Yes, I’m still alive! It’s been a whirlwind few months and I just haven’t had time to post. I do apologize. Here’s what I’ve been reading:
1.Hue 1968 by Mark Bowden: I started this long one and simply couldn’t put it down. It was tough because the content is riveting and heartbreaking at the same time, but I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. The history books that I was forced to read in school never mentioned this war so I didn’t have much to go on in terms of context.
Ernie Cheatham was my favorite hero in this book but there were many. I visited the Vietnam Memorial in DC shortly after finishing this book, as well as viewing the excellent Ken Burns documentary. The memorial is very well done, and was a stark reminder for me of the sacrifices made by so many.
2.Guests of the Ayatollah also by Mark Bowden: As soon as I finished Hue, I picked this one up from the library. This was also a period in history that wasn’t mentioned in school, so I knew very little about it going in. Mark Bowden is a terrific writer and his writing brings you in immediately.
3.Killing England by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard: Very well done overview of the War for Independence. If you’re a history buff, this may not be as detailed as you might like, but for this history ignoramus, it provided a good overview.
I literally just finished reading “Killing the Rising Sun” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. I’ve read the other books in the “Killing” series, with the exception of the Jesus one, and they’re all good at keeping my attention. This one was no different. I finished it in two days. The authors have a way of combining all of the different narratives that keeps you turning the page to find out what happens next, even though we know how it ultimately turned out.
This book covers the end of World War II and the transition to rebuilding afterwards, with the focus on Japan. I’m a big fan of Douglas MacArthur and enjoyed the portions devoted to his exploits both during and after the war. He certainly had a big ego but he got the job done when it needed to be done, without apology. We need more of that in our leaders today.
The book also caused me to consider what the world would be like if Japan had prevailed in the war. It’s hard to imagine. There’s a show on Amazon Prime called “The Man in the High Castle” that contemplates this and it’s an interesting series.
I also finished “The Nightingale” recently (Kristin Hannah). It was a good story about two sisters living in occupied France during World War II. I’m not into fiction as much as non-fiction but the story was good. Predictable, but good. It was recommended to me by a colleague who was reading it for a book club. It appears to be very popular and was hard to get from the library.
Waiting for “Exit West” and “A Man Called Ove” from the library but it may be a while. Happy reading!