« February, 2011 »
Originally written in the Spring 2005, Simmon’s collection of his Red Sox related columns though that fateful October night in St Louis in 2004 is a must read for any Red Sox fan. On re-read as Spring Training ramps up in 2010, some of the pop culture references are really dated, but because I’m old enough to remember them all, also still really funny.
read: 21 February 2011
Punk rock, monster movies, and Zen. It’s hard to see how those go together, but they do, in Brad’s life anyway. Hardcore Zen is part auto-biography, part intro to Buddhism, and whole lot of fun. This was actually a re-read. I originally read Hardcore Zen a couple of years ago.
read: 17 February 2011
Possibly the single best account in life in the infantry during the Pacific Campaign of WWII. This book is the basic for the HBO show, The Pacific, which I have not seen yet. Sledge’s descriptions of the horrific conditions suffered by the Marines on Peleliu and Okinawa defy simple explanation. That anybody came out of that campaign with their sanity intact is a miracle. That Sledge came out of alive, without even a Purple Heart, is either a miracle, or random luck. Take your pick. That so many young men willingly did this is something that I can’t even wrap my head around.
read: 11 February 2011
category: scifi & fantasy
The 3rd book in the Eden trilogy, and the rare case of the third book being just as good, if not better than the other two. This series is highly recommended for any fan if sci-fi or alternative history.
read: 2 February 2011
2nd Manassas is a somewhat overlooked battle in the American Civil War. That is a shame, because it provides a compelling drama in the brilliance of General Lee’s leadership, contrasted sharply with the utter incompetence of General Pope on the Union Side. This richly detailed account gets deep into the weeds of regimental level troop movements, but does so in a way that maintains a focus on the fact that these are real live people fighting and dying on the battlefield.I never really understood 2nd Manassas prior to the book. It doesn’t have that one majestic battle that is associated with the more famous Civil War events. Instead, it is comprised of clashes set over several days. Lee just misses the chance to destroy the Union Army here. It is amazing how often the survival of either the Union or CSA armies in this war came down to a matter of just a few minutes. Both sides missed numerous chances to end this war years before the final surrender at Appomattox. A delay by Jackson of maybe an hour on the final day could have cost Lee his chance to pin the Union army in, and destroy it. Who knows what the US and even the world would look like today if that had happened. Even though this campaign is a resounding victory for Lee, it is a victory at a steep cost. The losses and attrition resulting from the battle and the march through Manassas to Maryland would severely impact Lee’s ability to achieve victory at Antietam later in the fall.
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