Monday, November 28, 2016

1776 - David McCullough

Known for his detailed historical writing, the author of this book recounts the events in America in the fight against the British in 1776.  There's little preamble or postscript; he starts the story in January and moves through to the end of the year, covering the battles in Boston, New York and New Jersey.  It's a different portrayal of George Washington then I am familiar with, showing him at times as an indecisive general and at others an inspiring leader. Reading of the challenges and near misses encountered by the Army it is remarkable we succeeded.

As a genealogist, it's interesting to see all the names of the soldiers and officers involved and it peeks my curiosity to research the lines of some of them!

Published:  2005  Read: November 2016  Genre: History

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson

This was a recommendation of one of my book clubs recently.  It's an entertaining tale, tongue in cheek, of a 100 year old man who leaves his nursing home on his birthday.  He runs into trouble at the train station but its nothing new for him as we soon find out.  He's been in the middle of a lifetime of historical events.  His laid back "let's see what happens" outlook gets him into and out of precarious situations and provides the reader with a lesson in some 20th century conflicts.

The writing reminds me of an English version of the author Carl Hiaasen

Published: 2009  Read: November 2016  Genre: Fiction

Friday, November 25, 2016

Bel-Ami - Guy De Maupassant

I can't remember where I picked this book up, but I recognized the author and it ended up on my nightstand.

It's a story of ambition and callousness in a young man wanting to move up in society, whatever it takes.  He goes through girlfriends and wives and eventually the daughter of a rival to achieve his ends.  Okay read.

Published: 1885 (this translation 1975)  Read: November 2016  Genre: Classic fiction