Bad Girls is the perfect foil to the book I just read about women who changed the world. While Girls who Rocked the World was about scientists, activists, and heroes who made the world a better place, Bad Girls is about women who made their mark in a different way. There are blood baths, axe slayings, fallen women, and outlaws. Mata Hari, Typhoid Mary, Catherine the Great, and Salome. Yolen and her daughter and co-author Stemple debate in asides between the chapters whether the women were really as bad as history paints them or were there other circumstances to consider. Fun read and who doesn’t love a bad girl?
Although some twenty million people died during Stalin’s reign of terror, only with the advent of glasnost did Russians begin to confront their memories of that time. In 1991, Adam Hochschild spent nearly six months in Russia talking to gulag survivors, retired concentration camp guards, and countless others. The result is a riveting evocation of a country still haunted by the ghost of Stalin.
Recounts the events surrounding the 1957 photograph taken by Will Counts that captured one of nine African-American students trying to enter an Arkansas high school while being taunted by an angry white mob and discusses how the photo brought the civil rights movement to the forefront of the nation’s attention.
Nine African-American students made history when they defied a governor and integrated an Arkansas high school in 1957. It was the photo of one of the nine trying to enter the school- a young girl being taunted, harassed, and threatened by an angry mob- that grabbed the world’s attention and kept its disapproving gaze on Little Rock, Arkansas. In defiance of a federal court order, Governor Orval Faubus called in the National Guard to prevent the students from entering the all-white Central High School. A chilling photo by newspaper photographer Will Counts captured the sneering expression of a girl in the mob and made history.
Literary Rogues is a very entertaining read about the bad boys and a few bad girls of literature. Nothing new that we didn’t learn in Lit 101; Bryon was a sex fiend, Coleridge was an opium fiend, and suicide is a very real hazard of the writing profession. While perhaps not groundbreaking , Shaffer, who writes for Maxim and The Huffington Post, has a breezy fast paced writing style very well suited to stories of vice and excess with a healthy dose of genius and madness thrown in. Good fun light read.
What a wonderful book! This book has Martin Luther King Jr.’s I have a dream speech and tells you what he meant. I love how the speech is broken down and translated for today’s young readers. The translation let’s you know what King was saying and what was going on at the time of the speech. Wonderful introduction to the civil rights movement.
Nine hundred and nineteen members of the People’s Temple died on November 18, 1978 in Jonestown. Guyana. Hundreds of members survived. Some people were still in California waiting to come to Jonestown, some were running the offices in the port city of Kaituma receiving supplies and new arrivals, some escaped through the jungle, and one elderly woman slept as the murder squad passed over her, thinking she was already dead. Thousands of more people lost their children, parents, sisters, brothers, and spouses to Jonestown. Stories from Jonestown is about the survivors. Leigh Fondakowski, who wrote the critically acclaimed play and movie The Laramie Project about the murder of Matt Shepard, conducted three years of interviews preparing for a play about Jonestown. The experiences that she and her collaborators collected from people are recounted in their own words and voices. This book is not National Enquirer sensationalism of Jim Jones with his orgies and drug use, of dead bodies littering the jungle, of poisoned kool-aid, and brainwashed cultism. Stories from Jonestown is about well intentioned people reeling from the Vietnam war, the assignations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr, and the seeming breakdown of American justice and ideals. Jim Jones and the People’s Temple promised racial and social equality, a new society where black and white, wealthy and poor, old and young would care for each another and worship, eat, and live together as one. These are the stories of parents watching the footage on the television and praying their child was not there, of members who know that had they been there, they too would have obeyed the order to drink, a man who left his child behind as he escaped. These are stories of regret and anguish, of accountability and shame, of people who remember Jim Jones as a monster, or a fallen saint, or their father. These are stories of how Jonestown has never left them, in dreams and griefs and night horrors. This is the story of how a promised social utopia spiraled into torture, paranoia, suicide, and murder. These are stories that must be heard.
The two volumes of this book are a fascinating and highly enjoyable read for anyone interested in the interactions between various pulp, mystery, adventure, and science fiction characters with real people throughout history. The premise of this book is inspired by SF writer Philip José Farmer’s “Wold Newton” concept which he developed in the 1970s: a “radioactive” meteorite crashed near Wold Newton, England in 1795 and affected several carriages full of people who were passing by. Their descendants became highly intelligent and powerful heroes (or villains) such as Sherlock Holmes, Professor Moriarty, Dr. Fu Manchu, Doc Savage, Lord Greystoke (aka Tarzan), and many more. Farmer wrote popular and detailed biographies of Tarzan and Doc Savage in which he detailed the family trees of many “Wold Newton Family” characters. Over time, the concept has been expanded and continued by others into the Crossover Universe. Win Scott Eckert has done a fantastic job of compiling references to literary heroes who have met each other (or “crossed over”) and had adventures together, and thus co-exist in the same fictional universe. Volume 1 covers the dawn of time up through 1939, and Volume 2 covers 1940 into the far future. Reading these two books is a fun and highly addictive experience!
This little gem of a book tells the story of what happened in Salem during the craziness of the witch trials. Schanzer does a great job portraying the events as they happened. Her narrative shows the ignorance of the people involved and the greed and determination to proceed no matter what. She relies on historical information, including actual trial transcripts, to reveal the events. It is sad that so many innocent people died and those that perpetrated their accusations felt no consequences.
Wall Street Journal’s Middle East correspondent, Farnaz Fassihi, relates her interactions and interviews with the citizens of Iraq and how they are dealing with the affects of the US/Iraq war since 2003. She relates stories mainly from the ordinary working and middle class people she mets while living in Iraq. See the war through their eyes, everyone from a middle class art gallery owner to taxi drivers to radical teenagers.
With tongue in cheek, Literature professor Pierre Bayard offers a pseudo-defense of the “art of nonreading”.
Bayard likes to quote Oscar Wilde’s “ I never read a book I must review; it prejudices you so”. I think there’s some critique of postmodernism/deconstructionism, but I don’t know enough about the topic to be sure. Is it more important to be aware of a given book’s “cultural location” than to actually have read it? If you’re curious, check out this book.
There is something so interesting and compelling about the Tudors. It seems like we can’t get enough of them. There are tons of books, movies and tv shows about the family or set in that time period. Henry VIII and Elizabeth I will forever be at the forefront of interesting historical characters. The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty is a truly fascinating book. It takes us through the entire history of the Tudor dynasty from Henry VII to James I taking the throne. This family did not rule that long in the grand scheme of things, but their rule was turbulent, bloody and full of changes for the people of England.
The rule of Henry VIII takes up the majority of this book. His rule might not have been the longest (that was Elizabeth), but it definitely brought about the most change and the most bloodshed. Henry is probably best known for his wives, but that is not his true legacy. His true legacy is the Church of England. Henry systematically destroyed the Catholic church in England and remade it into the church of his heart. He stripped monasteries, abbeys and churches of their wealth and lands. He remade the clergy to follow his beliefs and persecuted and killed those that didn’t follow him.
Henry’s reign was followed by his son Edward who was even more evangelical. Then came Bloody Mary, who actually wasn’t as bloody as some. She brought back the Catholic Church and persecuted the Protestants. Her reign was a short five years however. It was Elizabeth that was the longest lasting of the Tudors. She reigned for 45 years. It appears that her turbulent childhood made her reign one of survival. She resurrected the Protestant church and continued the persecution of the Catholics; however, she was not as zealous as her father and brother. Together this family remade England into something different. They created and church without wealth, an aristocracy that became extremely wealthy off the spoils of the Catholic church and a population that was poorer and less taken care of then at any time in history.
Over the course of history men and women have lived and died. In fact, getting sick and dying can be a big, ugly mess-especially before the modern medical care that we all enjoy today. How They Croaked relays all the gory details of how nineteen world figures gave up the ghost.
This was a most interesting and enjoyable book to read, and I am not one to read nonfiction, for the most part. It held my interest and will hold the interest of probably most kids. It was factual and informational and just gory enough for those wanting gore. The entries were short, usually one or two pages, with larger print, which appeals to a lot of kids. The accompanying facts were also very interesting to read. I will be recommending this one.
This cookbook starts off with a brief history of cookbooks in the United States and then moves into Missouri written and published cookbooks. It shows how early cookbooks where a record of our cultural heritage. How the cooks of the day would move from recipes for a fine dinner on one page to recipes to keep ants out of the house and add color to a flowers bloom on the next then back to recipes for every day meals.
The authors used more than 150 publications to discuss Missouri’s cookbook heritage. They started with manuscript cookbooks from 1821 in St Louis including those from the William Clark family. Yes, that’s Clark from the Lewis and Clark Expeditions. They continue on to modern days including the popularity and fundraising efforts of community and civic group cookbooks and how the state’s beef council has put recipes on the Internet.
Bootleg is a brilliant look at the prohibition era. It details life before prohibition and how it came about, life during prohibition and how it was repealed. There is a lot of good information here about the people of the time and what they wanted. I was fascinated to learn that many people thought of Prohibition as a social experiment, an experiment that ultimately failed. The “Drys” wanted to sober up the population and get rid of crime, they wanted to get kids back in school and make homes safer. The prohibition amendment was partially successful. The consumption of alcohol did decrease and more kids did go to school. But crime rates rose and Prohibition saw the influence of the gangster grow to unbelievable heights. Al Capone, Bugs Moran and others came to power during this era as they supplied the alcohol to a thirsty population. Blumenthal did a great job imparting the feelings of the people at that time. I love how she focused on the women who brought about Prohibition. She also provided a lot of additional sources at the end of the book. This is definitely a good first look at the Prohibition era and it makes you want to read more about these people and the time the lived.
Ice tells the story of how the ice business began and how it ended. It was a fairly short-lived business only lasting a little over 100 years. Ice began as a luxury item for those wanting cold drinks and treats during hot months. It also helped with the preservation of food. Two men were essential in making the ice business a mainstay of American life: Frederic Tudor and Nathaniel Wyeth. Tudor had the ideas and Wyeth had the mechanical inventions that made chopping ice easier and a big business. This book focuses on the ice business in New York mainly; it does mention other areas but only in passing. The most sought after ice came from Rockland Lack and the Knickerbocker Ice Company was formed to bring it to the people. Weather and the invention of the electric refrigerator put the ice business out of business.
This book was really informative and interesting. I can’t imagine not having ice, but it wasn’t that long ago that it was a complete luxury and one you might not be able to get year round. This book is filled with old photographs, advertisements and pictures of tools; it is very visually appealing.
A beautiful collection of poems that paints word pictures so clearly that you can see the battlefield with the civil war soldiers and you can feel the fear and anger of the poet’s family dealing with prejudice in the south. This collection is not only a Pulitzer Prize winner but also by the current U.S. Poet Laurette.