What are you reading right now?

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To much jargon and to much meandering, the mini series makes a better job of telling the story.
 

Sexton Blake

Old-Salt
If you read and enjoyed Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs by Lewis Page (2006) criticising the British Armed Forces for waste and incompetence then this is another great and thought provoking read.

Up to date (published 2018 ) thoughts and analyses on where the UK Mil is at present and the direction(s) it is going. Separate chapters on RN, Army, RAF and UKSF.

Another of my 'couldn't put it down' collection.

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I've just finished one of Gen. Colin Powell's books: It worked for Me (In Life and Leadership).

This isn't a book about his life, per se, although he does give many anecdotes from his careers in the US Army and the US Administration. As the title suggests, it's more of a How To from the perspective of his experiences and philosophy. It can be a bit dry in places, but there's an abundance of wit and self-deprecating humour (humor?). I found it quite poignant, given recent events, that he makes very, very little reference to black deprivation, and much, much more to hard work, perseverance, determination, and much more hard work, maybe a little luck, and having good mentors. How a young boy from the Bronx, of poor immigrant Jamaican parents, with little academic talent can make it to the top of the US military and the highest levels of the Administration speaks volumes about him as a person.

He talks candidly of the one great failure of his career, Iraqi WMD, and makes no excuses but discusses why the debacle came about, what he should have done, and how others can avoid a similar mistake themselves.

I'd have this given to every aspiring leader of men at school, and every RMAS cadet, and wish I'd had something like it when I was a young teen (although, whether I'd have heeded the advice contained therein is another matter).

I am a huge admirer of him, more so after reading the book, which I'm going to give to my granddaughter in a few years.
 
Just finished re-reading David Fiddimore's Charlie Basset series again. Strange but oddly fascinating books.



I've now gone further back in time to John Masters' Now God Be Thanked. I first read it about 35 years ago and enjoyed it immensely.
 

Sexton Blake

Old-Salt
I have done a few searches yet surprisingly no results on Arrse for the ultimate book on Walts. Almost 700 pages long and albeit totally focused on the US/Vietnam war problems with this 'issue' I found it utterly brilliant.

I give you STOLEN VALOUR in all its chubby glory.

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Furthermore (if you can take any more) here is another, similar follow up book. The bloke on the front cover NEVER actually served in Vietnam.......or the US Marines.........or indeed in any aspect of the US military in his entire life. The Walting baboon.

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I have done a few searches yet surprisingly no results on Arrse for the ultimate book on Walts. Almost 700 pages long and albeit totally focused on the US/Vietnam war problems with this 'issue' I found it utterly brilliant.

I give you STOLEN VALOUR in all its chubby glory.

View attachment 483383

Furthermore (if you can take any more) here is another, similar follow up book. The bloke on the front cover NEVER actually served in Vietnam.......or the US Marines.........or indeed in any aspect of the US military in his entire life. The Waiting baboon.

View attachment 483385
I read Stolen Valor while I was working on a project for the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Fund, the organisation that built the wall.

At the time, the US embassy in Cambodia in particular was getting a lot of visits by alleged veterans, so much so that the Military Attaché had to come up with a series of ‘boat house’ type questions. Many of the visitors were outed as walts this way.

Whilst on the project, reading the book and visiting VVMF, we heard that one of the people commemorated on the wall was found to be alive and well, and, IIRC, running a bar in Thailand. I did ask if they were going to stick a little slab of marble over his name...they were not amused :)
 
I'm currently nearly finished reading Bloody Belfast by Ken Wharton. Does anyone know if he posts on this site? I served with the RB in Londonderry and there are a couple of inaccuracies in the section on Strabane that I would like to contact him about. Otherwise, it's an excellent book - I never spent much time in Belfast and it was a real eyeopener for me.
 
I'm currently nearly finished reading Bloody Belfast by Ken Wharton. Does anyone know if he posts on this site? I served with the RB in Londonderry and there are a couple of inaccuracies in the section on Strabane that I would like to contact him about. Otherwise, it's an excellent book - I never spent much time in Belfast and it was a real eyeopener for me.
He's on FaceBook. So a friend told me . . .
 
Having just (re)watched The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre I thought I'd (re)read the book. It is, not surprisingly, better than the film and I'm enjoying it.
 
I am halfway through the “Greek Myths” by Robert Graves. I bought this as a two-part Folio society issue years ago and was untouched until now. Needs must.
The prompt to add this is the recent show led by Bettany Hughes (you guys know the one).
How the Hellenes (roughly described) ordered their world, and made sense of it, is interesting. There is of course, cattle rustling, abduction and sleeping it off in glades.
Graves’ notes are included with his enquiries into Celtic, Egyptian and Palestinian mythology, among others.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
I am halfway through the “Greek Myths” by Robert Graves. I bought this as a two-part Folio society issue years ago and was untouched until now. Needs must.
The prompt to add this is the recent show led by Bettany Hughes (you guys know the one).
How the Hellenes (roughly described) ordered their world, and made sense of it, is interesting. There is of course, cattle rustling, abduction and sleeping it off in glades.
Graves’ notes are included with his enquiries into Celtic, Egyptian and Palestinian mythology, among others.
Just finished watching the latest edition of Bettany's Greek Odyssey - BH the Nigella of ancient history programmes.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Now you‘re interested!
I have been interested in ancient history for a long time and know a lot of the stuff that Bettany is talking about - so I don't have to concentrate on what is being said, just look at the scenery! :)
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
I have been interested in ancient history for a long time and know a lot of the stuff that Bettany is talking about - so I don't have to concentrate on what is being said, just look at the scenery! :)
Memories ey;)
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
Half way through a DI Ridpath novel, Where the dead Fall by M J Lee.
I found it whilst rummaging through a box in the shed, how it ended up there I don’t know.
Set in Manchester with some good police humour and quite a bit of artistic licence I am liking it.
Its easy reading with a a good fast story full of unexpected turns but not over complicated just the sort of book to read if you fancy a bit escapism.
Its the second book in a series so I suspect I will be buying the first after I have finished.

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My local library just reopened on a call ahead and pickup basis and I just obtained a copy of Daniel DeFoe's
"A Journal of the Plague Year"
It just seems appropriate for this season
 
At the time, the US embassy in Cambodia in particular was getting a lot of visits by alleged veterans, so much so that the Military Attaché had to come up with a series of ‘boat house’ type questions. Many of the visitors were outed as walts this way.
Were they trying to scam assistance?
 

diverman

LE
Book Reviewer
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Part the way through this, a good book but like other Vietnam memoirs I've read the style of writing is quite off putting, it to me, doesn't 'flow' when reading it.

Those crews deserved all the awards they were given for undertaking evacuations of wounded soldiers but as is usual far too many acts of heroism go unseen and unrewarded. The comment 'big and brass' is most appropriate to describe them.

I hope that some of the experiences of the UK crews one day will be told following the books by Alex 'Frenchie' Duncan and his book Sweating the Metal and Mark Hammond's' Immediate Response' from their experiences in Afghanistan.
 

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