Friday, July 29, 2011

It's still a book

If it is on a Kindle right?

I don't do many book reviews, in fact, Res has done some and she reads "q-u-a-l-i-t-y" literature. I've done a very few for books authors have been kind enough to send me (a very very rare treat, FREE BOOK!). One of the former that we both highly recommend is "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright which is simply the best book about Al Qaeda that I can conceive of. One of the latter is Charles Pierce, "Idiot America", a triumph of justifiable scorn about conservative idiocy even before they idiotically called themselves 'Teabaggers'.

But, I have digressed.

The reason I don't do book reviews is that most of the books I read are non-fiction and historical and really, do you want a book review of some 900 page tome about "London" or the "First World War"? I don't.

But I have to say, I do love the non-fictional works of Eric Larson that read like the sugar candy of a great crime novel. 'Devil in the White City', loved it. 'Thunderstruck', loved it. And now, I just finished reading 'In the Garden of Beasts' primarily about the Ambassador to Germany at the dawn of Nazi Germany and his daughter (a writer of some later consequence and the very model of an impressionable dilettante). You couldn't make that story up, it's so bizarre. Essentially they know (and in the case of his daughter, intimately) many of the famous and infamous people of the American and German 30s. It's like Herman Wouk's Henry family, only they are interesting.

Oh, and it is also a cautionary tale of what you write in your diary and how it looks to posterity.

Highly recommended diversion from our modern era of depression, to read about the last one.


res ipsa loquitur said...

Okay, I resent the implication that I am some sort of snob because I read only q-u-a-l-i-t-y lit-tra-ture. And in any case, I don't. For crissakes, I just read TWILIGHT at the behest of a relative who simply insisted that I would love it. Okay, I didn't love it. I thought it was crap. But I guess I feel slightly more culturally literate having read it.

I'm going to read HARRY POTTER on vacation later this year, too. BUt I don't think that qualifies as crap, right?

I just finished DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY and I loved it, so IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS is on my list.

Atta, You should read this book A MAN CALLED INTREPID. I just finished it. The GC recommended it. IT's about the Canadian guy who set up the British Security Coordination out of the International Building in Rockefeller Center on orders from Churchill and with the (secret) help of Roosevelt before the U.S. entered the war. There are lots of interesting tidbits in there about all sorts of James Bond-type stuff. In fact, the Candian, William Stephenson, is supposedly the inspiration for Bond b/c Ian Fleming worked for him.

StonyPillow said...

Is it available on a Shugart 8" floppy disk? If it was, could you read it? At least half of my books predate their timely demise.

Kindle, schmindle. Just buy the book or get it from the library.

(And A Man Called Intrepid is a good read about a truly amazing guy.)

StonyPillow said...

BTW, next time you're in Chicago, stop by the U-505 German U-boat at the Museum of Science and Industry, and take a look at an actual Enigma. It's worth the price of admission all by itself.

Anonymous said...

Have you read "Isaac's Storm"? Yes, Larson can make the story of a hurricane, where you know the ending before you pick up the book, an edge-of-your seat read. A remarkable story about the hubris of the early Weather Service in this country.

pansypoo said...

well, i have too many OLD books to read and i am just in the start of the french revolution in my 1891 encyclopedia britannica's entry on french history(read the same 1903 version years ago) and MUCH is tied to our current replay. forget guillotines. we need to grill the rich and ebay their stuff.

pansypoo said...

or craig's list.