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RE:My Recommendations

Hi! I guess it was test post. Here is my recommendation
  1. The Host - Stephenie Meyer
  2. A Song of Ice and Fire - George Martin
  3. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (this one I should read in high school but in fact I have to ask bigassignments to help me with my homework) But now I’ve finally finished the reading and I have to say It’s the best book I’ve ever read
  4.  J.K. Rowling Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (of course if you like HP-saga) :)

RE:My Recommendations

The most epic recommendation I've ever read  :D

RE:My Recommendations

The most epic recommendation I've ever read  :D

Poets, Padres and Counting the Cost......

Hi History Lover, Back from a hiatus( recovering from a virtual plague of Biblical proportions of mosquitoes...not locusts). Well, winter chills and deluges are over and welcome to a warmer clime. Three new books are in " Ghosts of War" A History of WW1 in Poetry and Prose" by Andrew Ferguson, "Muddling Through: The Organisation of British Army Chaplaincy in WW1" by Peter Howson ( Helion) and " Report of the War Office Committee of Enquiry into Shell Shock" a fascimile of the original 1920 report. " Ghosts of War" is a just released book from History Press in a tidy little hardcover. Written by ' a patron of the Imperial War Museum', it is a nice collection of anecdotes and poems with much ado about dates etc and the poems  written in that year. It looks nice visually, not overdone or fancy but an inexpensive volume of WW1 poetry books to mark the centenary. " Muddling Through" is a book I was meaning to get for awhile to fill in a gap of my knowledge of 'the other side of the canteen stall". It loooks a well researched and dedicated volume by Howson who is more than well qualified to write on the subject and finally, " The War Office Report into Shell Shock, this small book of 214 pages is chock -full of the ignorance and small-mindness that prevaled around shell shock, particularly when it caame down to the ordinary soldier. This document is very important also for the named  " witnesses " that came forward to give their testimony to the frailty of the soldiers in question and pander to the officers who were sent to Craiglockhart in Scotland for some R&R and a good talking to, not the ill represented squalor the ordinary soldier was sent to, it is insightful to the general mindset of a military hierarcy that refused to really acknowledge and treat a  very serious condition that dehabilitated thousands during and after the war and if  service pensions were given or withheld. A must for any serious military history reader. My previous copy of this book, well-thumbed and annotated, fell apart from extensive use. I do hope you are well, History Lover . Any good books for you?

RE:Literary Terrorism or The Impressionist Terrorism of Literature?

Hi Ghost Writer, I'm quite enjoying my book on the Somme, vety much in the style of Martin Middlebrook. At the moment I am still reading about the first day, sector by sector, some great first-hand accounts used by the author, mostly from the British side but a few German accounts as well, like this one from a German artillery observer just behind the German lines on the day of the attack:

"But the crisis had not passed. It was evident that these machine-gunners were not the only ones experiencing this problem. As Lais could see, 'Jets of steam were shooting up into the air from almost all the regiment's machine guns. Their hoses had likewise either been ripped or shot away.'

Added to that there was a new problem:

The machine gunners' hands were so burned that the skin on their fingers hung down in ribbons. What were once their left thumbs became shapeless swollen lumps of meat thanks to their having to repeatedly press down on the safety catch. Cramp became a problem caused by the need to hang on to the machine guns' vibrating hand grips.

As the number of bullets fired reached the 18,000 mark, the man who was feeding the ammunition belt into the machine gun was shot through the head. It was his fall that led to the twisting of the belt, and the jamming of the gun. However, even this setback was not allowed to interrupt the flow. 'His corpse was dragged to one side,' Lais explained. Another man took his place, removed the loading mechanism, reloaded the gun, and then started firing it again."    

​I will keep an eye out for that Helion book, it will be on special soon at various book sites in the UK and I may consider buying a copy then. I will e-mail you about the wine vouchers shortly.

"Old Bill did find a Better 'Ole( Glum Heroes on the Front Line).....

( Hi History Lover)......in Peter Hodgkinson's " Glum Heroes: Hardship, Fear and Death, Resilience and Coping on The Western Front 1914-1918"( Helion). For a good change, from the plethora of books on how it was all so negative and hostile on the Western Front, gas, bombs and bullets and horrible deaths in a hell on earth Bosch-like terrain, Hodgkinson's detailed analysis of how soldiers coped rather than the oppostite, is a welcome relief  and more upbeat approach to military history. Hosdkinson is a clinical psychologist who is used to working with traumatised people who have experienced sudden and violent events in their lives. So he is well qualified here. Frontline soldiers were able to cope in many ways through trauma, be it in religion, supersitition, or just plain practical ways to ease their passage, talking it through to themselves, or to mate, writing home, or finding a coping mechanism to suit themselves. It didn't always work 100% but it seems to have worked during a shelling or dugout cavein. Generally the soldiers came from working class backgrounds, hard farm or factory labour that made them more suited mentally and physically, to cope better with stresses and trauma(I really think we have becaome too soft) of " getting through it rather than caving in". Hodgkinson is a must for the serious military history reader and their library. They will benefit from the insights the author has to offer in this very rare glimpse of the coping side of the Great War participants. I really do hope Hodginson contributes more books on the Great War and its social issues. Well done Peter Hodgkinson and  to Helion for having the chutzpah to print it!

The Fever Code

Anyone read the latest from the Maze Runner series? I was a bit disappointed by it, but I skipped the fourth one that came out so wondering if that may have changed things. It's such a confusing series!

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