Yea, I know, I talk about books a lot, but I figure it's a more interesting topic than extolling the virtues of Obamacare or wondering if Army will ever beat Navy at football.
This year I stretched my reading goal to 33 books, up from 30 last year. It was a tough challenge, tempered only by the fact that I got to write another excellent review essay for the Society of Military History and hooked up with the fabulous gang at the New York Journal of Books.
There were some really marvelous books this year, and some that were, frankly, meh, okay, but likely to end up in the library donation bag. I will say that I was a little surprise there was only 1 Civil War book in the completed list, considering how many new volumes have come out, but quite frankly, there were not a lot that piqued my interest. Ditto for World War II history. Although Rick Atkinson's book easily won my favorite of the year, the others were okay, but not outstanding. Since a 1/3 of my choices were fiction, I would have to say that Robert Conroy is quickly replacing Harry Turtledove as my favorite alternate history writer, although Peter Tsouras, from a technical point of view, is still the master of the alternate military history anthology.
I was also a little disappointed at how quickly the quality of books ran out, so to speak. Other than my review copies, there was little on my Christmas or Birthday Amazon wish list, sadly, I think all the outstanding books came out in time for summer reading, (coincidence? I think not), leaving little to look forward to over the holiday.
Which is probably just as well...my backlog is extensive and there will no doubt be some really great books to look forward to in 2014. My hope is that I will continue to see more scholarly and thoughtful books about the conflicts of the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, written by historians instead of "journalist" hacks with an ax to grind. Hopefully, this will be my motto in 2014..................