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review 2019-01-28 00:32
Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die: How the Allies Won on D-Day
Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die: How the Allies Won on D-Day - Giles Milton

I received Advanced Reader's Edition of this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program for an honest review.

 

The story greatest seaborne invasion and one of the greatest airborne operations in history combining to break the Atlantic Wall is known from an overview perspective, but the story of D-Day from a personal perspective really brings home the events of the first 24-hours of D-Day.  Giles Milton covers the first 24-hours of the invasion of Western Europe in Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die: How the Allies Won on D-Day from both the Allied and German sides.

 

Milton sets the “scene” by describing how the Allies planned the invasion and how the German planned to stop them.  Once the narrative turns to the invasion, Milton begins following a multitude individuals—some of whom he returns to a few times—over the course of those first pivotal 24 hours.  From the Allied (mostly American) paratroopers landing all over the place confusing themselves as well as the Germans to the mistake by the Allied Supreme Command of not properly bombing the beaches and the struggle on Omaha, the things that could have undermined the Allied invasion are brought out and highlighted.  However, the successes such as the total surprise of the invasion are also brought to life through many perspectives from the retelling by soldiers.  Milton shifts the narrative from West to East in the landing zones to detail the Allied experiences on each as well as South as German defenders and French civilians experienced the firepower of massive invasion, as well chronologically (as well as can be expected) to really bring to the forefront how touch and go that day was.

 

While Milton certainly constructed a very intriguing historical narrative in covering a 24-hour period from the viewpoint of a multitude of eyewitnesses, this was also the book’s downfall.  The use of so many eyewitnesses resulted in not really establishing familiarity with those that he returns to over the course of the book.  If you are familiar with the film The Longest Day than some of these eyewitnesses will be familiar given the events that Milton chronicles, if not for that I would have gotten lost several times throughout the book.

 

Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die: How the Allies Won on D-Day is an ambitious undertaking by Giles Milton that unfortunately does not really come together as a whole.  While the use of a multitude of eyewitnesses can be applauded to create the narrative unfortunately it didn’t work out given the large number Milton used.

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text 2018-09-18 01:58
REVIEWERS NEEDED FOR MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN'S BOOK DAY

 

This is for those who love kids books (from board books to YA books) and love to see characters from all over as well as places that are diverse as well. The co-founders, Mia Wenjen and Valarie Budayr, are looking for reviewers. And they would love the reviewers list to be worldwide if possible. Link is below along with link to cohosts for this year's book day on 25 January 2019.

 

 

Both Mia and Valarie have been promoting Multicultural Children's Book Day

1. to raise awareness of those books that already celebrate diversity in children's literature

2. to promote getting more diversity (characters from minority groups, special needs, far away places) in books to get more kids reading earlier and longer, and

3. to promote getting these books into the hands of Teachers and Librarians to share with their kids,

4. to promote resources for classrooms and libraries to help with lesson plans around diversity.

 

https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/mcbd2019-diverse-childrens-book-reviewers-we-need-you/

https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/about/co-hosts/

Mia Wenjen, co founder https://www.pragmaticmom.com/2017/01/today-multicultural-childrens-book-day/51p0vg2r6rl/

Valarie Budayr, co founder https://www.facebook.com/valarie.budayr

Source: multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/mcbd2019-diverse-childrens-book-reviewers-we-need-you
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review 2018-09-04 00:11
Lamarck's Revenge: How Epigenetics is Revolutionizing Our Understanding of Evolution's Past and Present
Lamarck's Revenge: How Epigenetics Is Revolutionizing Our Understanding of Evolution's Past and Present - Peter Ward

I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program in exchange for an honest review.

 

The slow progress of Darwinian evolutionary theory seems to be lacking evidence in the fossil record, but a paradigm shift maybe in the offering as epigenetics might explain why evolution happens so fast that potential fossil specimens can’t be put in the strata.  Lamarck’s Revenge: How Epigenetics in Revolutionizing Our Understanding of Evolution’s Past and Present by Peter Ward attempts to show that epigenetics should be incorporated into the understanding of current evolutionary paradigm thanks to new evidence thanks to various disciplines.

 

Ward puts forth that Jean-Baptiste Lamarck first described what is now being call “epigenetics” in his explanation of the inheritance of acquired characteristics, but do to unfriendly colleagues and later Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection Lamarck became a scientific laughingstock for over a century and a half.  However, Ward states that as DNA became to be understood and brought into consideration in its role in evolution the ideas of Lamarck began to return to study and now needs to be incorporated into the paradigm of the theory of evolution.  Ward then goes through the history of life, especially focusing on the sudden expansion of life and body forms after the great mass extinctions, as well as the history of humanity from the Ice Age through today and our possible future.

 

Unfortunately instead of a straightforward emphasis on Lamarck’s ideas, epigenetics, and how it can be seen in how evolution has progressed for a general audience, Ward decided to hero-worship Lamarck so much and attacking several scientists but particularly Darwin that the first quarter-to-third of the book was slow grind until he finally focused on epigenetics and discussing evolution through that prism.  However because of the amount of pages spent deifying Lamarck—Ward literally, though admittedly with sarcasm said Christians should worship Lamarck not God—and demonizing Darwin that Ward had to rush all over the place in explanations about how life evolved and developed while implying assertions without backing them up.

 

Lamarck’s Revenge while giving this reader a better knowledge about how the history of the world is seen through evolutionary theory, is nothing more than a book by an agenda driven author akin to current political pundits and lowest-class of pop historians.  If fact because of Ward’s bias, I don’t even know if my new knowledge is actually accurate but in any case my new limited understanding of epigenetics would have been better served if he had decided to focus on that instead of wasting page space on the deification and demonizing of long-dead scientists.  As a general reader I don’t recommend this to others.

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text 2018-05-03 15:16
This is me...
Island of the Mad - Laurie R. King

...Not-so-patiently waiting on my

print ARC of

Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King!

 

I'm soooo ecstatic!! : )

I absolutely LOVE this series!

 

Thanks Laurie and LibraryThing!  

 

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review 2017-10-08 02:24
Renegade: Martin Luther, the Graphic Biography
Renegade: Martin Luther, The Graphic Biography - Dacia Palmerino

I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program.

 

The life of Martin Luther, the man who sparked the Protestant Reformation, has been written about for centuries yet now it can not only be written about but visualized as well.  Renegade: Martin Luther, the Graphic Biography by Andrea Grosso Ciponte and Dacia Palmerino is exactly what its title says about the man who sparked a change in history.

 

Depicting the life of Luther from his childhood to his death, the biography focuses on his time as a monk led up to and through his break with Rome.  At 153 pages there is only so much that can be covered and only so much context as well through sometimes the visual aspect of the graphic novel does come in handy.  While the short length of the book obviously foreshadowed only the barest minimum that could be covered on his life, yet the graphic novel aspect seemed to offer a way to enhance the chronicling of Luther’s life.  Unfortunately the artwork looks like screen caps of a video game with so-so graphics with only a few great pages of art, usually at the beginning of each chapter.

 

The overall quality of the biographical and artwork content of Renegade is a mixed bag of a passable chronicle on Luther’s life and so-so artwork.  While some younger readers than myself might find it a very good read and hopefully make them want to know more about Martin Luther and the Reformation, I found it a tad underwhelming.

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