catalogers. Archivists, and Indexers, either by education, training, or vocation, or all three, will delight in this book, as will history buffs and nerds. I fill most of those categories, so I took great pleasure in this wonderful and interesting book.

If I had one complaint, it would be the absence of citations. For example, there is the following comment: "Hundreds of artists, craftsmen, sculptors, masons, steamfitters, plumbers, and carpenters collaborated on the construction [in the construction of the new Library of Congress]…. During construction, a reporter who had been granted access to the site became lost in the labyrinth of book stacks, and after wandering aimlessly for hours, finally stumbled across a worker who guided him out. Without attribution, this statement sounds like urban legend." In addition, frequently there are various undated quotes. Without attribution, it's difficult to know the context in which these statements were made.

These caveats aside, this is a wonderful book for librarians, catalogers, archivists, indexers, history buffs, and nerds, or just anyone who has fond memories of the card catalog or anyone to know the pleasures of the card catalog.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:25 pm

gkaplan wrote:
During construction, a reporter who had been granted access to the site became lost in the labyrinth of book stacks, and after wandering aimlessly for hours, finally stumbled across a worker who guided him out.
Somehow, I flashed to Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" after reading that. :)

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:42 pm

Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, translated by John Ormsby. This is the free version on Amazon.com. I read a few reviews and thought this translation was "good enough".

After a 20+ page introduction, I can't think of anything other than "Inspector Clouseau" (Peter Sellers, A Shot in the Dark, Pink Panther). The attitude fits perfectly. As a sanity check, google showed I'm not the only one with this impression. Clouseau's sidekick, Cato, is Sancho Panza.

I thought I've read most of the classic literature in high school, so I'm wondering how Don Quixote was somehow overlooked. It's a nice change of pace from my preferred sci-fi genres.

At some point, I'm hoping to get my Spanish proficiency up to reading the original. That will have to wait until I retire...
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:25 pm

LadyGeek wrote:At some point, I'm hoping to get my Spanish proficiency up to reading the original. That will have to wait until I retire...
I too, was interested in reading Don Quixote in the original Spanish and even considered taking a Spanish course at the local community college. I asked the professor and he said not to bother -- the original Spanish was pretty archaic and I would have almost as much trouble as reading Middle English based on my knowledge of modern English. I think he said it would be like reading Chaucer.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:39 am

^^^ Thanks for the insight. The Spanish version (like the English) is freely available online. For example, from Project Gutenberg. I'm somewhat above beginner level now, but getting to a fluent speaking level takes time which I don't have.

(Learning languages can be discussed in the Consumer Issues forum.)
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by chuckb84 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:50 am

reggiesimpson wrote:
dia wrote:I am a WWII freak and the only books I read (aside from investing books) are historical accounts from the WWII era. I probably read 10 -12 historical books a year on the subject.

I just finished one of the best true accounts of what life was like for the average family in Germany in the 1940s as their country is taken over by monsters. The book is "German Boy: A Child in War by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel. Amazing account of life during the war through the eyes of a boy trying to make sense of what's happening around him. Amazing German boy that grows up to become an amazing American. Strongly recommend it.

Always looking for recommendations on historical accounts -- I've read a ton, but there's a lot more to discover I'm sure.
With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge. By far and away the finest book I have ever read on the war in the Pacific....or anywhere else for that matter!
I totally agree about "With the Old Breed" by Eugene Sledge. If you really want to know the true horror of the Pacific campaign, this is the book. Warning: Not an easy read in terms of subject matter, but if you want the unvarnished truth, this is it.

At the other end of the scale, the grand sweep of the Pacific War from a naval perspective, I highly recommend "The Fleet" trilogy:

Pacific Crucible
The Conquering Tide
The Fleet at Flood Tide

really excellent.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:31 am

chuckb84 wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
dia wrote:I am a WWII freak and the only books I read (aside from investing books) are historical accounts from the WWII era. I probably read 10 -12 historical books a year on the subject.

I just finished one of the best true accounts of what life was like for the average family in Germany in the 1940s as their country is taken over by monsters. The book is "German Boy: A Child in War by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel. Amazing account of life during the war through the eyes of a boy trying to make sense of what's happening around him. Amazing German boy that grows up to become an amazing American. Strongly recommend it.

Always looking for recommendations on historical accounts -- I've read a ton, but there's a lot more to discover I'm sure.
With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge. By far and away the finest book I have ever read on the war in the Pacific....or anywhere else for that matter!
I totally agree about "With the Old Breed" by Eugene Sledge. If you really want to know the true horror of the Pacific campaign, this is the book. Warning: Not an easy read in terms of subject matter, but if you want the unvarnished truth, this is it.

At the other end of the scale, the grand sweep of the Pacific War from a naval perspective, I highly recommend "The Fleet" trilogy:

Pacific Crucible
The Conquering Tide
The Fleet at Flood Tide

really excellent.
Another good book about the Pacific war is A Helmet For My Pillow by Robert Leckie.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:39 am

azurekep wrote:
VictoriaF wrote: These two books and "The Big Short" have admitted Michael Lewis to an exclusive club of my favorite authors.
Victoria
"Boomerang" is another fun Lewis book, though it doesn't get as much press as the others. It deals with Iceland, Greece, Ireland and Germany during Europe's debt crisis. It finishes with California and Vallejo.
I started reading "Boomerang". I am still on Iceland and enjoying it immensely. Thank you for the recommendation.

Victoria
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:04 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
azurekep wrote:
VictoriaF wrote: These two books and "The Big Short" have admitted Michael Lewis to an exclusive club of my favorite authors.
Victoria
"Boomerang" is another fun Lewis book, though it doesn't get as much press as the others. It deals with Iceland, Greece, Ireland and Germany during Europe's debt crisis. It finishes with California and Vallejo.
I started reading "Boomerang". I am still on Iceland and enjoying it immensely. Thank you for the recommendation.

Victoria
Glad you like it.

Wait till you get to Germany. :shock:

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:09 pm

azurekep wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
azurekep wrote:
VictoriaF wrote: These two books and "The Big Short" have admitted Michael Lewis to an exclusive club of my favorite authors.
Victoria
"Boomerang" is another fun Lewis book, though it doesn't get as much press as the others. It deals with Iceland, Greece, Ireland and Germany during Europe's debt crisis. It finishes with California and Vallejo.
I started reading "Boomerang". I am still on Iceland and enjoying it immensely. Thank you for the recommendation.

Victoria
Glad you like it.

Wait till you get to Germany. :shock:
I am now in Greece and it's even worse than Iceland. Wow!

Victoria
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by FreeAtLast » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:46 pm

"Brotherhood of the Bomb" by Gregg Herken (Henry Holt and Company, 2002).

I was born in 1955; therefore I still retain certain traumatic memories relating to the not-at-all unlikely possibility of a very personal incineration by a sudden Hydrogen Bomb attack, not to mention the resultant annihilation of human civilization. For example, anyone from my age cohort can evoke the mandating of "atomic bomb drills" in elementary school, the construction of fall-out shelters in suburban backyards, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the construction and wide-spread distribution of ICBM's, the MIRV-ing of those self-same rockets, the consolation of Mutual Assured Destruction, the invention of the neutron bomb, and finally, the promotion of the Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars").

Rather than dealing with these memories in a healthy manner by submitting to extensive psychotherapy, I have instead chosen to study intensively the history of the creation and usage of fission/fusion weaponry. I began years ago with the two classics by Richard Rhodes, "The Making of The Atomic Bomb" and "Dark Sun". From that beginning, MANY other choices can be recommended, among which (in my library) are "The Manhattan Project" by Cynthia C. Kelly, "Adventures of A Mathematician" by Stanislaw Ulam, and "John von Neumann" by Norman Macrae.

And then we have Mr. Herken's book. He deliberately and profitably focuses on the careers of three famous physicists, namely Ernest Lawrence, Robert Oppenheimer, and Edward Teller. Herken expertly weaves a comprehensive, long-term chronology by using the well-documented threads of their Individual contributions to the nuclear bureaucracies of Berkeley, Los Alamos, and Livermore Laboratories. These men were driven and - some might say - tortured geniuses who all eventually had to respond to and grapple with the simple interpretation by Lise Meitner of some experiments by the German chemist Otto Hahn: that the nuclei of certain high atomic weight elements could support a fission chain reaction. From her observation followed the contributions of Lawrence (large scale electromagnetic separation of uranium isotopes), Oppenheimer (the successful firing of the first fission explosive device) and Teller (the radiation implosion concept which made the H-bomb work, which was provoked by an ingenious reverie from Ulam). Herken then throws into this mix a detailed history of Soviet atomic spying in the US and the unpalatable saga of the removal of Oppenheimer's "Q" security clearance in a Star Chamber proceeding. Nobody should be surprised that the three were not the best of friends by the end of this tale. For me, this book was yet another catharsis of the existential angst I suffered from when I was a callow youth; the psychiatrist's couch can wait for another year.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:30 am

dia wrote:I read all books in the WWII era--accounts by those conducting as well as affected. There are many stories to tell--that need to be heard. I've read the Albert Speer books, holocaust survivor accounts, some british accounts, polish accounts etc etc. I would certainly be happy to hear your suggestions as I am positive there are many many stories I haven't heard. The WWI era would be interesting as well--I have read some but not nearly the volume I have read of WWII. Thank you.
Worth reading regarding the end of the Second War and early post-war period: Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America, by Annie Jacobsen.

No reading about the first war should miss Margaret MacMillan's works.

The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
and
Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World

She actually wrote the second book first, which goes into depth the negotiations of Treaty of Versaille. This treaty set the state for problems to come.

The first book is an excellent view of the history of the run-up to the war.

I read them in reverse order (her second book then the first book).
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by dia » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:45 am

reggiesimpson wrote:
dia wrote:I am a WWII freak and the only books I read (aside from investing books) are historical accounts from the WWII era. I probably read 10 -12 historical books a year on the subject.

I just finished one of the best true accounts of what life was like for the average family in Germany in the 1940s as their country is taken over by monsters. The book is "German Boy: A Child in War by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel. Amazing account of life during the war through the eyes of a boy trying to make sense of what's happening around him. Amazing German boy that grows up to become an amazing American. Strongly recommend it.

Always looking for recommendations on historical accounts -- I've read a ton, but there's a lot more to discover I'm sure.
With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge. By far and away the finest book I have ever read on the war in the Pacific....or anywhere else for that matter!
Thank you! haven't read that one... will seek it out.
Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. --Winston Churchill

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by dia » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:50 am

chuckb84 wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:
dia wrote:I am a WWII freak and the only books I read (aside from investing books) are historical accounts from the WWII era. I probably read 10 -12 historical books a year on the subject.

I just finished one of the best true accounts of what life was like for the average family in Germany in the 1940s as their country is taken over by monsters. The book is "German Boy: A Child in War by Wolfgang W.E. Samuel. Amazing account of life during the war through the eyes of a boy trying to make sense of what's happening around him. Amazing German boy that grows up to become an amazing American. Strongly recommend it.

Always looking for recommendations on historical accounts -- I've read a ton, but there's a lot more to discover I'm sure.
With the Old Breed by Eugene Sledge. By far and away the finest book I have ever read on the war in the Pacific....or anywhere else for that matter!
I totally agree about "With the Old Breed" by Eugene Sledge. If you really want to know the true horror of the Pacific campaign, this is the book. Warning: Not an easy read in terms of subject matter, but if you want the unvarnished truth, this is it.

At the other end of the scale, the grand sweep of the Pacific War from a naval perspective, I highly recommend "The Fleet" trilogy:

Pacific Crucible
The Conquering Tide
The Fleet at Flood Tide

really excellent.
Thank you for the recommendation. I'm not afraid to become educated on the real happenings, so no hesitation there. War is never beautiful, until it ends. The Fleet trilogy is now on my to-read list on Goodreads (where would I be without that site to keep track of all my books I have read and want to read. thanks again.
Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. --Winston Churchill

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