Genre: History

The Late Middle Ages by Philip Daileader (The Great Courses)

The Late Middle Ages by Philip Daileader (The Great Courses)

I’m a sucker for The Great Courses because when they’re good, they’re really good.  I absolutely loved the courses on Ancient Egypt and Myths in Human History, and I felt like I learned so much from those professors.  On the other hand, I found the course on The Vikings disappointingly dull.  This… sort of reflects my experience as a history major – some things are fascinating, others are a bit tedious, and it all depends on the professor.  Therefore, my experience with The Great Courses has been hit-or-miss. Unfortunately, I find that The Late Middle Ages was closer to a “miss” for […]

Posted September 22, 2019 in Reviews // 4 Comments //
Anna of Kleve:  The Princess in the Portrait by Alison Weir

Anna of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait by Alison Weir

Man, I really wanted to like this book. First of all, I should start off, I really like Philippa Gregory’s books.  I’ve read The Constant Princess three times.  I have both a hardcopy and audiobook edition of The Taming of the Queen, which is her take on Anne of Cleves.  I am constantly fascinated by the intrigue of the Tudor Court.  I love the way it’s a romance, a suspense, and a solidly good drama.  But it all depends on the author. And I’m the worst.  I get it.  I’m comparing authors and it’s unfair but I need to.  Because I adored Anne’s story… but […]

Posted July 21, 2019 in Reviews // 2 Comments //
The Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik

The Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik

I think it’s important to know about the people who are trying to change the world for the better. I’l confess that I became aware of RBG around the time of the 2008 campaigns and I am (always have been) woefully disconnected from politics.  I was raised fiercely Republican and Ruth Bader Ginsberg was not exactly a household name for my parents.  Saying the name “Bill Clinton” was akin to dropping an f-bomb in my house, so you can imagine my family wasn’t crazy about his Supreme Court nominees, either. If you’re read my blog, you can probably surmise that […]

Posted July 16, 2019 in Reviews // 0 Comments //
Pirate Queen:  The Legend of Grace O’Malley by Tony Lee & Sam Hart

Pirate Queen: The Legend of Grace O’Malley by Tony Lee & Sam Hart

So on the one hand, I appreciate the existence of this book because Grace O’Malley is super cool and her story isn’t widely shared. On the other hand, I’m still not 100% on board with how it was done here. There’s not a whole lot of definitive fact out there about Grace – and this is my historian showing through.  It’s not like we have her letters or a private journal or anything like that to lean on.  Rather, Grace is one of those figures who has become renown through stories and legends  There are some very basic facts we […]

Posted May 18, 2019 in Reviews // 0 Comments //
The History of Ancient Egypt by Bob Brier (The Great Courses)

The History of Ancient Egypt by Bob Brier (The Great Courses)

While I really enjoyed Myth in Human History, I have to say:  The History of Ancient Egypt is the best of the The Great Courses I’ve taken yet.  Lecturer Bob Brier is not only widely knowledgeable and passionate about the subject, but he makes you feel like you’re in a classroom environment.  There’s a difference in experience when the lecturer makes you feel like he wants to share knowledge, rather than tell you what he knows. I’ve always been interested in Ancient Egypt, but I felt like my knowledge was lacking.  Through my entire academic career, I only spent one unit on Ancient […]

Posted March 24, 2019 in Reviews // 0 Comments //
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Erik Larson has a way of writing non-fiction that makes you fall for the players.  History should be told in precisely this way, as a story.  History can either be presented statistically or artistically.  Most audiences will be far more captivated by a narrative than just names and dates.  This is why I like authors like Tom Holland and Erik Larson. Dead Wake tells the story of the RMS Lusitania.  In May 1915, the Lusitania was en route from New York to Liverpool when a torpedo was shot at it from a German U-Boat.  The Lusitania carried 1900 people on that […]

Posted March 4, 2019 in Reviews // 2 Comments //