Free4Kindle: History; military; and sci-fi

A Treasury of War Poetry British and American Poems of the World War 1914-1917

Reader Reviewfrom Amazon: I’m not one to generally sit down and read a book of poetry, but that’s exactly what I did when I picked up this anthology of poems. This particular book called out to me, perhaps because I enjoy reading things of the WWI time period. The poems collected in this book all reference to World War I, penned during the years of 1914-1917.

“Rubadub! Rubadub! Wake and take the road again,
Wheedle-deedle-deedle-dee, Come, boys, come!
You that mean to fight it out, wake and take your load again,
Fall in! Fall in! Follow the fife and drum!”
[The Toy Band by Henry Newbolt]

I have new favorite poems, whereas I never had any favorite poems before. I’ve become quite acquainted with writers I had not known before, in addition to seeing familiar names such as Robert Frost, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Rudyard Kipling.

“Shadow by shadow, stripped for fight,
The lean black cruisers search the sea.
Night-long their level shafts of light
Revolve, and find no enemy.
Only they know each leaping wave
May hide the lightning, and their grave.”
[The Searchlights by Alfred Noyes]

I so enjoyed this charming book! I could definitely see myself going through the entire book and reading them all again someday. Also, the poems in this book can be read online on websites such as Bartleby.com if you’re interested.

“God rest you, happy gentlemen,
Who laid your good lives down,
Who took the khaki and the gun
Instead of cap and gown.
God bring you to a fairer place
Than even Oxford town.”
[The Spires of Oxford by Winifred M. Letts]

commonplace book anna swanwick

What Germany Thinks Or, The War as Germans see it

Written by a Brit during the Great War, obviously propaganda. But a very useful sort of read if you read it thinking about the same sort of propaganda today.

toc
Review
CHAPTERS:
EUROPE BEFORE THE GREAT WAR
WHY GERMANY WANTED WAR
GERMAN MILITARISM
INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE HAGUE CONFERENCES
INTERNATIONAL JEALOUSIES AND ALLIANCES
THE BALKAN STATES
THE BEGINNINGS OF THE GREAT WAR
THE WAR IN 1914
IX. THE WAR IN 1915
THE WAR IN 1916
THE WAR IN 1917
THE WAR IN 1918
THE UNITED STATES IN THE WAR

reader review; An interesting take on the “Great War” as presented for students in English public schools since it was written as the war was still ongoing but nearing the end. Of course the viewpoint was primarily one sided but not as much as might be exprcted. It provides some good historic material.

 

Excerpt:

In many quarters of the world, especially in certain sections of the British public, people believed that the German nation was led blindly into the World War by an unscrupulous military clique. Now, however, there is ample evidence to prove that the entire nation was thoroughly well informed of the course which events were taking, and also warned as to the catastrophe to which the national course was certainly leading.

Even to-day, after more than twelve months of devastating warfare, there is no unity of opinion in Germany as to who caused the war. Some writers accuse France, others England, while many lay the guilt at Russia’s door. They are only unanimous in charging one or other, or all the powers, of the Triple Entente. We shall see that every power now at war, with the exception of Germany and Italy, has been held responsible for Armageddon, but apparently it has not yet occurred to Germans that the bearer of guilt for this year’s bloodshed—is Germany alone!

It is true that the conflict between Austria and Serbia forms the starting point. Whether or not Serbia was seriously in the wrong is a matter of opinion, but it is generally held that Austria dealt with her neighbour with too much heat and too little discretion. Austria kindled the flames of war, but it was Germany’s mission to seize a blazing torch and set Europe alight.

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Martyred Armenia

Just 60 pages
This month is the hundredth anniversay or the Armenian genocide- the first genocide of the 21st century.

Reader review: Written in 1916 about the Armenian genocide that occurred in the Ottoman Empire.

The Armenians were Christians and apparently the the best educated and wealthiest people in the Ottoman Empire. They were systematically rounded up, and massacred. In many cases they were robbed, and women raped as well. Some were made servants, essentially slaves in the houses of the ruling classes.

Fà’iz El-Ghusein was a Ottoman empire official formerly. He wrote this book to try to keep Islam from being blamed for the Armenian genocide which he considered to be a matter of Ottoman Empire politics. He was there during the time and attempts to provide an objective account. He was deeply disturbed by the genocide. I have to give him a lot of credit for writing this book. It must have been a very difficult and sad task.

 

Excerpt:

It is said that the Unionists ordered that all the Armenian Deputies should be put to death, and the greater number of them were thus dealt with. It is reported also that Dikrân Gilikiân, the well-known writer, who was an adherent of the Committee of Union and Progress, was killed in return for his[Pg 13] learning, capacity, and devotion to their cause. Such was the recompense of his services to the Unionists.

In the evening we arrived at Kara Jevren, and slept there till morning. At sunrise we went on towards Sivrek, and half-way on the road we saw a terrible spectacle. The corpses of the killed were lying in great numbers on both sides of the road; here we saw a woman outstretched on the ground, her body half veiled by her long hair; there, women lying on their faces, the dried blood blackening their delicate forms; there again, the corpses of men, parched to the semblance of charcoal by the heat of the sun. As we approached Sivrek, the corpses became more numerous, the bodies of children being in a great majority. As we arrived at Sivrek and left our carts, we saw one of the servants of the khân carrying a little infant with hair as yellow as gold, whom he threw behind the house. We asked him about it, and he said that there were three sick Armenian women in the house, who had lagged behind their companions, that one of them had given birth to this infant, but could not nourish it, owing to her illness. So it had died and been thrown out, as one might throw out a mouse.

Demand for Ransom.—Whilst we were at Sivrek, Aarif Effendi told me—after he had been at the Government offices—that the Commandant of Gendarmerie and the Chief of Police of that place had requested him to hand over to them the five Armenians who were with him, and that on his refusal they had insisted, saying that, if they were to reach Diarbekir in safety, they must pay a ransom of fifty liras for themselves. We went to the khân, where the officer summoned the priest Isaac and told[Pg 14] him how matters stood. After speaking to his companions, the priest replied that they could pay only ten liras altogether, as they had no more in their possession. When convinced by his words, the officer took the ten liras and undertook to satisfy the others.

Speaking of Armenians, if you’ve not yet read any William Saroyan, please do remedy that. I am particularly fond of My Name is Aram
He won a Puliter and an Academy award for his writing. I’ve read several things of his and never been disappointed in noe yet. But this was the first, and so it’s still my favorite. (not free, and also not a Kindle title)
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History of the American Negro in the Great World War His Splendid Record in the Battle Zones of Europe; Including a Resume of His Past Services to his … War, and the Late Imbroglio With Mexico

The first six chapters are a summing up of the events that led to President Wilson entering America into the War.

When the call to war was sounded by President Wilson, no response was more swift and unhalting than that of the Negro in America. Before our country was embroiled the black men of Africa had already contributed their share in pushing back the Hun. When civilization was tottering and all but overthrown, France and England were glad to avail themselves of the aid of their Senegalese, Algerian, Soudanese and other troops from the tribes of Africa. The story of their valor is written on the battlefields of France in imperishable glory.

Considering the splendid service of the—in many cases—half wild blacks from the region of the equator, it seems strange that our government did not hasten sooner and without demur to enlist the loyal Blacks of this country with their glowing record in former wars, their unquestioned mental attainments, their industry, stamina and self reliance. Yet at the beginning of America’s participation in the war, it was plain that the old feeling of intolerance; the disposition to treat the Negro unfairly, was yet abroad in the land.

He was willing; anxious to volunteer and offered himself in large numbers at every recruiting station, without avail. True, he was accepted in numerous instances, but the condition precedent, that of filling up and rounding out the few Negro Regular and National Guard organizations below war strength, was chafing and humiliating. Had the response to the call for volunteers been as ardent among all classes of our people; especially the foreign born, as it was from the American Negro, it is fair to say that the selective draft would not necessarily have been so extensive.

It was not until the selective draft was authorized and the organization of the National Army began, that the Negro was given his full opportunity. His willingness and eagerness to serve were again demonstrated. Some figures dealing with the matter, taken from the official report of the Provost Marshall General (General E.H. Crowder) will be cited later on.

Of the four colored regiments in the Regular Army, the 24th infantry had been on the Mexican border since 1916; the 25th infantry in Hawaii all the years of the war; the Ninth cavalry in the Philippines since 1916, and the 10th cavalry had been doing patrol and garrison duty on the Mexican border and elsewhere in the west since early in 1917. These four regiments were all sterling organizations dating their foundation back to the days immediately following the Civil war. Their record was and is an enviable one. It is no reflection on them that they were not chosen for overseas duty. The country needed a dependable force on the Mexican border, in Hawaii, the Philippines, and in different garrisons at home.

A number of good white Regular Army regiments were kept on this side for the same reasons; not however, overlooking or minimizing the fact not to the honor of the nation in its final resolve, that there has always been fostered a spirit in the counsels and orders of the Department of War, as in all the other great government departments, to restrain rather than to encourage the patriotic and civic zeal of their faithful and qualified Negro aids and servants. That is to say, to draw before them a certain imaginary line; beyond and over which the personal ambitions of members of the race; smarting for honorable renown and promotion; predicated on service and achievement, they were not permitted to go. A virtual “Dead Line”; its parent and wet nurse being that strange thing known as American Prejudice, unknown of anywhere else on earth, which was at once a crime against its marked and selected victims, and a burden of shame which still clings to it; upon the otherwise great nation, that it has condoned and still remains silent in its presence.

 

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King Alfred of England Makers of History

by Jacob Abbot, 19th century educator and writer. I’ve shared some of his books here before. I really enjoy him- engaging, but meaty. And I love King Alfred.

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The History of London
by Walter Besant

Published in the late 1800s

Excerpt: We have passed over two hundred years. We left London under the Three Edwards. We find it under Elizabeth. It was a City of Palaces—monasteries, with splendid churches and stately buildings: town houses of bishops, abbots, and noble lords, every one able to accommodate a goodly following of liveried retainers and servants: the mansions of rich City merchants, sometimes as splendid as those of the lords: the halls of the City Companies: the hundred and twenty City churches. Look at London as Shakespeare saw it. Everywhere there are the ruins of the monasteries: some of the buildings have been destroyed with gunpowder: some have been pulled down: where it has been too costly to destroy the monastic chapels they are used as storehouses or workshops: the marble monuments of the buried Kings and Queens have been broken up and carried off: the ruins of refectory, dormitory, library, chapter house stand still, being taken down little by little as stones are wanted for building{148} purposes: some of the ruins, indeed, lasted till this very century, notably a gateway of the Holy Trinity Priory, at the back of St. Catharine Cree, Leadenhall Street, and some of the buildings of St. Helen’s Nunnery, beside the church of Great St. Helen’s. One would think that the presence of all these ruins would have saddened the City. Not so. The people were so thoroughly Protestant that they regarded the ruins with the utmost satisfaction. They were a sign of deliverance from what their new preachers taught them was false doctrine.{149} Moreover, there were other reasons why the citizens under Queen Elizabeth could not regret the past.

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William the Conqueror Makers of History

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The History of England, from the Accession of James II – Volume 1

Excerpt: The Quakers had a powerful and zealous advocate at court. Though, as a class, they mixed little with the world, and shunned politics as a pursuit dangerous to their spiritual interests, one of them, widely distinguished from the rest by station and fortune, lived in the highest circles, and had constant access to the royal ear. This was the celebrated William Penn. His father had held great naval commands, had been a Commissioner of the Admiralty, had sate in Parliament, had received the honour of knighthood, and had been encouraged to expect a peerage. The son had been liberally educated, and had been designed for the profession of arms, but had, while still young, injured his prospects and disgusted his friends by joining what was then generally considered as a gang of crazy heretics. He had been sent sometimes to the Tower, and sometimes to Newgate. He had been tried at the Old Bailey for preaching in defiance of the law. After a time, however, he had been reconciled to his family, and had succeeded in obtaining such powerful protection that, while all the gaols of England were filled with his brethren, he was permitted, during many years, to profess his opinions without molestation. Towards the close of the late reign he had obtained, in satisfaction of an old debt due to him from the crown, the grant of an immense region in North America. In this tract, then peopled only by Indian hunters, he had invited his persecuted friends to settle. His colony was still in its infancy when James mounted the throne.

The History of England, from the Accession of James II – Volume 4

Lays of Ancient Rome

The History of England, from the Accession of James II – Volume 3

The History of England, from the Accession of James II – Volume 5

The History of England, from the Accession of James II – Volume 2

Critical and Historical Essays – Volume 2

by Sir Thomas Babington Macaulay

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Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays

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Frostborn: The First Quest
sci-fi fantasy genre
Reader review: So I got this book sort of by accident while searching the freebies, and I’m not disappointed. It ma not have been what I was looking for, but it was a good read.
So the story starts with Ridmark having a clear goal in mind. He wants to wed what amounts to a princess. He sees this mission as the type of quest to give him the edge when asking for her hand. He’s very honorable throughout this book. Very committed and loyal. He refuses to leave innocents behind or abandon a fellow warrior. The warden is very interesting in that he’s particularly cunning. He knows exactly how to appeal to another person’s interests. But you can tell that he’s clearly evil. This was a great and fairly short read.

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The Testing (The Third Soul Book 1)

An Amazon reader review: The author is a great fantasy world builder. It’s set in a city with a lot of tension between the nobility and adept/sorcerers and the poor and enslaved.

Characters are somewhat typical fantasy types – earnest young student adept, battered adventurer, stern hierarchy of sorcerers/nobility and villains with blood magic and demons.

Plot moved nicely, not that you will see much of it in this short first book.

My problem with this series is that it is four parts of a novel instead of a series of four novels. The difference is that in a novel you will have some resolution at the end – even if it is part of a series. In this series, it just sort of stops where a chapter would stop and you have to buy the next one. The first one is free, the second one is .99 and the last two are 1.99. The parts are short, so it’s not like a giant novel either.

So basically it is a full length self published novel for 4.97, the type of book I usually pay 2.99 for. Not a huge deal, but it should be clear in the descriptions that these are just parts of a novel. All of the parts after the first one should have been set at 99 cents, but at 1.99 they are overpriced for the length. Now I know that I have to start looking at the number of pages when I buy kindle books.

Still, I did enjoy reading it. I read fantasy novels to entertain myself and escape from the real world for a while and this did the trick.

I would read more books set in this world as long as they were in the regular format at regular prices.

Others in the series:

.99- The Assassins (The Third Soul Book 2)

1.99- The Blood Shaman (The Third Soul Book 3)

1.99- The High Demon (The Third Soul Book 4)

1.99- The Burning Child (The Third Soul Book 5)

Free book by the same author (Jonathan Moeller):

Child of the Ghosts
289 pages, 309 reviews, an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars. I just read part of the preview and I was impressed by the writing and the setting. The reviews I skimmed all acknowledge his world building skills, and I could see that. I was almost immediately drawn in to the library, the relationships between the protagonist and her parents.

Sci-fi, paranormal, fantasy genre

The Tower of Endless Worlds

Reader review:
Magic turns a weak polititian into a powerful one. There would be a price to pay…
An evil warlock Marugon, escaped from a black portal between worlds to our world.
Here he made an arrangement with the politician Senator Wycliffe to give him immense power in exchange for guns so that the warlock could have the upper hand in his world of swords.
The warlock tried to stop the prophecy of a infant king that will grow up strong enough to kill him, therefor he needs to kill all newborn infant males.
Reminds me of the story of King Herodes…the nasty king in Biblical times…
What this warlock did not foresee was that a powerful (infant) king was taken through the very same portal…to escape from him.
I really enjoyed reading this story, if it wasn’t for the sudden ending, I would have rate this book 5 stars.
Despite that, I would still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Fantasy/Paranormal books, as the stories in this series of books are unique.

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Draw One in the Dark (Shifter Book 1)

fantasy/sci fi genre.

I’ve shared this one before. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sarah Hoyt is a terrific world builder and a great story teller.

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A Star Curiously Singing (The Dark Trench Saga Book 1)

I’ve downloaded this one to read.

Amazon Reader review: In a futuristic world where sharia law is in place and mankind relies on technology to perform the simplest task, DR63 “SandFly” is about to find his life turned upside down. A `Chosen One’, SandFly was chosen as a youth to be implanted with a device that would allow him to speak to all of the machines that run the planet. Even though this would seem to give him incredible, unstoppable power, it does not because those in charge who `chose him’ hold a controller that zaps him if disobeys. SandFly is a tool who belongs to a master, no more, no less. So how can he change the world? And what’s wrong with the world anyway?

I’ll leave that up to you to find out. Let me just tell you how fun this book was to read.

As an author myself, I read lots and lots of books. Some I enjoy, some not so much. This book, A STAR CURIOUSLY SINGING, is one that I hated to put down and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Because of my work load, I was only able to pick it up an hour at a time, but every time I set it down to go back to work, I thought about it all day. I sympathized and fell in love with the lead character immediately and worried for him as I longed to get back to the book. I can easily say that this is one of the best books I have ever read, and this is my very first sci-fi novel.

A review would not be complete without mentioning the technical aspects of Nietz’s method and style of writing. SandFly speaks in first person, and he speaks often to me, the reader. He calls me a `freehead’ (I have no implant, you see!) and through his point of view, I know him very intimately–and I like him! He is such a well-rounded, three-dimensional character that I felt often that that if I released just a little bit, I could imagine he is real and this book is true. I am looking forward to reading the sequel to this story THE SUPERLATIVE STREAM.

Bravo Mr. Nietz and God bless,

Ellen C Maze

This one by the same author isn’t free, it’s 4.99. I’m mainly sharing it her because of the title:

Amish Vampires in Space

Reader review: I didn’t expect to like this book, after all it was on Fallon’s Do Not Read list. I didn’t expect it to be anything other than a parody. I didn’t expect it finish it. My expectations were too low. This book actually represented all the genres and sub-genres referred to in the title very well. Though I can safely say that this will be the only Amish/Christian/romance/horror/science fiction book I will ever read, I may consider other books by Kerry Nietz.

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