Current Reading: October 2021

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Current Reading: October 2021

2ulmannc
Oct 3, 2021, 11:05am

I completed Riding Denver's Rails A Mile High Streetcar History. In my "opinionated opinion" this is clearly a book for people who know the Mile-High city and its surrounds well.

3jztemple
Oct 3, 2021, 1:59pm

>2 ulmannc: I've had an interest in streetcars, so I've added it to my lists. Thanks!

4Shrike58
Oct 3, 2021, 6:55pm

Finished up Nightmare Scenario, the first shot at documenting how the Trump Administration mishandled the COVID pandemic. Kind of breathless, and it's not going to change anyone's mind one way or the other about how they feel about Donald Trump, but it does give you the cut and thrust of what was going on behind the scenes.

5princessgarnet
Edited: Oct 6, 2021, 1:41pm

Formosa Betrayed by George H. Kerr
The library copy I've got is a 2018 reissue with an intro by Jonathan Benda
Seminal work on modern Taiwan available in English. The author lived and worked in Taiwan for periods of time between the 1930s-40s and was an eyewitness for pivotal events on the island in post World War II.

My dad had a business trip in Taiwan years ago and we made a family vacation out of it. I was in library/grad school at the time.

6jztemple
Edited: Oct 8, 2021, 8:48pm

Finished Grant's Tomb: The Epic Death of Ulysses S. Grant and the Making of an American Pantheon by Louis L. Picone. It was pretty interesting, I didn't know about the whole background to the building of the Grant Memorial.

8Shrike58
Oct 9, 2021, 9:34am

Also mentioning The Seventh West Virginia Infantry here, considering it's as much a history of West Virginia in the Civil War as it is a unit history; perhaps more so.

9ulmannc
Oct 10, 2021, 8:07pm

I completed Colorado, A Guide to the highest state. History part up front is well done. One must look at descriptions of large cities to get more detail. Information on national parks is a bit skimpy. Remember this was written back in 1941 and is part of the American Guide Series

10Shrike58
Oct 12, 2021, 8:44pm

Finished Such Splendid Prisons, a highly entertaining account of how the diplomatic delegations of the Axis powers were detained after Pearl Harbor; much to their collective bemusement.

11ulmannc
Oct 15, 2021, 5:19pm

I tried for the second time to read The Cape Fear, part of the Rivers of America series.

The book is rather episonic. The primary focus was on the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. A number of Quaker references are present in the Revolutionary part. The 20th century part is poor. Not a page turner. Would not recommend. I wrote this brief comment about five years ago.

I just decided to try it again and I didn't even get 1/2 way through it this time. Oh well

12Shrike58
Oct 16, 2021, 9:00am

Finally finished up The Avars, which I've been picking at for most of the month. While not the lightest read, it is pretty much the definitive book that you're going to get about this bane of the Byzantines.

13AndreasJ
Oct 16, 2021, 9:06am

>12 Shrike58:

That one’s been on my wishlist for a long time.

Just started on Muscovy’s Soldiers, about the pre-Petrine Russian army.

14ulmannc
Oct 16, 2021, 7:31pm

I finished Milwaukee Road Depots 1856 - 1954 Photo Archive last night. It's a fun quick read. I do get a kick out of seeing different depot architechure. I'm in SE PA and the old Reading commuter and PRR commuter stations do have some interesting designs as well!

15Tess_W
Oct 17, 2021, 3:50pm

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville de Tocqueville was a great observer of American politics and politicians. A very learned man who had much to say. 4/5 stars

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough As usual, a good read from this author. Covers the time period 1837-1867. 4/5 stars

16jztemple
Oct 17, 2021, 9:47pm

19Shrike58
Oct 21, 2021, 7:42am

>18 jztemple: That's on one of my TBR lists; does it deal at all with Disney's involvement in the 1964 World's Fair?

20AndreasJ
Oct 21, 2021, 9:26am

>20 AndreasJ:

Just out of curiosity: why do you have multiple TBR lists?

21Shrike58
Oct 21, 2021, 9:33am

>20 AndreasJ: There are lists that feed into lists that feed into the list of what I'm actually interested in reading in the coming year or so. There are the lists that I have at Amazon and the lists that I have associated with various public library accounts.

22jztemple
Oct 21, 2021, 1:13pm

>19 Shrike58: The focus of the book is the inspiration for, the planning of and the actual building of the park. The book winds up with the changes to the park in the first few years after the opening and doesn't mention the World's Fair. Excellent book overall, we listened to the Audible version.

23Tess_W
Oct 21, 2021, 2:58pm

Finished a heavy non-fiction history read The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David Kertzer. Pulitzer prize winner in 2015. his book challenged the accepted narrative that the Italian Catholic Church fought courageously against Mussolini and the Fascists. The author's thesis rests on newly released materials (2011) which paint Pius XI as a not so benign contributor to the rise of Fascism in Italy in the 1920's and 1930's. It began when Pius took a trip to Poland and saw how the Poles were treated by the Bolsheviks. He then was an avowed anti-communist and thought Fascism would be better than communism. Weird truce-like state between Mussolini (atheist) and Pius, which Pius came to regret and was in the process of trying to withdraw the church from this alliance when he died. The author also argues that the Italians have been very good at revisionist history, denying any alliance between the clergy and Mussolini. Great read, if you are interested in history. 592 pages 4 stars

24ulmannc
Oct 23, 2021, 9:17pm

I completed The Chagres, part of the Rivers of America series. The last two sections about the 49ers (Gold Rush) and the Panama Canal were the best parts.

25jztemple
Oct 23, 2021, 9:51pm

>24 ulmannc: Ah, another book added to the wishlist!

26Macbeth
Oct 25, 2021, 7:03pm

Right now I am about 60 pages into The Last Viking by Don Hollway - biography of Harald Hardrada

Cheers

27princessgarnet
Edited: Oct 25, 2021, 10:13pm

In the Shadow of the Empress by Nancy Goldstone
New collective biography of Empress Maria Theresa and her daughters and the world they lived.
I checked this book out from the library.

28Shrike58
Oct 26, 2021, 7:18am

Finished Occupied America, an examination of how the British military presence post-1775 accelerated the demise of London's authority, and, possibly more telling, how post-1783 Americans worked to suppress the memory of how people had to cut moral and social corners to survive the experience.

29jztemple
Oct 26, 2021, 1:26pm

>28 Shrike58: Sounds interesting, I'll have check it out.

Finished Weapons of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Jim Garry. Very specialized but very interesting.

30jztemple
Oct 27, 2021, 11:17pm

Completed a very interesting Visions of a Flying Machine: The Wright Brothers and the Process of Invention by Peter L. Jakab. A different look at the invention of the airplane by the Wright Brothers, very enjoyable.

31Shrike58
Oct 28, 2021, 7:55am

I've wrapped up The Origins of the Chinese Nation, a consideration of how, during the Song Dynasty, a self-conscious sense of "Han" identity came to be.