What are you reading right now?

endure

GCM
Just started re-reading 'Where wizards stay up late' the story of the development of the 'net. A good read for nerds.

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If you like this you'd probably like 'The Soul of a New Machine' by Tracey Kidder too. It's about the development of a 32 bit minicomputer by Data General in the 70s.

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According to the author, Timoshenko and Zhukov urged Stalin to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hitler in May 1941, but Stalin didn't want to provoke the latter. One of my favourite military researchers in Pen and Sword's Images of War series, Anthony Tucker-Jones has compiled a useful and insightful collection of graphic contemporary images. Informatively captioned in context with data, this little gem pictures the tank war on the Eastern Front.
 

endure

GCM
I've just finished reading 'Midnight in Chernobyl' by Adam Higginbotham.

It's a stunning story both of the corruption and incompetence of Soviet authorities but also of the stoicism and incredible bravery of the people on the front line of the fight to get it all under control. Very much recommended.

Edited to add:

There's a link at Reddit to PDFs of two books that were written by Grigori Medvedev, a Soviet physicist who was commissioned to write a report about Chernobyl.

 
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According to the author, Timoshenko and Zhukov urged Stalin to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hitler in May 1941, but Stalin didn't want to provoke the latter. One of my favourite military researchers in Pen and Sword's Images of War series, Anthony Tucker-Jones has compiled a useful and insightful collection of graphic contemporary images. Informatively captioned in context with data, this little gem pictures the tank war on the Eastern Front.
For a man capable of ruthless elimination, his wariness of Adolf may have been offset by a very wet spring thaw
 
For a man capable of ruthless elimination, his wariness of Adolf may have been offset by a very wet spring thaw
In some accounts, Stalin tried to buy a new Brest peace or modus vivendi from Hitler, in return for the Baltic, Belorussia, Moldavia and part of the Ukraine. Nikolai Pavlenko, “Tragediya i triumf Krasnoi Armii,” in Moskovskie novosti, no 19 (1989), pp. 8-9. Pavlenko cites Marshal Zhukov as witness to Stalin's offer delegated to Beria, initiated either a few days after the invasion - more likely - or on 7 October, 1941. The claims are repeated in several publications.

 
I've just finished reading 'Midnight in Chernobyl' by Adam Higginbotham.

It's a stunning story both of the corruption and incompetence of Soviet authorities but also of the stoicism and incredible bravery of the people on the front line of the fight to get it all under control. Very much recommended.
I was there a few weeks ago and one of the most amazing things I learned was that they evacuated Pripyat in about 3 hours...

 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
1963 Corgi ppbk of 1939 Steinbeck, 'The Long Valley', a 222pp anthology of 15 short stories about (mostly 1930s) life in a farming valley in California. Often dark, a couple of murders and a lynching, always some twist one isn't expecting, a master storyrteller even if the setting is so totally alien in time and space.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Having been on me 'olidays, I've been reading a lot of fluff. Not important, not educational or instructive but fun. One book, which is part of a series by a chap named 'T.J. Brownl'
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is very funny, and so is the second of his books.
And, I have re-read 'The Moon's a Balloon' by Niven. Pure class. What a raconteur that man was!
 

gorillaguts981

Old-Salt
About to read 'The Evolution Man, or, How I Ate My Father' by Roy Lewis again. It's been doing the rounds of older nephews and nieces. Spoof on how we kick-started from proto-human to almost human. Very funny and worth seeking out a copy.
 

slick

LE
Just finished "No small stir" by Phil Hadley. Quite a nice work of fiction set in wartime Cornwall. A sort of `military` Foyles War, chasing spies etc. Gets a bit sloppy with a love interest, but I wasn`t even sure which way that was going, half expecting her to be a fifth columnist. A few nice twists and turns, kept me so interested that I didn`t particularly want the book to finish. It mentions at the end of the book that it will be the first of a trilogy so I`ll keep my eyes peeled for the next ones.

 

chrismcd

Old-Salt
I've got this short story somewhere in my paperback science-fiction shelves, but it cropped up in a search and it turns out to be free to read on the Internet, and in a number of places too; excellent. One of the very few gemstone-quality short stories worth reading again and again.

Roger Zelazny: For a Breath I Tarry (1966)
Have you tried Lord of Light?
 
Have you tried Lord of Light?
Yes, got quite a good collection of Zelazny, mostly read in the 60s and 70s. Lots of short stories, of which he was a master, but 'A Rose for Ecclesiastes' was one of my early favourites.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
Just finished this.

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What can I say? The latest edition to The Last Kingdom series of books and I liked it so much that I thought I’d treat myself to series 1 - 3 of the the dvd series of The Last Kingdom, in Blu Ray. This was also very enjoyable, great special effects and a very easy to follow story with splendid acting which has done the books proud.
 
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Fishers of Men, it's OK, I got it as a gizit from my Amazon USA account - which involved some VPN magic.
 

exspy

LE
Fishers of Men, it's OK, I got it as a gizit from my Amazon USA account - which involved some VPN magic.
Is there anyone left who wasn't a British undercover agent in the IRA? Has the Official Secrets Act lapsed all of a sudden? It's much like every military autobiography now is about a super-secret commando in the SAS who only acted alone.

I'm of the opinion that any person who actually penetrated the Republicans, to any degree, is never going to identify himself, even through a pseudonym, to the general public. IMHO.

Cheers,
Dan.
 
I'm on my second crack at Shelby Foote's narrative history of the American Civil War. Foote's writing style is pleasing, but there are just too many names of men and place names that mean absolutely nothing to me, so I'm adrift when he writes about Fort McButtfcuk in eastern West Virginia. I'm a quarter way through the first volume but I'm finding it a chore.

This is where I wish George MacDonald Fraser had written the volumes of the Flashman papers about the ACW so that way it could've served as a primer for me.
 
Is there anyone left who wasn't a British undercover agent in the IRA? Has the Official Secrets Act lapsed all of a sudden? It's much like every military autobiography now is about a super-secret commando in the SAS who only acted alone.

I'm of the opinion that any person who actually penetrated the Republicans, to any degree, is never going to identify himself, even through a pseudonym, to the general public. IMHO.

Cheers,
Dan.
Most of these sorts of things I tend never to read them as I suspect most of the Authors bank on nobody who actually knows the facts ever being able to speak out and debunk their stories.
 
I'm on my second crack at Shelby Foote's narrative history of the American Civil War. Foote's writing style is pleasing, but there are just too many names of men and place names that mean absolutely nothing to me, so I'm adrift when he writes about Fort McButtfcuk in eastern West Virginia. I'm a quarter way through the first volume but I'm finding it a chore.

This is where I wish George MacDonald Fraser had written the volumes of the Flashman papers about the ACW so that way it could've served as a primer for me.
Keegan's book on the ACW is good, as is the Ken Burns documentary series.

I quite like Bernard Cornwell's Starbuck Chronicles novels too.
 

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