The History Book Club discussion

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MY BOOKS AND I > WHAT IS EVERYBODY READING NOW?

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message 51: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Oct 18, 2009 12:01PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) My copy of Gone With the Wind is extra heavy - it's hardback! I only read it in bed, it's so heavy.

There's a local program that teaches enrichment courses, taught by a lot of retired faculty from nearby colleges. This one is one on "Shakespeare: Young Love, Old Love." We've already done A Midsummer Night's Dream, are doing Romeo and Juliet, and will finish up with Antony and Cleopatra, all from a professor who taught at my undergraduate college and whose Shakespeare sections one couldn't get into unless one was a Senior, the demand was so great. He's a complete ham and a great lecturer.


message 52: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2063 comments Sounds like a wonderful program. I like the idea of retired faculty teaching such classes. Much less load than when they were full-time, but still keeps them involved. And such a blessing for the community, too.


message 53: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Oct 19, 2009 11:00AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) It's a very nice program; I've taken some great courses there, on everything from English history to modern India, Moliere, and Latin. They also teach things like knitting, basket-weaving, and wood-working, which is cool.


message 54: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 82 comments I can't help myself.

I just finished Alan Furst's KINGDOM OF SHADOWS.

If you have not discovered this supremely talented author, you are missing a rare opportunity to read espionage thrillers that are also good literature.

I know it's historical fiction rather than straight history but the stories are meticulously researched and often cover a geography (Eastern Europe) during a period (1933-1944) that is not that well documented elsewhere.

I've learned more about the period between the World Wars from reading Furst, than I ever did studying the era as an undergrad.


message 55: by Elizabeth S (new)

Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2063 comments Sounds like a great recommendation, Ed.

Also, I know what you mean about the value of a well-researched work of fiction. I've learned a lot of history from such authors.


message 56: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments It sounds like a great book Ed...it might be worth a read for a lot of group members. I love espionage thrillers myself.

KINGDOM OF SHADOWS by Alan Furst


message 57: by Marsha (last edited Oct 22, 2009 10:15AM) (new)

Marsha Thompson | 2 comments I just started the group and haven't joined in a discussion yet. I'm not going to read the November selection. I do plan to get American Lion and may read the Roosevelt selection. I'll probably look to see what you're reading after the Lincoln one and join in the discussion then.

Susanne....I read "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" by Steig Larsson and really liked it. I have "GWPWF" on tap.

Right now I'm reading "The Scarletti Inheritance" by Robert Ludlum.

For another club I just finished the Gargoyle (forgot the author). In it Dante's Inferno plays apart. I plan to read it next and then the American Lion that is the current selection in this club



message 58: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11538 comments I added Furst's early book on my to be read. They look good, thanks Ed.


message 59: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Marsha wrote: "I just started the group and haven't joined in a discussion yet. I'm not going to read the November selection. I do plan to get American Lion and may read the Roosevelt selection. I'll probabl..."

We are happy to have you join in on the selections as you get yourself up to speed with the group. Always check what is coming up and also the moderator's corner; that should help as well. The FDR book is a great book and a lot of members are enjoying it tremendously.






message 60: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Nov 12, 2009 02:22PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) Currently eying The Class of 1846 From West Point to Appomattox Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan, and Their Br others, by John Waugh.

Girl Who Played with Fire was very good, nearly as good as Dragon Tattoo. I also enjoyed Antony and Cleopatra.


message 61: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments That sounds like an interesting book to round off our discussion of Jackson and some of his cohorts.


message 62: by Joe (new)

Joe (Blues) | 472 comments Susanna wrote: "Currently eying The Class of 1846 From West Point to Appomattox Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan, and Their Br others, by John Waugh."

I saw that book the other day while browsing at Barnes and Noble. The Civil War high command back when they were at West Point. Sounds very interesting.




Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) My mother read it earlier this month and said it was quite good, so I'm looking forward to it.


message 64: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Let us know how it goes and whether you enjoyed it.


message 65: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi folks, I'm currently reading "Human Smoke" by Nicholson Baker who is offering a different perspective on the start of World War Two and the war in general.


message 66: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Hi Rick...glad to see you are finding your way around. When posting a recommendation...look for the add book/author link above and on the right hand side of the comment box. It is a great goodreads feature.

In the case of your recommendation, I was able to add both the book cover and Baker's photo (he is an author who had a photo posted - we use the link to his name otherwise). This looks like a terrific addition and thank you very much.

Human Smoke  The Beginnings of WWII, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker Nicholson Baker


message 67: by Bernie (last edited Nov 16, 2009 04:14AM) (new)

Bernie Charbonneau (Skigolf) | 22 comments I just picked up and started to read Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis. A Pulitzer prize winner. Founding Brothers The Revolutionary Generation Founding Brothers  The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis


message 68: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Nov 16, 2009 04:25AM) (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments I heard that was a great book..that book is on our recommended reading list for the group. Great add of the book cover and book link; but don't forget to add the author. Just select author at the top after you have found your book and it should list the authors on the page.

Joseph J. Ellis

And he was one of the few who had a photo!

The group is beginning to read The American Sphinx by Ellis after we get done with A. Lincoln.

American Sphinx  The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis Joseph J. Ellis

A. Lincoln  A Biography by Ronald C. White Jr.Ronald C. White Jr.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) Just finished Throes of Democracy  The American Civil War Era 1829-1877 by Walter A. McDougall Throes of Democracy The American Civil War Era 1829-1877. Good, though not quite as good as the first volume, Freedom Just Around the Corner.

Also, McDougall has a highly inconsistent use of Negro versus Black that perplexes me.


message 70: by Bernie (new)

Bernie Charbonneau (Skigolf) | 22 comments Bentley wrote: "I heard that was a great book..that book is on our recommended reading list for the group. Great add of the book cover and book link; but don't forget to add the author. Just select author at the..."

Yes Bentley that is where I saw the title. I went to the bookstore with the list of books that are now being discussed and not one of them was in stock. Did I read somewhere you mentioned that you could get one of the books online for free?
I have read the first two chapters and they are interesting. I did pick up this book to get me ready for The American Sphinx


message 71: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Bernie: The Federalist Papers are on line of course, the Agony and the Ecstasy is free on line; I found a url which I posted. I hear that the others can be downloaded on the kindle. The library should have the FDR one. They are all great books.

Susanna...looks like a good book.

Walter A. McDougall Freedom Just Around the Corner  A New American History  1585-1828 by Walter A. McDougall

All, we are trying to post links to any mentioned books and their authors at the same time. It helps out all of us in the long run. Thank you for the assistance on this.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) Freedom Just Around the Corner I enjoyed, though I do wonder whether Thomas Jefferson ran over McDougall's dog! (About the best he can bring himself to say about Jefferson is that he really did found the University of Virginia.)


message 73: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Curious isn't it..we have the packaged view of Jefferson; and there is no doubt he was a creative and talented writer; but then there is the anomaly that he never put three sentences together when speaking at any of the Continental Congresses.

One has to wonder what the true Jefferson was all about.


message 74: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) 'Aussie Rick' back to annoy you all again. I am just about to start a new book I received from the UK on the Battle of Quebec. I will add a link below. I love reading about Wolfe and Montcalm although I don't think the French commander always receives the credit he is due.
Death or Victory  The Battle of Quebec and the Birth of Empire by Dan SnowDan Snow


message 75: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Let us know how you like it Rick. I think in those days..it was hard to get the media and public attention and or credit..nowadays..leaders and generals would appreciate a bit more anonymity.

Bentley


message 76: by Bernie (new)

Bernie Charbonneau (Skigolf) | 22 comments Hi Rick
That book you starting to read interests me so I looked in my local library right away. Unfortunately they do not have as of yet but I am putting it in my to read shelf.
One book that I read this year that is similar to Dan Snow's novel in which it covers the campaign quite well and was a captivating read was done by D. Peter MacLeod.
Living here in Ontario, it is still a very touchy subject with the province of Quebec. I don't know if you followed the news this summer about how they wanted to have a celebration on The Plains but the protest that ensued has put a hold on the activities. Some people think that the American south still have issues, You should travel through Quebec. [image error]D. Peter Macleod


message 77: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Bernie wrote: "Hi Rick
That book you starting to read interests me so I looked in my local library right away. Unfortunately they do not have as of yet but I am putting it in my to read shelf.
One book that I r..."


Hi Bernie,

Its only been released in the UK so not sure when it will hit your side of the globe. I was aware that there are still some issues in Canada btwn those of British and French orgin but didn't know it was that bad. I would love to travel to Canada and walk around the old forts and places mentioned in this book. I have added a few reviews and some info on the author for you below:

"Dan Snow is perhaps more familiar from television....this, his first book, proves him to be a master military historian in the making. Its grasp of detail is prodigious" DAILY EXPRESS

"lively and thoughtful...fascinating stuff....one of the book's strengths is its vivid portrayal of the physical backdrop against which the campaign unfolded" LITERARY REVIEW

Dan Snow is a young historian who has researched, written and presented a number of documentaries on British and world history for the BBC, including the BAFTA award winning 'Battlefield Britain'. He has contributed to BBC History Magazine, The Times, the Guardian, the Express and the Sunday Times. He has joint British and Canadian citizenship and is the son of BBC journalist Peter Snow.


message 78: by Bernie (new)

Bernie Charbonneau (Skigolf) | 22 comments Thanks for the review Rick
Oh yes, if you travel through Quebec City yourself being a British subject you would not be the most welcomed unless you spoke french. I myself was born in Montreal and moved to Toronto when I was 15 am bilingual so it helps.
Non-the-less it is one of the most beautiful places that I have traveled to, steep in history.


message 79: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Bernie wrote: "Thanks for the review Rick
Oh yes, if you travel through Quebec City yourself being a British subject you would not be the most welcomed unless you spoke french. I myself was born in Montreal and m..."


Hi Bernie,

My mothers side of the family is from France although I can't speak French, my fathers side is Prussian and Scottish, all mixed up here in Australia in the 1800's. I love reading about a place or event in history and then walking over the site in question. I made the mistake of visiting Istanbul before reading about its history. After I read John Julius Norwich's trilogy on Byzantium I kicked myself for all the things I missed. I hope to visit your lovely country one day soon.


message 80: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) Interesting book, A Short History of Byzantium.


message 82: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Susanna wrote: "Interesting book, A Short History of Byzantium."

Hi Susanna, the three volume series of Byzantium is excellent!

I don't know which is the appropriate thread for this but has anyone ever read:

Three Cheers for Me  Volume One of the Bandy Papers by Donald Jack and That's Me in the Middle  Volume Two of the Bandy Papers by Donald Jack and It's Me Again  Volume Three of the Bandy Papers by Donald Jack by Donald Jack

I read them years ago and thought they were the funniest books ever.

Publishers blurb:
"It is 1916. Bartholomew Bandy, fourth-year medical student, decides that it is time to join the War. The prim young Canadian expects that he will have few problems remaining clean and virtuous. But he is aware that his bland, horse-like face drives people crazy, and that he has a certain tendency to be accident-prone. How will the war affect him, and vice versa? The realities of trench war at the front provide a contrasting backdrop for his adventures, as he blunders into contact with all sorts of people, both fictional and historical (the King, Lester Pearson, and Winston Churchill). Three Cheers For Me was first published in 1962, to wide critical acclaim. This expanded version first appeared in 1973, to launch the series now known as The Bandy Papers."

- A modern version of the Flashman books.


message 83: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 03, 2009 10:55AM) (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Excellent book:

What Is the What by Dave Eggers Dave Eggers

Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Is_...

Best Book of the Year-San Francisco Chronicle, National Book Critics' Circle Award for Fiction, New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Medicis Prize (France) (2009)


message 84: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi folks,

I have just started reading a book recommended by Ed that was discussed over at the World War One thread:

There's a Devil in the Drum by by John F Lucy.by John F Lucy.

So far its been pretty good. It's a first-hand account from a young soldier in the Royal Irish Rifles during WW1.


message 85: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Bernie wrote: "Hi Rick
That book you starting to read interests me so I looked in my local library right away. Unfortunately they do not have as of yet but I am putting it in my to read shelf.
One book that I r..."


Hi Bernie,

I will keep my eye open for a second hand copy of this book you mentioned. It sounds pretty interesting.

[image error] by D. Peter Macleod


message 86: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimPChip) | 29 comments Roanoke Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony

I'm having a difficult time making it through all the melodrama but also really want to know what happened. I'm hoping to finish shortly so that I can keep up with the Jefferson discussion.


message 87: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Don't forget the author Jim ...Lee G. Miller


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) Currently reading

A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare  1599 (P.S.) by James Shapiro by James Shapiro. Interesting so far.


message 89: by Don (last edited Dec 25, 2009 12:48PM) (new)

Don (DonaldLee) | 36 comments I am currently reading Colors of the Mountain by Da ChenDa Chen,
The Daily Drucker  366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. DruckerPeter F. Druckerand American Sphinx  The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. EllisJoseph J. Ellis


message 90: by Sera (new)

Sera | 141 comments I love Peter Drucker. I studied his theories in business school and found him to be quite impressive.

I'm still reading our FDR book, which is great, and I started this book called Sleepless that won't be published until next month. I won it in a giveaway and it's pretty interesting so far. The author has an interesting take on how and why the world as we know it will end. Not one's typical Christmas fare, but it's interesting so far.

After I finish the FDR book, I'm looking forward to reading American Sphinx for my non-fiction read. Interesting views on Jefferson in these posts - should be another good one!


message 91: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Dec 25, 2009 09:25PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi folks, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Santa was kind to all. I got a bag of good books to read but at the moment I'm on a Stephen Ambrose thing and I'm currently reading:

The Wild Blue  The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany by Stephen E. Ambrose by Stephen E. Ambrose

Once I have finished that I plan to read:

Band of Brothers  E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest by Stephen E. AmbroseStephen E. Ambrose




message 92: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Sounds like everybody had a good Xmas and many more books to read. I had misplaced my Kindle on a trip but I have a brand new one. These are great to have. Saves on the poundage for travel.

Bentley


message 93: by Don (last edited Dec 27, 2009 10:48AM) (new)

Don (DonaldLee) | 36 comments I finished reading American Sphinx  The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellisby Joseph J. Ellis, and I have begun What Kind of Nation  Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States by James F. SimonbyJames F. Simon.

Don


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) Also received

Eiffel's Tower  And the World's Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes by Jill Jonnes

Very interesting so far. Currently the good people of Paris are convinced the Tower is going to turn into a giant magnet and pull all the nails out of their houses.


message 95: by David (last edited Dec 27, 2009 02:08PM) (new)

David Just checking in, Happy New Year to everyone! I am currently thoroughly enjoying T.J. Stiles' "The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt." This book was just recently selected as National Book of the Year for Non-Fiction.

The First Tycoon by T.J. Stiles by T.J. Stiles

Prior to starting on Vanderbilt, I read David Nasaw's biography on Andrew Carnegie.

Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw by David Nasaw


message 96: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Susanna wrote: "Also received

Eiffel's Tower  And the World's Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes by Jill Jonnes

V..."


Hi Susanna, "Eiffel's Tower" is a pretty good read, are you enjoying it? Interesting to think what Paris would be like now-a-days if some people had their way and they torn down the tower!


message 97: by Jim (last edited Dec 27, 2009 03:14PM) (new)

Jim (JimPChip) | 29 comments What This Cruel War Was Over  Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War (Vintage) by Chandra ManningChandra Manning

I came across this book in the gift shop at Gettysburg. It's the first book that I can remember seeing that was solely devoted to the issue of what the common soldier was fighting for. I've always worked under a commonly held assumption that the author may be trying to debunk. Just started it and after 30 pages it's a good read and well supported - so far.


message 98: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Jim wrote: "What This Cruel War Was Over  Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War (Vintage) by Chandra ManningChandra Manning

I came across this book in the gift shop at Gettysburg. It's the first book..."


Hi Jim,

Sounds like a fascinating book on a very interesting subject. I just ordered a second hand copy of "Those Damned Black Hats", a subject I am very keen on.

[image error] by Lance Herdegen

I'd be interested to hear what you think of Chandra Manning's book once you have finished.


message 99: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Don wrote: "I finished reading American Sphinx  The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. EllisbyJoseph J. Ellis, and I have begun [bookcover:What Kind of Nation Thomas Jefferson, John ..."

Great Don...you will be able to pop in on the Sphinx discussion starting in February.




message 100: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 27, 2009 03:39PM) (new)

Bentley | 28661 comments Don, Aussie Rick, David, Sera, Susanna....all great choices. Hope all of you are enjoying some wonderful holidays. A beautiful day today...yesterday in one fell swoop...we got rid of all of our snow.

Nice to have had it for Christmas.


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