Monday Book Picks


My Monday book picks from the Blog

2/4/2019
The Hunter Killers by Dan Hampton
A well researched look at the creation of the "Wild Weasel" program by the US Air Force during the Vietnam war. The effective SAM (Surface to Air Misslle) was a new thing, and the Russians were providing them to the communists in North Vietnam. So the Air Force put radar tracking equipment in planes, along with an Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO), to track down the SAM sites and take them out before they could take out the attacking aircraft.

3/4/2019
Grey Lensman by E.E. Smith
Part of the classic Lensman series, from which all Space Opera springs. It's the story of Kim Kinnison, the result of thousands of years of selective breeding by an ancient race, to save civilization from the forces of tyranny. It has massive space battles, planet destroying weapons, intrigue, aliens, battles of the mind, and true love.
Let's not forget the space axe. Space Armor is proof against bullets and death rays, so the heroes use a specialized 30 pound axe to kill their foes.
A ripping good yarn from the Golden Age of Pulp. SciFi Grandmaster Robert Heinlein considered Smith a mentor, and echos of the Lensman series can be found in Heinlein's work as well as Ringo, Weber, Halderman, and many others.

3/25/2019
Murder by the Book by Rex Stout
Stout at the top of his game in this Nero Wolfe mystery. A pair seemingly unrelated murders are presented to Wolfe, who makes the connection and sets on the trail of the killer. He and Archie Goodwin are presented with two more murders while tracking the murder who almost got away with it.

4/8/2019
Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia
I've always been much more of a hard SciFi fan than fantasy, but I like Larry Correia's fast paced pulp style. I started listening to little bits of this book at the end the weekly Baen Books podcast. When I got a dead tree version, I chewed through it pretty quite. Good adventure with a reluctant hero who has, like some of the characters in his Monster Hunter International books, been given the 'short straw' by the gods. Larry Correia is a pen and paper RPG geek from way back, and this book show some serious world building. If you want some fast paced fantasy adventure, where the author was clearly chuckling when writing parts of it, give this book a read.

6/3/2019
What is Self-Defense: Kenpo Jiu-Jitsu by James Mitose
This classic is back in print. My copy was printed in the early 1980s. The original was printed back in 1953. Most the Kenpo/Kempo taught in the United States traces directly back to James Mitose, and the most famous of his students, William Chow.

6/3/2019
What is Self-Defense: Kenpo Jiu-Jitsu by James Mitose
This classic is back in print. My copy was printed in the early 1980s. The original was printed back in 1953. Most the Kenpo/Kempo taught in the United States traces directly back to James Mitose, and the most famous of his students, William Chow.

6/17/2019
Some Buried Ceasar by Rex Stout
We're setting the Way Back Machine to 1938 for this Nero Wolfe novel. If you like murder mysteries, any of Stout's Nero Wolfe novels is worth the read. What makes this interesting is that none of the story takes place in the familiar brownstone which Wolfe so rarely leaves. He and Archie have ventured into the wilds of upstate New York so Wolfe can display some of his Orchids at a county fair. Wolfe and Goodwin become involved the local scandal of a champion Guernsey bull named Hickory Caesar Grindon being sold to a owner of a chain of restaurants. The scandal is that the new owner plans of cooking Caesar and feeding him at a large barbecue as an advertising event. Hot tempers, long standing family feuds, and shady characters lead to multiple murders. One of the nice twists is the local cop who tosses Archie in jail. Archie passes the time by forming a prisoners union, complete with presenting a list of demands to his jailers. This novel also introduces the reoccurring character of Lily Rowan.

8/5/2019
Red Inferno:1945 by Robert Conroy
Another of the late Robert Conroy's alternate history novels. This one is set in 1945. WWII in Europe is winding down, Berlin is about to fall. Harry Truman is now the US President. The change is scarily probable viewed from a modern perspective. Stalin decides that he want's a bigger buffer zone than he was promised by Roosevelt and Churchill, so after taking Berlin, he turns the massive Red Army westward to attack American and British troops. Remember that the Russian army was really, really big at the time. Partially because of the US supplying them with food, clothing, weapons, planes, and oil for years. There are few factors that work in the Allies favor, including Stalin's management style, and the Manhattan project. An enjoyable and engaging read. Check it out.


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