A very detailed history of air warfare during WWI, with a focus on Germany and Manfred von Richthofen - the Red Baron. What I knew about the Red BaronA very detailed history of air warfare during WWI, with a focus on Germany and Manfred von Richthofen - the Red Baron. What I knew about the Red Baron prior to reading this book was a result of reading Peanuts for years, which is to say I didn't know much. Wayne Vasant does an admirable job of providing a great deal of information about Richthofen and his Flying Circus. The picture that I've always held of WWI is of trench warfare, gas masks, and barbed wire. Fighting in the air, though, was a different type of war altogether. Vasant likens it to knights with codes of chivalry, involving grace, skill, and luck. Many pilots were killed through accidents and faulty machinery. I finished this book with a better sense of history and a greater understanding of the role planes played in this type of warfare.
So why three stars? This felt like reading a textbook. While I have a better general knowledge of the war, I didn't feel like I got to know Richthofen. The art didn't play into the narrative very often - if you were to take the text away, I wouldn't have had a good sense of story from what was happening. The art itself is fine, and there's great attention to the planes. But the characters look largely interchangeable. The dogfights all looked the same to me. There were so many people to keep track of, and so much covered, it really felt like I was going to have to make an index card of notes to remember everyone - and prepare for the big midterm exam! I just couldn't get into this story. ...more
Made two hats from this book. Parts of the pattern didn't quite make sense - the stitch count was off both times. But I loved the patterns and thingsMade two hats from this book. Parts of the pattern didn't quite make sense - the stitch count was off both times. But I loved the patterns and things turned out well regardless of the stitch count. I wish I could crotchet so I could make some of the other patterns in here. Something to learn, I guess!...more
I've previously read A Game for Swallows, which I liked very much. It breaks down the events of a single evening, as the author waits for her parentsI've previously read A Game for Swallows, which I liked very much. It breaks down the events of a single evening, as the author waits for her parents to return to their apartment. I Remember Beirut, on the other hand, compiles her memories of growing up in Beirut. It takes small moments and plays them out, sometimes over one page and sometimes more. The illustrations are unique, beautiful, and detailed (though bound to draw some comparisons with Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis). I like that you can find joy in these moments, underlying the overall atrocities and difficulties. My bone to pick is that this feels like a companion piece to A Game of Swallows and I'm not sure I would enjoy it so much if I hadn't read that book initially. It was wonderful to see her neighbors again, particularly those who'd played such a prominent part in the earlier book. Does a book always have to stand on it's own to be a quality read? Eh, probably not. I'd still recommend I Remember Beirut....more