Today's Booking Through Thursday is a must answer, even if there's only one minute left in Thursday (at least in my time zone)
Sometimes I feel like the only person I know who finds reading history fascinating. It’s so full of amazing-yet-true stories of people driven to the edge and how they reacted to it. I keep telling friends that a good history book (as opposed to some of those textbooks in school that are all lists and dates) does everything a good novel does–it grips you with real characters doing amazing things.
Am I REALLY the only person who feels this way? When is the last time you read a history book? Historical biography? You know, something that took place in the past but was REAL.
Regular readers know that I love history. It's the second largest section on my bookshelves (After fiction.) I even majored in it instead of literature. I think one of the reasons why I love studying history over literature is because history is all about the story, the who, what, where, when, and why. It isn't about the metaphor or craft which are things I enjoy analyzing, but not as much as character and plot. History is all character and plot.
So to answer the question, when was the last time I read a history book? Yesterday.
The last two books I've read were history. One, A Girl Named Faithful Plum: The True Story of a Dancer from China and How She Achieved Her Dream will be reviewed in an upcoming issue of School Library Journal. It's a biography of a ballet dancer in post-Cultural Revolution, pre-Tian'anmen China and her experiences at the Beijing Dance Academy. The other, Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, Its People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History is about the Peshtigo fire, a largely forgotten tragedy. I reviewed it yesterday.
My book I'm currently lusting after is history-- To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918. WWI, dissent, and England? YES PLEASE!
History is gripping and beautiful. Heartbreaking and inspiring. It is the story of us as humanity. Sometimes I marvel at the fact we survived it all, but we're still here, just making even more history.
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