Murder! Intrigue! Romance! (OK, not too much of that) But "July 1914" is a very engaging re-evaluation of the events leading up to WWI, centering on diplomatic relations in July. What happened before the Guns of August?
This one was one of those epiphany books for me, an absolute masterpiece on American foreign policy in the 20th century. It's essentially America's version of the pride cycle. We get fixated on one good idea, become extremely over-confident, and then crash and burn.
Like playing Axis and Allies, but for real. I've always been OBSESSED with WWI/II, and what makes this book really shine is experiencing the war from multiple perspectives, whether it be emperor of Austro-Hungary, or a floundering and short-lived democratic Soviet Union.
This is my next attempt at engaging in the world of German literature. I have read several novels in German, including Franz Kafka's famed Der Prozess (The Trial), and lesser known ones such as Michael Kohlhaas both of which I read for classes towards my German minor. I have continued to seek out additional books... Continue Reading →
To continue the Chesterton mood, I picked up another one of his biographies of a lesser-known individual, at least among Americans. Lord Kitchener. Again, to comment on Chesterton's unique approach to biographies, rather than stick tot he chronological narrative of his subject's life, Chesterton tries to capture the "spirit" of Kitchener, or the spirit of... Continue Reading →
The Goodreads algorithm that predicts books that you might like is getting to know me exceptionally well. I used to ignore the recommendations that Goodreads made for me, because they seemed totally off. But increasingly, I find that I check out the book summary, and it is entirely up my alley. Dang. Kudos to you,... Continue Reading →
After reading one Pulitzer Prize winner, Gilead, I thought I looked into other recent prize winners, and this one caught my eye. What caused the Great Depression? Trying to dredge some of my knowledge from AP US History, I couldn't come up with a good answer. I doubt I could have answered it if it... Continue Reading →
When I told my wife I was reading the biography of Antione de Saint-Exupery, she really couldn't fathom why I pick the books I read. But really, there is rhyme and reason to them. I bought a copy of "The Little Prince" waaaaay back in the day when I worked at Barnes and Noble. It... Continue Reading →