Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Long road it's been

I'm always looking for material on the Winter War.  Back in 07 I came across info on Amazon for a title TANKS IN THE WINTER WAR: 1939 - 1940 by Maxim Komolyets.  I tried ordering it using a coupon.  The publication passed without any sign of the book.  Then the description changed and eventually listed the book is being unavailable.  Over the years I came across references to it on Ebay but they were always expensive around $50 Canadian.  Recently I came across one nearly at list price.  So I purchased it.  Much to my chagrin it arrived yesterday.  I have to say I'm disappointed so far looking through it.  Looks like it's more pictures then text.  Will comment more when I actually get a chance to read through it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New blog

My friend has started up a new political blog check it out.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Legacy of a False Promise: A Daughter's Reckoning by Margaret Fuchs Singer

Legacy of a False Promise: A Daughter's Reckoning by Margaret Fuchs Singer this is a memoir of the 1950s. The authors father was investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee. He decided to name names. The narrative is two threads, first of these, the authors experiences growing up. The second the research she did later on both archival and interviews. I was perhaps not surprisingly to frequent viewers of this blog more interested in the research side of things. I'm not really sure what her boyfriend trying to fondle her addes to the narrative quite frankly.

Her father's decision to name names destroyed his career. He was fired from his position as a law professor. He found work inside the US government [thanks to the help of the committee], which was an interesting piece of irony. Nicely demonstrating that it really doesn't work to encourage people to come forward if they are confessing to things that will make them shunned by wider society. There's no incentive. The research uses up to date secondary sources and the FBI files and intelligence intercepts.


Note: this was provided for review by a PR outfit.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Historically accurate T&A

Considering all the grumbling about historical inaccuracy in films I found this a positive sign. It's also rather funny to. No silicone in period films.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Clarification on that fire

Wasn't actually as bad as originally made out to be.

Incompetent book design

I was reading a recent book that had laughable book design.  The index was actually one column per page I've never seen that before anywhere.  There was also strange shading on the chapter titles.  I was already to blast them as an incompetent self-publisher when I searched on the publisher name.  Shockingly they aren't in fact they've been in business for nearly 30 years.  Disgraceful simply disgraceful.  Looking at their other titles I'd consider purchasing them but I'm terrified what the final product will look like.

A Hundred Feet Over Hell: Flying With the Men of the 220th Recon Airplane Company Over I Corps and the DMZ, Vietnam 1968-1969 by Jim Hooper

A Hundred Feet Over Hell: Flying With the Men of the 220th Recon Airplane Company Over I Corps and the DMZ, Vietnam 1968-1969 by Jim Hooper  a collection of remembrances from Bird Dog pilots.  These lightly equipped aircraft acted as forward air controllers.  The often highly dangerous and difficult missions are described as well as attempts to blow off steam back at base.  The narrative is occasionally difficult to follow because Hooper has pulled extracts from his primary sources.  Each is labeled with the name of the witness.  Frequently they overlap giving a different view of the same event [which I like].  The book is very jargon heavy.  A glossary is provided there are explanations in the text as well. 

I can't recommend this for the casual reader but if you have an interest in an unusual facet of the Vietnam War give it a look.

This was provided for review by a PR outfit.

Monday, March 15, 2010

White Night by Jim Butcher

White Night by Jim Butcher book 9 in the series. A serial killer is killing off practitioners. Naturally this ties into the larger war with the vampires. Just once I'd like one to be standalone but I guess that's too much to ask. New dynamics Harry is trying to teach an apprentice. He says he's not like yoda then he proceeds to act like yoda. More back story is cleaned up along the way. Reading these books compressed in such a short time means that they are starting to blur together. The writing has improved since the beginning of the series.

Highly recommended!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Star Warped by Adam Roberts

Star Warped by Adam Roberts no points for guessing what this is a parody of.  Yes there are named based puns but much of the humor is situational.  For instance the Darth Vader equivalent is fearful that he doesn't have a sense of humor.  Which involves him testing it out on terrified underlings.  The book also has the final section first much like the films.  Roberts does create a plot out of this not that it's terribly important.  I did laugh out loud several times so it did its job.  The ending is so bizarre I don't think it worked but I give him credit for trying something completely out of left field.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The ultimate excuse

Chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth says Devil is in the Vatican. Apparently being catholic never means you have to deal with reality.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon

Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon never before in human history has a fictional character gone to the bathroom so much...  An old woman Ofelia refuses to leave when a colony is removed.  She survives by herself until meeting up with local aliens.  An academic team is sent to find out what happened to another colony that the aliens destroyed.  The plot is basically cranky elderly woman in space.  Ofelia's memorable and enjoyable even if she does have to go to the bathroom a lot.  Unfortunately all other human characters are incredibly stupid and insulting. Ofelia seems barely educated which I just don't buy for an advanced space culture.  I'm going to try something else by Moon because I think there's some potential here.  The alien culture in particular was nicely done.

Not recommended!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A few notes to used booksellers

If you can't sell hardcovers you're charging too much.  I've picked up a lot of stuff that I never would have bought before because it was only a few bucks.  Then it's off your shelves.  It's all well and good to only want titles that quickly move but it limits the possibility for large sales.  If I'm interested in the genre I already have some of the key texts.  However if I just found a new author I want everything not just their major award winning books.