I have a feeling that my reading will become a little more convoluted in a bit when I have a couple of reviewer copies coming in, and with a couple of books on the docket right at the moment, with some others in the queue, I need to get my head straight.
Battle: The Story of the Bulge, by John Toland
This is a definitive history of the Battle of the Bulge, one that I’m reading and referencing for the Battle of the Bulge project that I’ve been working on. I’ve also read through Gen. (RET) Ernest Harmon’s Combat Commander and John Eisenhower’s The Bitter Woods, which is yielding a lot of really good, detailed information on the strategic nature of the battle, but also some of the tactical elements as well. It’s helping me fill in a number of blanks with some of the units that I’m currently researching. Toland’s book is detailed, readable and very interesting.
Blackout, by Connie Willis
This is a book that I’ve had my eye on for a little while, and I bumped it up the list after trying – and failing – to get through Catherynne Valente’s The Habitation of the Blessed. Keeping with the World War II theme, this story follows a couple of 2060 Oxford history students who have been going back in time to study various points. Things are starting to heat up a bit, and the book is moving along nicely. I can’t wait to get further through it.
Matterhorn, by Karl Marlantes
This is lauded as one of the best books to come out about Vietnam ever. I met (and got to talk with) Mr. Marlantes when he was presented the Colby Award for the novel – it’s awarded to an outstanding first work dealing with military matters, and it joins a prestigious group of books. It’s based loosely on his experiences in Vietnam, and while it’s a big book, I’m taking my time with this one, taking in the language and the story. It’s quite something so far.
Welcome To The Greenhouse: New Science Fiction On Climate Change, edited by Gordon Van Gelder
This book is one that caught my eye and I’m set to review it once I finish it. It covers what I’m predicting will be the next wave or dominant theme of science fiction: global warming (along the same lines that the Cold War dominated science fiction) and while some of the stories here haven’t been that great, there have been some outstanding ones. I think thus far, the anthology succeeds when the stories are well grounded in reality, and I hope that the stories coming up are like that.
Coming up after this batch of books are a couple of new books that came in yesterday: Catherynne Valente’s Deathless and John Scalzi’s Fuzzy Nation, along with Jack Campbell’s latest addition, Dreadnaught, in his Lost Fleet series, as well as Spectyr, by Philippa Ballantine, all slated for reviews over the next month or so. Along with those, there are a couple of other books that I want to tackle after that: Ian M. Bank’s Use of Weapons is one that’s high up on the list, as well as William Gibson’s Spook Country (and eventually, Zero History), as well as N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Kingdom. China Mieville’s upcoming novel, Embassytown, is also high up there, with a number of good reviews already.
There’s also a couple of non-fiction books that I’d like to get to. I need to get through to Footprints in the Dust, edited by Colin Burgess, about the Apollo 12-17 missions back in the 1970s, part of the Outward Odyssey series. I’ve fallen off that bandwagon for a little while as I read Ambassadors from Earth, and was put off by the horrid text, but this one looks like it’ll interest me a bit more. I’ve picked up a couple of other books as well: John Keegan’s First World War (A war I know precious little about), Thucydides, about the study of history and the upcoming Falling to Earth, by Francis French, about astronaut Al Worden.
There’s a lot more beyond that, but it’s a start.