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What book are you reading now?

LittleBlackDevil

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Dimsum said:
So we were the inspiration for the hyper-militaristic training/society?  That's rich.

Canadian Forces training back in the 50s was the inspiration for some of the training depicted in the novel, not the general society in Starship Troopers, at least according to the anecdote posted here.

Frankly, I saw definite similarities between my time in Gagetown and the MI training, albeit the training in Starship Troopers is cranked up to 11 and no one died on my Phase training. That said, the OCS in that book was nothing like phase training, and I actually wish we covered some of the stuff that the MI officer candidates did.
 

J.J

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The Boy Who Followed His Father Into Auschwitz: Jeremy Dronfield

A great book, hard to believe it is a nonfiction.

https://www.harpercollins.ca/9780063019300/the-boy-who-followed-his-father-into-auschwitz/

 

ueo

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Muskokans Fight the Great War, J. Patrick Boyer. A well researched and presented historical recap of the First World War events in a specific geographic area of Canada. Illustrates, in microcosm, the trials and tribulations that were experienced across the country. Well illustrated and written. A good Sunday afternoon read.
 

daftandbarmy

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An outstanding read... puts all the whingeing we hear today about how 'hard done by we all are' into the proper context :)

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end.

In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill’s prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports—some released only recently—Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents’ wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela’s illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill’s “Secret Circle,” to whom he turns in the hardest moments.

The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today’s political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.

https://www.amazon.ca/Splendid-Vile-Churchill-Family-Defiance-ebook/dp/B07TRVW6VX
 

Xylric

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Currently reading the graduate thesis of my cousin, so that I may understand and properly edit her dissertation.
 

FJAG

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"Rage" by Bob Woodward.

A tad tedious. While writing this Woodward's focus obviously shifted from the presidency in general to the Covid crisis. While he does cover other events (such as N Korea and China and some of the key members of his administration) the focus is clearly on Trump's lack of performance on the Covid file.

Woodward had 18 interviews with Trump, 17 of which he recorded (the other he was away from his tape recorder and took notes instead) so there are many quotes by Trump either addressing or dodging the issues presented with.

The trouble with the book is that if you've kept abreast of events over the last three plus years you've undoubtedly heard much of these events before. If I could summarize three issues that were new to me it's these:

1)  The letters from Kim Jong Un to Trump were crafted by a master schmoozer who knew exactly how to play up to Trump's ego and feelings of pomposity (..."Your Excellency"...);

2)  Kushner is more industrious and smarter than most folks give him credit for while nonetheless lacking insight into most of the files put into his hands; and

3) Lindsey Graham  is a shrewd politician and political strategist who has often given Trump good advice which Trump has mostly ignored.

Those who already feel Trump is a failure, will find much ammunition to stoke their arsenal. Trump apologists, on the other hand, will write the book off as "fake news"

:cheers:
 

TCM621

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I'm reading Cynical Theory by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay.
https://www.amazon.ca/Cynical-Theories-Scholarship-Everything-Identity_and/dp/1634312023

In it they chart how Postmodern thought morphed into today's Theory (capital emphasized) as applied in Critical Race Theory, Queer studies, Postcolonial studies, intersectionality, Whiteness studies and other Social justice studies. The compare the contrasts between classical postmodern thought and their new progeny as well as the differences and inconsistencies between various offshoots. I'm only about a 10th of the way in but they have done a good job breaking down the history and the philosophical foundations of that have led to books like White Fragility and movements like BLM.

For those of you that follow these things, you may remember that Pluckrose and Lindsay, along with Peter Boghossian, were the authors of a number of hoax papers accepted for publication, and in some cases actually published, with titles like "Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon" (published in Gender, Place and Culture) and "Our Struggle is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism" (accepted by Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work but unpublished by the time the hoax was revealed). The latter was a Feminist re-write of Mein Kampf.

As hilarious as I found the hoaxes, the authors are serious academics and the book so far reflects that.
 

daftandbarmy

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Tcm621 said:
I'm reading Cynical Theory by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay.
https://www.amazon.ca/Cynical-Theories-Scholarship-Everything-Identity_and/dp/1634312023

In it they chart how Postmodern thought morphed into today's Theory (capital emphasized) as applied in Critical Race Theory, Queer studies, Postcolonial studies, intersectionality, Whiteness studies and other Social justice studies. The compare the contrasts between classical postmodern thought and their new progeny as well as the differences and inconsistencies between various offshoots. I'm only about a 10th of the way in but they have done a good job breaking down the history and the philosophical foundations of that have led to books like White Fragility and movements like BLM.

For those of you that follow these things, you may remember that Pluckrose and Lindsay, along with Peter Boghossian, were the authors of a number of hoax papers accepted for publication, and in some cases actually published, with titles like "Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon" (published in Gender, Place and Culture) and "Our Struggle is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism" (accepted by Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work but unpublished by the time the hoax was revealed). The latter was a Feminist re-write of Mein Kampf.

As hilarious as I found the hoaxes, the authors are serious academics and the book so far reflects that.

In other words: Femi-nazis? :)
 

Eye In The Sky

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I'm looking forward to the book on my *Next* list;  pre-orderd it back in August and have had it on my Clara since mid-Sept.  I ended up deciding to start it around the time-change end Oct.  I really enjoyed both The Pillars of the Earth and A Column of Fire...

The Evening and the Morning
 

FM07

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I just finished "Unflinching, the Making of a Canadian Sniper", and it was a great read. It is written by Ret. MCpl Jody Mittic and is a autobiographical tale about his time from basic through till 2006 in Afghanistan where he was severely injured. I highly recommend.
 

FJAG

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Disloyal: A Memoir by Michael Cohen.

Save your money. If you really want to read it, get it from a library. It does not need to be on the shelf of your home library or your Kindle.

Cohen goes on guilt trip to show that he's really seen the light and explains how it's really beyond him as to why he was taken in by Trump for the twelve years that he worked for him as his legal fixer other than his own lust for being close to the centre of the action.

Essentially he takes you through his rise as a privileged mediocre student in New York with his early exposure to the gangsters that frequented his uncle's country club from whom he learned his take no prisoners attitude, though his graduation from Michigan's worst law school to set up shop to become a highly successful lawyer in Manhattan to the series of events that brought him fame and power and eventually being introduced to Trump by Don Jr. It's a litany of name dropping all along the ride.

There is the expected recitation of numerous stories about what an narcissistic, unfeeling, cheap, lying, ignorant, psychopath Trump really is; how divorced from reality he becomes when the narrative suits him to be. At the same time there is some grudging respect for Trump's instincts which leads him to the presidency (apparently almost exclusively pushed by Cohen) when talent certainly didn't.

A good bit of time is spent on the Stormy Daniels matter but only from the point of view as to how this ultimately led to Cohen's demise and what an a*****e Avenatti is.

If you dislike Trump, this book will reinforce your negative opinions. If you're a Trump supporter this book will convince you that Cohen's ravings are those of a disloyal sycophant (hence the title "Disloyal"). In many respects both views are accurate.

There are two places where the book goes off the rails.

The first is the issues that he does not cover well at all such as the Trump hotel issues in Moscow or his congressional testimony. These matters are hinted about several times but discussed so superficially that there is a clear feeling that there is much more to the story than Cohen is prepared to talk about.

The second is the matters relating to the FBI's case against him. Essentially at this point, Cohen cloaks himself in innocence and bleats that he was framed. The FBI allegedly had an indictment ready to go for dozens of charges against both him and his wife and that he was blackmailed into pleading guilty to three (quickly changed to eight) charges. This part is totally unbelievable and so wrapped up in self-righteous indignation that it just sounds hollow.

:cheers:
 

daftandbarmy

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Poilu... horrific e.g., highly recommended. Should probably be read by everyone, in any military, over the rank of MCpl as a 'how not to be a leader' reminder :)

Poilu: The World War I Notebooks of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker

The harrowing first-person account of a French foot soldier who survived four years in the trenches of the First World War

Along with millions of other Frenchmen, Louis Barthas, a thirty-five-year-old barrelmaker from a small wine-growing town, was conscripted to fight the Germans in the opening days of World War I. Corporal Barthas spent the next four years in near-ceaseless combat, wherever the French army fought its fiercest battles: Artois, Flanders, Champagne, Verdun, the Somme, the Argonne. Barthas’ riveting wartime narrative, first published in France in 1978, presents the vivid, immediate experiences of a frontline soldier.

This excellent new translation brings Barthas’ wartime writings to English-language readers for the first time. His notebooks and letters represent the quintessential memoir of a “poilu,” or “hairy one,” as the untidy, unshaven French infantryman of the fighting trenches was familiarly known. Upon Barthas’ return home in 1919, he painstakingly transcribed his day-to-day writings into nineteen notebooks, preserving not only his own story but also the larger story of the unnumbered soldiers who never returned. Recounting bloody battles and endless exhaustion, the deaths of comrades, the infuriating incompetence and tyranny of his own officers, Barthas also describes spontaneous acts of camaraderie between French poilus and their German foes in trenches just a few paces apart. An eloquent witness and keen observer, Barthas takes his readers directly into the heart of the Great War.

https://www.amazon.ca/Poilu-Notebooks-Corporal-Barrelmaker-1914-1918/dp/0300191596
 

SeaKingTacco

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Did you pick that up from Munro’s? I have walked by that book a number of times, but not picked it up.
 

daftandbarmy

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SeaKingTacco said:
Did you pick that up from Munro’s? I have walked by that book a number of times, but not picked it up.

That's exactly where I picked it up. I might have nailed the last copy.
 

dimsum

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dimsum

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My Xmas reading list probably says more about the world than it does about me.

Just finishing Fareed Zakaria's latest - well worth the read

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53452906-ten-lessons-for-a-post-pandemic-world
Cheery.

Then again, I'm also listening to Kim Stanley Robinson's The Ministry for the Future so I guess I'm also in that boat.

 

dangerboy

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First to Fight: The Polish War 1939
By Roger Moorhouse
Genre: Military History (World War II)

One aspect of World War II history that is glossed over is that of the defence of Poland by the Polish forces. One of the reasons for this is history is written by the winners and poor Poland was "liberated" from the Germans by the Soviet Army. The Soviets did their best to suppress knowledge of the beginning part of the War so as to keep knowledge of what they did to the poor country quiet. Poland during WWII due to its geographic location had the misfortune in September 1939 of not only being invaded by German forces from the west but also Russian forces from the east due to the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which divided the country between the two countries.

This book seeks to overcome the lack of knowledge about the defence of Poland by its forces as well as dispel some of the myths that have risen about the battles. I think the book did an excellent job of describing the battles and atrocities that occurred during the occupation of Poland by two ruthless forces. The author also does a good job of explaining how due to its location the nation had been screwed over by various nations (Russia, Prussia, France, etc..) over the centuries. The author also includes some good maps and photos that help you understand the information presented.

If you are interested in military history especially that of WWII history then this book is highly recommended. It will give you a greater knowledge of what occurred during what we sometimes call "The Phoney War" period of WWII, a period that no Poles would call Phoney as it is estimated that 200,000 Polish (military and civilian) citizens were killed during that period.
 
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