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20 August 2010


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Any military history by Sir Michael Howard esp.- "The Invention Of Peace" and "The Franco Prussian War".

"Stalingrad" by Anthony Beavor.

"Love In The Time Of Cholera" by Marquez.

Any science fiction by William Gibson, Heinlein and Asimov.

Just finished "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel and "Burying Caesar"- Churchill, Chamberlain and the battle for the Tory party.


Old movies = John Wayne movies on Saturdays all month on AMC, but I refuse to watch True Grit. It was a dog.

I know the old joke. Elvis couldn't sing and John Wayne couldn't act.

Cold War Zoomie

Lost in Translation was a great movie. It really stuck with me long after seeing it. Maybe it's most salient for all of us who have lived as expats before. It really captured that wonderful feeling when you land someplace new and cannot read the street signs. That uneasy mix of fear and adventure!

Yes, Bill Murray was robbed.

At least on his deathbed he'll receive total consciousness. So he's got that going for him!

The Twisted Genius

I strongly recommend "Daemon" and "Freedom" by Daniel Suarez. I read them both in a few days last Spring. As an introduction, check out his lecture on fora.tv concerning the technology that sparked his two works in science fiction.


In the same vein, William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" is equally enjoyable and thought provoking.

Larry Kart

The Colonel's "The Butcher's Cleaver" is a remarkable book -- so powerful that I've yet to work up the nerve to read its successor "Death Piled Hard," given the ground it must cover. I know -- silly me, but I will read it eventually.

In the realm of military history, I recently read and was impressed by Max Hastings' "Armageddon: The Battle for Germany 1944-45."

In my 60s I've read many of Anthony Trollope's novels (am now in the midst of the last of the Palliser novels, "The Duke's Children") and have yet to be disappointed. Trollope seems to me to be a very subtle, wise psychologist, though that is not supposed to be his strong point. I'd rate him well above Henry James in that realm. There is very little of importance in human life that Trollope can't deal with accurately, even if, as a Victorian, he doesn't always deal with it directly.

Roy G

Col. Lang, your second post reminded me of a joke. What is a Republican library? A bookstore.

The recent book i've read that I'd recommend is Goya, by Robert Hughes, a biography that colorfully tells Goya's story against the backdrop of the history of his times, especially the Spanish Civil War. Hughes nails it when he calls Goya 'the last classical master, and first modern artist.' His ability to subtly speak truth to power through art is something that has been forgotten, it seems.

Patrick Lang


Is that supposed to be condescending? If so, I will be glad to reply. pl

Patrick Lang


Your review of TBC was a proud moment for me. John Bslthazar and Claude await you in DPH. I am struggling with the third volume "Down the Sky," trying to express what is perhaps inexpressible. pl

Patrick Lang


I should have added "Eminent Victorians" by Strachey to the list. pl


"The fate of the American empire?"

Mr. Freedberg should re-read the constituion and the Declaration of Independence. I'm sure his Harvard could provide him a copy of both.

Here's a couple recent reads:
Embracing Defeat by John Dower. (Also a pulitzer winner)
Cod by Mark Kurlansky
The Terrible Hours by Peter Maas

Millionaire : *** by Janet Gleeson.


Lost in Translation was a perfect film.
Chris Guest's Waiting for Guffman
Bottle Rocket

Calvino's Baron in the Trees
McCarthy's Blood Meridian
Faulkner's As I Lay Dying
Garcia Marquez's 100 Years
Don Quixote
Moby Dick

Michael Maren's The Road to Hell


Films - Almost anything by John Ford or David Lean.

Fiction - A Small Colonial War, Fire in a Faraway, and Cain's Land by Robert Frezza. Don't be fooled by the covers very little SciFi and some of the best in military fiction (outside of the Col's of course). Lt Col Vereshcaginin's battalion is the one we all wished we served in.

Non-Fiction - Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

William R. Cumming

Anything by Richard Feynman, Alfred North Whitehead, or C.P. Snow!
Also just finished "Washington Gone Crazy" by Michael Ybara documenting the life and times of Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada and his various "which" hunts. Spectacular to make you understand fully the FDR and Truman Administrations. Also great intro to mid-century Nevada politics.


On my list for this summer are:
* Bacevich's Washington Rules
* Clinch's Kings of the Earth
* Howe's What Hath God Wrought
* Tucker's Atomic America
and of course, my newly purchased copy of Lang's Death Piled Hard (I need a Devereux fix!)

Already read for the summer:
* Helpern's Sh*t My Dad Says (hilarious!)
* Atwood's The Year of the Flood (better than Oryx and Crake)
* Hedges' Empire of Illusion (not as good as War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning)
* Andersen's Heyday (fun)

Too bad summer is almost over and the list remains so long! Then again, lengthening nights and warm coffee are quite conducive to reading as well!!

After reading Prof Brenner's note, I added Starobin's After America to the list. Should be an interesting read.



The Danny Boy scene Col....just beautiful....

As well as the "but what have done for me lately" encounter with Bryne and Turturro after the latter resurfaces.

"what heart?"


WRC or anyone, if interested in Nevada politics I would recommend this book:


Get a foretaste of where this financial crisis had its roots.

Larry Kart

A copy of "Death Piled Hard" is on its way to me now.

Perhaps the most "perfect" movie I know is Howard Hawks' "To Have and Have Not," with Bogart and Bacall.

I'd also highly recommend Jean-Pierre Melville's movie about the French Resistance, "Army of Shadows."

My favorite English-language novel of the 20th century is Anthony Powell's 12-volume "A Dance To The Music of Time."


Christopher Nolan's Inception. Wow!


Yep, Miller's Crossing--one of the greats.

I was living in New Orleans at the time the movie was filmed. According to a Wiki entry, the NOLA cops would show up everyday demanding "payment" for permits already paid for--which were obligingly handed over. The film crew's reaction was that they felt they were living inside the movie.

Roy G

Quite the contrary, Col, i'm in agreement with your statement:

"The publishing industry is moribund. It publishes cook books, coffee table books, wonky policy books, self adulatory supposed autobiographies, "f--k you money" books, and the wondrous "'------' for idiots" books."
Read old books."

My point, perhaps made too obscurely, is that bookstores tend to stock the former, while libraries stock the latter, and a bookstore is not a substitute for a library.


Should have added:

Most anything by Cormac McCarthy, particularly his novel of the American west, "Blood Meridian, Or the Evening Redness in the West."

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