Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

Do you see all the award stickers on there? Yes, this book is a good one!

I love history but given my busy schedule these days, I feel I have limited time to read. A 400+ page book about history just is not going to get read in a timely manner. A Young Adult book, however, is often just the thing I need!

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin (Roaring Brook Press, 2012) is just such a book. It reads like a fun novel, with spies and intrigue. The author does not shy away from the complexities of the people involved, and I love hearing the first hand accounts from the people involved. Continue Reading

Those Who Love by Irving Stone (Post 2)

Before I left for a quick family trip, I finally finished Those Who Love by Irving Stone, a novelization of the John and Abigail Adams relationship. As I wrote in my first post two months ago, it was nice to recognize the impact the revolution and war must have had on the personal lives of men and women trying to get by. However, overall it was a dull book written in a dull way. Continue Reading

The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric (and Giveaway)

My grandfather was born in Hreljin in 1923, when it was Yugoslavia and in what is now Croatia. When I heard about Yugoslavian Ivo Andric’s 1945 novel The Bridge on the Drina, I had hoped for a glimpse of what life was like in my ancestor’s homeland during a tumultuous time. Although my grandfather’s home town is far from the Bosnia-Serbia border on which this novel takes place, it was still an interesting look at the complex history of the Balkans. I did not really enjoy reading the book, but it was somewhat interesting.Continue Reading

Those Who Love by Irving Stone (Post 1)

I am still at the very beginning of Irving Stone’s novelization of John and Abigail Adam’s story, but I feel I must touch base and let you know about it. Reading a novel about the era has brought the issues to life.

Right now in the novel, John and Abigail have been married for just a few years. The Stamp Act angered many of the colonists, and John and Abigail received word that Bostonian civilians have been rebelling. Boston is 10 miles a way from John and Abigail, a safe distance. Yet, the burning of effigies and raids on parliamentary leaders’ homes affects them deeply. I am fascinated to recognize that these basic facts I would otherwise read about in passing, things that seem like sidebars compared to the later Boston Massacre and the fight at Lexington and Concord, were so really revolutionary when they happened. Violence against the crown’s representatives: wow, what an amazing first step.Continue Reading