As is my habit (and many others), I publish a lame “best of” list every year. Mind you, these are just some of the book I really enjoyed this year, but not all.
Usually a waste of cyberspace on Thanksgiving but hey … why not, right?
Hope you enjoy my list, maybe get a few recommendations for you and yours and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Outlaw Platoon raises some important questions which needed to be asked (preparedness, effectiveness, professionalism) but that are difficult to face. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in the current war, combat or military life.
The Ariadne Objective reads like a first rate World War II spy novel which could only be the product of the author’s fevered imagination. The fact the this book is non-fiction, with all the colorful characters, humor and fantastic adventures makes it all the better.
The Color of Light by Helen Maryles Shankman is a novel which explores art, the Holocaust, humanity and, of course, vampires. The vampire in the story runs an art school and is constantly in conflict with his past life as well as the acts he is forced, by his nature, to do while trying to hold on to his humanity.
The conclusions Dr. Kelly made are frightening and still relevant to this day. In his writings, Dr. Kelley stated that there was nothing “special” about these top Nazis and their personalities, what happened during Germany’s Third Reich could happen in any country.
The Nazi propaganda machine not only conditioned women to accept and tolerate violence, but also to participate in it. The Third Reich not only insisted on women honoring the 3 Ks (Kinder, Küche, Kirche – children, kitchen, church), but also mobilized women to contribute to the terror at home and in the occupied German territories either via administrative work, moral support (it’s hard work killing hundreds a day and the murderers needed snacks, rest and psychological support) or active participation.
Shapow is honest in the book, he talks about mistakes he made, things he regret, the sadness and guilt of watching friends being murdered without the ability to help and other difficult stories.
I’m not recommending War & Peace because it’s a famous book, or considered a classic, or because I’m afraid that I’d look like the uncultured, uncouth shcmo which I actually am. No, this is an excellent book which is still relevant despite being written long ago. Tolstoy’s existential thinking, philosophical musings and observation of humans falls just short (if at all) from the Bible. The analogies to this day and age could be made with ease and the historical aspect simply raises the book to another level.
The Destiny of the Republic reads like a novel, an exciting page turner which will keep you wanting for more. The book reintroduces the readers to President Garfield as an eloquent, strong willed and brave politician whose legacy should be known to many more Americans.
[T]hebook gives the reader a lot to think about while appealing to their emotions. While sometimes the book felt a bit slow, it is still and easy read with a fresh and unique perspective on a subject which has fascinated people for centuries.
Engineer Henri Poincaré works hard to try and bring up the frigate HMS Lutine which went down almost 200 years before with millions worth of gold in its belly. As a reward for his hard work, Henri takes a break and hikes at low tide across the Wadden Sea. Henri gets to know his guide, Liesel Kraus who is a director at Kraus Steel and is still haunted by a violent history and corrupting wealth.
This is a good novel, well written and tight – the novel should get 5 stars and be on everyone’s “must read” list just so they could study the structure, tone, delivery, drama and focus correctly.
The Missing File was a pleasure to read, the book flows and the author does an excellent job keeping the reader’s interest from page to page. The only issue I had with the book was the translation of the title which, in English, makes little sense but in Hebrew seems appropriate in the context of the story. The book seemed to end with a new beginning and I, for one, am looking forward to the next installment.
Steffen is a Lutheran pastor in 1943, Copenhagen. Steffen’s routine is broken one day when he had a bicycle accident that sends him to the hospital where he finds a friend in the form of a Jewish nurse named Hanne.
Rocamora by Donald Michael Platt (website) is based on the life of Vicente de Rocamora a poet, fighter and Dominican priest who was thrust into the scheming court of King Philip IV. Rocamora became the confessor for the king’s younger sister, the beautiful Infanta Doña María and was considered as a strong candidate for Inquisitor General.
Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright was a book which surprised me from start to finish. At first I thought I was picking up a memoir by the famed Secretary of State about her childhood, but what I got was a first-class lesson in history before, during and after World War II from perspective seen thorough Czechoslovakian eyes.
Broken Angel is an unapologetic book that moves at a furious pace with intriguing characters living on the fringes of society. One of the strengths of the book is the supporting characters, most of them intriguing, strong and with enough mystery to support the rest of the series.
The story portrays a Jewish family trying to stay sane in a world gone mad. The family is trying to salvage a bit of civility wherever they can in a place that could on be described as hell on earth.
The book is compact yet consistent with the life of Cervantes, Mr. Manrique manages to employ his imagination to create a rich environment and a gripping adventure. The characters are wonderfully inventive and charming; they all have their flows, their hearts and their assets with them, which makes the book real and engaging.
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