June 2021 HistoryCAT: Military, War, Revolution

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June 2021 HistoryCAT: Military, War, Revolution

maj 15, 2:16pm

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing

You say you want a revolution? / Well, you know / We all want to change the world

This month the HistoryCAT is all about military, war, and revolution. There are far too many books to even think about tagging particular ones, so I will throw a bunch of tag lists at you to start off.

The first, and probably most obvious, group of books to choose from focus on individual conflicts, particularly 20th-century wars such as World War 1, World War 2, the Korean War, or Vietnam.

And it's not just wars between countries; there are civil wars as well (the U.S. Civil War and the English Civil War being the first that pop to my mind).

There is also no shortage of revolution to read about.

You may choose to go classical, with Caesar, or Herodotus, or Livy.
You may choose to read about codebreakers, or spies, or nurses, or pilots.
You may choose to read about the home front, wherever "home" is for you.

If non-fiction seems like a drag, historical fiction or mysteries set during a particular war or revolution may be more interesting.

Heck, you may even decide that a time-travel novel in which the characters travel back in time to a war would fit the parameters of this challenge. As a Doctor Who fan with several such books on my shelves, I feel compelled to offer that option ;)

Looking forward to seeing what everyone's reading!

maj 15, 2:18pm

I'm going classical myself, with Livy's Hannibal's War. The translator of this particular edition was a professor at my university, which is why I bought the book.

maj 15, 2:41pm

I'm probably going for fiction. Bernard Cornwell's The Fort will fit for this, Alpha and Genre CAT.

maj 15, 2:44pm

I will be reading The Cannons of Lucknow by V. A. Stuart, a continuation of a military series about army officer Alex Sheridan serving in India during the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857.

maj 15, 4:00pm

Am hoping the tagmashes will work again soon, as it always helps me find stuff on my tbr to read. I'm sure I'll have plenty to choose from for this.

maj 15, 5:19pm

So many from which to choose! I'm thinking that I will read Regeneration, which has been on my shelf since 2015. It is a novel about WWI.

maj 15, 5:19pm

This could be the time to read Anthony Beevor's Stalingrad, which was on my tbr list last year.

maj 15, 6:48pm

Hmmmm . . . choices, choices. I'll have to delay mine until I've had time to review the options in my stash. I'd rather grab one of those and finish reading it than get something new.

maj 15, 9:58pm

My most likely choice for this is Lindsay Powell's biography of Marcus Agrippa

Redigerat: maj 15, 11:28pm

I'm going to read Howard Bahr's The Black Flower: A Novel of the Civil War.

maj 16, 4:38pm

Ok, after a longer more painful (sans tagmashes - have I mentioned how much I miss the tagmashes at this time of month when trying to figure out what I'm reading next month!?) search, I have one possibility:

- The Women of the Cousins' War / Philippa Gregory

I'm sure I have plenty more, but I'm giving up for today.

maj 22, 6:28pm

Planning to continue with Volumes 2 and 3 of The Transylvanian Trilogy, which is about the last years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, leading up to WWI.

maj 22, 6:45pm

>12 pamelad: Looking forward to your review as these are on my WL.

jun 2, 8:28am

>1 rabbitprincess: I might head back to Ellis Peters Cadfael series, which takes place during the 12th century conflict between Empress Maud and King Stephen, vying for the crown. The next book to read is The Summer of the Danes.

jun 2, 11:16am

>14 fuzzi: I'm tempted to join you -- The Summer of the Danes is the next book for me as well!

jun 2, 2:49pm

>15 christina_reads: and it fits AlphaKIT too!

jun 2, 9:33pm

>14 fuzzi: >15 christina_reads: I'd be on Saint Peter's Fair. However, I think I picked out a non-fiction read for this one so I can get that pile down.

jun 3, 11:50am

>17 thornton37814: I have a soft spot for Saint Peter's Fair, since it was the first Cadfael book I read. Hope you enjoy it when you get to it. :)

jun 3, 2:21pm

>18 christina_reads: I actually don't remember which ones I read way back before LT, so I may begin it and remember the plot, but I'll keep reading it. I consider this a read through the series/re-read situation.

jun 3, 5:49pm

I'll be reading A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell, a book club read.

I may also read another book about women and war.

jun 3, 8:31pm

Listening to Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan on Recorded Books. Yep, the post-WW I peace negotiations -- Wilson's 14 Points & League of Nations, etc. Long, scholarly, but palatable.

jun 4, 7:17pm

Just finished The Second World War: The Grand Alliance by Winston S. Churchill
Churchill continues with his accurate account of the events of the war, with exceptional detail. However, it's his personal touch that is the most engaging, he neither claims glory for himself nor avoids his own faux pas. And, needless to say, his use of language and ability to inject light humour is impeccable. Fascinating.

jun 4, 8:57pm

COMPLETED The Crediton Killings by Michael Jecks. Set in 1319 England, a band of mercenaries arrives in the town of Crediton on their way to the coast to embark for Gascony. A new recruit is accused of theft and later murder. Although we don't see the mercenaries in action, there was a lot of information about how such bands worked.

jun 5, 11:33am

>2 rabbitprincess: I went back through my list of choices for the various CATS and realized that I'd actually intended to read Livy for the April CAT, given its time period. Will have to find something else!

Redigerat: jun 9, 4:42am

I have finished Bürger, Bauern, Söldner und Gesandte, a non-fiction book about the Thirty Years' War and how it affected my native region, Westfalia. Lots of familiar places and many events I didn't know about.

edited for touchstone

Redigerat: jun 10, 7:59pm

Starting A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (French revolution)

Redigerat: jun 10, 10:34pm

Starting Lionheart about Richard's crusade.

jun 15, 1:44pm

I completed A Fortunate Life by A. B. Facey, the autobiography of an average Australian who, among other things, fought at Gallipoli during World War I. I highly recommend this real life story of growing up in Western Australia, set against a background of poverty and illiteracy.

jun 15, 7:13pm

>29 NinieB: Sounds like a great one! Placed on my wish list. I can't remember much outside of Europe about WWI, but I do remember the Battle of Gallipoli.

jun 16, 4:26pm

I read A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell for my book club. This is a story of a very strong-willed woman became a spy and planned much of the French resistance effort while working for the British. She did such a good job that during the war, she had to do a lot of moving around, on her artificial leg, to avoid being captured by the Nazis; she was one of their chief targets. Throughout her career, she had trouble being appointed to challenging jobs because of being a woman, and a handicapped one at that. However, the men who worked under her as a whole really appreciated her, and found her treatment by higher ups who had not experienced being in the war, very unjust.

jun 17, 8:01pm

I read They Were Found Wanting and They Were Divided, which describe the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, culminating in WWI. Highly recommended.

jun 18, 10:46pm

I read Lionheart by Sharon Penman about Richard's third crusade.

jun 20, 10:53am

>33 Tess_W: and...? Did you like it?

jun 20, 12:19pm

>34 fuzzi: LOL I reviewed on my CAT challenge so didn't do it here--yes, 4/5 stars---not as much as the others, though, as too much battle detail.

jun 21, 11:26pm

I finished The Cannons of Lucknow by V.A. Stuart which is the 4th in a series about an British Army officer serving in India during the Sepoy Rebellion in the 1950s.

jun 22, 9:10pm

I thought that I wouldn't have a book for this month, but Life Class by Pat Barker is set before and during WWI. Lots of scenes involving soldiers, too.

jun 25, 11:31am

I am reading Group Portrait with Lady which is set after WWII and during WWII. Interesting way author is looking at the war and the effects of the war on German peoples.

jun 25, 12:15pm

I just finished Dear Miss Kopp, by Amy Stewart, which would fit this theme because it is set during the First World War.

jun 25, 1:16pm

I'm starting Jessica Brockmole's At the Edge of Summer, which will apparently center around World War I and its aftermath.

jun 26, 12:54pm

Finished The Sorrowing Wind by Mary Pearce.
historical fiction, WWI era

jun 26, 12:57pm

I had slated The Fort to read for 3 cats and gave up after it didn't grab me. Fortunately I also had Azincourt on the shelf, so my cat trick was completed.

jun 26, 6:37pm

I just finished The Wars of Napoleon, which was a chance for me to revisit an interest that used to absorb me pretty intensely back when I was writing Regency historical romances, most of them with military heroes. This book was textbook-dry, but also a good 20,000-foot overview of the whole 20ish-year period when Napoleon was an active commander.

jun 26, 8:53pm

>44 Robertgreaves: One of my favourite books. I hope you like it.

jun 27, 10:51pm

The Women of the Cousins' War: The Duchess, The Queen, and the King's Mother / Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin, Michael K. Jones
3 stars

This is a biography of three women during the time of the Wars of the Roses (once called “The Cousins’ War”): Elizabeth Woodville (Edward IV’s wife, and the mother of the two “princes in the tower”), Jacquetta “Rivers”(?) (Elizabeth’s mother), and Margaret Beaufort (Henry VII’s mother). Each author writes about one of the women, plus Philippa Gregory writes an introduction on women and history – why you won’t find as much information about women in history and more.

As mentioned in the (quite interesting, I thought) introduction, it’s hard to find information about historical women. Because of that, it’s hard to write an interesting biography, I think. Jacquetta seemed to have the least amount of information to work with. For all three (but especially Jacquetta), there was more about the war and what the men were doing and the big events than about the women themselves, and I’m not as interested in the wars, the fighting, and the politics. So, I tended to skim over those parts, unfortunately, and that’s why I kept my rating to 3 stars, ok.

I did learn a bit, though. Although I’ve read a little bit about the Wars of the Roses, I couldn’t have told you who Jacquetta was. I also get Margaret Beaufort mixed up with Margaret of Anjou (and I’m still not entirely certain who Margaret of Anjou is, although she was around at the same time and was mentioned in this book).

Redigerat: jun 29, 2:38am

Les deux régentes looks at the French queens Marie de Médicis and Anne d'Autriche and the turbulent times they lived in, with constant warfare, civil war and recalcitrant nobles as a backdrop.

edited for touchstone

jun 29, 6:22am

COMPLETED The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell about a number of British and mixed-race people in an Indian town under siege from the sepoys and their allies in 1857.