Book Review: The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German History by Thomas Harding

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In The House by the Lake, Thomas Harding chronicles the history of the summer lake house his Jewish great grandparents built near Berlin in the 1920s. He also weaves in one hundred years of German history and its impact on the house’s different residents, creating a fascinating story. Continue reading

Book Review: Flyboys: A True Story of Courage by James Bradley

Flyboys is the devastating story of nine American aviators (Flyboys) who were shot down over the Japanese island of Chichi Jima during World War II. Eight of the nine were captured and died under mysterious circumstances. I credit the author for finally telling their stories, but I found his agenda-driven account of history to be a distracting disservice to the men whose story he is telling. Continue reading

Book Review: The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

Erik Larson has done it again! The author of Dead Wake and The Devil in the White City brings history to life with his latest, The Splendid and the Vile. This time he tackles the first year of Winston Churchill’s tenure as prime minister, with splendid results. Continue reading

Book Review: Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick

Mayflower is an account of the 1620 Mayflower voyage and the subsequent ~56 years of English settlements in the New England area of the United States. It includes details about the devastating war between colonists and some of the area’s native tribes known as King Philip’s War. History buffs should like this one. Continue reading

“Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan”, by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

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The 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor seemed like a really appropriate time to read “Killing the Rising Sun”, so that’s what I did. Authors Bill O’Reilly (of Fox News fame) and Martin Dugard provide an interesting, 30,000 foot account of the war in the Pacific during WWII. Continue reading