Last week's readings will seem pretty extensive, but some of the finished books I've been reading a bit here and there for a long time. In any case, here's what's what:
First, I finished reading Osprey Warrior #26: US Paratrooper 1941 - 45. It discusses the training, equipment, and tactics of this subset of American soldiers of the WWII period. Moderately interesting.
Then I read Osprey Warrior #36: Grey Wolf: U-Boat Crewman of World War II, a similar discussion of a type of soldier that had a extremely high death rate during the war. There's some good material in this one.
Next was Adolph Hitler: My Part in his Downfall by Spike Milligan, the British comedian formerly of The Goons. In it he describes in a jocular fashion how he ended up in the field artillery during WWII. This is the first of seven short autobiographies that he wrote about his experiences of the war. I had read one of the ones in the middle during college (IIRC) but until the arrival of Amazon.com I had never seen any of the other books in the series, so when I get to it, I will be re-reading the one I'd done previously just to put it all in context. In this one, he is recruited, trained, and finally shipped out to Algeria. Funny, in true Goons style. A very different look at WWII history.
Then, Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park was recommended to me at Dorsai Thing this year along with a few other books that deal with troubles in National Parks. This book goes into some detail in just about every way people have died in, and occasionally near the Park. This includes falling into thermal pools, bear attacks, rockfalls, murders, and suicides. I think it was primarily written to remind folks that the National Parks aren't Disneyland, beautiful as they may be. If you can deal with repeated horrible detail it's worth a look-see.
Next was Focal Point: The Complete Game Master's Guide to Running Extraordinary Sessions, another in my recent reads in which I intend to get back into running RPG games. Soon. Really.
Then, Osprey Warrior #37: German Seaman 1939 - 45 deals with the sailors who fought with battleships and E-boats instead of submarines. I found it interesting that the personalities of these warriors is described so differently from others who fought for the Third Reich, especially in the view that naval personnel on the British side didn't so much view them as enemies, but instead as opponents, and that the real enemy was the ocean. Interesting read.
Next I finished Lobster: A Global History which goes into how this foodstuff changed from a garbage food that the aristocrats would feed to their servants to what is now considered a gourmet food. Fairly well-written.
Finally, Osprey Warrior #38: Fallschirmjager: German Paratrooper 1935 – 45, another subset of the fighting men of a specialized nature that had important history during the Second World War. Again, training, equipping, and tactics thereby. Not bad.
More next week!