At the beginning, I was absolutely enthralled with War Girls. The first hundred pages hooked me. The characters were interesting and the world building was fascinating. A lot of science fiction coming out these days feels copy/pasted. The language and setting feel the same – that’s not the case with War Girls. The science fiction in this book was so refreshing. It was sharp and technical enough that it felt modern and real… even though it’s set a century in the future. A lot of sci-fi I’ve read in the last couple years is very comfortable talking about space, but that’s the […]
The story being told in The Librarian of Auschwitz is fascinating, but the way it is being told doesn’t do it justice. I found myself zoning out a lot during this book because of the lack of rising action. I’ve thought long and hard about this, because the partially-fictionalized stories of the real people in this novel have a lot of potential, and I think these stories should be told, but the experience was challenging for me as a reader. To put it frankly, I was bored. Although I enjoy history, my main interest leans toward stories older than WWII. That […]
I respect what Julie Mayhew was trying to do with this book, but I don’t think it worked. Mother Tongue is a fictional account of the family of one of the victims of the Beslan school siege in 2004. I will admit my ignorance – before reading this book, I was entirely unfamiliar with the event. Also, I was 14 and admittedly not following the news. The Beslan school siege was a three-day siege at a Russian school where approximately 1200 people were held hostage on the first day of school for three days. Over three hundred people were killed, […]
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 […]
Hitler is claiming the great works of history. As World War II booms, mens lives are ripped away and the world hangs on the edge, wondering if the world of Nazism has yet been destroyed. One of the most notorious aspects of the German Reicht has been its dissolution of cultures – most famously and horrifyingly seen in its “death camps”. As terrible and tragic and unforgivable as this is, there is another aspect of culture that the Germans are gobbling up: art. The great works of the masters are being torn from walls, brought to the Reicht headquarters. Sometimes, […]
Overall, this is a very good book. I have my gripes – the predictability and sappiness of the ending and some of the childish language spoken by a fully grown Gretjie – but on the whole I enjoyed it.