Author Topic: What book are you reading now?  (Read 297261 times)

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Offline Dimsum

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1450 on: September 15, 2018, 19:41:29 »
Finished Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky (as per my last post) and despite me having a minor arachnophobic streak, I'm awaiting the movie adaptation that was announced by Lionsgate last year.  Very cool concept and not sure it'd work without spiders as half (or more) of the book deals with spider society and its advancements. 

I'm now reading something completely different - "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a ****".  I've had a few people recommend it and so far I classify it as "sarcastic self-help", which is pretty awesome.
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline Simian Turner

    is a veteran who enjoys oddities!

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1451 on: September 15, 2018, 23:30:28 »
I'm now reading something completely different - "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a ****".  I've had a few people recommend it and so far I classify it as "sarcastic self-help", which is pretty awesome.

I enjoyed but often wondered if I had to finish it! :sarcasm:
The grand essentials of happiness: something to do, something to love, something to hope for.  Allan K. Chalmers

Offline Ó Donnghaile

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1452 on: September 16, 2018, 22:02:36 »
Currently reading Cordon and Search: With 6th Airborne Division in Palestine, 1945-48.

Prior to that I read The Patrol by Ryan Flavelle, A Handful of Hard Men: The SAS and the Battle for Rhodesia by Hannes Wessels, and The Inside Story of The Special Boat Service by John Parker.
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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1453 on: September 16, 2018, 22:15:51 »
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

Quote
“Your God person puts an apple tree in the middle of a garden and says, do what you like, guys, oh, but don't eat the apple. Surprise surprise, they eat it and he leaps out from behind a bush shouting "Gotcha". It wouldn't have made any difference if they hadn't eaten it.'
'Why not?'
'Because if you're dealing with somebody who has the sort of mentality which likes leaving hats on the pavement with bricks under them you know perfectly well they won't give up. They'll get you in the end.” 

 :cheers:
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Offline commander-cb

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1454 on: September 17, 2018, 19:34:06 »
Application began approx 2010
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Second. 00136
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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1455 on: September 21, 2018, 18:51:27 »
Just picked up a copy of "Unhinged" by Omarosa at the library.  ;D

 :cheers:
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Offline StygianFire

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1456 on: September 22, 2018, 23:52:54 »
Due to a recent promotion I work almost exclusively overnight shifts for the foreseeable future and have moved away from my beloved paper copy books to the audiobook versions that I can listed to while working. 
I am currently making my way through the incredibly long and thoroughly interesting Musashi, by Eiji Yoshikaw. It is historical fiction but may of the characters and events are real. It has a lot to teach about the ways of the warrior, and is a fascinating glimpse into the Edo period of Japanese history.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/102030.Musashi

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1457 on: September 23, 2018, 00:38:51 »
Due to a recent promotion I work almost exclusively overnight shifts for the foreseeable future and have moved away from my beloved paper copy books to the audiobook versions that I can listed to while working. 
I am currently making my way through the incredibly long and thoroughly interesting Musashi, by Eiji Yoshikaw. It is historical fiction but may of the characters and events are real. It has a lot to teach about the ways of the warrior, and is a fascinating glimpse into the Edo period of Japanese history.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/102030.Musashi

If you find the period interesting, then you might find the books of Laura Joh Rowland something to try out.

Quote
Laura Joh Rowland is a detective/mystery author best known for her series of historical mystery novels set in the late days of feudal Japan, mostly in Edo during the late 17th century.

. . . The novels deal with the experiences of Sano Ichiro, a samurai and minor official who, by the end of the first novel, became the trusted chief investigator for the fifth Tokugawa shōgun, Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, and by the tenth novel, was promoted to a very high office.

Throughout the stories, Sano constantly had to deal with his problems following the code of bushido while serving both justice and his master, the Shogun; and with his wife, Ueda Reiko (上田 麗子), who frequently involves herself in Sano's investigations. Sano experiences great pressure as he is faced with death if he does not fulfill his obligations to the shōgun as well.

Rowland takes some literary license with known figures, creating fictionalized versions of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Emperor Higashiyama in The Samurai's Wife, and Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu. Objective historical details, however, are credibly accurate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Joh_Rowland

https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Joh-Rowland/e/B000AP9C90/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1537677385&sr=8-5

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1458 on: September 25, 2018, 14:28:04 »
Just picked up a copy of "Unhinged" by Omarosa at the library.  ;D

 :cheers:

Have now finished the book.

https://www.amazon.ca/Unhinged-Insiders-Account-Trump-White-ebook/dp/B07DCGHNSZ

I found it a surprisingly good read albeit less informative than I expected it to be.

Let me start by saying that my impression of her has been greatly coloured by my initial introduction to her on the Apprentice where I presume she was heavily edited into a brash villain role.

In fact this book tended to get me to like her a bit and appreciate her background and accomplishments.

The book is well written--much better than Hillary's--but not as informative as I would have liked. Much of what she discusses are already items which have run in the press and her personal take on them isn't much more informative, if at all. One is also left with the feeling that she is overstating what she accomplished during the election and at the White House. Having been a Democrat who was not brought into the Clinton campaign as she had hoped, she turned to Trump out of loyalty when the opportunity was there. Throughout she focuses on the tone-deafness of the administration as to the need to engage the Afro-American community and the constant tensions she had with various members of the administration--especially Betsy Devos. In short she paints herself as virtually the only staff member who cared about that agenda.

There is very little on her final firing other than to say that she was ready to leave on her own because of the direction that the administration on multiple issues and that the firing by Kelly was due to the facts that a) he hated her, and b) she was starting to look for the lost Apprentice "n-word" tapes.

She readily admits that for years she was blind to Trump's failings as he was her mentor, responsible for much of her later success and that she had tremendous loyalty for him. She certainly feels that Trump today is but a shadow of the man that he was 15 years ago and believes that he is suffering from some mental incapacity that goes far beyond the narcissism which he's had all his life. She credits his success to his innate showmanship abilities and the way he manipulates the press to always put him in the limelight even when they think it's in a negative light. On the other hand she feels he is entirely manipulated by a number of personalities at Fox who are able to target his insecurities and ego to advance their own respective agendas.

An interesting and relatively light and fast read. She's relatively restrained in her criticisms and language which gives  the story a bit more credibility than I originally thought it should have.

Not sure it's worth buying a copy but for anyone wanting a superficial view into the inner workings of the Trump White House, it's worth borrowing it from the library.

 :cheers:
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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1459 on: September 25, 2018, 15:12:47 »
Xylric, dangerboy: Just about anything by Robert Harris (a favourite of mine) is good--recently An Officer and a Spy about France/Dreyfuss case and Munich (1938), both historically quite accurate.  And his books about Rome/Cicero (Imperium, Lustrum, Dictator) are also excellent.

Then there is The Ghost, clearly portraying a retired Tony Blair, mainly set in Martha's Vineyard, Mass., and with a nice CIA backstory--made into the best movie thriller in years as "The Ghost Writer" by, gasp, Roman Polanski:
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2010/feb/12/roman-polanski-ghost-writer

The movie also made me really aware of GPS in cars for the first time ;).

Mark
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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1460 on: October 25, 2018, 23:26:43 »
Have now started Bob Woodward's Fear.

https://www.amazon.ca/Fear-Trump-White-Bob-Woodward/dp/1501175513

Not a bad read and, so far, more balanced than the average Republican would consider possible. The part about Bannon's entry into the campaign and the roles of the other key players and the RNC's political machine is very informative.

Much more readable than Clinton's book.

I'll update this as I move along.

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 10:34:32 by FJAG »
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Offline Journeyman

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1461 on: October 26, 2018, 09:01:02 »
Have now started Bob Woodward's Fear.

Not a bad read and, so far, more balanced then the average Republican would consider possible.
I found it very enjoyable as well. 

The problem with your comment though, is that we appear to hear less and less from the "average" Republican … or Democrat;  it seems like we only get to hear (incessantly) from the more extreme edges.  For them, the book would be a waste.

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1462 on: October 26, 2018, 09:43:33 »
I thought the last paragraph summed it up nicely.

Offline Colin P

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1463 on: October 26, 2018, 14:21:30 »
War Trash by Ha Jin, about a Chinese POW in Korea

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1464 on: October 28, 2018, 19:51:23 »
Having the need to refill my reading list, I have a couple of non-fiction technical books that I'm going through, and a number of fiction works.

The fiction works are as follows:

Robert J. Sawyer (Wake, Watch, Wonder, Quantum Night, Red Planet Blues, Starplex, & Calculating God*)
Adrian Tchikovsky's The Tiger and the Wolf and its sequel The Bear and the Serpent
And of course,
The Lord of the Rings

The non-fiction is a little more nuanced.
The Human Career
Wolves: Ecology, Behaviour, and Conservation
Animals Make Us Human
The Intimate Bond
Essays and Sketches of Mark Twain
The Emperor of Maladies
Ancient Inventions


And that's probably sufficient for the next two weeks.

*Calculating God is one that I reread every December, as it came out the same year my maternal grandfather passed away from lung cancer, and features a protagonist facing the same fate. Bit of a superstitious tradition, but as I was a kid when it came out, I don't see anything wrong with doing so.

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1465 on: October 31, 2018, 23:24:46 »
Have now started Bob Woodward's Fear.

https://www.amazon.ca/Fear-Trump-White-Bob-Woodward/dp/1501175513

Not a bad read and, so far, more balanced than the average Republican would consider possible. The part about Bannon's entry into the campaign and the roles of the other key players and the RNC's political machine is very informative.

Much more readable than Clinton's book.

I'll update this as I move along.

 :cheers:

Have now finished the book and was a little let down. In general it's a good read which offers insight into the workings of the Trump White House (spoiler alert - it's a bloody mess).

There are good glimpses of many of the key players and how they worked to further and protect America's agenda and best interests or who manipulated Trump into dangerous gambits (or were plain sycophants sucking up to the boss). Hard to tell who the heros are much of the time.

On the downside the book is a bit disjointed (in part by simultaneously trying to follow a chronographic timeline while trying to deal with specific issues which developed over a lengthier period of time.)

Have turned my attention to John Sandford's Deep Freeze (A Virgil Flowers Novel). This is the tenth book of the spinoff from the Lucas Davenport/Prey series both of which involve police investigators in Minnesota. A lovely blend of action, mystery and humour. I recommend this book and both series highly.

https://www.amazon.ca/Deep-Freeze-Virgil-Flowers-Novel-ebook/dp/B01NBU65Z1

https://www.amazon.com/John-Sandford/e/B000AQ8P4W/

 :BCat:

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Offline Xylric

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1466 on: November 01, 2018, 01:03:05 »
As we finally sorted out some of the last details of my grandfather's estate, I'm happy to say, I'm adding his papers to the list. While never published, he was an extremely prolific writer, so I have about 40KG of material to go through. And I even have his and my grandmother's typewriters..

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1467 on: November 09, 2018, 15:23:00 »
Ordered in and just received from the library "Operation Medusa: The Furious Battle That Saved Afghanistan From The Taliban" by David Fraser and Brian Hanington.



https://www.amazon.ca/Operation-Medusa-Furious-Afghanistan-Taliban-ebook/dp/B074YM5WCH

I'm looking forward to see how he explains some of the things he did there. (That could probably use a thread all of its own)

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1468 on: November 11, 2018, 00:16:02 »
Okay. Have finished "Operation Medusa: The Furious Battle That Saved Afghanistan From The Taliban" by David Fraser and Brian Hanington and despite it being a generally good read and mostly informative I was left feeling a little underwhelmed.

Considering that this was Canada's first and last major battle since the Korean War and considering that Fraser was the commander who conceived of and led the effort I would have expected to see more about the role of leadership and the intricacies of the decisions made during his tour and this battle in particular. Numerous books about the details of the battle have previously been written including "No Lack of Courage: Operation Medusa Afghanistan" by Bernd Horn; "Contact Charlie: The Canadian Army, The Taliban and the Battle That Saved Afghanistan" by Chris Wattie; "Clearing the Way: Combat Engineers in Kandahar" by Mark Gasparotto; and "Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds" by Rusty Bradley and Kevin Maurer (for the Yankee version).

There are a few new insights in Fraser's book that flesh out the situation but, quite frankly, other authors have covered the details of the battle better.

If you're looking for an answer as to why Charles Company was ordered to move across the Arghandab several days earlier then planned then you won't find it here. There is a small piece about "discussing" the timing of the move with LCol Omer Lavoie and subsequently (after Charles Company had been pushed back) finding out that the contingent was running low on 25mm and 155mm ammunition and a much later rationalization (after having seen the Taliban's defensive positions) that more artillery and air strikes wouldn't have been effective anyway. However, if you want to know the real reason why the decision was made, you'll have to look elsewhere. (There's no explanation as to why the ammo was running short other than that TF3-06 was using it faster than TF Orion had been and there had been some "inept record-keeping". This comes up after the battle is joined? Really?)

As an aside, Fraser spends what I think is an inordinate amount of time writing about his close protection team. I do appreciate that four of them died in an IED strike some four or five months prior to the battle. This, however, does not explain the numerous quotations by his CPD team leader that appear as epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter or the numerous references to various members throughout the book. If he wanted to put a soldier's touch into the story it would have been preferable to get them from the numerous members of the battle group who took part in the battle. (He certainly does that for many of the officers-both senior and junior-who played a role.)

I think that it's a mandatory read simply because of who the author is but, as I said, don't expect anything great.

 :cheers:
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1469 on: November 11, 2018, 09:40:54 »
I pretty well agree with FJAG's assessment. I read the book a few months ago while recovering from a head injury, so my perception was not as sharp as I would have liked. There is something missing, and I have to do some more digging.

Being a gunner, I looked into the ammunition issue. From various open sources, it appears the TF headquarters and the NSE lost count of the increase in consumption in the later weeks of TF Orion's tour. Now, perhaps this was because the Patricias were lax in reporting rounds fired, but someone should have spotted that. Actually I have read where someone did, but was overruled.

Regardless, on 19 August which was the days that 1 RCR took over, the BSM of E Battery did a physical count of 155mm ammunition in the ammunition stocks in KAF. He counted 311 rounds, compared to the few thousand indicated in the records. That same day, one of the troops of E Battery fired 92 rounds - or almost 50% of its basic load, in support of A Company. The logistic community did a fine job of procuring artillery ammunition, but there were shortages in Medusa. This was not because 1 RCR was trigger happy compared to 1 PPCLI, but rather because of the increased operational tempo. As the battery commander told me, "we found ourselves in no crap war fighting" and he would brief Omar Lavoie each night on how much ammunition would be available for the next day. This did effect operations.

Still, read the book despite its gaps. There are valuable insights with pondering, not the least of which involve approaches to command in battle.

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1470 on: November 11, 2018, 11:41:18 »
. . . The logistic community did a fine job of procuring artillery ammunition, but there were shortages in Medusa.  . . .

According to Fraser there was no ammunition available in Afghanistan or Iraq so "[w]e had to expand our search around the world, and eventually found some in New Zealand." Interestingly, NZ does not have any 155mm guns, just the Brit 105mm L118 Light Gun. They did have 25mm armed NZLAVs at that time.

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1471 on: November 22, 2018, 09:40:36 »
I tried to post a lengthy review of Michael Lewis' book, The Fifth Risk, from the New York Review of Books.  Unfortunately, it exceeded the allowable length of even the "Articles and Large Posts" portion of the site.
LINK

The review, titled "Saboteur in Chief," shows the book's interesting perspective on Trump's use... non-use... abuse... of bureaucratic-level political appointments within government. It's an aspect I hadn't considered before.  Anyway, I've just ordered the book; the review alone provides some 'WTF' points, so we'll see.


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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1472 on: November 22, 2018, 19:09:03 »
I am on a kick.  Finished "Sapiens - A History of the Human Race", and then plodded through a re-read of "Guns, Germs and Steel".  Now reading Friedman's "Hot, Flat and Crowded", as well as Niall Ferguson's " Civilisation - The West vs the Rest".

I love having a well-stocked home library....
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1473 on: November 22, 2018, 20:18:51 »
I quite enjoyed Ferguson's Civilization. I was given a copy of The Ascent of Money by a financial planner, and since then I have really enjoyed his writing style.
My dad gave me a flea market book titled SOG: The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam. (with 8 pages of thrilling photos!!!).
I'm not in any position to critique the authors claims of glory and gore, but J Plaster makes it pretty clear the core mission of capturing prisoners was an abysmal failure. He also points out several times that every SOG operator who was captured (and there were many), were never seen alive again.
He also reveals quite a bit about some effective ammunition tampering, food poisoning and other clandestine methods that were used to some good effect.
Again, this is yet another book which references NSA SIGINT posts in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, some of which were captured intact with personnel known to be alive but never seen again.
The use of SOG teams to install mass surveillance wiretaps on communications cables, conduct what must be some of the most early versions of M2M warfare on enemy data transmissions was interesting.  There are also some oblique references to some SOG operators who were Canadian citizens that volunteered for service.
Current read is The Viaz'ma Catastrophe, 1941: The Red Army's Disastrous Stand Against Operation Typhoon by Lupukhovsky.  I'm pretty certain he would have been shot not even 20 years ago for describing in detail just how badly Stavka mismanaged this battle.
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Re: What book are you reading now?
« Reply #1474 on: December 13, 2018, 13:10:18 »
Currently reading this series of the modern US Navy. Have read all his Dan Lenson books. Just starting ONSLAUGHT. Poyer does a fair bit of research for his books as detailed in the Acknowledgments.

Author: David Poyer’s active (Annapolis 1971) and reserve naval service included sea duty in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Arctic, Caribbean, and Pacific, and shore duty at the Pentagon, Surface Warfare Development Group, Joint Forces Command, and in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.  He retired from the Joint Forces Command as a captain, with the Defense Superior Service Medal as his highest award.

Modern Navy Series

THE CRUISER
Just promoted to Captain, Dan Lenson's first glimpse of his new command is of a ship literally high and dry. USS Savo Island, which carries a classified, never-before-deployed missile defense system, has run aground off Naples, Italy. Captain Lenson has to relieve the ship's disgraced skipper and deploy on a secret mission—Operation Stellar Shield—which will take his ship and crew into the dangerous waters bordering the Middle East. As a climate of war builds, with threats of nuclear and chemical weapons, Dan has to rally Savo Island’s demoralized crew and confront a mysterious death on board, while learning to operate a complex missile system that has not been battle tested. But when the conflict reaches a climax, Dan is forced to make a decision that may cost hundreds of thousands of innocent lives—or save them, but at the cost of his ship and his career.

TIPPING POINT: The War with China: The First Salvo
Dan Lenson’s under fire both at sea and in Washington. His command of the first antiballistic-missile-capable cruiser in the Fleet, USS Savo Island, is threatened when he's called home to testify before Congress. In the Indian Ocean, Savo cruises off East Africa, protecting shipping lanes from pirates. But this routine patrol turns ominous when an unknown assailant begins assaulting female crew members. At the same time, a showdown starts between India and Pakistan.  Savo Island, with her unique but not yet fully battle-ready ability to intercept ballistic missiles, is all that stands between two nations on the brink of nuclear war.  Dan will have to cope with a deadly tsunami, incoming weapons, and a quickly tilting balance of power, as China finally makes her bid to humiliate and displace America in the Pacific, beginning a deadly war.

ONSLAUGHT: The War with China: The Opening Battle chronicles
Dan Lenson’s latest challenge as the U.S. Navy struggles to hold Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. As Allied computer, satellite, and financial networks are ravaged by cyberattacks, China and its Associated Powers begin to roll up American allies, launching invasions of India, Taiwan, South Korea, and Okinawa. USS Savo Island is one of the few forces left to stop them. But with a crew under attack from an unknown assailant, and rapidly running out of ordnance against waves of enemy missiles and torpedoes, can Dan and his scratch-team task force hold the line? Or will the U.S. lose the Pacific—and perhaps much more—to an aggressive and expansionist new People’s Empire? The most explosive novel yet in the long-running Dan Lenson series, Onslaught presents an utterly convincing scenario of how a global war with China could unfold. 

HUNTER KILLER
: The War with China deepens
The United States stands nearly alone in its determination to fight, rather than give into the expansionist demands of the aggressive new “People’s Empire.” The naval and air forces of the Associated Powers – China, Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea – have used advanced technology and tactical nuclear weapons to devastate America's fleet in the Pacific, while its massive army forced humiliating surrenders on Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and other crucial allies. Admiral Dan Lenson, commanding a combined US–South Korean naval force, and Commander Cheryl Staurulakis of USS Savo Island fight to turn the tide and prepare for an Allied counteroffensive. Meanwhile, SEAL operator Teddy Oberg escapes from a hellish POW camp and heads west through desolate mountains toward what he hopes will be freedom. And in Washington, DC, Dan’s wife Blair Titus helps formulate America's political response to overwhelming setbacks in the Pacific and at on the home front.

DEEP WAR (Dec 18): The war with China and North Korea goes nuclear
The war against China turns dire as the United States struggles to survive in this gripping thriller featuring Navy commander Dan Lenson. After America suffers a devastating nuclear attack, and facing food shortages, power outages, cyber and AI assaults, and a wrecked economy, Admiral Dan Lenson leads an allied force assigned to turn the tide of war in the Pacific, using precisely targeted missiles and high-tech weapons systems. But as the campaign begins, the entire Allied military and defense network is compromised—even controlled—by Jade Emperor, a powerful Chinese artificial intelligence system that seems to anticipate and counter every move. While Dan strives to salvage the battle plan, his wife Blair helps coordinate strategy in Washington, DC, Marine sergeant Hector Ramos fights in an invasion of Taiwan, and Navy SEAL master chief Teddy Oberg begins a desperate journey into central China on a mission that may be the only way to save the United States from destruction and defeat.

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Dan Lenson Series

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