• Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review – Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach

    Can I just tell you how much I love Mary Roach? Because I love Mary Roach. I bought her newest book Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War a few months back as a father’s day present for my dad. My dad an I share a common interest in military history, and this seemed like it would be right up his alley as well – seeing as how he is also a scientist. I’ve read a few of Roach’s books in the past (Stiff was particularly fascinating), and I knew I too would love this book. My original intent was to wait until it came out in paperback to…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose

    You know, it’s about time I read this. I have seen the series a bunch of times (I’ve rewatched it more than once since my last big rewatch as a historian, which you can read about here), I’ve at this point read several of the guys’ autobiographies, with more of them on my TBR list – but I never actually bothered reading the source material. I went in kind of expecting the worst to be honest. I’ve read a number of online reviews of the book that hammer hard on the fact that Ambrose didn’t really seem to use much reference material beyond the company memory books, newsletters, and interviews,…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews,  Nerdery

    Mid-January Pleasure Reading Update

    So far so good on the whole “read more” goal. As of right now, I’ve already finished two books for pleasure this year (although technically the first one was started in the final days of 2015 – but I’m still counting it). I don’t feel like either book is really worthy of it’s own separate review post, as one was just kind of frivolous fun, and the other, well, wasn’t great… so I think mini-reviews will do the trick nicely. The first book is Stanley Weintraub’s 11 Days in December: Christmas at the Bulge, 1944. I bought this a couple of years ago after I read his Pearl Harbor Christmas,…

  • Archery,  History Love,  Life

    Bows and Arrows and Glitter, Oh My!

    So, last thing I need is another new hobby, yea? I mean, I can barely keep up with the ones I already have. Last time I finished a knitting project was literally last year, my photo albums have been sitting neglected for months, my sketchbook is frighteningly bare – as are my nails, and all I ever do is bitch about how little time I have to pursue anything “for fun.” So yea. Last thing I need is yet another hobby to complain about not having time to do. Well, I wish someone would tell my brain that. Because I guess I’m an archer now. Whoops. How did this happen?…

  • Book Love,  History Love,  Magpie Reviews

    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

    God, I forgot how soul sucking this book was. I decided on a whim as Jim and I were perusing through the bookstore weekend before last to pick up a copy of All Quiet on the Western Front. I had read it in college as part of one of my core History classes – back when my head was filled with dreams of being a famous novelist and History was just something interesting and extra to fill spots in my course schedule – and had enjoyed it then. Even then I was drawn to the dark and brutal honesty of the prose. But once I was finished, I promptly put…

  • Graphics and Printables,  History Love,  Holidays,  Links

    It’s Armistice Day (aka Veterans Day, aka Remembrance Day)

    On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the guns fell silent. Today here in the US is Veterans Day – a day to celebrate, thank, and honor the men and women who have fought for our country. But it is also a much more specific holiday – and the holiday from which Veterans Day originally evolved: Armistice Day, which celebrates the ceasefire that brought an end to WWI’s Western Front. Here in the US, World War One doesn’t get too much attention, mainly because our involvement was so limited. But, particularly considering that this year is the centennial of the conflict’s start, I think that…

  • History Love,  Magpie Reviews,  Movies and TV

    HBO’s Band of Brothers: 13 Years and a History Degree Later…

    … and it’s still fantastic. I watched most of the series when it first aired in 2001, but as an air-headed high school freshman, I must admit I wasn’t the most attentive. I watched much of the series clandestinely out of the corner of my eye, sitting on the couch pretending to read Bridget Jones’ Diary instead – because that’s what teen girls were supposed to do, right? Read chick-lit and roll their eyes at the bloodletting murderfest of a war show their father and brother are watching? I wasn’t supposed to like that stuff. I was supposed to like TRL, glitter makeup, and have a massive crush on a…

  • History Love,  Holidays,  Lists

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Badass Women from History Edition

    I know this post is a little late to be of any help for this coming year, but as I’ve done my annual search for a halloween costume idea this year I’ve found the market to be overly inundated with “sexy” versions of everything (see this roundup on Hello Giggles for either a good laugh or a good cry). Well here’s the thing. I don’t want to be sexy for Halloween. I want to be awesome. And badass. And represent the awesome women of history. So in the hopes that maybe in a coming year, some of you may join me in that quest (or at the very least find…

  • Book Love,  History Love

    Quickie Book Review: A Land As God Made It

    A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America is a book that I picked up on a whim about two or three years ago during the going-out-of-business sale at our local Borders. Jamestown is not necessarily a topic that I’m totally crazy about – in general early British colonization is not really my thing when it comes to reading for pleasure. But it was like, 75% off, and it is a topic I have to teach about every year, so I figured “why not?” Since then I’ve tried picking it up several times, only to get about 15 pages in before I put it down and…