When it comes to reading for amusement I am a plodder, taking my time on each page as if I am dining on a very good meal. As a result perhaps, I have always read quite a few books at the same time, doing a few pages each day. Here are some of the books I have been enjoying lately:
1. Terms of Enlistment and Lines of Departure by Markos Kloos-To my surprise I find that I enjoy reading books on Kindle and I am beginning to devour e-books. A good series by a new author. Think Star Ship Troopers meets welfare state, with the protagonist helping to lead a revolt against a bleak system that uses the military to keep welfare recipients in huge enclaves and the world and space are trapped in endless Orwellian wars between two major power blocs. Then the aliens invade.
2. To Honor You Call Us by Paul Honsinger-Horatio Hornblower in space! When the best of ships travel faster than light, but the men are still iron men wielding cutlasses!
3. Charles V– William Robertson-Largely forgotten now, Robertson was the second best historian in Britain in the Eighteenth Century after Gibbon. His opening chapter tracing the history of Europe up to the time of Charles V is a masterpiece examination of the forces that formed sixteenth century Europe.
4. The End-Hitler’s Germany 1944-45-Ian Kershaw examines a fascinating question: why did most ordinary Germans stand by the Third Reich to the bitter end?
5. The Evolution of Strategy-Beatrice Heuser-A look at the concept of strategy in military affairs from antiquity to the present. A bit dry but I can attest she has mastered the sources.
6. Full Circle-Ferdinand Mount-How modern life increasingly resembles that of the classical world of Greece and Rome.
7. The Great Debate-Yuval Levin-Levin taps Burke and Paine as the fathers of the modern conservative-liberal split. I don’t buy the argument, but the book is well written.
8. Operation Barbarossa-Christian Hartmann-A short but insightful history of the Russo-German war that dominated World War II in Europe by a German historian.
9. Edmund Burke, The First Conservative-Jesse Norman-The author is a British Conservative MP. I agree that Burke was the first modern conservative, as opposed to merely a reactionary, in the English speaking world.
10. Franco’s Crypt-Jeremy Treglown-A first rate book on Spanish culture and historical memory since the onset of the Spanish Civil War. Notes the surprising freedom that many artists enjoyed under Franco to criticize his regime. A refreshing change from the ignorant rantings that usually substitute for research when it comes to Spain under Franco.
What books have you been reading lately? List them please in the comboxes.