Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Bleg: Book recommendations


So, what are you folks reading?

Normally, being isolated is not a problem. I go outside and do my gardening/orchard thing.

Or, if the weather is not looking all that spiffy, I go into the basement and reload semi-precious metal relics.

The weather does not look all that promising.

My relic manufacturing device is at my friends.

And so, I humbly ask you what you are reading? Fiction, history, biographies, fantasy, graphic novels...please recommend books that you found engaging and tell me WHY they grabbed you.


  1. Lots of good books, both old and new out there. :-)

    1. Some of them from you, even if you're too modest to mention them.

  2. I recently finished reading Defeat into Victory by Viscount William Slim. He was the British general in charge of the Burma front in WWII. Great book, he explains his mistakes and credits his men for the wins. Loaded with lessons on leadership, life and a very British humorous tone to it all. Example: "In times of peace a general should get plenty of rest, for in battle he will get none." Highly recommended.

  3. And yes, the OldNFO's books, starting with The Gray Man series!

  4. I’m pretty eclectic. I working on OLD NFO’s Gray Man series as a re read, I finished his latest western, a Amazon series on western history METTLE OF A MOUNTAIN MAN, Dana Stabenow’s latest murder mystery, Lois McMaster Bujold’s space series Vorkosigan stories. We are listening to one of James Herriot’s in the All Creatures series on audible when things are quiet.

  5. I eschewed SciFi for many years, then got hooked on John Ringo books.

    Suggest you start with the Last Centurion. then jump to the Black Tide Rising series.

  6. Got excited and skipped WHY

    His writing is that of military experience with an obviously educated vocabulary. Not too verbose, not too terse, enough descriptions to let your mind pain the scenes with out too much detail.
    Heroes win and that's nice.

  7. I'm currently in a non-fiction phase:

    Andy Ngo's Unmasked about Antifa is important reading given the current affairs of the day.

    Never in Finer Company - About the US Army's famous lost battalion of the First World War is a great read.

  8. Just finished “After the Ice” by Steven Mithen. Comprehensive coverage of prehistory worldwide from the Younger Dryas to about 5,000 BC. Re-reading “The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire” by Edward Luttwak - lots of points to consider in today’s context. Re-framing the Roman province divisions into today’s US / Mexican states and Canadian provinces - which is interesting


    nature of oaks
    by Douglas W. Tallamy

    read by Adam Barr

    The Rich Ecology of Our Most Essential Native Trees

    With Bringing Nature Home, Doug Tallamy changed the conversation about gardening in America. His second book, the New York Times bestseller Nature's Best Hope, urged homeowners to take conservation into their own hands. Now, he is turning his advocacy to one of the most important species of the plant kingdom-the mighty oak tree. Oaks sustain a complex and fascinating web of wildlife. The Nature of Oaks reveals what is going on in oak trees month by month, highlighting the seasonal cycles of life, death, and renewal. From woodpeckers who collect and store hundreds of acorns for sustenance to the beauty of jewel caterpillars, Tallamy illuminates and celebrates the wonders that occur right in our own backyards. He also shares practical advice about how to plant and care for an oak, along with information about the best oak species for your area. The Nature of Oaks will inspire you to treasure these trees and to act to nurture and protect them."

    The audio book version of the book the article is based on is free from hoopla. You need a library card and a download of the app from your library site. This works for many library systems.

    I have heard some of it and it is very detailed. Much I didn't know like gall wasp ecologies in the April chapter. I have jumped around a lot but so far a lot of it has to do with oak roles in food webs. The stats on oak are impressive. A very important group of trees.

    Deer are often a focus of oaks but this makes the point that oaks are the key tree group for everything in North America.
    Well worth digging into for how much.

  10. Just finished re-reading 'The Deed of Paksenarrion' by Elizabeth Moon (actually a trilogy bound into one volume). Fantasy, but solid medieval combat, logistics, and societies. Story moves quickly but is packed with details relevant to the storyline (honor, loyalty, hard work, and though life often isn't fair you step up and do what's needed, your choices have consequences for you and others).

    Love Ringo's 'Black Tide Rising' mentioned above, as well as his collaboration with David Weber ('Empire of Man' series, starting with 'March Upcountry' - Scifi).

    Also recommend David Weber's solo series, 'Honorverse' (many books) and especially the 'Safehold' series - mix of scifi, military action, and global strategy with complex characters and many intertwined plots and characters that draw you through all 10 books.

  11. The-Whiteboard, your fiction, I've got a Chronicles of Narnia set that I intend to reread when I get free time. The DaVinci Code and the other two or three books about the same hero.

  12. I've enjoyed the works of OldNFO and his partners in writing: Peter Grant, Dorothy Grant, and Lawdog.

    OldNFO's Rimworld stories are set in an interesting world with some Big Changes coming based on posted snippets.

    Peter's work is all well done with three SF series, westerns, and fantasy.

    Dorothy writes RomSF with a military twist but she completely avoids Infodumps! Going Ballistic is her latest work that I hope leads to a sequel.

    There isn't much to say about Lawdog of the Pink Gorilla story that hasn't already been said, he can make you laugh and cry in alternate stories.

  13. I am currently devouring Kurt Schlicter's Kelly Turnbull series starting with People's Republic and next Indian Country.
    Then Grey Man series again.

  14. if you like apocalyptic stories try S.M Stirlings Dies the Fire
    then The Protectors War and then A Meeting in Corvallis.

    Jumping back in time try The Gates of Fire ...Steven Pressfield.... a novel about the battle of Thermopylae

  15. and if you want to watch some good TV between books try the series Justified...or the Shield

  16. Monster Hunters International by Larry Correia. The publisher is Baen and you read the first couple of chapters for free to see if you are interested. Ringo and Weber are also published by Baen.

    Opie Odd

  17. GWOT books (got from the library):

    Red Platoon by Clinton Romesha (about COP Keating, Afghanistan)

    Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell, also Afghanistan but from a different Cavalry platoon's perspective.

    1. One Bullet Away, Fick
      House to House, MOH recipient Belavia

  18. Randy Alcorn's "Heaven".
    Everybody want's to go there.
    But nobody want's to die.
    All joking aside, there is a lot more info available about the other side, than people expect and it's very easy to explain. Seems kinda important since I am falling apart faster than my warranty lasts.

  19. Just re-read several novels by Sharon McCrumb.
    Started with "St. Dale" a Nascar tale, then went to "King's Mountain" about the Revolutionary War battle on the mountain of the same name. Have a few more of her books on order.

    Last winter I read some of the books by Ivan Doig that have
    accumulated here.

  20. Feed your engineer Jones with "The Martian" by Andy Wier. Explore a strange, troubling world with the Silo Series by Hugh Howey.

  21. Adventures in Contentment by David Grayson(Ray Stannard Baker)in the public domain. Old Squires Farm by C.A.Stephens also in the public domain. I use Gutenberg for the downloads

  22. Re-reading the Anthony Riches Empire series. Also the Connor Reed series by Quentin Black.

  23. I usually read fiction, I call it my drug of choice...
    There are lots of good selections here, however most of them are serious or at least pretty heavy.
    One lighter series I've been reading (though it has it's heavy moments) is the Bob and Nikki series by Jerry Boyd. They are easy reading and the series is up to 15 books now.

    DO you read paper or electrons? If you do Amazon, I recommend getting Kindle Unlimited for $10 a month if you'll read 3 or more books on it a month.

    1. I just finished reading Bob and Nikki number 15 and I will buy the next one when it comes out.
      I agree, easy and fun reading.

  24. Cedar Sanderson's "Pixie Noir" series, and then follow them up with "The Lost Witch."
    And then read pretty much anything else she has written.

  25. "Fate is the Hunter" by Ernest K. Gann. "...An up-close and thrilling account of the treacherous early days of commercial aviation." Recommended at one of the blogs I read daily (Ace of Spades HQ?). Not that far into it but it is a good read.

  26. Re-reading William Gibson, presently on the Blue Ant trilogy.

  27. There is a series of books called Going Home, by A. American, that i recently re-read. A work of fiction, well written in my opinion, engaging story.

  28. I just finished Nelson DeMille's "The Quest" and recently read "The Gold Coast". Not bad. These are personal/family dramas.
    I'd recommend "The Charm School" by him. It's Cold War-era political suspense, about Americans dealing with life in the 1980s Soviet Union, in and around Moscow. DeMille writes believable, or nearly-believable characters, and describes ordinary Russians trying to make lives for themselves under the regime in a sympathetic way, while cutting no slack for the brutality of the Russians who participate in the regime.
    Now I'm reading "My Stroke of Insight" by Dr. Jill Taylor, recently recommended by someone somewhere on the internet. Taylor is a brain anatomist who herself experienced a devastating stroke, but recovered from it over an 8-year period.
    I strongly recommend "Corpse in Armor" by blogger Martin McPhillips. Recent political suspense.

  29. As I prepare for the Patriots Day Appleseed events, I'm doing my annual re-read of "Paul Revere's Ride" by David H. Fischer,the biography of Samuel Adams, and "The Spirit of 1774".

  30. I agree with starting on Jim Curtis' (OldNFO)'s books. Also see those by Peter Grant, buddy of his. A few others in that gang, too.
    I second Larry Correia's Monster Hunter series and collaborations. Lots of realistic weapons and unrealistic friends and foes. :-)
    Also, for more out-there monsters and demons, check out Charles Stross' "The Laundry Files" series of books. Evil possessed violins, alternative universes, computer software that summons demons, etc.
    Finally, for sheer werewolf/vampire/fallen angel stories with a twist, check out John Conroe's series based on "The Demon Accords".
    I've got tons more, but these are some of my favorite for escaping reality.
    Wandering Neurons

  31. Favorite book of all time: Unintended Consequences by John Ross. Fiction, but educates on the origins of the Second Amendment and the twists to where we are today. GREAT ending.


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