Monday, October 21, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/21/13

I am excited to be a part of the conversation at #IMWAYR! Thank you to SheilaJen and Kellee for inspiring and hosting this meme.

As I look back over my reading this week, I realize that the Red Sox took over quite a bit of my reading time!  There was time spent actually watching the games and then, of course, time spent recovering from staying up too late to watch.  This is a good problem to have (which I'm happy to have in the coming week as well) and I still, I found some interesting reads, most notably an exciting (and true!) tale of the gold rush in the Klondike:

Call of the Klondike: A True Gold Rush Adventure by David Meissner and Kim Richardson is a stellar example of a nonfiction narrative.  Meissner and Richardson collected a wide array of primary source materials, including diary entries, photographs and newspaper articles and wove together a fascinating tale of adventure and lust for gold.  What I found most intriguing about this book is that the two men that it highlights had absolutely no success in the gold rush and yet their stories are utterly compelling.  Rarely is middle grade nonfiction so breath-takingly page turning!  

Lately I've been revisiting a topic that I studied extensively in the early 1990's:  the Romanian Revolution of 1989.  I lived in Romania not long after the end of communism when the Revolution was still a rather fresh and tender subject and I was interested to learn how time has clarified the events of that dramatic era.  To that end, I read The Romanian Revolution of 1989 by Peter Siani-Davies.  I was hoping that the many mysteries of 1989 would be cleared up by this book and perhaps by no fault of the author, I was disappointed to discover that historians still don't have answers to many questions.  This is a very academic treatment of the Revolution and I learned a great deal, but I finished it still wondering exactly what had happened and why.

Finally, Anita Shreve has a new book coming out in November which I enjoyed called Stella Bain.  In this slender historical fiction, a woman awakens in a field hospital in France in 1916.  She has no idea how she got there or who she is.  Generally I love a good tale of amnesia and this one has some strengths, but once the protagonist figures out who she is and how she got there, I found myself less interested in her story.  Nevertheless, fans of Anita Shreve's will enjoy this psychological exploration, as I did.  

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