"No plan survives...

...contact with the enemy", but even though it would be misleading to count my reading list as an enemy, nevertheless the process of maintaining a life outside the grand goal represented by the pile of pending books is more challenge than my abilities - or the number of hours in an average day - have been able to navigate. Which is to say, poster Chuk has asked about whether I've gotten to some of the books on my list. (Which also means that someone is actually reading these notes! Egad!) But the direct answer is "no," or in a more hopeful rephrase "not yet," although hope does spring eternal. Instead, I've been pushing to finish editing and posting the Spells (last chapter of Spell of Fate uploaded last night, Apocalypse moving ahead even as we speak), making notes for a proposed new book project, engaging in actually remunerative activities (clearly appropriate, since the last time a cent rolled in from fiction writing was around 1993), preparing for the Leopard install, and so forth and so on...

...but all of which doesn't mean I haven't been doing any reading, however. The second book of Rick Atkinson's trio rolled in, reminding me that (a) I hadn't read any history in awhile, and (b) I also hadn't read his first volume, An Army at Dawn... so that's become the discretionary reading selection at the moment. Not surprisingly for the author of Crusade, it's easily comprehensible and smooth writing; he has a real gift for the telling personal anecdote sifted from unholy mounds of primary sources. I know enough about the period to continually be surprised at how much I didn't know, after all, and at how well his telling fits into his overall narrative arc and thesis statements. He develops so much narrative drive, in fact, that I'm considering moving straight into Day of Battle, but more likely it will be The Mercants' War next, and after that, as they say, we'll see.


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