Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Always nice to see

My most recent review was linked over on Early Modern History which appears to be an aggregator.  Check it out if you're interested in the era.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

English Civil War Fortifications 1642-51 by Peter Harrington

English Civil War Fortifications 1642-51 by Peter Harrington acknowledges that this is a difficult topic to cover. Fortifications built during the conflict were generally based on European continental designs but at the same time not uniform. Makes dealing with them in this short format difficult. So high points get mentioned as well as background and construction. Fortunately there's a bibliography. I'll be looking for some of the sources mentioned in it.

Mildly recommended.

Looking stupid

President's Choice really needs to take down that commercial bragging about feeding the alpine team.

Monday, February 22, 2010

He Crashed Me So I Crashed Him Back: The True Story of the Year the King, Jaws, Earnhardt, and the Rest of NASCAR's Feudin', Fightin' Good Ol' Boys Put Stock Car Racing on the Map by by Mark Bechtel

He Crashed Me So I Crashed Him Back: The True Story of the Year the King, Jaws, Earnhardt, and the Rest of NASCAR's Feudin', Fightin' Good Ol' Boys Put Stock Car Racing on the Map by Mark Bechtel that certainly is quite the title isn't it? It's actually somewhat of a misnomer. Most of the text is taken up with the Daytona 500 "fight". That's probably the most widely played and famous 10 second clip in North American auto racing. The major players are given biographies that are occasionally rather witty. Current fans will find many familiar names including most of the current TV commentators. There is an attempt to link the season with wider cultural themes. I thought this didn't work as well. The snowstorm and relationship with Ronald Reagan have been repeated ad nauseam enough. When the book discusses racing it is extremely good.


Note:This book was provided through Librarything's early reviewer Program.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Luge accident and F1

Was wondering when Jackie Stewart was going to say something.  Mildly surprised to see Mosley quoted....  It is the Times I suppose.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quotation [occasional]

"Any driver who says he loved the 'Ring was either lying, or not driving quickly enough."
Jackie Stewart

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Interesting analysis

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part One) thoughts on the box office potential. I agree that the boycott aspect although vocal online won't amount to much in the end.

Ticonderoga 1758: Montcalm's victory against all odds by Rene Chartrand

Ticonderoga 1758: Montcalm's victory against all odds by Rene Chartrand it's an Osprey. Describes the British attempt to seize New France. Plenty of British incompetence on display. As far as it goes this is fine but perhaps one of the weaker campaign titles. There isn't the same level of detail as in others.

Not recommended.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher book 8 in the fantasy mystery series. Don't worry I just have one more to do then back to military history. I promise. In this one black magic is being carried out amongst the backdrop of a horror convention. Harry has to figure out who's doing it and why. This fills in some major gaps in back story and explains the motivation of several characters. It is surprisingly emotionally effective in places. I've occasionally called the series fluff and that's still true but becoming less so. I find myself caring about these characters.

Highly recommended!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher this is the seventh book in the series. It's pretty difficult to summarize things so I'll just say zombies! For most of the book Harry is actually pretty smart which is a nice change from the others. There's also much less about his "rescuing women in peril" thing. I'm reading these one after another it's hard to say whether they would be accessible if you started here.


Sunday, February 07, 2010

Late Show spot and Super Bowl commercials

Very nice spot with Dave, Jay and Oprah. So far the commercials have been pretty lackluster except for the fiddle playing beaver.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher the sixth book in the Dresden Files series. More vampires in this one as Harry has to deal with some particularly nasty customers. There's background about his family. The family reveal was a little too cute for my taste. There were more action sequences and doing in this book which was nice. Harry has less time to second guess things. This may be my favorite one of the books so far.

Highly recommended!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Death Masks by Jim Butcher

Death Masks by Jim Butcher this is the fifth book in the mystery and fantasy series. In this one. Harry must recover the Shroud of Turin which has been stolen as well as survive a dual with a vampire. Harry can be very dense at times which allows the plot to go forward but occasionally leaves me scratching my head.  Much like Homer Simpson his intelligence seems to go up and down with the necessities of the plot. I'm surprised the actual name of the artifact was used. I would have figured a stand in would be less controversial. Or maybe that was the point to create a little controversy.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Tudor Knight by Christopher Gravett

Tudor Knight by Christopher Gravett this covers the weapons, tactics and cultural background of knights in the 1500s in England. Typical for titles from this publisher there are lots of pictures and illustrations. Strikes me that they had some trouble getting the right length. There's info on changes in military recruitment and deployment as well as the usual stuff on tournaments and campaigns. There is a bibliography and glossary of terms.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

Summer Knight by Jim Butcher this is the fourth fantasy, mystery in the series. Events are linked to the outcome of the third book. Enough background is explained that you could pick up this one straight away but it would probably be best to go back and start at the beginning. The winter and summer ferries are about to go to war, Harry is the only one who can figure out why. Characterization is getting a little better if lacking subtlety. Action sequences are as always well done.


Monday, February 01, 2010

The House of the Stag by Kage Baker

The House of the Stag by Kage Baker  is a fantasy novel.  Baker passed away yesterday so I pushed this to the top of the to be the red pile.  It's a dual narrative the first track follows the life of Gard who rebels against an invading force.  The rest of his people refuse agreeing with A spiritual leader.  He tries to escape is captured by slavers and survives various adventures.  The other thread follows The Saint the offspring of the spiritual leader.  Her attempts to educate her own people and yet follow or her own way.  Characters are three dimensional.  The plot is excellent.  There are funny bits.  In particular when Gard becomes an actor.  This was a prequel to an earlier novel.  I'll be picking it up.

Highly recommended!