Hi, there, and welcome to another look at my ever-growing “To Be Read” (TBR) pile of books. It’s early morning on Monday, August 31, and even though I should be sleeping, my old adversary insomnia has come to pay me a visit. I’m probably going to be tired and irritable later in the day, but even though I’ve tried to relax by watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi (which kind of worked, because I did manage to kinda, sorta doze off for a couple of hours), I went to bed and ended up tossing and turning instead of sleeping soundly.
I knew that if I came into my study and logged on to my Lenovo “all-in-one” computer, all bets would be off and I’d be wide awake during the last hours of darkness, so I thought I’d soothe my nerves by reading. When I was younger and my life was way simpler, all it took to make me sleepy was to pick up a book and read a chapter or two. Sometimes, if I was lucky, I’d start nodding off after getting past a few pages. If I was unlucky, I could have read my way to the halfway point (or even more) and still be up by sunrise!
Since I’m up at 5:10 AM Eastern and typing away here on WordPress, you can see that on this occasion, I was not as lucky as I wished to be. I read an entire chapter of Sand and Steel by Peter Caddick-Adams and even though my eyes did get tired after an hour of reading, I’m still awake.
Anyhow, I just checked on my “open orders” at Amazon; back in November I preordered Ian W. Toll’s Twilight of the Gods: The War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945, the final book in the author’s Pacific War trilogy. I bought the first two volumes, Pacific Crucible and The Conquering Tide when I still lived in my Miami-area townhouse; those were the last books I read before I was uprooted and transplanted to another part of Florida and I haven’t re-read them since, but I do want to complete the trilogy.
Twilight of the Gods was originally going to be released last November, but the publication date was then pushed back twice: first to July of 2020, then again to tomorrow. So I’m betting Amazon will ship my copy late tonight for a Tuesday, September 1 delivery.
Per the book’s description on Amazon:
The final volume of the magisterial Pacific War Trilogy from acclaimed historian Ian W. Toll, “one of the great storytellers of War” (Evan Thomas).
In June 1944, the United States launched a crushing assault on the Japanese navy in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. The capture of the Mariana Islands and the accompanying ruin of Japanese carrier airpower marked a pivotal moment in the Pacific War. No tactical masterstroke or blunder could reverse the increasingly lopsided balance of power between the two combatants. The War in the Pacific had entered its endgame.
Beginning with the Honolulu Conference, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met with his Pacific theater commanders to plan the last phase of the campaign against Japan, Twilight of the Gods brings to life the harrowing last year of World War II in the Pacific, when the U.S. Navy won the largest naval battle in history; Douglas MacArthur made good his pledge to return to the Philippines; waves of kamikazes attacked the Allied fleets; the Japanese fought to the last man on one island after another; B-29 bombers burned down Japanese cities; and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were vaporized in atomic blasts.
I don’t know if I will start reading Twilight of the Gods as soon as I get it tomorrow; I already have a tall TBR pile; Sand & Steel alone clocks in at 1,072 pages, although I’m sure that this total includes appendices, the index, glossary of WWII military terms, etc. Some of the other books on the TBR list I published here a few days ago are also long, although the two Library of America volumes dedicated to Cornelius Ryan and Barbara W. Tuchman present two titles each.
I do know, however, that I will devote some of my offline time today shuffling books in my Ikea Billy shelves (which I bought in the Land of Ago for my former home) to make room for Twilight of the Gods and place it next to the other two volumes of Toll’s Pacific War trilogy.