My favorite museum in Chicago, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, was having a book sale this weekend. I may have bought a few books…haha. I thought it would be fine to review what I bought, since they were bought in a whirl.


I will be honest, I wasn’t expecting there to be so many books about samurais at the museum, but that didn’t prevent me from buying every book they had.


In this picture, we have

  • Samurai Heraldry by Stephen Turnbull
  • Samurai Commanders 940-1576 by Stephen Turnbull
  • Japanese Castles 1540-1640 by Stephen Turnbull
  • Samurai Armies 1550-1615 by Stephen Turnbull
  • Japanese Warrior Monks AD 949-1603 by Stephen Turnbull
  • The Samurai Swordsman: Master of War by Stephen Turnbull

I will admit I didn’t realize they were all written by Stephen Turnbull until I got home and adding them to my book spreadsheet. They’re also all published by Osprey, which is a great publishing company for military history. I’m particularly excited about the books on samurai heraldry and Japanese castles. The Samurai Swordsman should be interesting as well since it discusses the legendary female samurai, Tomoe Gozen.

WWI airplanes

I LOVE airplanes, especially pre-1940s airplanes. I became interested in WWI because it was the first war with aerial combat. I love watching airplanes development from the 1910s to the 1950s. I think it’s an criminally underresearched period of industrial development.


In this picture we have:

  • The First War Planes by Andrew Kershaw
  • Fokker Dr. I in Action by Heinz J Nowarra
  • Curtiss Army Hawks in Action by Larry Davis
  • Forgotten Fighters and Experimental Aircraft U.S. Army 1918-1941 by Peter M. Bowers

I’m looking forward to reading these books and gaining a deep, schematic understanding of the Fokker Dr. I (one of my favorite airplanes) and the Curtis Army Hawk. And who doesn’t love experimental airplanes?


In this picture we have:

  • Knights of the Air by Ezra Bowen

My Dad has this exact book and I remember reading it as a child and being fascinated. It’s a great overview of the pilots and air craft used during the war. I’ve always wanted my own copy, so I grabbed it when I saw it.


In this picture we have:

  • Fighter Pilot by Stanley M. Ulanoff
  • Winged Warfare by Major General H.H. Arnold and Colonel Ira C. Eaker
  • Fighting the Flying Circus by Edward V. Rickenbacker

I grabbed these books because they seemed really interesting. The Fighter Pilot book is a collection of excerpts and essays written by pilots such as Rene Fonck and Manfred von Richthofen. It was a great way to get an insight into various pilot’s minds within one book.

I couldn’t turn down the Rickenbacker memoir and it’s a beautiful book design.

I was also surprised to find a book written by Hap Arnold and Eaker. It’s basically an overview of aircraft and where it needs to go after WWII. I think it’s going to be fascinating.

Battle for Britain

Right now, I’m obsessed with the Battle for Britain (you can find my post about why I think we need another Battle for Britain movie here) and I couldn’t walk away from these books.


  • Battle of Britain by Bruce Robertson
  • Camouflage & Markings the Battle for Britain -RAF May to December 1940 by Paul Lucus
  • Battle over Britain by Francis K. Mason

I’m really excited about the Camouflage and Markings book just because airplane insignia are always amazing. The Battle of Britain book because it provides an in depth day by day breakdown of the battle. I’m so excited. 

More Airplanes


In this picture we have:

  • Polish Air Force by Jan Koniarek
  • Finnish Air Force 1939-1945 by Kalevi Keskinen and Kari Stenman
  • Hungarian Air Force by George Punka
  • Rumanian Air Force by Denes Bernad

In case you can’t tell, I look airplanes. I grabbed these four books because I’ll admit I never thought of Hungary or Romania having an air force pre-1950s (I feel bad even admitting it). I also think histories on aircraft development focus on the U.S., England, and Germany, so it’ll be interesting to read the development of smaller nation’s air force.

Civil War


In this picture we have:

  • Extraordinary Circumstances the Seven Days Battles by Brian K. Burton
  • The civil war military machine by Ian Drury & Tony Gibbons

I fell in love with history because of Michael Shaara’s Killer Angels. I know more about the American Civil War then I know about my own family. It was exciting to find a book about the Seven Day Campaign as that is an important battle that I haven’t researched as much as I should have. And the other book will help me understand the specifics of artillery and arms.

If you want to help fund my book buying habits, consider contributing to my KO-FI.


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