Book Review: Actual History is Better than Game of Thrones

I know lots of people who are excited about the impending premier of the 8th and final season of Game of Thrones. It’s a compelling show, no doubt. But where will these people turn when the season is over? I would humbly suggest the book Ghost on the Throne, by James S. Romm.

Book Review: Educated, by Tara Westover

This book is 329 pages long and I read it in 3 days. It’s hard to put down. In Educated, the author tells her own remarkable life story. Her tale is one of escape from a violent and intensely isolated childhood in rural Idaho, attending college after receiving no formal education at all, then ultimately …

Books I’ve Read (or Heard) This Year, Part II

Continuing my recent post on books I’ve read or listened to this year, alphabetically by author. Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial:¬†Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. Non-Fiction. The story of how Lincoln came to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and push the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, through Congress. Though against slavery, Lincoln shared many of the …

Books I’ve Read (or Heard) This Year, Part I

So I thought this would be a good time to go back over the books I’ve either read or listened to this year. I’m making a note of which ones I listened to via audio book, as the experience is quite different from reading. I spend a lot of time driving for work, and I’m …

Book Review: The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben

I loved this book. I would have to say it is the best book on the science of plants that I have ever read.

Book Review: Grant, by Ron Chernow

The eve of Martin Luther King Day seems an appropriate time to write a review of Ron Chernow’s new biography of US Grant, the commander of Union armies and two-term president. Chernow’s book shows that Grant’s life and posthumous reputation are tied up in the struggle for racial equality. During and after his life, Grant …

Showa: A Comic Book History of Japan

Before we went to Japan this year, I decided I would try to be a more informed traveler and read some Japanese history. By far the most engrossing and entertaining history books I found were by the Japanese Manga artist, Shigeru Mizuki.

A Few More Non-Gardening Books

Some more books I’ve read recently: Gettysburg: the Last Invasion, by Allen Guelzo This retelling of the pivotal American Civil War battle is engrossing even for people with little interest in military history. What I found most absorbing was the political divisions within the Union’s Army of the Potomac. Most of the Northern officers were …

And Now, Some Books Not About Gardening

Soon I will start writing about our trip to Japan in some detail. However, before we get to that I want to post about some books I’ve read lately that left an impression on me. Let’s start with The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie. This is the story of the fall of the da …

The Amazing Lives of Birds

Book Review: Beaks, Bones, and Bird Song, by Roger J. Lederer If you are interested in birds but don’t have much of a science background, this book is a fun and fascinating read. The author establishes first that birds face daunting odds in their struggle to survive and reproduce. Only about 10% of songbirds make …