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message 1: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) Caitlin, here is your new thread for 2013.

Our Format:


1. My Early Life, 1874-1904 by Winston Churchill by Winston ChurchillWinston Churchill
Finish date: March 2013
Genre: (whatever genre the book happens to be)
Rating: A
Review: You can add text from a review you have written but no links to any review elsewhere even goodreads. And that is about it. Just make sure to number consecutively and just add the months.

Note: I will delete required format post once you get started.

message 2: by Caitlin (last edited Apr 27, 2013 02:23PM) (new)


1. Hiroshima by John Hersey by John Hersey John Hersey
Finish date: January 7, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction - History
Rating: A
Review: One of the most disturbing and yet fascinating books I've ever read, Hiroshima gives readers a direct look into the lives of six residents of Hiroshima on the morning that the atomic bomb was dropped on the city. Hersey follows these people, five Japanese citizens and one German Jesuit priest, from the moment of the explosion to their recovery from both the physical and mental effects of the bomb. Having recently read Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, it was really interesting to see how the Japanese dealt with the reality and the aftermath of the atomic bomb and really brought home the horror of it.

Bomb The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin Steve SheinkinSteve Sheinkin

message 3: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin 2. A Brief History of France by Cecil Jenkins by Cecil Jenkins
Finish date: January 10, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction - History
Rating: C
Review: Anyone attempting to cover the entire history of France from the Romans to the present is going to have to gloss over a lot but this was too much for me. I got more detailed information from the Wikipedia page for the history of France and that's saying something! And while I know this a more general knowledge book about France, I'd prefer much less of the author's opinion. A nitpicky thing but it still annoyed me.

message 4: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin 3. Lost At Sea The Jon Ronson Mysteries by Jon Ronsonby Jon RonsonJon Ronson
Finish date: January 20, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction - Not really sure, our library categorized it as sociology
Rating: A
Review: I don't read this type of nonfiction very often (I almost always read history when I'm on a nonfiction kick) but I loved this! I wasn't entirely sure what to expect of his writing but it was both fascinating and hilarious. Ronson writes for the UK newspaper The Guardian so the stories range from interviews with the rap duo ICP to the teenagers who planned a school shooting in the 24/7 Christmas town of North Pole, AK to the people who go missing on cruise ships and the total lack of effort to find them. All of the stories were fascinating and crazy, really offering perspectives on how strange people can be and how human they still are.

message 5: by Caitlin (last edited Apr 27, 2013 01:20PM) (new)

Caitlin 4. This Republic of Suffering Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faustby Drew Gilpin Faust
Finish date: January 21, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction - History
Rating: B
Review: A very interesting study on how the sheer scale of American death and destruction impacted the way Americans thought about themselves, life and death. It is seriously detailed and definitely goes in depth on the subject. Which is both good and bad. It's fascinating but at some points it's too much. Not in a morbid sense but she just uses so much information that at points it becomes overwhelming and therefore tedious. Still an interesting read, especially if you're interested in American history.

message 6: by Caitlin (new)


5. Strange Defeat by Marc Blochby Marc BlochMarc Bloch
Finish date: February 13, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction - History/Memoir
Rating: A
Review: A very interesting and entertaining view of the French defeat by the Germans in 1940. Bloch served in the French army in both World War I and the opening of World War II so he was experienced in the workings of the army by the time he wrote the book in 1940. He's a fascinating person as he later fought in the French Resistance and I wish he had survived (he was shot by the Gestapo in 1944) so that we could see if his opinion had changed with time. He gives an insider's viewpoint and is cynically funny, which I didn't expect.

message 7: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) Caitlin you're on the board, good start. Looks like you have the format going. In your first book when you mention another book in the body of your review you should use the proper citation format adding the book at the end of your post. You can amend it when you get a minute that would be great. Good start!

message 8: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin 6. Maus by Art Spiegelmanby Art SpiegelmanArt Spiegelman
Finish date: February 21, 2013
Genre: Graphic Novel/Historical Fiction
Rating: A
Review: The graphic novel retelling of an artist's father's experiences during the Holocaust. I loved how gray it all was. Not just Nazis are evil, Jews are good but humanity as it really is. Vladek (the father whose story is being told) isn't some Jewish hero who never did wrong in his life. He's a penny pincher and occasionally racist, almost a Jewish stereotype, which made him so much more believable as a human being with flaws. I also really liked how he made each group (Germans, Jews, Poles, etc) a different animal, it made for such an interesting view of it all. It was such an incredibly sad, powerful story. So hard to put down once you start and the art just made it even more compelling.

message 9: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin 7. The Internet is a Playground by David Thorneby David ThorneDavid Thorne
Finish date: February 22, 2013
Genre: Humor
Rating: A
Review: A collection of humorous emails and other papers from a blog written by the author. He clearly enjoys testing people and while I'm sure it was torturous for the people who had to deal with him, it made for very entertaining reading. Not sure I'd ever want to be his coworker though.

message 10: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin 8. Persepolis The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapiby Marjane SatrapiMarjane Satrapi
Finish date: February 26, 2013
Genre: Graphic Novel/Memoir
Rating: A
Review: I have to admit that I knew next to nothing about Iran from the Middle Ages on before I read this book. It was such an interesting look at the cultural revolution and overthrow of the Shah. Seeing the differences between Iran under the Shah and Iran with the advent of the Muslim government was really interesting. The artwork really contributed to the feel of the book, written as it is in the view of a child and then a teenager.

message 11: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin 9. Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughanby Brian K. VaughanBrian K. Vaughan
Finish date: February 27, 2013
Genre: Graphic Novel
Rating: B
Review: Of all the graphic novels I've read recently, I was most impressed with the artwork in Pride of Baghdad. The anthropomorphizing of all the animals in the story made for an interesting viewpoint, and a strongly anti-human one, which I liked. The ending was unexpected but completed the feel of it. The only thing I didn't like was the treatment of the female creatures. The misogynistic way in which they were represented got old really fast but the artwork was too nice for that to ruin it.

message 12: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin MARCH

10. The French Defeat of 1940 Reassessments by J. Blattedited byJoel Blatt
Finish date: March 2, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction - History
Rating: B
Review: An interesting collection of essays written about the French surrender to the Germans in 1940. Each author tackles a different aspect and most of the essays were interesting and different from a lot of the research that I had seen. It was easy to read due to the essay nature of it and provided more information on Marc Bloch and French international relations in general.

message 13: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin 11. Paris in Love by Eloisa Jamesby Eloisa JamesEloisa James
Finish date: March 4, 2013
Genre: Memoir
Rating: B
Review: An interesting memoir of an author's year long sabbatical in Paris with her Italian husband and two children. Developed from blog and Facebook posts, it's mostly a collection of snippets of daily life along with a few longer essays. Most are funny and entertaining and it was fun to read about not only Paris but also typical family relationships in a foreign place. Due to the nature of social media, some entries were tedious and somewhat boring, but they were easy to skim over.

message 14: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin 12. Batman The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Millerby Frank MillerFrank Miller
Finish date: March 13, 2013
Genre: Graphic Novel
Rating: A
Review: Batman returns in his old age to fight a new gang, the Mutants, who are terrorizing Gotham, just as Commissioner Gordon steps down and his replaced by someone much less Batman friendly. With Carrie Kelly as Robin to help him out and of course, ever-present Alfred, Batman must wage war in a society that no longer accepts the need for superheroes. The storyline was fantastic, the characters perfect and seeing Batman as an old man, and how he adopted his tactics to suit that, was awesome! I've always loved Batman and this made me love him as an old man.

message 15: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin 13. Batman The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Millerby Frank MillerFrank Miller
Finish date: March 20, 2013
Genre: Graphic Novel
Rating: F
Review: It's hard to believe this was written by the same group that wrote the previous one. I honestly can't think of another sequel that came so close to ruining the first book by how incredibly awful it was. The story feels like the ravings of a conspiracy nut and very poorly illustrated to boot. Batman's actions made no sense and neither did the actions of any of the other characters. Easily the worst graphic novel I've ever read.

message 16: by Caitlin (last edited Apr 27, 2013 01:51PM) (new)

Caitlin 14.A Certain Eventuality: Britain And The Fall Of France by P.M.H Bell
Finish date: March 20, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction - History
Rating: A
Review: A very interesting look at political relations between Britain and France from 1938-1940 and the surrender of France to the Germans. Bell's writing is very easy to read and I loved seeing the political behind the scenes reactions to the events of those years on both the French and British sides.

message 17: by Caitlin (last edited Apr 27, 2013 01:54PM) (new)

Caitlin 15.France at War by W. Somerset MaughamW. Somerset Maugham
Finish date: March 25, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction - Memoir/History
Rating: C
Review: An essay that was basically British propaganda during the Phony War years of 1938-1940. Maugham was in France and recorded conversations and impressions of their attitudes toward the impending war. WIth the benefit of hindsight, it's interesting to see how mistaken he was and how much he was probably exaggerating, but it's not overly exciting reading.

message 18: by Caitlin (last edited Apr 27, 2013 02:01PM) (new)

Caitlin 17. The Landscape of History How Historians Map the Past by John Lewis Gaddisby John Lewis GaddisJohn Lewis Gaddis
Finish date: March 31, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction - Historiography
Rating: B
Review: This was an interesting look at how historians do their jobs and what their role is in the larger scheme of things. Gaddis uses a lot of analogies to make his points clear to a more general audience and although this can tend towards being distracting, it does at least make the book easy to read. It's a good resource for those interested in learning about the profession of history but probably not for the casual reader of history.

message 19: by Caitlin (last edited Apr 27, 2013 02:04PM) (new)

Caitlin 18. The New Nature of History Knowledge, Evidence, Language by Arthur Marwickby Arthur Marwick
Finish date: March 31, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction - Historiography
Rating: C
Review: Hands down my least favorite book about writing history! Marwick is arrogant, elitist and just plain irritating for nearly 300 pages. He supplies good information about the different aims of historians and schools of thought but in such a condescending manner towards those who disagree with him that at points I wanted to strangle him. And most irritatingly, he believes that history is only something that can be considered by professional historians, which is completely contrary to getting people interested in the subject in the first place! If all I read about history were the texts published by professional historians (some of whom can be incredibly boring), I never would have wanted to study it at all. You need popular histories to get people interested and then maybe they'll pursue the more academic sources. It doesn't make sense to call people like Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin not real historians just because their audience is the general public rather than academia. Worth reading only if you're a history student and would like to learn information about the discipline. I hated every second of reading it but am giving it a C for the solid historiographical information in it.

message 20: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin 19. The Historian's Toolbox A Student's Guide to the Theory and Craft of History by Robert C. Williamsby Robert C. Williams
Finish date: March 31, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction - Historiography
Rating: B
Review: A good resource for those interested in pursuing the study of history at an undergraduate or graduate level. Williams splits each chapter into short segments on different aspects of studying and writing history. He doesn't deal much at all with historical schools of thought but it's very easy to read and provides great examples to clarify the points he makes.

message 21: by Caitlin (last edited Apr 27, 2013 02:11PM) (new)

Caitlin APRIL

20. Marc Bloch A Life in History by Carole Finkby Carole Fink
Finish date: April 23, 2013
Genre: Nonfiction - History
Rating: A
Review: This was a well written biography of Marc Bloch, who I find completely fascinating but was highly detailed. My senior thesis concerns him so I was glad to find a biography in English. This one not only covered his life but also that of the men in the family back to his great-grandfather and explored in detail Bloch's achievements and his legacy. I thought it was fascinating but it would probably be too much information for someone who was only slightly interested in him.

message 22: by Caitlin (last edited Apr 27, 2013 02:15PM) (new)

Caitlin 21. The Cape by Jason Ciaramellaby Jason Ciaramella
Finish date: April 26, 2013
Genre: Graphic Novel
Rating: A
Review: A seriously twisted graphic novel based on a short story by Joe HillJoe Hill with absolutely fantastic artwork. Nick and Eric are brothers and when they were kids, like a lot of little boys, they played superheroes and villains. Except that Nick had a special cape, a cape that actually let him fly, until an accident ends with Nick in the hospital and their mom getting rid of the cape. Years later, Nick finds the cape again and discovers power where he previously had none. To say it goes to his head is a serious understatement. It is a great horror story that explores power and its ability to corrupt and drive a person mad.

message 23: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin 22. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kalingby Mindy KalingMindy Kaling
Finish date: April 27, 2013
Genre: Humor/Memoir
Rating: A
Review: This book is more a collection of her thoughts than anything and she talks about everything from her various jobs, both before she became a television writer and what it was like working on The Office and SNL. Reading it made me laugh out loud and I'm glad not too many people were around to give me weird looks. I've never watched The Office so I have no experience with what she's most well known for but I really enjoyed her humor.

message 24: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin Alisa wrote: "Caitlin you're on the board, good start. Looks like you have the format going. In your first book when you mention another book in the body of your review you should use the proper citation format ..."

I changed it but I'm not sure if that's exactly what you were looking for so let me know if I need to change it. Thanks!

message 25: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) Caitlin, perfect.
You are on a roll. Keep it up!

message 26: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Caitlin: for message 17, go ahead and add (no image available):

(no image available)France at War by W. Somerset MaughamW. Somerset Maugham

This way people know there is no bookcover. Great job!

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