Sometimes, when one reads non-fiction, it's tempting to skip the "Notes" - especially when the narrative has been as carefully crafted as Larson's. The great majority of novels don't need footnotes, and his nonfiction practically reads like a novel.
But in this case, read the "Notes" section. There's an Easter Egg, a tidbit, an anecdote, a diversion, or a little story on practically every page. Like DVD extras. Stuff that would be awkward in a fast-paced war journey but right in place in a giant list of whatnot.
This short, shallow look at the African-American US Army unit that fought in the trenches of France in WWI wasn't enough. First, the writing was pure US Army - that is, written at a 6th grade level (and that is not a dig at soldiers - all military writing is written at 6th-8th grade reading level to ensure everyone can/should understand). There was a lot more history of African-Americans serving in the military since the days of French and Indian wars through the Spanish-American war. Yet there were hardly any profiles done on the men who made up the Hellfighters; I learned more about the white officers in charge than the men who actually fought. There was very little detail, but a lot of fluff about how courageous they were and vague mentions of valor. I needed more than what was offered and felt the enlisted men of the unit deserved better writing on their achievements.
Awful month for reading. My participation in COYER and Bob23 was bare minimum at best. I am hoping Halloween Bingo helps me pull through this slump and gets me to the magic number of 100 so I can be done with the last of reading obligations. Here's what I did read:
1. The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough - 4 stars
2. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson - 4 stars
3. A Match Made in Spell by Regina Welling and Erin Lynn - 3.5 stars
4. The Harlem Hellfighters: When Pride Met Courage by Walter Dean Myers and Bill Miles - 2.5 stars
2 TBR piles for September and October - 1) Regular reading and 2) Halloween Bingo.
Regular Reading: Starting Tuesday, I will be listening to the audiobook version of The Flat Book Society September's pick, Get Well Soon, as that is the only copy of the book my library system had. Next on the non-fiction que is Khobar Towers, which is only 153 pages so it should go quickly. I am hoping to finish Hollywood Scandals soon.
Halloween Bingo Reading: A Deadly Brew by Lynn Cahoon (Free Space - will be released Sep 4th), Rockets Dead Glare by Lynn Cahoon (Amateur Sleuth), A Touch of Midnight by Lara Adrian (Relics and Curiosities), The Demon of River Heights (Nancy Drew, Girl Detective #1) by Carolyne Keene, Stefan Petrucha and Show Murase (Baker St. Irregulars), and Miss Frost Solves a Cold Case by Kristin Painter (Cozy Mystery). All are short books that I can get through quickly over the weekend.
Because my husband was denied leave (vacation time) and was TDY to Iceland for a month this summer, he has spent little time with the kids, who are now in school. So we are taking a day trip to Legoland Windsor on Monday as an end of summer surprise. HEE HEE HEE Adam and I can't wait to see their faces when we drive through the arch into the park.
Happy Labor Day my fellow Americans!