Sunday, December 31, 2006

The books of 2006

Like I said last year;
I love books. Just wanna get naked and roll in them.
In LIFO (last in first out) format, here are the books I read through in 2006.

Iraq Study Group Report: A freebee (click the hypertext to get a free PDF). You get what you pay for. I kind of stand by my statement here, but this is a document just not worth the hype. I think I may give a better summary later, but it is a mixed bag. If you took out the Israel fetishism and "talk to the animals" crap, there are some fine recommendations there. A lot of them though are either already being done, or OBE. In the end, it is what you think a bunch of retired diplomats, party functionaries and lawyers would produce. Not impressed.

The Management of Savagery: Another freebee, and required reading. This is a translation of a strategic planning document from a very well educated and sharp AQ leader/thinker. If you want to understand why they are doing what they do, and how their 10-20-50-100 year timeframe is hard to fight inside the Western 24-hr news cycle - read this cover to cover.

Fiasco by Thomas E. Ricks: Ungh. Had to read it. It is a nice rearward looking Zinni-centric overview of what a Monday AM QB would say about the Iraq War. Funny that some read the book, title and all, as some objective text. Please people, be smarter than that. I recommend it, but read it for what it is. Ricks uses throughout the book many things he scolds the Bush Admin. about: selective reporting, sources with questionable motives, and intentional whitewashing of other important issues. Hatchet job. Shame, in the book are some very important points, and valuable perspectives and questions. It is under a shadow of agenda. Shame. The book could have been so much more if Ricks didn't feel the need to score points with "friends."

The Vietnam Primer by David H. Hackworth, Samuel L. Marshall: Though I had issues with Hack in his later years, this is a great read (again) to look back at Vietnam and the fact that this time today isn't the only one where mid-grade leaders have had to remind the military that they needed to get back to fundementals, and that in the end, sound tactics work - if they are remembered.

The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli: Yes, another repeat read. I recommend it highly for anyone - especially if you have not read it before. Machiavelli has a lot to say for all of us, even if you only have to deal with your family.

The Last 7 Months of Anne Frank by Willy Lindwer: This is a different take on the Anne Frank story. This interviews those who were in the camps with her, or in hiding with her and knew her the last 7 months she was alive. Highly recommended.

Matthew: Can you believe I have only read one book of the Gospel this year? 2007 must be a better year for me. One verse a week at Sunday School is not enough. Shame on me.

Prime Obsession by John Derbyshire: I am a huge fan of Derb, but I could not finish the book. I just am not that great enough with math to hold the line on the story of the Prime Number Theory, etc. I read 2/3. I read Matthew next. You figure it out. If you are a math dude, get the book. Otherwise, just listen to Derb's podcast.

No True Glory by Bing West: Want to know about the Battle of Fallujah? Want to respect LTG Mattis even more? Read this book. Highly recommended.

Islam by Karen Armstrong: Ungh. The ~30 pages of the book are fine. The rest is garbage. A full review is here.
Thought Ninme is lazy, there is a list worth youur time at PalmTreePundit's place. Anne rulz.

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