Category Archives: History

Lost to the West by Lars Brownworth

About a thousand years after the Roman Empire fell in the west, it finally fell in the east. The Byzantine Empire was fascinating and varied greatly over the years. Lost to the West is a chronological history from the first Constantine to the last Constantine. Much of it is told in story form, putting the meat on the bones of the dates and wars. I learned so much from this book. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in history!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 78
Pages Read in 2017: 22,356
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Pre-reading for Cameron for School

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Tales From Japan by Helen and William McAlpine

Tales from Japan contains nine foundational stories and fairy tales from ancient Japan. The stories are interesting and told so children can understand them. I recommend reading it to anyone, especially children, studying or interested in Japan.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 57
Pages Read in 2017: 17,117
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Assigned to Adrian for School

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A Man Called Intrepid by William Stevenson

William Stephenson bore the code name Intrepid during World War II. He earned a British knighthood and the Medal for Merit from the United States, among other honors, for his work. A Man Called Intrepid tells the behind the scenes story of the war and some of the spy missions and intelligence gathering involved. It answers some questions of why things were done the way they were. Sometimes the writing can be long-winded, but for the most part, this is a very interesting book. I recommend it to people interested in World War II.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 48
Pages Read in 2017: 14,569
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (M in AQUAMARINE)

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Queen Victoria’s Children by John Van der Kiste

Queen Victoria’s Children is a complete yet easily readable guide to Queen Victoria’s nine children. She did a very good job marrying off her children (and grandchildren) to royalty around the world. I learned a lot and found much of it fascinating. The only problem was the author varied between referring to the children by their given names, nicknames, and official titles and jumped between children and spouses and their children and spouses (some with the same names as each other), which sometimes initially made it a bit difficult to determine just who was being discussed at that time. There are genealogical charts in the back to help remember where each person fits in the families. For anyone interested in the English monarchy or Queen Victoria, this is an excellent book to read.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 40
Pages Read in 2017: 11,666
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (Q in AQUAMARINE)

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Ten Tea Parties by Joseph Cummins

We all know about the Boston Tea Party, but it’s not so well known that other colonies participated in tea parties as well. This book includes details on the ones in Boston, Philadelphia, Charleston (they had two), New York, Chestertown (Maryland – that one might not have even happened, but they still celebrate it every Memorial Day), York (Maine), Annapolis, Edenton and Wilmington, and Greenwich (New Jersey). Some were dramatic, some calm, some involved fire, some water, but all were to protest the taxes being imposed by Britain on the increasingly independent American colonies. At the end of the book are brief descriptions of a few other tea parties as well. Ten Tea Parties reads somewhat like a textbook and is a bit dry. For those interested in little known bits of American history, it’s a good read.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 23
Pages Read in 2017: 6749
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Birthstone Bookology (T in AMETHYST)

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D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths is a wonderful book for sharing Greek mythology with children. I can totally see why it is so popular. The pictures are absolutely beautiful. The stories and information are told in quite a lovely way. My 8-year-old son enjoyed listening to me read them to him very much and my 10-year-old often chose to listen in, too.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 15
Pages Read in 2017: 4524
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: Assigned to Adrian in School

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Filed under Children, Fairy Tale, History

All the Gallant Men by Donald Stratton and Ken Gire

On December 7, 1941, Don Stratton was aboard the USS Arizona when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He was one of the few who made it off alive, though he was burned over 60% of his body and faced a long, difficult, painful recovery. With just 5 remaining survivors, he decided to tell his story. All the Gallant Men details what happened that fateful day as well as what prompted Stratton to go into the Navy in the first place and then, after his recovery, to reenlist and go back to fight in the Pacific Theater. He explains the failures that led to the catastrophic loss of life and equipment at Pearl Harbor and finishes up talking about going back to the Memorial. The book is very well written and often quite fascinating. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in WWII history.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 13
Pages Read in 2017: 4162
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Reason I Chose It: 52 Books Bingo (Selected by a Friend)

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Filed under History, Memoir