Final Protective Fire


Links to some interesting places:
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Junk Science Blog and debunking discussion forum.
Pirate Ballerina
Dave Kopel's Home Page
Volokh Conspiracy
Glenn Reynolds' Instapundit
Prof Bainbridge Blog
Clayton Cramer
David Friedman's homepage
Vodka Pundit
Tiki Lounge
Jim Dunnigan's site
Cold Fury
Karl's blog

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I've been "tagged" on a book chain blog by Kent. I'll admit that I normally don't do this kind of thing, but its true, I humor Kent more than I should. I'm tempted to omit the trash SF reading just to make myself look more intellectual ... ok, that won't be too convincing I know. Kent tagged me probably because he knows I read as much history as he does and he's trying to suck more reading subjects from me. I read whatever I buy almost immediately therefore the last books read list would be a repeat, so I listed under last books read books I've recently pulled out of the library and read. As for the five books that mean the most to me, that's going to be a hard one as I don't know that I've done a lot of thinking on that topic. But I'll come up with something even if I decide to revise it later. By the way, I buy a lot from used bookstores so some of these may be out of print.

Last books purchased:

  • Shadowmarch by Tad Williams
  • The Punic Wars by Adrian Goldsworthy
  • The Structure of Aikido by Gaku Homma
  • Open Source Licensing by Lawrence Rosen
  • An Army at Dawn by Rick Atkinson

Last books read:
  • Interstellar Patrol II by Christopher Anvil
  • His Excellancy George Washington by Joseph Ellis
  • Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918, World War I and Its Violent Climax by Joseph Persico
  • The Green and The Gray by Timothy Zahn
  • General Patton : A Soldier's Life by Stanley Hirshson
Five Books that mean the most to me:
  • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
  • A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin
  • Death By Government by R.J. Rummel
  • History of the English Speaking Peoples by Winston Churchill
  • Carnage and Culture by Victor Davis Hanson

By now you've figured out that I either read non-fiction ( a lot! ) or fantasy/science fiction. I don't read much in the way of literature. The five books that mean the most to me category would rotate through a score or more of books depending on the mood you found me in. Titles just swirl around in my head. In F/SF, Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card; the Memory, Sorrow, Thorn series by Tad Williams ( which I prefer to Tolkien ); and I have a lot of fondness for titles from my youth like the Heinlein juveniles that formed a lot of my early world-and self-view and E.E. "Doc" Smith. A collection of Gene Fowler's old hunting stories from his Parting Shots column.

I'll just have to risk the appearance of pretence. Now who should I tag? I figure Steve Verdon, as I'm sick of reading about Kevin Drum ...

UPDATED - I notice I forgot to mention how many books I own. I've not counted lately, but when we last moved interstate I counted approx. 1100 volumes. I've pared that down a bit in the last couple of years but I've not done a new count, so I'd guess 800+ today.

Definitely Steve Verdon. The Kevin Drum argument clinches it for me.

I very much enjoyed An Army at Dawn, which struck me as a kind of backhanded hagiography, if that makes any sense.

How did you like the Washington and Patton books?
Hirshon had a unique view of Patton that really changed my understanding of him. Better even than D'Este. A friend of mine was a history graduate student under him in New York and put me on to it.
Thank you for your kind words, Robin.
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