2011 Monday Book Picks


My 2011 Monday book picks from the Blog

1/3/11
The Fighting Tomahawk by Dwight C. McLemore.
Dispite its European origins, the tomahawk is considered a uniquely American weapon. This is an interesting look at the use of tomhawk, and long knife, in practical combat terms. It is interesting that the author emphasizes the reverse grip for the knife. I'm not a big fan of the reverse knife grip for combat, but I can see how it is useful in blocking when the tomahawk is the primary offensive weapon.

1/10/11
Back to the Moon by Travis S. Taylor and Les Johnson.
This near future adventure story about the return of maned space exploration, starting by returning to the Moon, was written by two actual NASA engineers, with a fistful of degrees in the hard sciences between them. Rousing good space adventure!

1/17/11
Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth by Les Johnson, Gregory L. Matloff and C. Bangs.
A bit of hard science for you geeks and Greenies (real greenies, not watermelons), describing on how to use resources of the solar system for terrestrial benefit. Yup, going to space is good for Mother Gaia. Move your hard industry and power production to Earth orbit and mine the resources of the Solar System.

1/24/11
Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist by Patrick Albert Moore
Speaking of Enviromentalists and watermelons, this week's pick is by a founder of Greenpeace. This book is by someone who actually cares about the planet, who quit the organization he helped found after it was taken over by socialists using the environmental movement to push their political agenda. Here is the money quote from a recent article by Moore:

The collapse of world communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall during the 1980s added to the trend toward extremism. The Cold War was over and the peace movement was largely disbanded. The peace movement had been mainly Western-based and anti-American in its leanings. Many of its members moved into the environmental movement, bringing with them their neo-Marxist, far-left agendas. To a considerable extent the environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anti-capitalism and anti-globalization than with science or ecology. I remember visiting our Toronto office in 1985 and being surprised at how many of the new recruits were sporting army fatigues and red berets in support of the Sandinistas.
Oh ya, a watermelon is a politie term to describe those folks in the red berets, a thin skin of green, but red to the core.

1/31/11
Diversity Lane by Zack Rawsthorne.
The web comic now in dead tree format! Great strip, on my short list of web comics to check daily. Rawsthorne captures the liberal mindset in brilliant one panel cartoons.

1/14/11
Citadel by John Ringo
This is the second in his "Troy Rising" series and it doesn't fail to deliver! The first book in the series was a pick last year. He said he was going to go old school SciFi Space Opera with this series, and my hope what he would go E.E. “Doc” Smith big. Let me just say that my faith in Mr. Ringo was not misplaced. A very fun read. I recommend this series to long term Ringo fans, like me, and to those who haven't sampled his particular brand of reader crack yet.

2/28/11
The Mote in God's Eye by Dr. Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven
One of the classics of Science Fiction by two of the best "Hard Science Fiction" authors out there. This was their first collaboration and for extra bonus points, they had it vetted by the Grandmaster of Science Fiction, Robert A. Heinlein.

2/21/11
To Your Scattered Bodies Go & The Fabulous Riverboat by Philip Jose Farmer
A double hit by one of my favorite authors. The first two books in his Riverworld series are back in print in a single volume. To Where Your Scatter Bodies Go was my book pick way back on 9/7/09, but I saw that it was back in print today. It's worth the repeat, especially combined with The Fabulous Riverboat. This is one of the grand epics of Science Fiction and certainly worth the read to any student of the genre.

3/7/11
Heat Wave by Richard Castle
OK, OK...it's a spin off media from the Castle TV show. I read it after watching the first season. For murder mystery pulp, and I have read more than a few, it's not that bad. Reasonably decent as a stand alone, but the tie ins to the TV show are what make the book more than average. One of my favorites was naming the Judge the writer character plays poker with "Simpson" and noting his resemblance to Homer Simpson. The TV tie in is that the judge character in the show is played by Dan Castellaneta, who is the voice of Homer Simpson! Whomever the author is, I hope he got a decent fee for this. He or she probably had some fun writing it, and now that the next few mortgage payments are made, can focus on work their name can go on...

3/28/11
Go Tell The Spartans by Dr. Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling
Part of Pournelle's Condominium series, and more specifically part of the Falkenberg Legion series. An excellent read in the Military SciFi genre, and a damn good primer on low intensity conflicts as well.

5/9/11
Rogue Warrior by Richard Marcinko
Given that the Navy anti-terrorism group, which consists of SEAL Team Members and was originally called SEAL Team Six, is in the news lately, I'm repeating the book pick from 12/29/08
This is the autobiography of the founder of SEAL Team Six, the Navy's anti-terrorist unit.
Written while he was in federal prison in order to pay off his legal fees. Considering one of his jobs in the Navy was to piss off Admirals, it was hardly surprising that he ended up there.
I still say the Admirals that put him there should be brought up on charges. He is exactly the kind of psycho SOB (and I mean that in a good way) that you want doing the jobs he did.

5/23/11
Flaming Zeppelins by Joe R. Landale
A nifty little farce combining multiple historical and fictional characters in a series of adventures, complete with cross dimensional rifts to stir the pot a bit. Reminded me of lot of Philip Jose Farmer's writing as various fictional authors, with just a dash of Robert Heinlein's The Number of the Beast thrown in for good measure. The cast includes Annie Oakley, Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill Cody's animated head, Mark Twain, Jules Verne, Martian invaders and more. That includes Ned the Seal. Ned doesn't talk, that would be silly. He does write a lot on a notepad he wears on a chain around his neck though.

5/30/11
How The Obama Administration Threatens Our National Security by Victor David Hanson
Memorial Day special Monday Book Pick, as we honor those who have fought and died to protect America.

6/20/11
The Hot Gate by John Ringo
The third in his latest series, which is "old school SciFi Space Opera". Ya, we got your epic space battle right here, and in case you forgot the classic maxim, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, this book will remind you. They have their own battle plans, that is why they are called the enemy. Sometimes you don't win, but not losing can still carry the day. A damn fine read. May Mr. Ringo continue providing his 'reader crack' a pace that destroys laptops but pays for many new ones.

6/27/11
Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
The first in a new Steampunk action/adventure/romance series. Not a bad first outing for the writing team of Ballantine and Morris. Good solid formula adventure, the kind Lester Dent made a very nice living writing during the Golden Age of Pulp. That is a favorable comparison by the way. This novel, which takes place in the 1890's, complete with airships, Analytic Engines, steam powered bar bots serving beer and a mystery filled "Ministry" protecting the British Empire. This series follows two agents of that Ministry, a studious "Archivist" aptly named "Books" and the uber-field agent, Ms. "Braun", who wears a bullet proof corset (Ministry issue of course), is a crack shot with her two customer revolvers and has a fondness for explosives.

Stop groaning! The plot flows well and has enough twists and fight scenes to keep you engaged. In all a good, fun read. I'll be looking forward to the next installment in this Steampunk series.

8/29/11
Seize the Day by Richard Marcinko and Jim DeFelice
Wow, the Rogue Warrior series is up to fourteen with this installment. It's a good action yarn, and Marcinko likes to remind you that he does have a Masters in International Relations and has done more than "shooting and looting" in his world travels. In this book, he reminds that you sucks to be an average Cuban under Castro's brand of Communism and that there are worse prisons on the island than the terrorist holding cells at Gitmo. My favorite in the series is still the first one, his autobiography written to pay his legal bills.

9/5/11
The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont
The book is crack for pulp fans. Really, I'm not kidding. The heroes include Lester and Norma Dent, Walter Gibson, L. Ron Hubbard, Robert Heinlein and a merchant ship working cowboy who goes by "Lew" (Louis L'Amour I'm betting, perhaps Malmont couldn't get his estate to release the use of his name). Additional appearances by H.P. Lovecraft and E.E. "Doc" Smith. It's pulp writing, done by someone who loves pulp and wrote a big, wet, sloppy kiss to pulp.

9/12/11
Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can't Stand Up to the Facts by David Dunbar, Brad Reagan and James B. Meiqs
Here is the day after September 11 special edition Monday Book Pick. The kryptonite of those Troofer idiots, actual facts and rational thought.

9/19/11
Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi
When I first heard that John Scalzi wanted to do a reboot of H. Beam Piper's "Little Fuzzy", it made my Sunday SciFi pick for 4/11/10. It's out now, and I've read it (thanks Fred!), and I have to say it's pretty good. Piper purists may yelp because there is no contra-grav, but it's a bloody reboot! It's good, but I prefer the original Piper. He wouldn't be my first choice for a reboot of Space Viking or Uller Uprising, but the Fuzzy books, sure. My top choice for Space Viking would be David Weber, and John Ringo for Uller Uprising.

9/16/11
Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World by Andrew Breitbart
Andrew Breitbart tells the story of his transformation from clueless college student majoring in (anti-)American Studies to a warrior for the Constitution and for honesty in reporting from the main stream media. He explains in detail about collaboration between the DNC and the Media Complex (which includes TV News, print magazines and the film industry) and how to use new media to combat them and win! In chapter 7, he lays out his game plan for fighting the left in details some of the highlights include: Don't be afraid to go into enemy territory; Don't let the Complex use its PC lexicon to characterize you and shape the narrative; Ubiquity is key; and Truth isn't mean. It's truth. Leftist will try to talk about "your truth" and "their truth", which is bullshit. There is just the truth.

10/3/11
Rogue by Michael Z. Williamson
Williamson revisits Kenneth Chinran, the "hero" of The Weapon. The war is over, Ken wants nothing to with his his role in the war, just be left alone and raise is daughter. Of course, that isn't going to happen. One of Chinran's team members has "gone rogue" and the Government of Freehold wants him taken down. Mainly because they don't want other governments getting a reminder of just how deadly a trained Freehold Operative is. Chinran, and his lovely young assistant, travel across known space tracking down their prey as he performs assassination after assassination, including Earth, were Chinran is justifably afraid of being torn to small bloody bits by the surviving population.

10/24/11
101 Uses for My Ex-Wife's Wedding Dress by Kevin Cotter
Ok, this book isn't available until tomorrow, but it is just so mind blowingly awesome that it has to be today's book pick. The author's wife left him after 12 years and said to keep the wedding dress, he could do whatever he wanted with it. Word of advice darling, don't give a man a challenge like that.

11/14/11
Shotokan's Secret: Expanded Edition by Bruce Clayton
A very interesting book for both the martial artist and the historian.  Mr. Clayton has done extensive research into finding the environment that drove the creation of hard style linear Karate.  This system of martial arts came about in a specific time and place.  A time and place that previously predominately practiced only empty handed systems based on Southern Kung Fu systems.  Those systems had to be empty handed systems, because possession of a sword or any other restricted weapon by an Okinawan was punishable by death by their Japanese overlords!
The first half of the book is pure history.  The second half breaks apart the Shotokan katas and points out the hidden techniques. Techniques that had to be hidden at time the system was created.  Very interesting stuff for the martial arts historian.

This book was first mentioned on my Shaolin Kempo blog.

11/21/11
Obama: The Greatest President in the History of Everything by Frank J. Fleming
Hat Tip to my friend John on this one. A very funny parody of how hard core leftists view our Dear Leader. The scary thing is that isn't a parody for some of the seriously hardcore moonbats we have here in the Peoples' Commmonwealth.

11/28/11
The Dark Design by Philip Jose Farmer
The third book in his epic Riverworld Series.

12/12/11
Prince of Tanith: A Space Viking Novel by Terry Mancour
A well written sequel to one of my favorite books, Space Viking. Like most of H. Beam Piper's work, Space Viking is in the public domain, so sequels like this are fair game. Luckily this one is well written. It takes place after Lucas Trask marries his new love, Lady Valerie, and picks up the action pretty fast. It has all of your old friends and enemies, plus a few more. Fair warning. It ends in a cliff hanger. More about the 'third' book in the Space Viking Series later.


2008 Monday Book Picks.
2009 Monday Book Picks.
2010 Monday Book Picks.
2012 Monday Book Picks.
2013 Monday Book Picks.
2014 Monday Book Picks.
2015 Monday Book Picks.
2016 Monday Book Picks.
Current Monday Book Picks.

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