GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

'87 Sir

Thirty years of service ----USNA Class of 1987 '87 Sir

Monday, December 18, 2017

Grouchy Historian's Favorite Books-2017

So this year was a particularly good year for books.  In fact, my best year ever, with 45 books completed.  As usual non-fiction lead the way, but there were several excellent novels this year from my favorite authors.
My good friends at the New York Journal of Books provided many wonderful volumes to read and I am very much looking forward to the books I have already selected for next year.
I provided formal reviews of many of these volumes, they are on my personal page at NYJB.

SO, here we go.   First, non-Fiction

This was by far the winner.  There were some excellent military history books this year, but this one was really firing on all cylinders, as you can tell from my review.

As I noted in my review, the ultimate outcome of World War 2 was very much in doubt, even after the surrender of Nazi Germany in May 1945.  By that summer, nearly all the combatants were exhausted and war weary, including the United States, and the decision to use the atomic bomb, as this volume shows (AGAIN) was correct not only militarily to reduce American casualties, but in the long run, the atomic bombs and surrender of Japan very likely prevented the annihilation of the Japanese people and culture. 

2nd place was much tougher.  I really, really like all of Citino's work on the Germany Army, armies, and art of war, but this book was surprisingly good for a one volume history.  

This was the only extended campaign of the entire Pacific War and taught the US some very hard earned lessons in combined arms warfare and joint operations.  It does an excellent job of covering the land, air, and sea campaigns, and well as describing the larger issues of leadership and strategy.  If you only read one book on Guadalcanal, this should probably be it.

Now-Fiction
 Yea, I'm a sucker for Vince Flynn, a really nice guy and great author taken from us too soon.  Fortunately, Kyle Mills has stepped into his BIG shoes and done very, very well at carrying on the story.   This book was particularly good as it appears Mr. Mills is tying up several LONG story arcs while writing a definite page turning thriller.  Mitch Rapp is no robo-hero in this book, but someone who is feeling his age and mortality as well as his sense of duty and honor.  I hope Mr. Mills has something good in store for us next year.

So my runner up just sort of fell into my lap.  I REALLY, REALLY enjoyed Ms. Nagata's The Red Series, which if you haven't read you totally should, it is some of the finest military sci-fi ever.
She made a blanket offer to send an e-book to review and I did.  Every day I read some news article that shows just how prescient she is in this book.  It is a little slow to start, but once the action gets going and the overarching mystery starts to unfold you will find yourself saying "Holy Sh*t" or maybe that's just me.  It is definitely a quick and worthwhile read.  I hope she's also got something in the works for next year.

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