One of the good things about having a used book store is that you can find out-of-print book series from the history genre. However, it might take years for the entire series to appear on the shelf at the same time so you can buy it. At the beginning of August I got the chance to get Allan Nevins’ Ordeal of the Union series, which chronicles U.S. history from 1847 to 1865 through eight volumes:
Ordeal of the Union: Fruits of Manifest Destiny 1847-1852
Ordeal of the Union: A House Dividing 1852-1857
The Emergence of Lincoln: Douglas, Buchanan, and Party Chaos 1857-1859
The Emergence of Lincoln: Prologue to Civil War 1859-1861
The War for the Union: The Improvised War 1861-1862
The War for the Union: War Becomes Revolution 1862-1863
The War for the Union: The Organized War 1863-1864
The War for the Union: The Organized War to Victory 1864-1865
Right after buying those two books on Amazon, I went to Barnes & Noble because I had got extra discount coupons (as long as they weren’t on sale or bestselling hardcover). As seen above I purchased five books.
I picked up The Curse of Oak Island by Randy Sullivan first. I fully admit that I’m addicted to the History Channel show of the same title that Sullivan used for his book about the treasure hunt on Nova Scotia island. Although the show isn’t perfect–the narrator’s script is awful–I love the mystery and the guys that are the center of the show. With the show’s season premiere on November 5, I’m going to be reading this in October.
Since the fire of Notre Dame, I’ve looked to get the most famous book about the historic cathedral. It also so happens that Victor Hugo is one of those authors one might want to read if you’re interested in the classics and the Barnes & Noble edition of The Hunchback of Notre Dame was on sale. So easy buy, but it’ll be a while until I read it.
The last three books I decided to continue to collect Brandon Sanderson Cosmere books, though now I’m only lacking his graphic novels. The Alloy of Law, Shadows of Self, and The Bands of Mourning make up Mistborn: Era II. While I plan to read a lot of Sanderson Cosmere books soon, these will go behind some other fantasy books I’ve gotten. So like the book above, these won’t be read for a while.
So at the end of July, I decided to go online and grab some books I’ve been considering buying for some time. Honestly I was spurred on by a Facebook post by artist Sara Richard that there were only a handful of The Ghost, The Owl available on the site. So I snatched one of those copies up before they sold out.
To get free shipping I decided to get another book and decided to the history route, though something of the more recent variety. I grabbed Too Big to Fail about the 2008 financial crisis. Though the book originally came out in 2009 or 2010, can’t remember off the top of my head, this edition has a Afterward for the 10th Anniversary of the crisis. This book falls just outside my 10 year rule when it comes to book concerning history.
So this is “haul” number 1, in a few days will come number 2.
August saw the completion of seven books and the beginning of this year’s mammoth read that took up the last third of the month. Let’s take a look at the overall stats before getting in-depth for this month.
Overall Total: 43/45 (95.6%)
Original List: 29/45 (64.4%)
Total Pages: 17965 (417.8)
The month started with two books begun in June & July, the former was a biography of A.T. Jones and the latter an abridgment of Lord Macaulay’s The History of England. Next was a one day read of The Ghost, The Owl by Franco & Sara Richard, I’ve been a fan of Sara’s art for years and finally got my hands on one of her published works. Then came J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion and Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland by Kevin Crossley-Holland. And finally came the reread of Shadow Watch by Jerome Preisler as my last “primary” read completed of the month while Redemption in Genesis was my last book of the month
On August 20th I began reading Luo Guanzhong’s Three Kingdoms which is 2339 pages long. Through Friday, I’m 791 pages into this classic historical novel which comes out to approximately 34%. I’m averaging 88 pages a day, however the last week I averaged 92 pages but either one would mean I won’t be finished until around the 22 or 24th of the month. So with this mammoth book taking up most of my “primary” reading time, I’ve come up with some plans to keep this blog active for the next month.
Either Monday or Tuesday I’ll post a review of Redemption in Genesis and later this week I’ll post a review of Mothra vs. Godzilla. Next week I’ll have a post or two of books hauls from over the summer and hopefully another movie review. The week after will probably include another movie review, but beyond that I don’t know. I’m still making my way through Aquinas and I’ll be reading another biography on the weekends which is nearly 500 pages so I don’t expect to finish that this month.
July was an unusual month for my reading, but I was able to finished four books including three that were completely read in this past month. As a result I’m four-fifths of the way to my yearly goal and am almost three-fifths of the way through my original reading list. Here’s the stats:
Overall Total: 36/45 (80%)
Original List: 26/45 (57.8%)
Total Pages: 15780 (438.3)
My first finished book of the month was a home read, The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. One of the classics of history and though he could be a bit dry at times, Thucydides was a master historian who died before he completed his work but he inspired others to finish his account of the war (which I’ll read at some future time). My first complete book of the month was Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner that was novel composed of seven short stories that fizzled. Then came the next Dirk Pitt book, Deep Six, that was fun adventure read but the Cold War element (published in the 80s) was just tiresome. And finally the last book I finished was a reread, Sea of Fire, which was the tenth book of the Op-Center series and the last of the original run that I had read (I purchased books 11 & 12 but didn’t read them…college and all).
This month is shape up to be interesting. Early on (the 2nd or 4th) I be finishing the book I’m currently read, The History of England (see list below). Next will come J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, the book of legends surrounding the history of Middle Earth. Then comes a reread of Shadow Watch, the third book in the Power Plays series, which so far is holding up better than the Op-Center books did early on. And finally the biggest book of the year at 2339 pages, the four volume Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong (translated Moss Roberts). Also there will be miscellaneous books from weekend reads to short graphic novels.
Anyways that’s what has happened and what the plan is. Talk to you later.
June turned out to be a very productive month even though I tackled some large books as well as some short ones to counter them. Overall half a dozen books were completed, of which only two were from my original list, yet resulted in a big increase in my page count. Let’s look at my updated stats…
Overall Total: 32/45 (71.1%)
Original List: 22/45 (48.9%)
Total Pages: 13889 (434)
The biggest books that I completed this month were Dune and The British Are Coming, which I both highly enjoyed as well as rated highly. The difference between the two is genre and publication date, obviously Dune is a science fiction classic for half a century but The British Are Coming is a military history published this year.
On the short side were two radically different books as well in genre and publication date. Rebellion and Redemption, the shortest this month, was a Bible study, while English Constitutional Conflicts was a political history is almost 90 years old.
Looking forward to July, I’m completely Thucydides’ The History of the Peloponnesian War at work since due to various things I haven’t been able to read it at home. After that I’m not sure what I’ll do the rest of this week since I’m going on vacation next week (but I don’t think it’ll be relaxing as I had hoped). After my vacation I’ll be for sure starting back up on my list again with Go Down, Moses. Then it’ll just be how fast I read.
May was a very productive reading month, which was welcomed after a very difficult April. Overall I completed 5 books, all of which were on my original list, thus improving my stats. Speaking of which, let’s have a look before I go into this past month.
Overall Total: 26/45 (57.8%)
Original List: 19/45 (42.2%)
Total Pages: 10936 (420.6)
Unfortunately the month began with a dud of a book, the omnibus of the second half of The Book of New Sun tetralogy by Gene Wolfe. Then I started my reread of Tom Clancy’s Power Plays with Politika by Jerome Preisler, the book was based off a computer game of the same name which limited what Preisler could do however there are things that are intriguing to look forward to as the series goes on. Next was my first book by William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury, I learned that this should not be one’s first book by Faulker. When I read the next book in my Dirk Pitt read through, Night Probe!, overall a good book just keep in mind that Clive Cussler doesn’t know the Constitution, Canadian history, or what the Commonwealth of Nations is and it’s a very good book. And finally my last book of the month was probably the best book in the Op-Center series, Mission of Honor, which is saying something given that it’s the ninth in the series and was only 3 1/2*.
Looking forward to what I’ll be up to in June. I’m already 40% of the way through English Constitutional Conflicts of the Seventeenth Century: 1603-89, which are transcribed lectures of J.R. Tanner for a course he taught at Cambridge in the first few decades of the 20th Century. It started rather dryly, however as the book has progresses it’s gotten more lively. Then comes probably one of the books I’ve been waiting to read for years, Frank Herbert’s Dune. I’ve seen the 80’s film adaption numerous times and I watched the SciFi channel adaption when it aired more than a decade ago, but I finally get to read the real thing. Given it’s almost 900 pages, it’s going to take up a good chunk of the month starting this coming Tuesday. Given that I may or may not getting to ruthless.com the second book of the Power Play’s series.
That’s all I’m going to discuss right now, so here’s the list of my books so far. But first here’s a bunny…