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Thread: Well, it's been ten yrs.....favorite books/authors?

  1. #1
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    Well, it's been ten yrs.....favorite books/authors?

    I think Charles Ellertson did this first....http://benchrest.com/showthread.php?...Favorite-Books ..... and I enjoyed that interchange so an homage,

    any readers here?

    As in "read for entertainment" readers?

    I've some favorite authors....... some involved with shooting but many others too. SF is a favorite venue of mine, and a good fantasy is a treat.

    Generally speaking I've found that any book or author honored by New York Times, Pulitzer, NPR, USA Today, Newberry, or any Hugo post 1980 to be absolute garbage.....any "Editors Pick" will be virtue signaling dreck.

    For an example, all you vets who don't agree with me should try a (preferably free!) 'Tree Of Smoke' by Denis Johnson ........... "the first hand, gritty, true-to-life, unbelievably realistic account of the Vietnam experience" which won innumerable prizes, with reviews like "it's as if God himself wrote this"...... to find an indescribably inaccurate fantasy written by a man (ambulatory penis) who's quite obviously never walked off hardsurface in his tiny bleak life.

    But that aside, I read.... and I get my new authors by asking other readers so in that light here are some of mine in no particular order;

    Shooting/Africana-Peter Hathaway Capstick, Robert Ruark, Corbett, John Henry Patterson, Elmer Keith, Julian S Hatcher, Teddy Roosevelt

    Adventure/mystery-Dick Marcinko, Stephen Hunter, Brian Garfield, David Morrell, Dean Koontz

    SF&F-Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Larry Niven (and co-conspirators), Louis L'Amour. David Brin. Iain Banks, Vernor and Joan Vinge, Frederick Pohl, Robert A Heinlein, Stephen R Donaldson, Orson Scott Card, Peter F Hamilton, Alan Dean Foster, CS Lewis

    Some notable titles;
    Legacy of Heorot (Niven/Pournelle/Barnes)
    The Deed Of Paksenarrion (Elizabeth Moon)
    Pondoro, Last of the Ivory Hunters (Taylor)
    The Last Voyage of the Karluk (Bartlett)
    The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
    Hell I Was Their (Keith)
    Megalodon (Robin Brown),,,,,(only the original by Brown... all the followups and series are awful!)
    Old Man's War (John Scalzi)








    Years ago Francis Becigneul sent me a copy of 'Mermelstein's Guide to Metallic Cartridge Evolution' which offers a fascinating insight into cartridge development from a decidedly Jewish perspective. For all you SF readers it's like 'Asimov on Cartridges'


    https://www.amazon.com/Mermelsteins-...s%2C329&sr=8-1

    I fired back with Brian Garfield's 'Wild Times' which he said "even his wife enjoyed" .... Fun stuff.

    https://www.amazon.com/Wild-Times-Br...2149938&sr=8-1


    I find books to be a window into another's soul, a journey with someone outside oneself and hence useful and enlightening.

  2. #2
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    Ohhh Jeepers I missed a doozy, one only recently recommended to me but I MUST pass it on cuz dude can W R I T E !!!

    'The Emerald Mile' Kevin Fedarko is fantastic..... and once I've opened the thread, I must mention we recently listened to 'Under A Flaming Sky' by Daniel James Brown on a short road trip and found it enthralling altho that may have been enhanced by the fact that I grew up in the area and spent my first yrs of blissful married life in the town central to the (true) story

  3. #3
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    You've listed many favorites, but left out a couple.

    Shooting, Africana: Jeff Cooper, esp "To Ride..."

    To SF&F I'd add Harlan Ellison. And at least The Martian by Andy Weir (haven't read anything else by him). Much better than the very mediocre movie it inspired.

    I like most of Ayn Rand's writings, with the notable exception of "The Fountainhead".

    Most of my reading is non-fiction; engineering and/or computer science.
    Horowitz and Hill have a 3rd edition of "The Art of Electronics". (It replaced my 30+ year old 2nd edition...)
    Howard and Gugger "Deep Learning for Coders with fastai & PyTorch".
    Sussman, etc. "Structure and Interpretation of Classical Mechanics"

    GsT

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneT View Post
    You've listed many favorites, but left out a couple.

    Shooting, Africana: Jeff Cooper, esp "To Ride..."

    To SF&F I'd add Harlan Ellison. And at least The Martian by Andy Weir (haven't read anything else by him). Much better than the very mediocre movie it inspired.

    I like most of Ayn Rand's writings, with the notable exception of "The Fountainhead".

    Most of my reading is non-fiction; engineering and/or computer science.
    Horowitz and Hill have a 3rd edition of "The Art of Electronics". (It replaced my 30+ year old 2nd edition...)
    Howard and Gugger "Deep Learning for Coders with fastai & PyTorch".
    Sussman, etc. "Structure and Interpretation of Classical Mechanics"

    GsT
    I've got only a smattering of gradeschool math so my engineering stuff is generally limited to layman grade ('Rifle Accuracy Facts'- Vaughn, 'The Bullet's Flight from Powder to Target The Internal and External Ballistics of Small Arms: A Study of Rifle Shooting with the Personal Element Excluded, Disclosing the Cause of the Error at Target'-Mann and 'Understanding Firearm Ballistics'-Rinker) although I do own and have twice read and can (slowly) apply 'Modern Exterior Ballistics: The Launch and Flight Dynamics of Symmetric Projectiles'-McCoy

    There are a couple other ballistics books I own but won't list and IMO only Vaughn and McCoy actually understand their subject matter. I understand just enough about engineering (I work with 50 engineers daily in the course of my regular job, generally having them validate my designs) to know the difference.

  5. #5
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    History:
    "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors", analyzes an impossible victory by the US Navy over the Japanese Imperial Fleet in the Philippines in 1944 (Battle of Samar). Are you crazy enough to take a destroyer into a fight with multiple enemy battleships, cruisers, and destroyers? More than one US Captain did that day. Read the book and see why CDR Ernest Evans was (posthumously) awarded a Medal of Honor for his part in the action. And why GMG3 Paul Carr earned a (posthumous) Silver Star for his part of the battle.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asa Yam View Post
    History:
    "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors", analyzes an impossible victory by the US Navy over the Japanese Imperial Fleet in the Philippines in 1944 (Battle of Samar). Are you crazy enough to take a destroyer into a fight with multiple enemy battleships, cruisers, and destroyers? More than one US Captain did that day. Read the book and see why CDR Ernest Evans was (posthumously) awarded a Medal of Honor for his part in the action. And why GMG3 Paul Carr earned a (posthumous) Silver Star for his part of the battle.
    THANK YOU Asa this is the sort of gems I'm mining here...... I've never heard of this account nor probably would have

    It's really hard to find good war accounts. I liked 'Bridge on the River Kwai', 'Samurai!' and stuff on Pappy Boyington

  7. #7
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    reading

    Alinwa -


    Howdy !


    I gravitate more towards tech-related aerospace writing ( magazines ) like " Aviation Week & Space Technology ". Their publication did more to widen my useful vocabulary than much of the dribble they tried to force me to read @ school.

    For novels and hardback stuff: " Emily Post's Book of Etiquette " , " The Ship " C.S. Lewis , " Battleships & Battlecruisers " Janes,
    " Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders " ( 2 vol ) P.O. Ackley

    For internal / external ballistics tech articles; Anything from Homer Powley, especially " The Powley Papers " printed in the " Guns & Ammo 1974 Annual "; and his instructional booklet on how to use the " Powley Computer ".

    Aerospace & Defense: " Aviation Week & Space Technology " Penton Media , " Janes Defense Weekly " IHS Incorporated

    On-line: " NasaSpaceFlight.com " NASA. Wanna exercise your grey matter? Read some of the stuff the boyz discuss back n' forth in forums w/ titles like....
    " Advanced Concepts ", and " New Physics for Space Technology " .



    With regards,
    357Mag

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneT View Post
    .........

    Shooting, Africana: Jeff Cooper, esp "To Ride..."
    So funny this..... I got all excited, then realized what the dots represented

    (some days I'm slow)

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    I have always been a history buff and that is why James Michener is one of my favorite authors. I think his best work was "The Source". I read it twice before passing it on and if I still had a copy I would read it again. Michener always did an incredible amount of research.

    Mort

  10. #10
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    Anything by Ruark.

    The "poor mans" Hemingway.

  11. #11
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    Charles E. was a nice guy and an experimenter with just about anything you could imagine.
    At one time, he followed the logic that score shooting was second tier BR and that surely, his newest contraption would show up and teach those old ky hillbillies shooting score, how br was really done.
    At the end of the match, he openly admitted(to his credit), that he'd underestimated the game and what it takes to win.

    He was shooting a huge, I think water cooled) rail rig of some sort, in a bigger 30 cal(for score) cartridge. He finished at or near the bottom that day(s). He was openly certain, there was NO WAY a bunch of Ky score shooters would have anything for him and his rig that weekend.

    Nevertheless, I respect anyone that's willing to do the testing AND to admit when he was whipped. He was a good guy. He thunk outside the box! Sometimes it works but...sometimes it doesn't.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwezell View Post
    Charles E. was a nice guy
    He hasn't posted in a long time and you used "was " more than once. Do you know if he's OK?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
    He hasn't posted in a long time and you used "was " more than once. Do you know if he's OK?
    I do not. I thought he had passed but I hope I'm wrong and he's well. I was referring to a match back in about 2008 or so. He wasn't that old then..I'd guess mid 60's.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Downeast View Post
    Anything by Ruark.

    The "poor mans" Hemingway.
    "The Old Man and the Boy". A good book for youth to learn from. I have given copies to my nephews.

  15. #15
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    My reading runs the gamut. Here's some I can suggest:

    -'Bodies We've Buried' by Jarrett Hallcox and Amy Welch. The history of the National Forensic Academy (CSI Training School)
    -'Unsolved Deaths' by Charles Phillips. Strange deaths and mysterious disappearances throughout history.
    -'Men In Black' by Mark Levin. The history of the United States Supreme Court.
    -'My Grandfathers Son' by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

    I'm a big fan of the 'Travis McGee' series by John D. Macdonald. The series spans 21 books and are really well done. Make sure and start from the start with 'The Deep Blue Goodbye'.

    A bit of firearms trivia: John D. Macdonald's father, Eugene Macdonald, worked for the Savage Arms Corporation. The family relocated to Utica, New York in 1926, and his father became treasurer of the Utica office of Savage Arms.

    Good autobiographies are always interesting, provided they don't whitewash the rough spots of the character(s) history:

    -'Kicking And Dreaming' by Anne and Nancy Wilson of Heart.
    -'Born To Run' by Bruce Springsteen
    -'Death In The Tall Grass' by Peter Hathaway Capstick
    -'The Man-eaters Of Tsavo' by John Henry Patterson

    Good readin' -Al

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