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Currently reading

The Sinews of Habsburg Power: Lower Austria in a Fiscal-Military State 1650-1820
William D. Godsey Jr.
Progress: 69/448 pages
Pandora’s Box A History of the First World War
Jörn Leonhard, Patrick Camiller
Progress: 346/1104 pages
The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
Richard J. Evans
Progress: 219/928 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 124 out of 597 pages.

Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942 - Ian W. Toll

No matter how many books I read about the Second World War, I always seem to find new ones to enjoy. I suspect it's because it's the modern-day historical epic, with stark contrasts of good and evil and a dramatic arc where underdogs overcome initially daunting odds to emerge triumphant.


Toll's book is no different. As the first volume of a project trilogy, it's all about the "underdogs" phase of the war in the Pacific, when Japanese forces ran the proverbial table in Southeastern Asia. I've read a half-dozen books that cover this period, yet I'm enjoying it no less for my familiarity with the subject. And even the seventh book contains information new to me, such as Admiral Yamamoto's passion for geishas. Reading it is proving a satisfactory way to pass the weekend, and I'm already looking forward to reading the next volume in a future one.