Author Topic: What are we reading?  (Read 551197 times)

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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5010 on: May 21, 2020, 06:53:48 PM »
About to begin Persian Fire by Tom Holland, just in time for the Rise of Persia DLC for Field of Glory: Empires :)
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Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5011 on: May 22, 2020, 10:05:40 AM »
Just finished "Fifty Nine in '84" by Edward Achorn

The title refers to Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn's baseball pitching record of winning 59 games in the 1884 season for the Providence Grays. This record still stands today and will likely never be broken. The reason is that Radborun pitched full games, and started almost every game after July 1884. At one point, he even pitched five days in a row. In those days, managers did very little to save their pitchers arms. Today, hardly any MLB pitcher ever pitches a full game and would never start two games in a row.

Old Hoss may have another set of records...according to the author, Radbourn is probably the first and second man to be photographed flipping his middle finger at the camera.

Baseball at the time was at the same time very familiar, but also different. For the most part, a spectator today would immediately recognize the game. Some differences were: 1) pitchers were in a "box" not a mound, and threw from 10 feet closer to plate. 2) fielders and the catcher did not have gloves...broken, mangled fingers were just part of the job, 3) over hand pitching had just been made legal in the National League. But most pitches were side-arm tosses, with the occasional under-hand pitch, 4) balls were rarely replaced during the course of a game. In one case, the Providence manager stopped the game for 10 min while he got a ladder to pull the ball off of the roof over the stands. 5) ball players and crowds were rough around the edges. Providence's other ace pitcher, Charlie Sweeney was drunk half-way through the 1884 season, got into an on-field altercation with his manager, and walked out of the game after about seven innings. His team finished (and lost) the game with only eight players. Crowds would often wait outside the ballpark and attack players and umpires they did not like. 6) balls were harder and heavier, with less bounce. Home runs were infrequent. 6) the bunt had just been invented and was considered unmanly. 7) because there were no field lights, umpires would call the game at darkness, with the score being locked in from the last full inning.

The book is well written, and really brings the period to life. After a while, I felt like the author could have been talking about baseball in the modern era. The book is also a portrait of 1880s Providence. A town that lost its MLB franchise in 1885 and has not seen it again.

If you like baseball, this is a great book.

https://www.amazon.com/Edward-Achorn/dp/0061825875/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3RZB1SLQKN86Z&dchild=1&keywords=fifty+nine+in+84&qid=1590161658&sprefix=fifty+ni%2Caps%2C236&sr=8-1
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 05:24:16 PM by ArizonaTank »
Honus Wagner
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Shortstop: Pittsburgh Pirates 1900-1917
Rated as the 2nd most valuable player of all time by Bill James.

Offline twitter3

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5012 on: May 23, 2020, 01:48:41 PM »
^ Sounds very interesting! Thanks for the tip.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5013 on: May 27, 2020, 08:21:39 AM »
Just finished Churchill's semi-autobiographical tome on 1915 of WW1 (Vol 2 of The World Crisis, depending on which publication is being read), plus the 1915 chapters of his Eastern Front volume.

As might be expected, he focuses mostly on the Dardenelle operation in 1915, or operations rather. Less so in his 1915 chapters for the East Front, but it has its topical connections.

The East Front book, as I may have said before, takes 70% of its absolute length to reach the end of 1914, and by the end of 1915 I'm at 90% done. I haven't checked the table of contents (in an amazing display of sheer laziness), but I don't have any clear idea why or how he's going to cover the East Front separately from 1916 through to even 1917. I suspect a good portion of what happens in late 1917 and afterward on the East Front is covered in his "Aftermath" main volume. But still, that's nearly two more years of warfare to cover in a 10% remaining space that also includes everything in the endnotes (not very extensive) and the appendices (moreso).  ???

Anyway, the edition I'm reading combines the other main volumes except Aftermath into the final tome which I started yesterday.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Sir Slash

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5014 on: May 27, 2020, 08:27:09 AM »
I just finished, 'The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution'. Great little book of Marion's campaign, his battles, ambushes, tactics and method of operations. I now have a great deal of respect for him and his contribution to the revolution.  O0
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5015 on: May 27, 2020, 04:13:25 PM »
Both the Churchill series and the Swamp Fox books sound good.
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Offline twitter3

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5016 on: May 27, 2020, 04:18:14 PM »
Reading The Northern Wars by Robert Frost to give me some background on my game of  Wars of Succession as Sweden.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5017 on: May 27, 2020, 04:19:35 PM »
Both the Churchill series and the Swamp Fox books sound good.

I've enjoyed it a lot, and especially in context of his volumes of the History of English Speaking Peoples which segues into pre-WW1 setup. It's a lot like playing a mod of Imperator Rome that starts well before the rise of Rome (though focusing on that in relation to Britain's emergence into 'history' per se), goes through the timeframe of that game into another mod up into a mod for CKII starting just before the fall of Rome, then through CKII and EUIV and Vicky2 into HOI3 or 4... with one guy playing the Island and its peoples and commenting on how the game is going.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5018 on: May 27, 2020, 06:51:32 PM »
^You should work in a publishing company's marketing department!

Twitter3, I read The Northern Wars by Frost years ago. I remember enjoying it a lot and wishing there were more books in English on the subject. I think I read it along with Robert Massie's Peter the Great, one of my favorite books of all time.
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Offline Ubercat

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5019 on: May 27, 2020, 07:17:50 PM »
... Robert Massie's Peter the Great, one of my favorite books of all time...

Just finished reading it for the third time several months ago. Definitely one of my favorites.
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5020 on: May 27, 2020, 07:23:01 PM »
Massie is probably my favorite historical author. Dreadnought may be my favorite history book ever.
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Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5021 on: May 27, 2020, 08:53:25 PM »
Agreed. Love Massie as a historian and Peter the Great is a masterpiece.

I first read Peter the Great when my family moved to Moscow after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was really entertaining to read Massie’s footnoted that began with “those who have been to Russia will note that this has not changed much since the 18th century.” He was right! In many ways Peter’s Russia is still the Russia of today.

Offline twitter3

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5022 on: May 28, 2020, 07:31:44 AM »
Thanks for the tips on Massie and his book on Peter the Great. I have added it to my list of books to read! I did read Peter Englund's book on the Battle of Poltava and really enjoyed it.


Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5023 on: May 28, 2020, 08:35:02 AM »
Trying to remember if I read that book on Poltava...I don't think so.
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5024 on: May 31, 2020, 08:19:28 PM »
About to begin Dividing the Spoils - The War for Alexander the Great’s Empire by Robin Waterfield.
"I'm not even dead and I'm rolling over in my grave."

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