Category Archives: Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron

The American Revolution: A History by Gordon S. Wood

The American Revolution changed pretty much every aspect of life in the former colonies and The American Revolution: A History covers those changes. Everything is explained pretty quickly (the book isn’t super long), though sometimes it does drone on a bit. It’s a bit of a different take on the typical non-fiction books teaching about that time period since it focuses more on results rather than how it happened. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the Revolutionary time period.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 106
Pages Read in 2018: 26,808
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under History, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron

1776 by David McCullough

The year 1776 was a hard, exciting year for the fledgling United States. Independence was declared and the Continental Army won a couple key battles (and lost a whole bunch). David McCullough describes the events of that fateful year with all the thoroughness, passion, and research one would expect from that author. Nearly half of the book is pictures, notes, bibliography, and index. I highly recommend 1776 to anyone interested in our country’s beginnings.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 105
Pages Read in 2018: 26,584
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under History, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron

Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis

Founding Brothers tells of several stories of some of the founding fathers. The stories were interesting, but the language used was extremely distracting. I don’t know if the author wanted to match the “hard words” used in correspondence and speeches back in the 17 and 1800s or if he just had access to a really good thesaurus, but it got kind of ridiculous. If you don’t mind that, it’s a decent book.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 104
Pages Read in 2018: 26,184
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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The War That Made America by Fred Anderson

Covering the French and Indian War and the aftermath, The War That Made America makes the case that without the British win over the French and then the application of taxes on the colonists to help pay England’s war debt, the US would never have become an independent country. The narrative is interesting and usually keeps the attention focused. I had never thought about the reason for the Stamp (and other) Acts being directly related to the aftermath of the French and Indian War before. I recommend this book to anyone interested in or studying the French and Indian War.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 96
Pages Read in 2018: 22,320
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Mozart: A Life by Paul Johnson

First, the good. Mozart: A Life is pretty short, but packed with analysis of Mozart’s music and some information about his life. The author clearly absolutely loves Mozart and his works. His passion comes through in the writing. You can’t help but really like Mozart, too, while reading it. But, then there’s the not so good. Even though the title indicates the book is a biography of Mozart, it is really more about his works. The author’s intense love of Mozart makes it so you would think he was practically a saint. Anything negative was glossed over. The writing was rather dull most of the time. I would not recommend this book if you want to know about Mozart the person, but it is good if you want to read about his works.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 92
Pages Read in 2018: 21,414
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Biography, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron

Why Dinosaurs Matter by Kenneth Lacovara

Like all TED Books, Why Dinosaurs Matter is meant to be read quickly while also being packed full of information. Dinosaurs have always fascinated people and this book takes you on a brief tour of some dinosaurs, including Dreadnoughtus which was discovered by the author. It details what happened after the meteor hit in the Gulf of Mexico and then relates why learning about dinosaurs, and what happened to them, is important to us now. I recommend this book to anyone interested in dinosaurs.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 89
Pages Read in 2018: 20,922
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron

The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox

Jessie is kidnapped and put on a slave ship. His job is to play his fife to make the slaves dance to keep them healthy on the trip to Cuba.

The Slave Dancer shows what life on an illegal slaver in the mid-1800s was like both for the crew and the slaves. It’s well-written and hold your attention well. I highly recommend it to middle school age kids and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 86
Pages Read in 2018: 20,269
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz