Books read and Books to be read
At the end of every year when I look back at what I’ve read, my favorites always seem to be of the non-fiction variety. I’ve hardly read anything but fluff lately, but there were some really good non-fiction books that I am looking forward to reading soon.
One of my favorite recent reads was Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre about two British Intelligence officers’ efforts to fool the Nazis into thinking there would be an invasion of Greece rather than Sicily in 1943. That’s just my kind of book! And now he’s written a new one: Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies. It came out last summer and somehow I missed it then, but I just picked it up at the library this afternoon.
I’ve already got Susan Wise Bauer’s new book, The History of the Renaissance World, on pre-order (despite the fact I still haven’t finished her Ancient World or the Medieval World histories.) It should get here sometime in August, which is probably good as I’ve got several other fat books to delve into now. It got a great review last weekend from Alan Caruba, and in that same post I found several more books I really want to read. I may have to subscribe to his blog!
At the top of the list is 1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War. I’m fascinated by World War I lately. Downton Abbey influence , perhaps? Anyway, I like books with years as titles. McCullough’s 1776 and 1066: The Year of the Conquest by David Howarth are two of my other favorites.
We’re coming up on American history next fall and I’m so excited! The colonial period is one of my favorites to study so I was excited to see that Nathaniel Philbrick’s latest book is Bunker Hill. I’ve almost made it through the hold list at the library and should get it in another few weeks or so. I’m planning to read through his adaptation for younger students of his book Mayflower with the boys as well.
Speaking of Philbrick, one of the best books I read last year was In the heart of the sea : the tragedy of the whaleship Essex. This was a fabulous read, hard to stomach in places, but terribly fascinating. The whaleship Essex was rammed by an 85-ft sperm whale in 1819. The boat sank, leaving the 20 survivors stranded in 3 small whaleboats in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This tragedy inspired the climax in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, but I thought what happened after the ship sank was the more interesting story. We have a personal connection as well, the cabin boy on the Essex is a distant cousin on DH’s mother’s Nickerson line.
My other favorite books of late (ok, last year because I’ve only been reading fluff lately) were The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara and Stand Firm, Ye Boys From Maine by Thomas A. Desjardin. I’ve always been fascinated by Gettysburg and finally sat down to read The Killer Angels. Then of course we had to watch the movie Gettysburg, and then I wanted to know even more about the 20th Maine Regiment so read the Desjardin book which follows the 20th Maine from before Gettysburg through the aftermath of that battle and goes on to give short accounts of the military history and personal history of the major figures of the regiment.
I’ll be back soon to write about good books I’ve read with the boys recently.
What are you reading and loving?