Author Topic: What book are you reading now?  (Read 333187 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1550 on: October 14, 2019, 01:17:55 »
Bugles and a Tiger, John Masters, First Edition.

It reads well with a Talisker in direct support ... ;)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1551 on: October 14, 2019, 07:10:28 »
Bugles and a Tiger, John Masters, First Edition.

It reads well with a Talisker in direct support ... ;)

Great book, as is The Road Past Mandalay. Read them both in the sixties as a young subaltern.

Offline Dimsum

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1552 on: November 17, 2019, 23:45:53 »
Finally finished Reaper Force by Dr. Peter Lee.  He's an ex-RAF Chaplain turned academic, and if anyone has interest in how modern Remotely Piloted Aircraft operations work as well as some mental/psychological/family challenges crews face, this is a good read.  It really brings into perspective how different RPA operations are and how personal they can be for the crews half a world away.

https://www.amazon.com/Reaper-Force-Inside-Story-Britains/dp/1786069644
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Offline CloudCover

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1553 on: November 18, 2019, 00:44:28 »
I’m reading Seven Days in Hell “The Rise of the Black Watch Snipers” by David O’Keefe. It’s both a story of the Canadian Black Watch in Normandy and the sniper cell itself.  This fellow has written an excellent book, one that really conveys the small unit story - company by company, platoon, section and rifle team detail. It’s an excellent book that complements the more recent books on Canada in the Normandy campaign- for example, the outstanding “No Holding Back” by Brian Reid.

I will say that the author must have had a tough time when drafting the casualty details- it took 20 years to research and write this book so he probably became very close to the personalities of the soldiers, their families and others.
Have a strong whisky at the ready while reading this book. 
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Offline Colin P

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1554 on: November 18, 2019, 10:57:59 »
Bugles and a Tiger, John Masters, First Edition.

It reads well with a Talisker in direct support ... ;)

I really enjoyed that book when I was a young lad

Offline CloudCover

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1555 on: November 25, 2019, 00:54:50 »
Finished Seven Days in Hell. What a terrible, terrible waste of young men, and what loyalty to brothers for all who were there. 😔 🎗🇨🇦
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1556 on: November 25, 2019, 10:59:47 »
The Normandy Privateer is almost done. Britain worried about an invasion by Bonapart established the Sea Fencibles with RN officers and some former RN sailors. The book is bit different than the other period naval books. Its the first book in the series so I lookforward to reading them in order.

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1557 on: November 25, 2019, 17:25:26 »
Finished Seven Days in Hell. What a terrible, terrible waste of young men, and what loyalty to brothers for all who were there. 😔 🎗🇨🇦

In 1964 HQ 3CIBG in Gagetown did an officers' study session on the operation, which was a mess. Only one battalion, the RHLI took its objective, and its CO, LCol John Rockingham, soon found himself commanding 9 CIB. A goodly part of the session focussed on the RHC, including a short, emotional presentation by WO2 Tommy Larkin of 1RCHA who had been in a FOO party with the Watch. (Larkin had been one of my instructors on officer training.)

Offline NotSoWiseKingSolomon

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1558 on: November 25, 2019, 21:03:35 »
Mere Christianity by C.S.Lewis.
Good intro to Christianity.

Offline marekbjj

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1559 on: November 26, 2019, 13:40:22 »
Reading 'Salem's Lot (Stephen King) right now and I quite like it!

Stephen King has been hit and miss for me:

I picked up Night Shift, a collection of short stories, out of the blue because I like horror.
It was awesome. I'd go far as to say King's short stories are better than his novels.

After Night Shift I was very enthusiastic about reading another one of his books. I gave the Shining a read, and boy was I disappointed.
Predictable and not even scary. I honestly wondered how the heck was this a best seller.

I decided to give 'Salem's Lot a try, the reason being is there's two short stories in Night Shift that kind of touch on 'Salem's Lot, and they were my favorite short stories in the book.
Sure enough, it was a good call. Way better story telling, and it's a lot more thrilling.

I would recommend both Night Shift and Salem's Lot!

Offline Brihard

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1560 on: November 26, 2019, 14:04:22 »
Presently about 2/3 through Mattis' book, 'Callsign Chaos: Learning to Lead'. A very enjoyable biography, and not at all a difficult read. I'm not past about 2010 yet, but he did state earlier in the book that he won't be speaking in criticism of the current sitting president. He doesn't pull punches when stating his beliefs on strategic missteps through the 2000s- but he does stay in his lane.

Next up I've got 'Homo Deus' by Yuval Noah Harari; it's a sequel to 'Sapiens', a book he wrote on human history, and it aims to forecast some of human future and how we're going to be developing ourselves to exceed our biological limitations. Next up after that will be Jared Diamond's 'Upheaval', and then Max Hastings' 'Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy'.

I expect these will take me at least through the winter unless I can discipline myself to get reading more.
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1561 on: December 03, 2019, 21:59:34 »
I have exhausted my usual historical naval books and now am onto Anton Chance Sea thrillers. Chance started as a Master and Commander and is now a Commodore of a flotilla operating in Canada fighting the French and their Huron allies. So far I am enjoying it.Cant wait for another John G Cragg book to come out.

Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1562 on: December 04, 2019, 10:24:56 »
Just finished reading MacBeth by Jo Nesbo, a Nordic noir writer.  It's set in the late 1960s Glasgow in an alternate history, with the main characters forming part of the police, politicians and criminal underworld.

It's interesting in that it stands on it's own legs as a work of fiction, but also has some occasional lines from Shakespeare.  Pretty interesting read, and part of a whole series of Shakespeare stories redone by various modern novelists.

It's not exactly literature, but a step above a lot of the pulp fiction (like Jack Reacher etc), and enjoyed it.  Would recommend if you are looking for something different.

Have been reading a lot more with the library having ebooks, as it's hugely convenient and so easy to browse and borrow online.

Online FJAG

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1563 on: December 07, 2019, 12:38:47 »
I have been reading about the Roman Army Marius Mules series book 8 by SJA Turney. Warfare through the ages are similar such as the need for supplies and the need of denying an enemy food hence scorched earth policies. In more modern times we see the destruction of an enemies industry as a means to weaken the enemy and hindering their ability to wage war as in WW2.

I'm now on volume 7 of this series. Lighter than McCullough's Masters of Rome series but very entertaining (and the Kindle price is nice)

Thanks for the tip.

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Offline LittleBlackDevil

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1564 on: December 07, 2019, 14:07:11 »
Reading 'Salem's Lot (Stephen King) right now and I quite like it!

Stephen King has been hit and miss for me ...

Yeah, I find Stephen King to be a bit hit-and-miss too. 'Salem's Lot is one of my favourites by him and I've probably read it a half dozen times.

I am currently about 95% through my second reading of The Stand, which is another favourite of mine.

I just finished Galaxy's Edge: Legionnaire by Jason Anspach and Nick Cole. I bought it on a whim because the cover looked cool and the blurb on the back sounded good. It was very well done. At least one of the authors must have served in the army (probably US) because the book was very true to army life.

Online FJAG

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1565 on: December 11, 2019, 15:48:48 »
In an attempt to better understand how anyone could have voted for Trump, I decided to read Scott Adams' two-year-old book "Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter"

Adams, you may recall, is the author of the Dilbert comic strip and who came out very early on saying that Trump would win the election (notwithstanding that he calls himself an ultra-liberal.

He provides a basic understanding of what makes peoples' belief system tick and then indicates how Trump capitalized on that. Some of the key elements he points out are:

1. Facts are weaker than fiction meaning that you can't dissuade a person's political convictions with facts because people have their own facts or see agreed on facts in a different way. As a result Trump completely ignores whatever facts are inconvenient in favour of what his supporters already believe;

2. People view the world through a filter. People filter out those facts that don't make them happy in favour of keeping alive concepts that make them happy. For example a child's early belief in Santa Claus, subsequent beliefs in religions, using drugs or alcohol. People's primary filter is the "persuasion filter" which posits that most people are primarily irrational and make their decisions by gut instinct and then subsequently create elaborate rationalizations to persuade themselves that they have made the correct decision.

3. We all suffer from cognitive dissonance much of the time. Cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort an individual feels when he holds two contradictory beliefs or values at the same time or while holding a particular belief or value, being confronted by a contradictory one. In such a situation our own brains generate an illusion to resolve the discomfort such as telling you that the new information is inaccurate or really does support your original belief.

4. We all suffer from confirmation bias which is the human reflex to interpret any new information of being supportive of our existing opinions.

5. We all readily sign on to mass delusions. As examples he points out the Salem Witch trials, the "War of the Worlds" broadcast, the Dutch Tulip Mania crisis. In short, people easily adopt certain opinions/beliefs when confronted by mass acceptance of them regardless how silly those opinions/beliefs might be.

So far Adams had my general acceptance of what he was writing but at this point he posited the position that Trump's super power is that he is a master persuader. Adams himself, however, comes across as a bit of a narcissist as he declares himself very, very rich; a trained hypnotist and a trained persuader and as such he believes himself to have the credentials to evaluate whether anyone else is in fact a master persuader. Setting aside the self congratulations, I actually wanted Adams to prove how Trump manged to persuade so many people to support him. Sadly (and maybe its my own confirmation bias showing) he fails to do that in the remaining two thirds of his book.

He did convince me that Trump had what Adams calls a "talent stack" that sets him up to succeed. These talents included: being a public, well-known figure; having a nurtured reputation as a successful businessman; thinking strategically (eg using social media and campaigning harder than Clinton); having negotiating skills; public speaking at a level the common man can follow; a sense of humour; quick on his feet (regardless of whether or not what he says is a lie); thick skinned (by years of experiencing criticism and even though he counter-punches every slight thrown his way); high energy; size and appearance; smart (more so than the average citizen - I drew the line at this one - maybe confirmation bias again) Adams fails to address any of Trump's many, many failures.

Adams then goes on to talk about specific persuasion techniques and how Trump used them. This is where he lost me. While a good number of them were credible, many were not and more often then not, Adams only real support in establishing that Trump successfully used a certain technique is by virtue of Adams quoting himself from a blog post he issued during the election and a reference back to his own skills as a trained hypnotist and persuader. The whole thing falls a bit flat at this point primarily because so many of the "techniques" allegedly used by Trump can just as easily be interpreted as character flaws surfacing rather than strategically employed tools.

All told an interesting read about the role of persuasion and the irrelevance of facts but far from satisfactory in explaining the Trump success.

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Offline Dimsum

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1566 on: December 19, 2019, 11:42:16 »
The Small Wars Journal's annual Mad Scientist Initiative call-outs happened a few weeks ago. 

They are military-themed sci-fi short stories as well as articles about all sorts of future initiatives, found here:

https://smallwarsjournal.com/madscience
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Online mariomike

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1567 on: December 19, 2019, 13:57:13 »
In an attempt to better understand how anyone could have voted for Trump, I decided to read Scott Adams' two-year-old book "Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter"

Perhaps it has something to do with attention span?

Quote
You Now Have a Shorter Attention Span Than a Goldfish
https://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/

Just about a long enough to mentally digest a Tweet, meme or cartoon.  :)




Offline ModlrMike

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1568 on: December 19, 2019, 14:00:53 »
Jack Reacher (4) - Running Blind
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher,smarter, faster and better looking than most people.
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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1569 on: December 19, 2019, 16:58:32 »
"Sword of the King" by Bernard Cornwell. This is the twelfth book of what is now called the "Last Kingdom" series (formerly the "Warrior Chronicles" and/or the "Saxon Stories") being the tales of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, a Danish raised Saxon who journeys south to London to take part in the conflict between Æthelstan and his younger half-brother Ælfweard when King Edward dies.

Good standard Cornwell stuff albeit the tale is getting a bit long in the tooth and predictable.

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Offline dangerboy

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1570 on: December 19, 2019, 17:29:00 »

Good standard Cornwell stuff albeit the tale is getting a bit long in the tooth and predictable.

 :cheers:

I like the series but it does have to end soon.
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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1571 on: December 20, 2019, 16:51:00 »
Heard the author on a podcast, so I'm about to dive into the Kindle version of this ....
Quote
... The Stuff of Soldiers uses everyday objects to tell the story of the Great Patriotic War as never before. Brandon Schechter attends to a diverse array of things—from spoons to tanks—to show how a wide array of citizens became soldiers, and how the provisioning of material goods separated soldiers from civilians.

Through a fascinating examination of leaflets, proclamations, newspapers, manuals, letters to and from the front, diaries, and interviews, The Stuff of Soldiers reveals how the use of everyday items made it possible to wage war. The dazzling range of documents showcases ethnic diversity, women's particular problems at the front, and vivid descriptions of violence and looting.

Each chapter features a series of related objects: weapons, uniforms, rations, and even the knick-knacks in a soldier's rucksack. These objects narrate the experience of people at war, illuminating the changes taking place in Soviet society over the course of the most destructive conflict in recorded history. Schechter argues that spoons, shovels, belts, and watches held as much meaning to the waging of war as guns and tanks. In The Stuff of Soldiers, he describes the transformative potential of material things to create a modern culture, citizen, and soldier during World War II ...
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Offline dangerboy

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1572 on: December 24, 2019, 10:53:08 »
Not very Christmas spirit but I am read again "Green Eyed Boys" by Christian Jennings & Adrian Weale https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2353831.Green_Eyed_Boys. It is the about 3 Para and the Battle for Mount Longdon during the Falklands War.

Next up is what I consider a companion book "Excursion To Hell" by LCpl Vincent Bramley. He was part of 3 Para's Machine Gun Platoon and this book details his experiences during the Falklands War.
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Offline Dan M

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1573 on: December 24, 2019, 18:58:08 »
Not very Christmas spirit but I am read again "Green Eyed Boys" by Christian Jennings & Adrian Weale. It is the about 3 Para and the Battle for Mount Longdon during the Falklands War.

Next up is what I consider a companion book "Excursion To Hell" by LCpl Vincent Bramley. He was part of 3 Para's Machine Gun Platoon and this book details his experiences during the Falklands War.

I have them both in hard copy but it's been so long since I've read them I can't remember anything specific. I think it was Bramley's book that started a criminal investigation into the allegation of British soldiers killing wounded Argentines.

Dan.
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1574 on: December 25, 2019, 08:18:15 »
Rasputin.

A real charmer🤩
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