What are you reading? (June 08)
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No one had started a new thread so I thought I would.
I am reading Sovereign Ladies by Maureen Waller. I have finished the sections on the Mary I and Elizabeth I and I am starting the section on Mary II. Very informative and an easy enjoyable read. I like being able to read about all the British female monarches in one volume. If I want to go more in depth there are plenty of separate volumes written on each one.
I just finished Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy Tyson. It was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist. It was devastating, and it made me cry. Now I need an emotional break. Tonight or tomorrow I'll start my next non-fiction book - a history of science book - Uncertainty: Einstein, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science. Less apt to crack at the ice of the soul, which in my case, now needs a rest!
This month I finished Passionate nomad: the life of Freya Stark by Jane Fletcher Geniesse and Cairo in the war 1939-1945 by Artemis Cooper. At this moment I am reading Jerusalem 1913 by Amy Dockser Marcus and Desert Queen: the extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell by Janet Wallach. Next I plan to read A peace to end all peace by David Fromkin and maybe The great war for civilisation by Robert Fisk.
Then it will be July, with lots of nice weather and I shall be as much as possible in the sun under a bright blue sky, reflecting all those people and lives under that same sun in the past.
I just finished up There's Something Happening Here, a sociological examination of the FBI's dirty tricks operations against Sixties dissident groups. Some of this stuff is laughable, some of the targets actually deserved the grief, but there is nothing to suggest that the FBI could then or now capably deal with an actual violent underground threat, or would be able to distinguish one from a merely unsightly protest group. A sad state of affairs when you think about it.
What's even sadder is that we've learned nothing and the government is just as dangerous as before.
What's even sadder is that we've learned nothing and the government is just as dangerous to it's citizens as before.
I'm reading Wilderness at Dawn. It has some really funny moments. I'm finding it much easier to digest than any old dry history textebook. La Salle certainly comes across as a boob. Many of the explorers seem to be clueless or downright wrong before being overtaken by hostile Indians or disease. So far it's been quite enjoyable. I admit I did get a bit confused between who was English, French and Spanish at one point.
This is certainly a better written book than The Island at the Center of the World which rambled a bit. I guess the latter could have used a more stringent editor.
I finished reading Judge Sewall's Apology today at lunch. It's an interesting read: though the witch trials themselves make up a small portion of the book, it's refreshing to see them put into a broader context.
I just started Rough Crossing by Simon Schama about slaves and the American Revolution. I'm only on page 10 but it was so depressing already I had to take a break!
If you go to this site:
you can read some of the original journals. Joutel is here for example.
Started reading The First Elizabeth last night. (For space reasons, this book was my only Seattle purchase.)
Edited to add: No it wasn't. I meant that it was my only Seattle book purchase. I only had limited extra suitcase space and needed to leave some of it for yarn and gifts.
At present I’m reading A peace to end all peace: the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the modern Middle East by David Fromkin, a very good (and entertaining) book about these major subjects. In this book I met (not for the first time) the Greek statesman Eleutherios Venizelos , an intrigueing figure. So when finished with Fromkin, which is not in one or two weeks, at long last I want to read about him, Venizelos.
From the library I already borrowed Venizelos by Herbert Adams Gibbons, a biography published in 1920, that is before “the Great Catastophe” in Anatolia in 1922. That means a very important part of his life is missing. (The writer is also very biased, but that has its own charm for me.)
I would be happy with suggestions.
What a pleasure to know that a reader has become as interested as i have long been in the story of the Middle East as it rather abruptly changed following World War I and the demise of the 400-year old Ottoman Empire. Amongst her/his citations, she/he mentions Passionate Nomad so perhaps this same reader would enjoy my new book, American Priestess: the Extraordinary Story of Anna Spafford and the American Colony in Jerusalem These people, who were both Americans and others, lived through that war and were witnesses to these titanic changes that created the modern Middle East.
Great to meet you here, mrs. Geniesse, on this beautiful Librarything!
I enjoyed your book about Freya Stark very much and I put your next book about Anna Spafford on my TBR list. Yes, it is a good and illuminating thing to be with the witnesses of change.
At this moment I’m still reading David Fromkin’s A peace to end all peace, about the doings, not-doings, mistakes etc. of the agents of change, from which I took a little vacation in Fatima Mernissi’s book about the present changes in Morocco, Sheherezades weblog (Dutch translation, originally in Italian Karawan: dal deserto al web ).
Lovely book, about how witnesses become agents.
But I am back in the Middle-East, this weekend.
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