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"Books you have yet to read ?" Topic

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17 May 2018 5:44 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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846 hits since 21 Sep 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2017 11:38 a.m. PST

There are works either general or specializing on a particular era, battle or topic that are considered seminal.

Which major works have passed you by until now ?

14Bore21 Sep 2017 12:04 p.m. PST

Plenty of books I want but I'm not one to buy one without reading it.

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2017 12:24 p.m. PST

Gibbons Decline and fall of the Roman Empire.

Yellow Admiral21 Sep 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

Good question.

I have several of Chandler's seminal works, and have yet to read any of them. (Even worse: I'm on my second copy of The Campaigns of Napoleon because I sold off my original as a "project too big to start", then got seller's remorse and bought another copy. Still haven't started it…).

I have yet to dig into Herodotus' Histories, Thucydides' Peloponnesian War, or Caesar's own accounts of the Gallic War or Civil War. (And FWIW, I don't trust Livy or Oman, so I have *deliberately* avoided reading works by them.)

I started but have yet to finish Goldsworthy's Punic Wars, though I read and still occasionally re-read Polybius now and then.

I read the first two books of Foote's Civil War series, but the delay in finding and acquiring volume 3 disrupted the reading project and I've never read it. I admit one thing holding me back is a bit of anticipatory dread in facing a big tome about the winding-down phase of a long and bloody war. I generally hold years like 1865, 1918, 1945, etc. to be equally unpalatable topics. (I've never even considered reading Gibbon's Decline and Fall…)

- Ix

JSchutt21 Sep 2017 1:51 p.m. PST

Moby Dick

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2017 2:20 p.m. PST

I will have to say that Moby Dick conquered me… is therefore on my list to restart.

Bound and determined I am doing "Don Quixote" by the end of the year…..

thosmoss21 Sep 2017 3:33 p.m. PST

The stack insulates my north wall. And the basement.

Ottoathome Inactive Member21 Sep 2017 4:30 p.m. PST

There are two massive books that people have a holy reverence for, "Moby Dick" and" War and Peace." Everyone should read one of them in his life. It is beyond human endurance to have read both. One does these things as a penance you know.

I have read War and Peace.

Read book, Saw movie(s) watched Opera.

The Beast Rampant21 Sep 2017 5:55 p.m. PST

I try to keep my bookshelves at a critical "51% read".

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2017 7:22 p.m. PST

I listened to Decline and Fall, Moby Dick, War and Peace, and two other important works, Les MisÚrables (a little abridged, but I supplemented with text) and the Christian Bible. Books on Disk, to and from work and on long trips is the way to go. Still to read, I guess given the current state of affairs, the Quran.

Hafen von Schlockenberg Inactive Member21 Sep 2017 7:55 p.m. PST

Reading Patrick's post, I have to say some of these may be a little off topic! But since others are doing it. . .

I,too,am finally tackling the Quixote, as I recently picked up Ellen Grossman's fairly(2003) recent translation. Just a few pages a day.

I really do need to get back to Proust. Fascinating exploration of the human mind,but I got stuck in part 5.

More on topic,Gibbon is in a box. And I've missed many others. In one thing I was surprised. About 15 years ago, I got a good deal on a set of Oman's Peninsular War. Picked up Volume 1 one day,thinking I'd read a few pages,to see how it was. Couldn't read anything else till I finished the whole thing. Flew by fast,too--a few weeks.

Yellow Admiral21 Sep 2017 8:50 p.m. PST

If we're listing fiction, I also own but haven't read Last of the Mohicans and War and Peace, but I don't see how Moby Dick is relevant to miniature gaming. Does anyone actually game 19th C. whale hunts? That has some interesting potential as a crafting project, but it's hard to see how it could be a good game…

- Ix

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2017 9:07 p.m. PST

Years ago, my parents bought the Great Books of the Western World. All 54 volumes, plus the Syntopicon.
I've read maybe 3 of them in that edition.
Problem is, the philosophy of that series was that there would be no notes. That was in keeping with the mood of "Read and discuss."
Notes would have been helpful. grin
It turns out that I have read more in the series, but in different scholarly editions, WITH NOTES. Notably Herodotus and Thucydides. And Shakespeare.
I am sure I read Gulliver's Travels from the series, and scanned two more.
Didn't read War and Peace. Nor have I read Aquinas.

Walking Sailor21 Sep 2017 9:18 p.m. PST

So many books, so little time.

Hafen von Schlockenberg Inactive Member21 Sep 2017 9:44 p.m. PST

Ha,Winston,that brings back memories. My parents got sold on that set too. They did come with extras,including an 8 or 10 volume set on "The Great Ideas",which you were supposed to use in conjuction with the main set,as you embarked on your "Ten-year Reading Program". Yikes. Just looking at those monolithic double columns was daunting enough.

The Washington Post book critic, Michael Dirda, shared the same experience: literature was "not so much eshrined,as embalmed" in its covers. Here's part of his essay:


At least he got a prize out of it.

Another problem was that they saved money by using public domain translations, which meant mostly Victorian ones. I always wondered why Aristophanes was supposed to be so funny. An example (from a long-ago memory):

"And when you see his son at the gymnasium, do you clap him on the shoulder, and tell him what a fine young fellow he is?"

Ha! Ha! What a joker! Needless to say, that's a far cry from the original; a literal translation would get me Dawghoused.

They're still around somewhere.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2017 3:17 a.m. PST

Dante's trilogy

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2017 5:17 a.m. PST

War and Peace is a great read.

21eRegt22 Sep 2017 5:23 a.m. PST

I've had Anatomy of Glory for 35 years and still haven't read it. Just seemed like something I should have.

Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2017 5:55 a.m. PST

Yellow Admiral,

I don't know if people actually game 19th century whale hunts, but their does exist miniatures appropriate for such a game: link

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP22 Sep 2017 11:33 a.m. PST

I bought Clausewitz "On War" in 1974.
Never opened it.

I had heard for years what a horrible book The Last of the Mohicans was. The movie with DD Lewis is in my top 5 GOAT, place shifting all the time.
So a while back I bought the book at a flea market for a dollar. I was horribly overcharged. Mark Twain was right.

Yellow Admiral22 Sep 2017 12:09 p.m. PST

Dante's trilogy
LOL! I'd love to see the game based on that source material…

- Ix

Yellow Admiral22 Sep 2017 12:15 p.m. PST

I don't know if people actually game 19th century whale hunts, but their does exist miniatures appropriate for such a game:
Heh. That's awesome. And… of course Eureka has manned whale boats. Why didn't I think to look there?

- Ix

14Bore22 Sep 2017 12:27 p.m. PST

Agree with 20th Maine, give War and Peace a try, I've read it twice in my lifetime

Hafen von Schlockenberg Inactive Member22 Sep 2017 1:15 p.m. PST


Was that the Penguin edition? See what they say about it here:


basileus66 Inactive Member22 Sep 2017 1:23 p.m. PST

Dunno, honestly. Probably, the Bible. I have read the New Testament but ignored the rest. However, my son has told me that the Old Testament is an unending source of scenario inspiration for wargames. Maybe I should give it a try.

coopman23 Sep 2017 4:26 p.m. PST

Charles Oman's history of the Peninsular War.

Hafen von Schlockenberg Inactive Member23 Sep 2017 4:51 p.m. PST

Pick up Volume I,and read a few pages. Just to see how it is.

14Bore24 Sep 2017 2:22 p.m. PST

If it was books I bought and lost Clauswitz's On War would be one.

Wakefield Warmonger26 Oct 2017 1:20 p.m. PST

3/4 of the living room (local/art/coffee table), 3/4 of the back bedroom (military) and 1/2 the front bedroom (fiction}.
(I'm guessing 500, 1500 and 500 books respectively)

huron72528 Oct 2017 2:45 p.m. PST

The Count of Monte Cristo. Started twice, gave up twice. I'll try again in another 10 years to see if it bites this time.

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