Wednesday, 5 August 2009

What books am I reading?

World Tour:

Book Title: The Canadian War of 1812
Author: Charles Prestwood Lucas
Completed: Yes

I decided that, along my travels, I would try to learn some history about each place I went to. When I started to read my Canadian guide book, it pointed out forts, strategic positions and other military sightseeing areas from the 1812 Canadian War ... I didn't even know Canada had a war in 1812! Therefore I decided to purchase this book and read what it was all about.

The book is heavy going but well worth reading. The war was really strange; no clear winner, no major conflicts and it didn't really solve anything. It however was very important for Canada and even today the Canadians prefer the British to the Americans.

Book Title: A book about innocent
Completed: Yes

Innocent; a very successful company that makes healthy fruit smoothies. During the last 4/5 years working at my previous company, I drank these almost daily. I never drank tea or coffee and instead opted for a glass of 'mango, orange and passion fruit'. I drank it so much that, at my leaving do, they bought my this book which is really interesting; it's about how innocent started, there principles and how they became a success. It's very easy to read and well worth reading if you are starting a business of your own.

Book title: Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Author: Haruki Murakami
Completed: Yes

Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, written by Haruki Murakami, is a strange story set in modern-day Tokyo. It's about a guy's live and another life that he leads only within his sub-conscious. Apparently, according to this novel, we all create a separate world for ourselves within our sub-conscious but, as its there, most of us are rarely aware that it even exists. Within this book something goes wrong and the main characters life pattern has been altered so that his sub-conscious world would soon take over his reality. Like I said it's a strange story however it is also very gripping and well written with lots of attention to the smallest of details. I would recommend this novel and I shall be looking for more of Haruki's work as I travel further.

Book title: Emperor: The Field of Swords
Author: George Conn Iggulden
Completed: Yes

Julius Caesar has taken his legions north into mighty battles with the Gallic tribes. But as his successes mount, overwhelming ambition and new alliances begin to threaten his Friendship with Marcus Brutus, brother-in-arms and fellow warrior.
Although the conquest of Gaul has made Caesar a hero all over again, his victories on the battlefield cause still more rivalries at home. And ultimately Ceasar and Brutus will have to choose whether to cross the Rubicon - together or singly - and to take the fight to Rome itself.

Book title: Emperor: The Death of kings
Author: George Conn Iggulden
Completed: Yes

The young Julius Caesar is serving on board a war galleygaining a fearsome reputation Then his ship is capturedand he is ransomed and then abandoned on the north African coast. After gathering a force of men powerful enough not only to gain vengeance on his captors but also suppress an uprising in Greece he returns to Rome a heroBut then Julius finds he must fight againFor a new crisis is threatening the cityIn the unexpected form of a rebellious gladiator named Spartacus。。。

Just as good as the other Emperor

Book: Emperor: The Gods of War

Author: Conn Iggulden

Finished: Yes

The year is 53B.C. Fresh from victory in Gaul, Julius Caesar leads his battle-hardened legions across the Rubicon river. Now the armies of Rome will face each other at last in a bloody civil war, lead by the two greatest generals ever to walk the seven hills. Yet even as this monumental battle rages, another kingdom beckons Caesar – a world of ancient mysteries and languid sensuality and the seduction of an Egyptian queen named Cleopatra, who will bear his only son. From the spectacles of the arena to the whispered plots of conspirators, The Gods of War follows Julius Caesar through politics and passion, ruthless ambition and private grief – and an extraordinary friendship marked by fierce loyalty … and bitter betrayal.

It maybe that I don't want the adventure to end, or that Conn Iggulden was forced to finish the book quickly, but I felt that this part of Julius' life went at a faster pace than the other books. The civil war was fine; I felt enough depth covered it but Julius' time in Egypt felt as though Conn was just going through the motions until Julius' final chapter (I won't spoil the end of the book however, for those that know their history will have guessed the ending). However my negative comments are tiny compared to the joy I've been given from reading these novels. I can't wait to start reading them all over again.

Book title: The Vietnam War
Author: George Mark Atwood Lawrence
Completed: Yes

Written from a global prospective, this book is an excellent introduction into the Vietnam War. Not too long, not too short the book focuses on political movements instead of military ones. It gives a brilliant in depth insight into the complicated political arena the war was fought in and is very easy to read. A must for Vietnam War enthusiasts.

Book title: The Pol Pot Regime
Author: Ben Kiernan
Completed: Yes

An academic book about the the Pol pot Regime focusing on race, power and genocide in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-1979. It's a hard read but it is packed with so much information.

Title: Emperor: The Gates of Rome

Author: Conn Iggulden

Completed: Yes

In a city of grandeur and decadence, beauty and bloodshed, two boys, best friends, dream of glory in service of the mightiest empire the world has ever known. One is the son of a senator. The other is a motherless child. As Gaius and Marcus grow to manhood, they are trained in the art of combat by one of Rome's most fearsome gladiators. For Marcus, a bloody campaign in Greece will become a young soldier's proving ground. For Gaius, the equally deadly infighting of the Roman Senate will be his battlefield. And for both, the love of an extraordinary slave girl will be an honor only one will win. But as Rome is thrust into the grip of bitter conflict, Gaius and Marcus's friendship will be put to the ultimate test...

The first part of the 'Emperor' series and what a start; battles, comedy and passion … everything a good book should have and well written. It makes me want to read the whole series again!

European Tour:

Book title: War Stories
Completed: Yes

It's a great book given to me buy my Dad. It's all about different, but true, war stories of heroism and humanity. For example it has the famous story of WW1 when a Christmas game of football was played between the British and Germans in no mans land. The great thing about this book is it's all short stories ... great if you have 40 mins spare before you train is due.

Book Title: The Host (The Twilight Saga)
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Completed: Yes

Purchased in Basov when I finished the War stories book. It's brilliant; it's all about an alien race taking over the world and using humans as hosts. However some strong human bodies still keep a hold of their previous memories and a battle of wills between the body and host occurs. This story focuses on one of these situations; the way the author brings across the emotion of the soul and body is incredible, the level of detail is brilliant and the short 'cliff edge' chapters keep you reading. Seriously ... purchase this book you won't regret it.

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