This month’s book report is a bit lengthier …. And no YA books – sorry everyone! I have a giant stack of U.S. History to read for March.
I read far fewer books in February, but several long, slow-ish ones. In about the order I finished them, here are my reads from February:
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper: The ONLY reason I read this was for my U.S. History Class and for the historical context. It’s an *early* American novel and was published around the time that Congress was debating their Native American policies (just prior to Andrew Jackson and his Indian Removal Act). This was one of those books that influences popular opinion (and helped create the stereotype of the ‘noble savage’), so I think it’s worth reading for that context. The language of the book is convoluted and flowery, and the story is pretty hard to take. Not to mention the fact that (spoiler alert) the one female character that has any kind of agency at all and a barely alluded to connection to the ‘noble savage’ is essentially punished for it (by being killed in the end). However, if you’re not as obsessed with history as me you can probably skip it. See the movie with Daniel Day-Lewis instead.
11/22/63 by Stephen King: Turns out I love Stephen King. Who knew? I was too literature-snobby (and busy) in college to bother, but now that I’ve read a few of his books I want to read all of them. It might not be high art, but his books are certainly all page-turners. I enjoyed the history aspect of this book the most (obviously). And I think he did the best he could with the whole time travel paradox/snare/trying to make it remotely realistic. All that said, I found the ending frustrating. That is all that I will say on the matter. The first 800 (or so) pages were great.
Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian W. Toll: This book was also read for my U.S. History Class. I kinda love military history, and don’t really know anything about the Navy at all so I was excited to get this book. But, really, it ended up being a bit about the legislation/political fight to found, and mostly about this war and this war. Both about which I’ve already. But if you have a hankering for in-depth Navy battles play-by-play, definitely read Six Frigates.
Yesterday’s Gone (season 1) by Sean Platt and David Wright: The short version is I enjoyed this post-apocolyptic series, but I wish I had not read it quite so soon after reading The Stand by Stephen King. The long version is, Sean Platt is one of the writers of this book that I enjoyed so much, so I was interested in his fiction. I read (for free) season 1 episode 1 and liked enough to actually buy (!) the full season 1. It is essentially structured like a TV show – problems are solved in each episode, but the end of season 1 is just as open as the end of any TV show season 1. That said, I don’t *love* the series yet. At least, I don’t particularly love any of the characters, but the story is interesting so I’m going to keep going. (And I have seasons 2-4 ready to start soon)
The Art of Growth by Tara Gentile: I knew peripherally about Tara Gentile and her business, but never really paid super close attention until her most recent CreativeLive class on pricing. Most of what she was teaching I already knew, but it’s still impressive that she can teach about pricing for 3 full days! Anyway, partway through the first day I remembered that I had this book of hers on Kindle. Liked not loved. I don’t feel like any of the info is new to me, but it was good for me to revisit and review some of the things (like, for example, thinking about structuring a sales funnel).
Arguing About Slavery: John Quincy Adams and the Great Battle in the United States Congress by William Lee Miller: I really really enjoyed this book. I mean, I love history. And I love John Quincy Adams. So I shouldn’t have been surprised how much I liked this book, but really … it’s 514 pages about a legislative battle about the right to petition. Which really SHOULDN’T be so interesting. I really don’t know if this battle in Congress would have been nearly so interesting (or led to the Civil War in the same way) without John Quincy Adams. He had that particular blend of constitutional knowledge, a little bit of slyness, and complete disregard for his party line (if he could even have been said to have a political party) that brought all this on. PLUS bits of humor here and there. I *actually* laughed out loud once! If you’re at all interested in this period of history read it.