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Reading Diary for 2014
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
1990
1989
1988
1987
1986
1985

  and earlier
"The Houdini Specter"
by Daniel Stashower
Buy it now from Amazon.com
  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • E-book (Kindle)
  • The Houdini SpecterA fun steampunk reimagining of the Harry Houdini legend, only in this retelling an aged Dash (Harry's brother) is looking back remembering Harry's time as a part-time private investigator. None of it is remotely real, but author Daniel Stashower has kept Houdini's oversized ego in place – that, combined with a well-crafted mystery, makes up for any suspension of disbelief. Highly entertaining.

    "The Seafarers: Fighting Sail"
    by A.B. Whipple
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  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • Fighting SailA broader overview of the age of sail than the other books in this series that focus on a particular type of ship, but it also is very much focused on the Battle of Trafalgar and the tactics of Admiral Horatio Nelson.

    "The Seafarers: The Spanish Main"
    by Peter Wood
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  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • The Spanish MainAn interesting look at naval power in the Caribbean during the era of Spanish colonialism. Interesting insights into how the Spanish failed to protect their assets from French and English raiders.

    "The Seafarers: The Pirates"
    by Douglas Botting
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  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • The PiratesA deep history that manages to simultaneously strip away the Hollywood tinsel and also maintain a sense of romance when talking about the age of pirates.

    "The Seafarers: The Dreadnoughts"
    by David Howarth
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  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • The DreadnoughtsA quick-moving history of the development of the modern battleship. Begins with the British men-of-war ships of the line – the most powerful sailing ships ever built – and the consternation the American Civil War's Monitor and Merrimack brought to naval officers around the world. The rapid development from wood and sail to the steam-powered steel vessels is perfectly captured.

    "The Seafarers: The Explorers"
    by Richard Humble
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  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • The ExplorersOld-school adventure history of a very high order, this Time-Life entry is a broad overview of those sailors who headed off over the horizon toward unknown lands – or endless oceans. They didn't really know what was out there, but sailed into it anyway. From the ancient exploration that mapped out the Mediterranean to the Renaissance voyages that completed our maps, a fabulous real-life tale.

    "Dreadnought"
    by Robert K. Massie
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  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • E-book (Kindle)
  • DreadnoughtA well laid out take on the lead-up to World War I seen from the perspective of the naval rivalry between Britain and Germany in the latter half of the 19th Century. Not quite the iconic history of the events leading to war that Barbara Tuchman's "The Proud Tower" is, nor the bittersweet paean to the pre-war age of European greatness that is Stephen Zweig's "The World of Yesterday," but a nice, readable history – and a solid precursor to Massie's own "Castles of Steel," which details what happened to all the battleships built in the period of this book.

    "The Aleppo Codex"
    by Matti Friedman
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  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • E-book (Kindle)
  • Audiobook (Audible)
  • Audiobook (CD)
  • The Aleppo CodexAn interesting look at the partial saving of a historical copy of the Old Testament during World War II and the restoration of Israel. At times, reads a bit too much like a news story – betraying the author's occupation as a journalist. But he knows the story as well as anyone alive, and clearly delineates what is known and what is lost to history.

    "The Flanders Panel"
    by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
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  • Hardcover
  • Softcover
  • Paperback
  • E-book (Kindle)
  • The Flanders PanelWonderfully drawn dual mystery – a series of murders seems to center around a 15th Century Flemish masterpiece, but the painting itself may hold the clue to an unsolved murder 500 years ago. Those who enjoyed The Club Dumas" will find this equally addictive.