Friday, January 30, 2009

The (Book) Shelves

Howdy all, Sorry for no updates recently; I got hit by a stomach bug that really destroyed me. Anyway, I was sitting at the computer writing a few delayed emails, and I thought I would use some photos I took a few days ago to show the contents of the shelves under my table!

As I had mentioned earlier and as you can see, the legs of my wargames table are actually ikea shelves. They were really cheap, so I bought four; I figured this way I could use the table as storage! A few of them are full of wargames stuff, and the others I use to hold a piece of my war library. I thought today I would show the shelves with the books.

Shelf #1, like all of the shelves, holds an eclectic mix of books on various subjects. Maybe my favorite of them is "The Battle" by Alessando Barbero, a beautifully written and VERY easy-to-read account of the battle of Waterloo. I also have my various Games Workshop rules on this shelf, the ever-useful "Uniforms of the Civil War," and two fantastic "Then and now" photography books of the Antietam battlefield and the Gettysburg battlefield, by Bill Frassanito; I've walked Gettysburg with the book, and it certainly helps bring the battlefield to life.

Shelf #2 has a lot of Civil War material. It also has a few works of fiction; one of Bernard Cornwell's "Saxon" tales, "The Killer Angels" (or two of them, I suppose...) and a beautiful edition of The Hobbit that my wife got me as a wedding gift to someday read to our kids. The large book on the Imperial Guard is fantastic; my father picked it up for me on one of his many trips to Paris, and despite the difficulties in reading it the diagrams and plates are simply stunning.

Shelf #3 is a BUNCH of winners... and one loser. Urban's somewhat-dense "Rifles" is obviously a requirement for any Napoleonic fan, Shaara's two Revolutionary War books are among my favorite of any type for any period, Swoff's "Jarhead" is painful and jolting, and obviously "Band of Brothers" and the O'Brien series are classics. The only loser, unfortunately, is "Redcoat," by Cornwell... that book was TERRIBLE. However, inventing Richard Sharpe does get you a serious "get out of crappy book jail free" card, so most is forgiven.

Finally there is Shelf #4. A few Civil War books are mixed in with some Napoleonic uniform books. I have a great many books on the Crusades, having taken a class in college about it, but I only have one currently in the wargames room. "1776" is a fantastic tale of the earliest years of the American Revolutionary War. Finally I have two beautifully illustrated books, "Great Battles of the Civil War" and "Great Battlefields of the World" which feature some wonderful paintings of various battlefields.

Those are the table shelves! I obviously have dozens and dozens of other books, but they are either packed away somewhere or elsewhere in the house, and I am too tired to go looking for them... in fact, I am too tired to do anything but go back to be!
So, what are you favorite military history books?


Ozvortex said...

Love the war room! Some of my favourite books in my personal library are (in no particular order) Greece and Rome at War by Peter Connolly, Warfare in the Classical World by John Warry, Battles of the Crusades 1097 - 1444 by various authors, The Fighters - The Men and Machines of the First Air War by Thomas R. Funderburk, The Red Baron's Last Flight by Norman Franks & Alan Bennett, Alexander of Macedon 356-323 BC by Peter Green, The Civil War by Ward, Burns & Burns, The Civil War Journal - The Battles by Davis, Pohanka, Troiani, Chronicles of the Crusades by Elizabeth Hallam, Trafalgar - The Nelson Touch by David Howarth, The Napoleonic Source Book by Philip J Haythornthwaite.

Hope you feel better soon.


Snickering Corpses said...

I recognize the series the third book from the left on the last shelf is part of. I don't have that one, but I have two of the other volumes.

Author said...

Yep! I actually have all three, but the other two are in storage... I think they are maybe "Soldiers of the Civil War," "Generals of the Civil War," and "Battles of the Civil War?" That sounds about right. I actually have another book that is a collection of all of the plates from those books; let me see if I can lay my hands on it.

Thanks for the list, Oz! There are a few there that I'll have to grab... how is that First Air War book? I have no good WWI material, but would LOVE some... that was a very underappreciated war:)

I also have a BUNCH of other civil war books, but they are currently at school; I am teaching about the Civil War right now and I've given a lot of my material to the kiddos.

Snickering Corpses said...

Fighting Men of the Civil War and Commanders of the Civil War. Another cool one if you've any interest in ships is Warships and Naval Battles of the Civil War by Tom Gibbons.