This week, I’m sharing Top Ten lists from some of you and from Goodreads (love their lists). I hope this adds to your teetering to-be-read pile as it has mine.
Historian Tom Wing provides us with this list of great books about history, a subject near and dear to my heart.
10. Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horowitz – More books have been written on the American Civil War than almost any topic in history. Horowitz examines the fascination with the war, commemoration, southern pantheism, the lost cause, reenactment, and racism, all of which are crucial to understanding the legacy of the war today.
9. Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose – The history of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne. Made famous by the HBO mini-series produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, the book covers the training and march of the soldiers from D-day to the occupation of Hitler’s Bavarian headquarters. Interviews and prospective of veterans make it a wonderful study.
8. The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin – In 1888 a brutal blizzard struck the upper Midwest killing hundreds, many of them school children. This book makes the story personal, but also informs the reader about life, technology, and meteorology of the late 19th Century.
7. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing – The definitive account of Shackelton’s ill-fated but heroic voyage, survival and rescue.
6. The Forgotten Soldier by Guy Sajer – Disputed as a work of fiction yet interlaced with incredible detail and eye witness accounts, Sajer reflects on the brutality of World War II’s Eastern Front. Scenes described in the book will haunt you long after you finish reading…
5. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whale Ship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick – Everyone knows of Melville’s Moby Dick. But did you know it was based on a true story? From Nantucket to the South Pacific, Philbrick describes the whaling, whalers, and the revenge extracted by a rogue whale.
4. Texian Iliad: A Military History of the Texas Revolution by Stephen Hardin – Remember the Alamo? There is so much more to the story and Hardin provides incredible details that debunk myths and put manifest destiny and it’s effects in the proper light.
3. The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by H.W. Brands – Brands brings many little known details to light of one of our most interesting founding fathers. The “ First American” thesis is compelling as well, considering the complete life and experiences of this great man.
2. Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America by Garry Wills – It is hard to imagine a whole book could be written on likely the most famous 272 words ever penned. Wills exposes the depth of knowledge and intellect of our beloved Abraham Lincoln in a new and refreshing way.
1. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson – The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago gave us Juicy Fruit gum and the Farris Wheel among other marvels, but it also included a sinister and dark serial killer. Both a history of the fair and a crime story, this book is a gripping read.
Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima by Stephen Walker – A complete account of all the players and the effects of the bombs dropped on Japan to end WWII.
My War Gone By, I Miss It So Paperback by Anthony Loyd – You will never look at the conflict in Bosnia the same if you read this book.
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah – The tragic yet redemptive story of child soldiers in war torn Africa. Unforgettable.
I also love this great list of Latino/Latina Fiction from Goodreads.
And this list of the Best LGBTQIA Literature.
I’ve really enjoyed reading the Top Ten lists that were submitted. Thank you, all. (I’ll be in touch with Tom Wing, who was randomly chosen for the $20 gift card.)
Next week, I can’t wait to see what you have read in the More than 20/21st Century Caucasian North Americans” Challenge.