I usually have several books in progress at any one time – its been a while since I would devour books that fast. These days I have books set up in various places that I read when I am there.
- In the Living Room I have two books – Volume I of Ed Bearss’ trilogy on the Vicksburg Campaign and Glantz’ Barbarossa Derailed on the WWII Smolensk battle. I got away from Glantz’ because he’s a bit harder to work through, and since I was feeling ill last week thought Bearss’ would be easier, both because he’s writes more conversationally and because I am more familiar with the subject. The Civil War is one of my favorite subjects.
- Upstairs in the bedroom I have one of my Shelby Foote Civil War: A Narrative. It’s a new edition which busts the original three fat volumes into a dozen or so thin ones. I’m on the second to last one – Atlanta just fell. There are a few of my Folio Society book club bonus books in there too – I’m in the middle of a set of Famous Trials, and also halfway through the “Red Fairy Book”. Not my usual subject, but its a nice volume none the less.
- Scattered about and in the office are some of my books on the Fall of the Western Roman Empire I’m looking over for research.
- There’s some books in the bathrooms too. I’ve put some of the “historical dictionary” type books or “who’s who in History” books I’ve gotten as bonus book club books in there. Eventually the entry or so you read adds up, and you at least get the feeling you are making progress.
- I have my exercise books. When I walk to lunch at work twice a week or so I carry a book. The current one is Medieval Civilization. It’s another Folio book, and like most of them is a good book in content as well as being physically a great volume. This is a subject I don’t know all that well, which is nice. The other exercise book is for when I take walks in my neighborhood. Right now its Thunder Along the Mississippi by Combes. Its a decent overview of Civil War river operations, marred by some incredible editing errors. Such as calling Gen. McClernand “McLernand” repeatedly. I’m also suspicious of him naming a “McMillan” as a luminary like Grant and Halleck. I’m not sure if the error here is calling an obscure person a ‘luminary’ or if this is misspelling a general that I have heard of. In any event, the errors, although jarring, don’t really impact the subject of the book much and its nice to have a collected and condensed book on the subject.
When you write it all down, it sounds almost psychotic. I think I have a book somewhere around I can use to research this and find out for sure.