Your 12.18.19 Playpen

A month from now, we’ll be into the 2020 offseason, with a lot of free time due to no college football, so I thought it might be fun to get some book recommendations from the GTP faithful.

Try, if you can, to pick out authors who might not be too well known to most of us.

I’ll give things a start with Phillip Kerr, who wrote a series of books about Bernie Gunther, a private detective in 1930s Berlin, and the ethical problems of operating in an amoral and lawless society.  Kerr recently passed away, but wrote thirteen books about Gunther that stretch over a period of time starting in Weimar Germany and extending into the 1950s.  Great stuff.

Please share in the comments, gang.

155 Comments

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155 responses to “Your 12.18.19 Playpen

  1. Thank you. I am a huge fan of Babylon Berlin (Netflix) and the detective Gereon Rath in 1920’s Weimar Berlin. This sound similar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • stoopnagle

      I thought the same thing. Looking forward to season 3.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 79Dawg

        For those interested in Weimar Berlin, the novel “Princess in Berlin” is a good and not too heavy read…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Legatedawg

        Season 3 of Babylon Berlin airs on German TV in about 5 weeks (1/24/20), drops 1 or 2 episodes per week, then goes to British TV which does the same, then Netflix unloads all of them (12, I think) at once. Probably airs here in the States sometime towards the middle of the year if not sooner.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Also, if your interests involve the Appalachian Trail, hiking, or just a good “there and back again story,” I recommend this. I am the author, so this is admittedly shameless self-promotion 🙂 https://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Miles-Section-Southern-Appalachian/dp/1476677220

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MillyDawg

    The Century Trilogy (Fall of Giants, Winter of the World, Edge of Eternity) by Ken Follett

    11/22/63 by Stephen King

    Like

  4. BCDawg97

    2 quick, light readers: The Tao of Bill Murray by Gavin Edwards

    The End of Average by Todd Rose

    Like

  5. Still slogging through Blood Meridian. I leave it for a while and come back to it, thinking it will become more appealing. The same thing happened with “The Road”. McCarthy’s writing is extremely monotonous and repetitive to me.
    Christopher Moore’s “Lamb” is an excellent read.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Will (the other one)

      Haven’t gotten to Lamb yet, but Moore is excellent. Pretty much an overlapping Venn Diagram of what happens when you mix Carl Hiassen, Tom Robbins, and a dash of Dave Barry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve not read any Robbins but will check it out. “Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove” was the first Moore novel I read, then “Practical Demonkeeping”. The guy is really, really funny.

        Like

        • Will (the other one)

          Robbins is the strangest of the bunch, but Still Life With Woodpecker is the best damned novel about redheads, aliens, and the history of Camel cigarettes ever.

          Like

    • Faulkner

      Didn’t read the road, but that movie was disturbing.

      Like

  6. 86BONE

    My two favorites paint pictures of the Great South! Berry Benson’s Civi War book is about a Confederate Scout making his way into the war and back to Hamburg, which is across the Savannah from Augusta.
    Second favorite is The Gullah Mailman by Pierre McGowan. This book paints a picture of the old school Low Country in SC including hunting and fishing trips galore! Based in Frogmore, SC on St. Helena Island, Mr. McGowan May still be fishing those salt marsh creeks!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Navin Johnson

    Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

    Not obscure or unknown. Critical, though, I think, for anyone willing to second guess his decision making or even ability to analyze rationally.

    “A sweeping, compelling tale of just how easily our brains are bamboozled, bringing in both his own research and that of numerous psychologists, economists, and other experts…Kahneman has a remarkable ability to take decades worth of research and distill from it what would be important and interesting for a lay audience…Thinking, Fast and Slow is an immensely important book. Many science books are uneven, with a useful or interesting chapter too often followed by a dull one. Not so here. With rare exceptions, the entire span of this weighty book is fascinating and applicable to day-to-day life. Everyone should read Thinking, Fast and Slow.” ―Jesse Singal, Boston Globe

    Like

  8. Thatguy

    I think I’ve recommended it before, but, The Potlikker Papers, by UGA’s own John T. Edge, is an excellent read on food and the history and development of the modern south.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tronan

    Frans Bengtsson’s The Long Ships is one of the best works of historical fiction I’ve ever read. It brings to life the Viking era in a much more entertaining and compelling way than anything else I’ve read on the subject. The author knows the history of the era inside and out and – appropriately, I think – tells the story as a real swashbuckler. I’ve recommended it to a few people – ones without much if any knowledge of or even previous interest in the Vikings – and they all really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Tronan

    Frans Bengtsson’s The Long Ships is one of the best works of historical fiction I’ve ever read. It brings to life the Viking era in a much more entertaining and compelling way than anything else I’ve read on the subject. The author knows the history of the era inside and out and – appropriately, I think – tells the story as a real swashbuckler. I’ve recommended it to a few people – ones without much if any knowledge of or even previous interest in the Vikings – and they all really enjoyed it.

    Like

  11. Have you seen Daughters of the Dust?

    Like

  12. Mick Jagger

    Michael “Buffalo” Smith has written several excellent books on the southern rock scene.

    Like

  13. Walter Geiger

    read the sniper series by stephen hunter. start at the beginning and read in order. epic tales.

    Like

  14. Ben

    “Say Nothing” by Patrick Radden Keefe – one of the best books I read this year. It’s about the IRA, and as a kid of the 80s who only heard Peter Jennings talk about them at 6:30 before Wheel of Fortune, I found it to be a fascinating story and a well-written books.

    “Carter and Lovecraft” and “After the End of the World” by Jonathan Howard – A fun sci-fi/horror/fantasy story that asks, “what if Lovecraft was real?”

    “The Line That Held Us” by David Joy – I think this falls under Southern Gothic? Jesus, it was a hard book to read, but I really want to get more of his stuff.

    “The Grey Bastards” by Jonathan French – a fantasy book about a race of half-human/half-orc bastards who like to sleep, screw, cuss, and kill and are fighting against a potential insurrection on their inherited lands.

    The Nils Shapiro books by Matt Goldman are fun, kind of pulpy detective books set in Minnesota.

    And finally, anything by Fredrik Backman I will read. Whether his books about death and dying and aging or about a town obsessed with hockey and the problems that come when we glorify athletes and winning over all else, I don’t think any of Backman’s works are to be missed.

    Like

    • LFC Dawg

      Two big thumbs up for “Say Nothing”. It’s non-fiction but a page-turner. Really fascinating look at “the troubles”.

      I also highly recommend “Furious Hours”. It’s about Harper Lee and the project she was going to do after “To Kill a Mockingbird”. It’s such a crazy story you can’t believe you hadn’t heard it before. A guy in Alabama kept killing his relatives and acquaintances for the insurance money and then was gunned down by a relative of someone he killed at their funeral in the middle of town. Goes into real depth about Harper Lee and her life. Interesting read.

      Like

  15. bigdawgsg

    anything by nelson demille

    Like

  16. The Liberation Trilogy is a series of military history books about the United States’ involvement in World War II, written by American author Rick Atkinson and published by Henry Holt & Co.

    The first volume, An Army at Dawn, won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for History[1] and was a New York Times best seller.[2] The Day of Battle, the second book, was also a New York Times best seller,[3] and the final installment, The Guns at Last Light, debuted at the top of the Hardcover Nonfiction list.[4]

    Like

  17. HiAltDawg

    Fiction
    Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household (underrated thriller)
    First Blood by David Morrell (forget all the movies)
    Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield (Battle of Thermopylae)

    Non-Fiction
    Last Gunfight by Jeff Guinn (Tombstone in the 1880’s)
    Wooden Leg by Thomas Marquise (a Cheyenne that fought Custer)
    Helmet for my Pillow by Robert Leckie (for fans of HBO’s The Pacific)

    Having a pet Librarian on-site can’t be all bad, right?

    Like

    • Dawg Vegas

      Good stuff – thanks!

      Like

      • Add “With The Old Breed at Pelilu and Okinawa” by Eugene Sledge.

        Like

        • HiAltDawg

          LOL, almost did With the Old Breed (actually, untyped it). I went with Leckie because a) Sledgehammer is too close to being an Auburn man for my taste; and b) I read Old Breed at night when I’m supposed to “rev down” with no screen time before lights out and it had the opposite effect (reckon, I’m delicate). Still, Old Breed is outstanding. Catch Jocko Willink’s Podcast (if that’s your thing) dedicated to With The Old Breed because Jocko brings a real New School (GWOT)/Old School (WWII) perspective.

          Like

          • Illini84

            This might make you like him more.

            “Dear Mother,

            Oh, Mother take down your service flag,
            Your son’s at Georgia Tech.
            Instead of fighting battles, He’s raisin’
            A lot of heck.
            He’s either playing softball or swimming
            In the pool.
            Mother take down your service flag,
            Your son’s gone back to school.

            Oh, Mother take down your service flag,
            Your son’s gone back to school.
            He’s not out fighting like he ought to do.
            He’s never seen the ocean,
            He’s never swabbed a deck,
            Oh, Mother take down your service flag,
            Your son’s at Georgia Tech.

            Oh, Mother take down your service flag,
            Your son’s gone back to school,
            Instead of carryin’ a new M-1
            He carries an old slide rule,
            He’s raisin’ Hell in college,
            He’s just a Ramblin’ Wreck,
            Mother take down your service flag,
            Your son’s at Georgia Tech.

            There’s more truth than poetry in the above. The Marines here made it up to show our attitude towards the college training program. It goes to the tune of “Ramblin Reck.”
            I received the towels & stick candy today. Thanks a million. The candy was fine & the towels will be put to use. I wrote Father & told him about my trip”

            Liked by 1 person

        • Somewhat older dog

          A favorite

          Like

  18. Dawg Vegas

    I like a lot of Nelson DeMille novels. He has some books that are action/adventure, like the Detective (ret.) John Corey series – those usually focus on his work with the joint anti-terrorism task force, and I maintain that Wild Fire would make a great movie https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Fire-John-Corey-Book-ebook/dp/B000OT8GVC/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?keywords=nelson+demille+wildfire&qid=1576678769&sprefix=nelson+demille+wil&sr=8-3

    Other novels are more traditional ‘literature’ than action/plot driven.

    Like

    • chopdawg

      DeMille’s one of my favorite authors. I think I like his early stuff best, “Charm School” and “By the Waters of Babylon.” “Gold Coast” still my all-time fave.

      Like

    • I posted it above but it’s worth posting again: Plum Island is a great beach read, and don’t forget he wrote “The General’s Daughter”.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Kdawg

    The most impactful book I’ve ever read is “Man’s meaning to Life” by Viktor Frankl. It’s fairly popular but it was literally life changing to my outlook on life. The premise is about Mr. Frankl’s time in concentration camps and his positive attitude even the face of certain death.

    Many of the commenters on here could benefit after the LSU game!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Navin Johnson

      I second you, Kdawg. This volume is short enough that I keep it close by and have re-read it several times. A friend gave it to me when I was having a hard time, and I’ve passed along the favor when I can.

      PS – I think you’ve got the title slightly off. I believe it is “Man’s Search for Meaning.”

      Like

  20. chopdawg

    Thanks for this thread, Senator! I think I’ve read all the Elmore Leonard books, I need some fresh material.

    Like

  21. Athens Dog

    I read a lot……so bear with me. Great authors with my favorite from each although I’ve read and own all each (in no particular order except for the first three)

    John Irving – A Prayer for Owen Meaney
    Stephen King – The Stand
    Tom Robbins – Jitterbug Perfume
    Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged
    Pat Conroy – Prince of Tides (if you’re in a bookstore, pull it out and read pages 453-456 Best writing ever about what football means in the South….even if it is Clemson – South Carolina)
    WP Kinsella – Shoeless Joe
    Christopher Moore – Stupidest Angel
    Justin Cronin – The Passage
    Scott Smith – The Ruins
    Ann Patchet – The Dutch House
    Emily St. Mandel – Station Eleven
    P. J. O’Rourke – Parliament of Whores
    Kate Atkinson – Life After Life – although Jackson Brodie series is excellent
    Carl Hiaason – Lucky You
    Christopher Buckley – Thank you for Smoking
    Martin Clark – The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living
    David McCullough – John Adams
    Frank Deford – Cut N Run
    Dan Jenkins – Baja Oklahoma
    Richard Ford – The Sportswriter
    Peter Gent – The Franchise
    Wally Lamb – I Know This Much is True

    Enough ?

    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year.

    Like

  22. Idlewild Dawg

    ‘Hard to Handle-The Life & Death of The Black Crowes’
    Steve Gorman

    Like

  23. Bryan

    The Long way to a small, angry planet by Becky Chambers

    Like

  24. Solaris by Stanislaw Lem. I think many have seen either of the two movies that were made about the book (the George Clooney version was a joke), but perhaps have not read it. The kindle version is Bill Johnson’s Polish to English translation from 2011, which Lem’s family has endorsed. Anyway, a must for sci-fi fans.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gastr1

      I’m much more of a film fan versus fiction (I tend to read non-fiction these days), but thanks, I may have to embark on this. Tarkovsky’s Solaris is amazing, as are most Tarkovsky films. Was just thinking the otger day how much I appreciate the slower films that require some thought that, fortunately, are actually still being made even if you have to hunt for them (“Parasite” and last year’s “Shoplifters” being good examples).

      Liked by 1 person

  25. MDDawg

    This one probably belongs over on Stingtalk since it falls into the fantasy genre, but I’d recommended The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss. It actually consists of three books: The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man’s Fear, and an as-yet-unreleased third volume. The main character promises to tell this Chronicler his true life story over the course or 3 days, and each book is one day of the telling. I breezed through both books last year, and I’ll probably grow old waiting for the third book to come out.

    I’m also a big fan of the old Tom Clancy novels featuring Jack Ryan. The Cardinal of the Kremlin is probably my favorite.

    Like

    • DamnGoodDawg

      Good series. I’ve read it a couple of times. Hope the third gets released.

      Other good Sci-fi/Fantasy:
      Red Rising Series by Pierce Brown
      The Licanius Trilogy by James Islington
      The Paladin Trilogy by Daniel M. Ford
      King’s Dark Tidings by Kel Kade
      Saga of the Forgotten Warrior by Larry Correia
      The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson
      The Demon Cycle by Peter V Brett
      The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
      The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Doyle
      Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

      And of course A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) by George R.R. Martin

      Like

    • Classic City Canine.

      MDDawg, I’m a big fan of the old Tom Clancy series. My favorite is Red Storm Rising. I introduced my wife to The Hunt for Red October and we’re enjoying that via audiobook right now. Patriot Games is my favorite movie adaptation.

      Like

  26. Jack Klompus

    A Gentleman in Moscow. It was a Bill Gates recommendation and I picked it up. It took a bit to get going, but it’s a great entertaining read. Very, very well written.

    I’ve read a few of Gates’ recommendations and they’re all very good. Take a look at his list, it has something for everyone on there.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Will (the other one)

    Let’s see, on the fiction side:
    The Player of Games – Iain M Banks – think a more adult take on star trek-style sci-fi. A highly skilled game-player of a post-scarcity society is sent to infiltrate a less advanced society ruled by a complex game.

    The Lathe of Heaven – Ursula leGuin – what happens if when someone dreams, reality changes to match their dreams, and then what happens if a therapist found out and started manipulating said dreams?

    On the non-fiction side:
    Dare to Dream – a biography/autobiography of David Lynch. Pretty cool set up where you get a chapter that follows a regular biography style, and then a chapter where Lynch provides his own take on what happened (in typical Lynch fashion).

    Leaders Eat Last – Simon Sinek – really great stuff for anyone in management, or who trains managers, or any kind of business consulting. Great focus on the difference between leadership and just bossing people around.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. 3rdandGrantham

    Man, all of you are making me feel guilty with all these books you’re reading, as I haven’t read one in many months. Seriously, I have a 2020 XC90 owners manual of sitting in front of me sitting on page 11 – does that count?

    Like

  29. gastr1

    “Killers of the Flower Moon” by Stephen Grann. Wow. Also, read this a few years back and loved it: “Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly, and the Making of the Modern Middle East” by Scott Anderson.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gastr1

      (The latter being more about the much under-told stories of Middle Eastern campaigns in WWI that have left major political impacts for over a century now.)

      Like

  30. AlphaDawg

    I’ve been on a Western/Frontier kick lately.

    Crow Killer, The Saga of Liver Eating Johnson – This is the guy that Jeremiah Johnson movie was loosely based upon
    Empire of the Summer Sun – Details the rise and fall of the Commanche
    Killers of the Flower Moon, The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

    Non Western:
    To Quell the Korengal – I was there in 2004/2005 and it’s a great example of what Afghanistan was like for a grunt early in the war.

    Like

  31. Godawg

    If you like Lee Child and the Reacher novels, check out Nick Petrie. He’s writes a series (I think he’s done three now) about a returned Marine, Peter Ash. Really fun reads. The first novel is, “The Drifter.”

    Like

  32. One can never go wrong reading James Lee Burke. He is a Rembrandt with words. His daughter Alafair Burke is coming into her own as an author.
    Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are quite the writing Duo. Dick Francis was a jockey in her Majesty’s Stables. He is a very descriptive author. Robert Silverman writes detective stories from Indian reservations out west.
    Jeffery Deaver Robin Cook, Michael Crichton… just pick up a book and read. Your mind will thank you for it.

    Like

  33. Sides

    I have had to travel a good bit to the northeast for work so I always try to find books about the region I travel. I ran across Kenneth Roberts books and have read them all. Highly recommend.

    I am a big fan of historical fiction. I recently plowed through Conn Iggulden’s Genghis series. Super easy and interesting read. I just started the Hornblower series from CS Forester. Its good so far.

    Like

  34. stoopnagle

    I’m currently reading “Doc” by Mary D. Russell and I’m really enjoying it.

    The best books I read this year were “City of Thieves” by David Benioff (written before he was a showrunner for GoT) and “The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen. “Alias Grace” by Margaret Atwood was really good, too.

    Like

  35. ciddawg

    Pat Conroy – Beach Music if you want to see the and smell the beauties of the Carolina Low Country…
    Ferrol Sams trilogy- “Run With the Horsemen,” “The Whisper of the River,” and “When All the World was Young,” A wonderfully written semi biographical series following a young man growing up in 30’s 40’s in Ga. My mother knew Dr. Sams from his time teaching at Emory, https://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/arts-culture/ferrol-sams-1922-2013

    Like

  36. Zach Jones

    Gonna give two shoutouts for Colton Whitehead, one for The Underground Railroad and the other for The Nickel Boys. Both books are exceptional works of fiction, the first especially so.

    Also wholly recommend Gilead by Marilynne Robinson and Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. Those two are antidotes for the current anxious and divisive climate we find ourselves in.

    Like

  37. Dawg Vegas

    Based on a Neil Peart book list, I picked up and recommend A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. It won the Pulitzer in 2011, has a lot of music and 80s punk characters at different stages of life. If you read it – actually it’s great even without reading the book- I strongly suggest you check out the interactive powerpoint on her website called Great Rock and Roll Pauses. http://jenniferegan.com/excerpt/a-visit-from-the-goon-squad/

    You may have to hunt around but it’s worth it, imo. If you’re a music nerd to know Bob Clearmountain it will be that much cooler.

    Like

  38. Coweta Dawg

    Empire Falls and Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo.are two excellent reads.

    For non-fiction (and espionage/baseball fans) – The Catcher Was a Spy by Nicholas Dawidoff. True story about MLB catcher Moe Berg during WWII.

    Like

    • Dawg Vegas

      I almost mentioned Russo and those 2, both of which had enjoyable Paul Newman films (rare that I like a movie version of a novel). Good call

      Like

  39. Prosticutor

    The Starr Report, a fascinating story that would lead to the impeachment of a president for, among other things, abuse of power and obstruction of justice, that was authored by a little known college administrator who would later rise to fame for his role covering up sex assaults committed by a football team coming soon opposite The University of Georgia Bulldogs. It’s like living in history right now!

    Like

  40. duronimo

    I would like to recommend the Young Trailer Series of books by renowned author Joseph Altsheler. For half a century in every library in America, they vividly present adventures of 5 young heroes in accurately portrayed historical settings. Once upon a time this was mandatory reading by the Boy Scouts of America. Libraries across the country are removing them because they portray what was once the core values of this nation. So they are available on Ebay. So vividly written, these books kindle the imagination transporting the reading into the action. For my brothers and I, our finding these books made us forever readers and fired our interest in History. Check out the works of Joseph Altsheler.

    Like

    • Dawg Vegas

      I’m unfamiliar with the series, but what do you mean by “Libraries across the country are removing them because they portray what was once the core values of this nation.” Is that really the reason given for removing them?

      Just curious what the stated reason is, as “they portray what was once the core values of this nation” doesn’t sound like something a library system would say unless those are core values worth altering.

      No snark intended – I’m genuinely interested in what the official justification is vs. what you think they really mean

      Like

  41. Russ

    I read mostly non-fiction. Here are some I read and enjoyed this year.

    “18 in America” by Dylan Dethier. The Senator mentioned him earlier this year since he was a Div 3 college golfer briefly suspended by the NCAA for this book he wrote 3 years previously (before he was enrolled). Fun read about a kid that takes a gap year to drive through each of the 48 contiguous states and play a round of golf in each.

    “A Higher Call” by Adam Makos. Tells the story of a US bomber pilot during WW2 and the German fighter pilot that decided to escort him to safety rather than finish off his crippled plane. Amazing story that should be more widely known.

    “Next Stop Execution”, autobiography of Oleg Gordievsky, one of the highest ranking KGB officers that decided to spy for the British secret service. Fascinating.

    “Operation Mincemeat” by Ben McIntyre. Tells the true story of a WW2 ruse using a cadaver dressed as a British officer to deceive the Germans about their plans to invade Sicily.

    And for those of you that saw (or plan to see) “Ford vs Ferrari”, I recommend “Go Like Hell” by A. J. Baime. This is the book that the movie is roughly based upon. Good read, and goes further into detail, expanding on (or correcting) a few thing in the movie. Also, I’d recommend a couple of Netflix documentaries about the same story. “The 24 Hour War” and “Shelby American”. These were co-produced by Adam Corolla. The Shelby documentary reuses some footage from the other, but has much more to offer on Shelby. Apparently as they were putting together “The 24 Hour War”, they kept finding so much interesting stuff about Shelby they created a second documentary just on him. Fascinating character whom I didn’t know much about.

    Roger Daltrey’s autobiography “Thanks A Lot Mr. Kibblewhite” is good rocker fare. I actually got the audio book when I was laid up over the summer. It was fun/interesting to hear Roger tell the stories himself.

    Like

  42. 79Dawg

    For those who enjoy historical fiction and detective/mystery novels, would recommend the David Liss books or Tom Bradby books!

    Like

  43. Justin George Perez

    I have a brutal Cumming to Midtown commute, so audiobooks maintain my sanity. My three favorite books/series that I’ve read are:

    City of Thieves – David Benioff – fantastic historical fiction during WW2 Russia

    The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (book 1 of The Stormlight Archives) – one of the best world-building attempts I’ve ever enjoyed. Author is intending a 10 book series

    Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey (book 1 of The Expanse) – One of the most realistic Sci-Fi novels I’ve ever read. It’s tailor made for mass consumption, sure, but it’s phenomenally enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Scorpio Jones, III

    Bernard (not John) Cornwell’s Saxon Tales

    Anything by Alan Furst

    Charles Cumming The Moroccan Girl ( and generally anything else by Cumming.

    Lee Child, kind of meh, but good stories

    John Sandford’s multiple detective series

    T. Jefferson Parker….California detective tres noir

    Henry Porter….surperb trilogy….begins with Remembrance Day, also White Hot Silence and Firefly….wow

    Anything by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch on Amazon)

    Alex Dryden….the Blind Spy and others

    Thomas Perry ….crime fiction

    Silva’s series with Gabriel Alon are all good reads

    David Downing series on early Communist Russia.

    And…..Mick Herron’s Slough House series….most especially Joe Country.

    Trust me these folks are all 5-stars, and winners of the Kharmic Bitchez book awards.

    Like

    • Child’s novels started out great, now he sounds like he’s writing to a word count. (Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher did not help. At all ).
      My wife is reading John Sanford’s “Prey” series in order and loves them. This comes as a complete shock to me.
      Scorpio, as the blogs chief liaison with the Karmic Bitches If you haven’t read Christopher Moore’s “Dirty Job” you are doing yourself a great disservice.

      Like

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Childs is a more interesting version of John Grisham….without the geographical errors.

        If you have not read Jason Matthews’ Red Sparrow trilogy, you will never be invited to the Bitchez’ award ceremony in Hahira.

        Harry Bosch is worth the price of Amazon Prime.

        Michael Connelly may be the best police/crime writer since John D. McDonald.

        Like

        • FlyingPeakDawg

          Love me some Harry Bosch. Sorry he let the character age.

          I haven’t bothered to see if there is a book, but The Patriot series on Amazon Prime was sublime. Not the Mel Gibson Rev War movie, but a Cohen brothers type dark comedy about a CIA agent, his father and brother. Too bad they canceled after 2 seasons.

          Like

        • gotcowdog

          Travis McGee’s still in Cedar Key, Baby.
          No one gets the “Busted Flush” name on the pontoon….

          Like

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            The Bitchez communications director, Marvalee Fonseca, has pointed to a significant fuck up in my list. I did not mention Frank Herbert’s Dune series. Fear is always the mind-killer dude. Forgive me Marvalee.

            Like

  45. dawgxian

    Nassim Taleb- one of only a few guys to be prepared for the 2008 financial crisis, an avid weightlifter, and critic of both sides of the US political system. I highly recommend The Black Swan and Antifragile. He a Trump supporter.
    Ian Toll- completing a trilogy on the war in the Pacific. It’s history but the kind that is hard to put down. A former aid to Sen Sarbanes (of SOx fame, accountants), he is a democrat

    Like

    • Sides

      I really enjoyed Six Frigates by Ian Toll. Very entertaining for non-fiction.

      Like

    • Classic City Canine

      If you like Nassim Taleb, you may like Strong Towns by Charles Marohn. He bases a lot of his thinking on Taleb’s work. I plan to get to Taleb at some point.

      Like

  46. Normaltown Mike

    I learned about this here (I think) “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin” by Timothy Snyder.

    As Russia continues to be a problem in Europe, it’s an informative look at the awful things that have befallen the poor people Stuck between Russia and Germany

    Like

    • Tronan

      That one is not an easy read. It’s well written and researched but is grim. I think it’s most valuable for showing how far extremist ideologies will go in the pursuit of power.

      Related, Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate covers the same ground (literally) and comes to the same conclusion. It’s one of the very best literary works to come out of the Soviet period – not that it ever saw the light of day during that time.

      Like

  47. Paul

    Not As Briefed: 445th Bombardment Group (H) Eighth Air Force : Memoirs of a B-24 Navigator/Prisoner of War 1943-1945 by Wright Lee. Wright and my father were in Stalag Luft 1 together. It was enlightening to understand some of what that generation actually endured to preserve our freedoms. And I just enjoy history. I can read pretty much anything by Shelby Foote.

    Like

  48. Tatum

    The Mouse That Roared by Leonard Wibberly. Read it, trust me.

    Like

  49. Opelikadawg

    Bernard Cornwell’s “Sharpe” series set in the Napoleanic Wars and the “Saxon Tales” series set in the time of King Alfred are both favorites of mine. They have been praised for their historical accuracy. They are entertaining as well as educational.

    Like

    • HiAltDawg

      Sharpe’s Series almost made my list. The BBC did some good adaptations with Sean Bean playing Sharpe. Cornwell also did a King Arthur Trilogy

      Like

  50. Somewhat older dog

    I agree the Senator’s recommendation of the Gunther novels by Phillip Kerr.

    I love a couple of similar novels by Robert Harris: “Fatherland,” about a detective in Germany after its victory in WWII; and “Munich,” centered around the pre-war conference.

    And here’s a non-fiction that reads like a novel: “Shockwave,” by Stephen Walker, an incredible account of the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima and the weeks leading up to it. I’m reading it for the third time now.

    By the way, this is a great discussion. If political discussions started with people sharing things they like, I wonder if those discussions would be less emotional and more productive.

    Like

    • Doggoned

      Agree. This is the best Playpen ever. Admittedly, a low bar. Thanks for all of the book ideas, folks. I recommend anything by James Lee Burke. Also, never been disappointed by Daniel Silva’s novels, or Atkinson’s WWII trilogies, or histories by Nathaniel Philbrick, Eric Larson or the late great Brit John Keegan.

      Like

  51. Mad Mike

    Stalingrad by Antony Beevor
    The Harry Bosch Series by Michael Connelly
    The Repairman Jack Series by F. Paul Wilson
    Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell

    Like

  52. Doggoned

    Also have to suggest Tony Horwitz, “Confederates in the Attic,” “One for the Road,” Baghdad Without a Map,” et al., plus Bill Bryson’s books on England and America.

    Like

  53. Doggoned

    Also have to suggest Tony Horwitz, “Confederates in the Attic,” “One for the Road,” Baghdad Without a Map,” et al., plus Bill Bryson’s books on England and America — “Notes From a Small Island,” “ A Short History of Nearly Everything,” “I’m a Stranger Here Myself.” Horwitz died earlier this year. Far too soon.

    Like

    • trbodawg

      Bryson has a new book on Human Anatomy called “The Body” – a users guide. Like all of his stuff, very well written.

      Like

  54. Gurkha Dawg

    I’m willing to bet there is no other football blog capable of having the above discussion. Senator, is there anyway to bookmark a particular discussion like this one? Next time I’m looking for something to read I would enjoy looking back over this thread to get some ideas. There have been several threads on restaurant recommendations that I would liked to able to look at again.

    Like

  55. S

    Harry Turtledove. He writes alternate history and has some pretty interesting divergence points. The Great War series is very good. So are Ruled Britannia and Days of Infamy. In the same genre, Peshawar Lancers by S.M Stirling and Rivers of War/The Arkansas War by Eric Flint are good reads.

    Since I’ve seen a lot of science fiction listed, The Martian by Andy Weir is a much better book than the movie was (and the movie wasn’t bad). Old Man’s War by John Scalzi, also excellent. I enjoyed the Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell. And I also recommend the Coyote series by Allen Steele. If you like time travel stuff at all, Stirling’s Nantucket trilogy is awesome.

    Nonfiction – I read mainly biographies and science. Ron Chernow’s Washington biography is superb. For science reading, it’s hard to beat Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel. Also, although it would be niche reading for many, Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life by Nick Lane is absolutely fascinating. Actually, just about anything by Nick Lane is great.

    Like

  56. DB

    Dignity by Chris Arnade.

    Like

    • Classic City Canine

      Asking for this one for Christmas. I’ve heard some interviews with Arnade and I’m dying to read the book.

      Like

  57. Faulkner

    A life in the Everglades by Totch Brown for those who like books about the outdoors by people who lived it. I used to fish the glades so I could relate to some of the locations he wrote about.

    Like

  58. AthensHomerDawg

    HT to the Senator for today’s pigpen.
    Surprise James Clavell has not cross anybody’s mind today.
    King Rat
    Shogun
    Taipan
    Noble House

    Like

  59. trbodawg

    I’ve just caught up with a mystery series (15 books and going) set in France called “Bruno, Chief of Police” by Martin Walker – Love it.

    Like

  60. I recommend any of the Dave Robicheaux series by James Lee Burke. The Bosch books are good , by Connelly.

    Testimony by Robbie Robertson of The Band as well as Life by Keith Richards.

    Oh and also the Jack Reacher books by Lee Childs.

    Like

  61. Classic City Canine

    Miracle on the River Kwai by Ernest Gordon
    Extremely powerful account of the experience of some British POW’s in Japanese custody. Note: It has nothing to do with the Bridge Over the River Kwai book/movie and the movie adaptation of this book sucks.

    Strong Towns by Charles Marohn
    If you’re interested in creating thriving and resilient cities, towns, and communities and are sick of national politics, this is an amazing read. It may challenge a lot of conventional wisdom but it’s well worth it.

    Like

  62. Logan Gray Fair Catch

    I was blown away by Team of Rivals by Doris Kearny’s Goodwin. Impossible not to admire Lincoln after reading.

    Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. Probably most everyone on this blog has read it but it just encapsulates adventure, friendship, and loyalty. Bonus is that the miniseries didn’t fail to live up to the book.

    Like

  63. Justin

    I’ve got three recommendations, one non fiction and two fiction:

    -for non fiction, it’s an audio book called Them War on Everyone’, by Robert Evans (not that one…). It is a very well researched history of how fascism as we know it started and evolved. Here is the link to the book’s website: http://www.thewaroneveryone.com/

    -for fiction, two novels by the same author. ‘The Postmortal’ and ‘The Hike’ by Drew Magary. ‘The Postmortal’ explores what would happen to the world if there were a cure for aging, and ‘The Hike’ follows a man who takes a hike in the woods only for it to become a trippy, dangerous scramble to get back to his family.

    Like

  64. Ray Goff

    Anything written by Deon Myer or Jake Needham

    Like

  65. Oh, call me gratuitous and self serving, but I recommend my novel, THRU: An Appalachian Trail Love Story. It is published by the AT Museum who gets all the proceeds, so I can shamelessly talk up this gritty fictional account of a mismatched group of aspiring thru-hikers who meet at Springer Mtn. and head north on a 2,000-mile walk to Mt. Katahdin in Maine.

    Like

  66. Big rick

    Hornets nest by Jimmy Carter who is a great student of history. Historical fiction of Revolutionary war in the South

    Like