• Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

    Before we left for Disney, I went into a little bit of a book panic. I was looking to figure out what I’d bring with me for the trip and realized I had absolutely nothing that wasn’t heavy and/or (mostly and) depressing. I have a VERY large book collection that is TBR, but it’s full of topics like the Holocaust, Japanese WWII POWs, Death and the Civil War, and various other horrible, heavy, awful things. Because that’s the kind of history I’m drawn to. Take that for what you will. Anyway, the point is – none of it is kid-friendly, nor does it seem like appropriate reading for a week…

  • Book Love,  Magpie Reviews

    Book Review – Dragon Age: Last Flight by Laine Merciel

    Dragon Age: Last Flight is yet another book set in the world of the Dragon Age video games. Using a nested narrative, it provides an engaging look into the history of Thedas without becoming too much like reading a giant codex. I will start right off the bat by saying that this is, hands down, the best of the Dragon Age novels that I’ve read so far. I’ve read both The Calling and Asunder, and Last Flight comes in as most entertaining and engaging, by far. It is also, strangely enough, the only one that was not written by a member of the Dragon Age writing team. Now it’s hard…

  • 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,  Photography,  Travel

    FINALLY Finished.

    Today I have some photos from our annual end-of-the-year retreat with the students at the lake property our university owns, and some good news! I FINALLY finished First into Nagasaki. This has become the breaking point for me, and I’ve finally just accepted that I cannot read for pleasure during the semester. It’s simply not possible. This book should have taken me a week max, and instead it took me a whole semester. I think I just have to accept it. That said, the book was a great read. Some amazing insights into Japan post-surrender, and some amazing stories from the POW camps. It can occasionally be a little plodding,…

  • Book Love

    The Book Jar

    I have a book problem. A very big book problem. An “I have filled my parents’ basement with storage containers full of books that I don’t have enough bookcases to house” kind of problem. And the reality is that recently my reading habits have not been able to justify the book accumulating habits I have. So, as already covered in my New Years Post, this year I resolved to read more. On that front, so far, so good. I’ve finished 6 books already over the month of January (although in the interest of full disclosure, one was a silly Doctor Who novel that took a total of maybe 4 hours,…