Best of February 2015

Books

Hubert Wolf’s The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent in Scandal epitomizes how history should be written for the general public. Although the PR around the book promises a look at “sex, poison, and lesbian initiation rites in a nineteenth-century convent,” this is in no way a lurid read. Sure, […]

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Best of January 2015

In the hopes of some more consistent posting, I’m going to try (“try” being the operative word) to do a monthly post on the books, movies, etc., that grabbed me the month before.

Books

Surprisingly, the best book I’ve read this year will be 75 years old in September. But there’s a somber timelessness to […]

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Popularity causes welcome problem for Historical Society Press

Around 1930, Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote an autobiography about her and her family’s pioneer experience. No one would publish it. Wilder ended up using it as a source for her wildly successful Little House series. Turn the clock ahead 80 some years and things have changed dramatically. The autobiography was finally published late last year […]

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2014 books by the numbers

In evaluating my reading this year, a blanket would be a useful tool. One would cover virtually all the differences between my reading statistics last year and this. The only perhaps notable difference was that my fiction v. nonfiction statistics are almost exactly flipped from last year. For the second year in a row, two-thirds […]

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Favorite novels of 2014

I read more fiction than nonfiction this year so discussion of my favorite books is going to be limited to novels. In putting the list together I discovered something interesting: three of the five are about war. Not only that, they don’t share conflicts. One is set in World War I, another in World War […]

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Landlocked and booked

Cruise Info

My absence the last couple weeks was one abandoning the routines and topography of everyday life. My wife and I went off on an 18-day cruise from San Francisco to New York City through the Panama Canal. As our youngest lives in NYC, we spent a few days there before returning home. And as much […]

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