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Todd Stockslager (TStocksl)
posted "In the long run, the trench wins" about The Long shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth CenturyThe Long Shadow.   December 06
In the long run, the trench wins
With the assassination of a mid level royalty in a mid level city in Eastern Europe, entangling alliances and inept political decision making sent the
posted "A Comet in the system of science, politics, and faith" about The Invention of Air.   December 05
A Comet in the system of science, politi
After reading Johnson's latest, How we got to now,  I found this book from 2008 on the shelf in my excellent local public library, and discov
posted "Science at the intersections" about How we got to now: Six innovations that made the modern world.   November 26
Science at the intersections
Johnson is a master of popular science writing (see The Ghost map and Everything bad is good for you as examples) and hits this minor classic with the
posted "With God on our side" about Fields of blood: Religion and the history of violence.   November 24
With God on our side
Armstrong traces the relationship of the spiritual to the justification and use of violence through the history of human patterns of civilization from
posted "What's so funny bout peace, love, and understanding?" about The Humor code: A Global search for what makes things funny.   November 17
What's so funny bout peace, love, and un
Comedy, like pornography, is notoriously hard to define, but you know it when you see (or read, hear, or watch) it.  McGraw, a psychology profess
posted "Lost without a map" about The Map thief: The gripping story of an esteemed rare-map dealer who made millions stealing priceless maps.   November 15
Lost without a map
E. Forbes Smiley is the subject of Blanding's true-crime tale of missing maps.  While he was once a big-time dealer in rare early maps of Nor
posted "Restoring the meaning of death" about Smoke gets in your eyes & other lessons from the crematory.   November 13
Restoring the meaning of death
Death means the end of life.  It means separation from loved ones, the end of life's work, entrance into eternity.  It is universal, it
posted "Lukewarm" about A Laodicean (Penguin Classics).   November 12
Lukewarm
In a retrospective edition of his collected works near the end of his life Hardy classed A Laodicean as one of his "Novels of Ingenuity" and
posted "Historiography of the long Nineteenth Century" about The Transformation of the world: A Global history of the Nineteenth Century.   November 09
Historiography of the long Nineteenth Ce
Historians sometimes talk about the "long" 19th Century, marking its start with the bang of the Age of Revolution in America and France in t
posted "Sketch comedy" about Sketches of young gentleman and young couples with Sketches of young ladies by Edward Caswell.   October 13
Sketch comedy
This slim volume is nearly as interesting for its history as for its literary value.  Published under the pen name Quiz, Sketches of young ladies
posted "Money murder mystery" about Money: The Unauthorized biography.   October 12
Money murder mystery
Martin's expose of money may take readers by surprise.  It isn't about coins and bills and inflation, although those are elements of the
posted "Seeing past the future" about I have seen the future: A Life of Lincoln Steffens.   October 09
Seeing past the future
A well-turned phrase often repeated can become the word picture representing a person's life.  Unfortunately for Lincoln Steffins his phrase
posted "When will a hero arise?" about The Trumpet-Major.   October 04
When will a hero arise?
Combining the powerful writing style of a great author with the explosive ingredients of the French Revolution (Dickens's Two Cities) and its Napo
posted "Flying off the handle" about Birdmen: The Wright brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the battle to control the skies.   September 25
Flying off the handle
The history of the Wright brothers and the invention of powered flight has been well-covered and usually from the position of admiring the brothers
posted "His stories about the Fifties" about The Fifties.   September 24
His stories about the Fifties
My title for this review works both ways.         Halberstam writes in classic narrative history style when tackling a
posted "Heroes and villains go down with the ship" about The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of journalism.   August 31
Heroes and villains go down with the shi
Teddy Roosevelt has always been such a ridiculously heroic figure in American history, and from my high school history classes I dimly associate the m
posted "Stones crying out" about Jerusalem: City of longing.   August 15
Stones crying out
I went to the library with a newer book on the history of Jerusalem on my wish list, but when I got to the shelf and saw how many pages it was I reali
posted "The Five W's of the end of the Bronze Age" about 1177 B.C.: The year civilization collapsed.   August 12
The Five W's of the end of the Bronze Ag
Cline uses archeology, inscriptions, contemporary document caches, and ancient historical text (including the Bible and Homer's Greek history/lege
posted "Lost, but never for words" about The Story of the Jews: Finding the words 1000 BC - 1492 AD.   August 09
Lost, but never for words
Schama has been a popular and prolific narrative historian covering topics as diverse as the French Revolution, American history, and now this history
posted "What science isn't" about Why science does not disprove God.   August 01
What science isn't
Aczel sets and completes a simple challenge in this book well described by his title.  He doesn't try to prove that God exists, or that scien
posted "Why read what matters?" about The Edge of the precipice: Why read literature in the digital age.   July 30
Why read what matters?
This slim fast-reading collection of essays tackles the title question from many perspectives along two main tangents.      The
posted "Google is for this" about Life's imponderables: The answers to civilization's most perplexing questions.   July 19
Google is for this
Other than the fact that I review every book I read, I might have skipped writing a review of this omnibus collection of "Imponderables.". B
posted "Adventure stories with a serious bite" about Death dance: True life and death adventures from Alaska to Africa.   July 13
Adventure stories with a serious bite
Nolan is a wildlife biologist, filmmaker, guide, and adventure junkie who has worked for years in Alaska and Africa.  Along the way he has writte
posted "You can go home again--but it might not be a good idea" about Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy.   July 09
You can go home again--but it might not
You know how in a Dickens novel pretty much every thing works out happily in the end?  Yeah, that doesn't happen here.  Hardy followed u
posted "Not much masquerading as something" about Beatles vs. Stones.   June 28
Not much masquerading as something
The title might suck you in like it did me in this intertwined thumbnail parallel sketch of the careers of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.  A
posted "The uninevitable" about 1913: In search of the world before the Great War.   June 24
The uninevitable
Cataclysmic events like the Great War cause us to see the history of the time immediately preceding only in the light of the events that followed.  Th
posted "What's in a name? Thomas Hardy's Dickens gone Wilde" about The Hand of Ethelberta.   June 19
What's in a name? Thomas Hardy's Dickens
Hardy tries his hand at a "comedy in chapters" in this outting.  It actually sold better in serial form than Far from the Madding Crowd
posted "Worlds apart: Christianity divided to conquer the world" about Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years.   June 14
Worlds apart: Christianity divided to co
MacCulloch's massive one volume history of the religion based on the man and the mission of Jesus Christ is imaginative, insightful, and mostly ma
posted "Music history allegro" about The story of music: from Babylon to the Beatles: How music has shaped civilization.   May 08
Music history allegro
Goodall spans the entire history of music (including why musical notations like allegro are in Italian) in just over 300 small format pages.   Th
posted "Pay it backward" about 11/22/63: A Novel.   May 03
Pay it backward
I haven't read many of this hyper selling author's books and not for quite a while (I remember reading Christine when it was a new book decade
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