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    Default Non-fiction

    Do you guys read non-fiction books? I never used to, until I really got interested in history, which was a subject I abhorred in high school (probably due to it being taught very tediously). I've now read several very compelling books, and bought several more to read, but I made this topic to share with you what I consider probably the greatest two books I'd recently read, excluding Stephen King's.

    It's a series of books by Richard J Evans, dealing with the Third Reich. It's a trilogy, with two volumes already out, and the third one being released in March.


    This is probably the better volume of the two I read, simply because it covers a lot more ground. It also answers the question I had when I set out to read these books: How could such a civilized society as the Germans allow themselves to be gripped by such a vile dictatorship. Professor Evans writes like a novelist, and the book reads like a historical novel. Sure we know the outcome, but this book really lays out how it came to pass, step by step, tracing back the roots to the end of the 19th century. I'm not a history buff, so for a layman it was all comprehensive and comprehensible. It really shone a lot of light on a very dark subject matter, and was told in such a manner that wasn't just dry facts, but stories intertwined with each other to form an actual narrative. This book starts at the end of the 19th century and chronicles the Nazi party till their seizure of power in 1933.


    Professor Evans continues his scrupulous look inside the Third Reich, and this second volume takes place during the "peacetime" Nazi Germany, right from where the first volume ends, in 1933, till the start of the Second World War in 1939.


    This final volume of the trilogy is due out on March 19, 2009, and I already have my pre-order in, of course. This will cover the entire wartime period of Nazi Germany, including the aftermath. Should be fascinating reading, and I urge you all, if the subject piques your interest in the least, to pick up the two books already out. Highly, very highly recommended.

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    Gunslinger Daghain is on a distinguished road Daghain's Avatar

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    Ooh, that looks great! I'm a Nazi Germany social history buff myself.

    The best one I've read so far is Frauen, by Alison Owings. It's a bunch of interviews with different women who lived during that time. It's a really good read.



    "People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad." ~ Alan Bernard


    "You needn't die happy when your day comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from beginning to end and ka is always served." ~ Roland Deschain

  3. #3
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    Daghain, that's what a large portion of these books consists of, social history. A look inside, how everyday people lived during those times. Of course, it doesn't omit any political dealings. For instance, the first volume delves deeply into Germany's many elections that preceded Hitler's dictatorial seizure of power. It's incredibly eye-opening, and it's superbly written, so all these characters feel alive (and they were).

    P.S.: Sorry if I sound like an advertisement. Trust me, I'm not. I'm just sharing what I thought was a very illuminating reading experience. Very pleasurable, despite the grim subject matter (especially in the second volume, when the first concentration camps get erected).

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    Gunslinger Daghain is on a distinguished road Daghain's Avatar

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    No, actually I think you've talked me into putting them on my reading list. I get the same way when I find a really, really good book.



    "People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad." ~ Alan Bernard


    "You needn't die happy when your day comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from beginning to end and ka is always served." ~ Roland Deschain

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    From Sorrow to Hope Sam is on a distinguished road Sam's Avatar

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    Actually Pablo, I have been a reader of non-fiction for many years. I recommend John Keegan to you. He covers many diverse topics in military history from World War II to the Battle of Agincourt. I have been reading historical texts on Japan for years and have come to enjoy the writings of Stephen Turnbull as well. Currently, I'm reading a book by A.J. Jacobs called The Year of Living Biblically. I started the book thinking it would be a hoot. It has become a very introspective tome indeed and has made me think very hard about how I've been living my life. I recommend it as well.
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    I constantly read non-fiction, mostly religion, history, literary criticism, politics, and philosophy.

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    Wow, the collector in me really wants to get this collector's set released in Britain (where Prof. Evans' third volume on Nazi Germany has already been released way in advance of its US counterpart), but man is it expensive!


    £70.00 - that's about 100 bucks, plus shipping...

    Must.

    Resist.

    The.

    Temptation.



    Here's Penguin's official description of the thing:

    To mark the amazing achievement of Richard Evans in writing the definitive account of the Third Reich, we are releasing a limited edition boxed set of the critically acclaimed The Coming of the Third Reich, The Third Reich in Power and his brand new book, The Third Reich at War. A beautifully designed, visually striking set, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to literally own a piece of history.

  8. #8
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    Well I knew I couldn't resist. Didn't take me long. Found it cheaper on AbeBooks and ordered. A new copy. Will consider it my Christmas gift.

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    Gunslinger Daghain is on a distinguished road Daghain's Avatar

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    You know, I hate you for showing me stuff like that.



    "People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad." ~ Alan Bernard


    "You needn't die happy when your day comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from beginning to end and ka is always served." ~ Roland Deschain

  10. #10
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    AbeBooks has a copy for a tad cheaper than Amazon UK. Go for it

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    I think I'll put in on my wish list for now. You should SEE the pile of books I have to read yet!



    "People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad." ~ Alan Bernard


    "You needn't die happy when your day comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from beginning to end and ka is always served." ~ Roland Deschain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Actually Pablo, I have been a reader of non-fiction for many years. I recommend John Keegan to you. He covers many diverse topics in military history from World War II to the Battle of Agincourt.
    John Keegan is my favorite military historian. I have his books on WWI and WWII-and his history of armed conflict-on my bookshelf. Geoffrey Perret is also very good. He wrote a superb book about Abraham Lincoln's war cabinet, which I highly recommend.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daghain View Post
    I think I'll put in on my wish list for now. You should SEE the pile of books I have to read yet!
    As do I, as do I... Sigh. Don't wait too long, though, they're saying it's a limited edition. I'm sure it won't fly off the shelves, but still.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pablo View Post
    Well I knew I couldn't resist. Didn't take me long. Found it cheaper on AbeBooks and ordered. A new copy. Will consider it my Christmas gift.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daghain View Post
    You know, I hate you for showing me stuff like that.
    what she said!!!

    ::envious bear::

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    Another author that I would suggest is for anyone with an interest in the story of Japan's fuedal era, you know the samurai era. Stephen Turnbull has written some really great stuff dealing with that time period, though some of the volumes do begin to repeat each other so be choosy.
    Margaret Emmie Mackey Catoe, you are, have been, and always will be my soulmate, and I love you.
    Con todo mi corazon, por todo de mis dias. And I always will, in this life and into the next.

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    My favorite form of Non-Fiction are biographies and auto-biographies. The ones I collect the most are those of musicians and other types of mediatic-entertainers.
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  17. #17
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    Ah, those are my favorite biographies/autobiographies too. I have a decent sized collection of them. I'm also a bit of an assassination buff (which means I must fanatically read every book and watch every film on the subject. I also read lots of religion, science, math, astrology, paranormal books.
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    Default True Crime

    Is anyone else a fan of this genre?

    I've been reading some great books recently, e.g. The Bulger Brothers, by Howie Carr, Wiseguy-which was adapted into "Goodfellas," and probably Phillip Carlo's seminal work, The Nightstalker, which was rereleased a few years ago, after he had completed a death row interview of serial killer Richard Ramirez.

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    I guess I would need more definition of what you'd consider "True Crime".

    I just finished Columbine by Dave Cullan and it was one of the best books I've read in a long while.
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    I've been tempted to pick that one up, Pam.

    I'm an avid reader of crimelibrary.com, but haven't picked up any books yet. The subject does fascinate me for some reason, though. I guess I just wonder what makes people tick.



    "People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad." ~ Alan Bernard


    "You needn't die happy when your day comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from beginning to end and ka is always served." ~ Roland Deschain

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    Rabid Billybumbler Ruthful is on a distinguished road Ruthful's Avatar

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    What I mean is non-fiction accounts of newsworthy criminal activities. Most of the books I read have some larger historical context, e.g. Howie Carr's book examines the political and socio-economic background that led to the rise of Whitey Bulger and the Winter Hill Gang, and a lot of the other books I read with these themes focus on the cultural/political conditions that contribute to the rise of things like la cosa nostra. I don't read books about things like the Laci Peterson case, or the stuff that horribly obnoxious woman, Nancy Grace, covers on her insipid cable talk show.

  22. #22
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    Oh God, Nancy Grace.



    "People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad." ~ Alan Bernard


    "You needn't die happy when your day comes, but you must die satisfied, for you have lived your life from beginning to end and ka is always served." ~ Roland Deschain

  23. #23
    Kate / Batwoman turtlex is on a distinguished road turtlex's Avatar

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    Daggers - It was outstanding. Completely. Very well written and backed up by fact. I was very impressed.

    So, Ruthful, would you consider something like The Perfect Storm to be true crime? I guess not, hunh?

    I did read and really enjoy Jon Krakaur's Under The Banner of Heaven. I think that would fall into this true crime genre.
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    Remember, Remember, The Fifth of November, The Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot.

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    Rabid Billybumbler Ruthful is on a distinguished road Ruthful's Avatar

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    Do you mean the book by Sebastian Junger?

    I visit crimelibrary.com too. Have either of you ever read any books written by Phillip Carlo? He's the best writer I've ever read who works in this genre. He focuses on individuals who are not only sadistic serial killers, but who are complete sociopaths, e.g. Richard Kuklinski-who interviewed for his book, Ice Man, or Anthony Casso, who was the subject of his latest book, "Gaspipe."

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    Yes, S.Junger/Perfect Storm. I enjoyed it ( though had some issues with the presentation of dialogue towards the ending ).

    I'm kind of a crimelibrary nut as well.
    The Man In Black Fled Across The Desert...

    ...And The Gunslinger Followed.

    “I’m always on the Batman rule, sir.” - Kate Kane / Detective Comics 857

    "It is the story, not he who tells it." Except to us collectors who have to put limits somewhere. - jhanic

    Remember, Remember, The Fifth of November, The Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot.

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