logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: who-is-mike
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-11-26 12:48
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square 10: Pancha Ganapati
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World - Andrea Wulf
A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup
William Pitt the Younger: A Biography - William Hague
Metamorphoses - Denis Feeney,Ovid,David Raeburn
The Daughter of Time - Josephine Tey
Treffpunkt im Unendlichen. - Klaus Mann
Making History - Stephen Fry
Gilded Needles (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) - Christopher Fowler,Michael McDowell,Mike Mignola
Risiko: Roman - Steffen Kopetzky

Tasks for Pancha Ganapati: Post about your 5 favourite books this year and why you appreciated them so much. –OR– Take a shelfie / stack picture of the above-mentioned 5 favorite books.  (Feel free to combine these tasks into 1!

 

Inspired by Murder by Death's post this morning, I've pondered over my morning coffe which reads qualify as myfavourite books this year. Although there is still time for a truly great read to come up in the next month (I am looking at you, Winter by Ali Smith), below is my list of 5 (or, erm, 6) favourite books of 2017 (I have not considered re-reads for this, btw.):

 

The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf.

Although, I knew of Humboldt (and his brother), I had no idea of the extent of his influence on the sciences and of the adventures he went on to gain the deep understanding of the world that he did. I am still amazed at both. I am still amazed at the difficulties he faced. I am still amazed at everything I learned about his and his times from Wulf's extraordinary book. 

 

A is for Arsenic by Kathryn Harkup.

I love the works of Agatha Christie and I also love a good bit of science mixed with history - and this book had all of it. What is more, I particularly enjoyed how this book started a discussion with my mom (a retired chemical engineer) about all things chemistry and how scientific discovery changed crime fiction. For that alone, this book deserves 5 stars.

 

William Pitt the Younger by William Hague. 

One of the biggest surprises this year, not because of the subject (Pitt had been on my radar for quite some time) but because of the author. What I learned from Mr Hague's excellent account of Mr Pitt and the political landscape of Georgian Britain is that I may not agree with the author on everything (especially political outlook) but that this doesn't lessen my appreciation for the excellent work he has produced with this book. The sheer amount of research that must have gone into this is staggering. 

 

Metamorphoses by Ovid (tr. by David Raeburn)

This is the book that has taken me longest to read this year, but it is a book that demands a slow and deliberate read. Becoming reacquainted with the myths and legends of Ancient Greece and Rome has brought home how far we've come as a society, how much we still face the same issues, and how much I miss reading the "classics". 

 

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey.

As it turns out, my 2017 seemed to be geared towards a history side - and I loved it - with a mix of murder mystery thrown in for balance. Tey's book takes both and showed how a good "vintage" mystery can actually take a serious turn. Tey loved history and it shows when she used her laid-up Inspector to investigate not just the murder of the Princes in the Tower, but also how history itself is subjective and prone to be re-written for the benefit of propaganda ... and how easy it is to fall in line believing anything by virtue of it being repeated as truth over and over. 

A timely read for 2017.

 

Treffpunkt im Unendlichen by Klaus Mann.

I've been a fan of Klaus Mann's for a while, and in this book he shows how spot on his powers of observations were when he wrote about the times he lived in. Treffpunkt is one of the best books I have read to bring to life the Lost Generation in the late 1920s / early 1930s. Loved it.

 

 

 

Of course, there are some honourable mentions too:

 

Making History by Stephen Fry. 

 

Gilded Needles by Micheal McDowell (I'm still in love with basically every single book of McDowell's that has crossed my path.)

 

Risiko by Steffen Kopetzky 

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-22 18:45
Podcast #78 is up!
Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919 - Mike Wallace

My latest podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it, I interview historian Mike Wallace about the second volume of his monumental history of New York City (which I reviewed here). Enjoy!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-07 07:39
The Frog Prince by Mike Klaassen
The Frog Prince: The Brothers Grimm Story Told as a Novella (Klaassen's Classic Folktales) - Mike Klaassen

Title:  The Frog Prince

Author:  Mike Klaassen

Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling / Historical Romance

Year Published: 2016

Number of Pages:  114 pages

 

Date Read: 9/24/2017

 

Publisher:  Bookbaby

Source:  eARC (Book Unleashed)

Content Rating:  Ages 8+ (Some Intense Moments and Rude Behavior)

 

I would like to thank Book Unleashed and Bookbaby for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Now, I have been reading the Brothers Grimm fairy tale classics for many years and I have seen many retellings of their fairy tales such as “Rumpelstiltskin,” “The Bremen Town Musicians” and “Snow White.” But, I had never read a retelling of the “Frog Prince” before and when Book Unleashed gave me a free copy of Mike Klaassen’s retelling of “The Frog Prince,” I just had to check this book out and man was I blown away by this interesting retelling of the classic story!

Young Prince Gerit was out playing around the bog near his father’s kingdom when suddenly, he falls into the bog and could not get out of the water. Then, an old woman named Wibke came along and noticed that Gerit was in trouble. Gerit desperately asks the old woman to help him out of the water and Wibke promised that she will help the prince if the prince promises her that he will take care of her for the rest of his life. Of course, Gerit does not want to take care of the woman, but he agreed to the bargain anyway and Wibke helped Gerit out of the water. Then Gerit tried to break his promise to Wibke by running off to the castle, until Wibke transformed Gerit into a frog and she states that the only way that Gerit will turn back into a prince again is if a princess comes along and kisses him three times. So, Gerit goes on a long journey to find a princess who is willing to kiss him three times and Gerit stumbles upon a kingdom that is ruled by his father, King Egon’s enemy, King Torsten and he finds out that King Torsten has a daughter named Anneliese. Now, Gerit tries to make an effort to get Princess Anneliese to kiss him three times or else, he will remain a frog forever!

Wow…just wow…I never would have thought that I would read a retelling of “The Frog Prince” with so much energy and emotion! Mike Klaassen has done a fantastic job at retelling this classic fairy tale as he gives a more contemporary and in-depth spin to the story. I loved the fact that the story is told from the point of view of the Frog Prince himself and this made Gerit into an extremely interesting character as we get to see how he was like before he turned into a frog and we also get to see his struggles in becoming a frog and trying to find a way to change himself back into a prince. I also loved the character development that both Prince Gerit and Anneliese go through as they both started off as royal brats who only thought about themselves and believe that they will get anything they want because they are of royalty. However, the events of the story caused the characters to grow and understand the harsh situations that they are thrown into, such as the fact that their kingdoms are being involved in a war and how both Gerit and Anneliese may have to sacrifice their happiness in order to save their kingdoms. I loved the way that Mike Klaassen developed Gerit and Anneliese’s relationship with each other as I enjoyed the interactions that the two had with each other, such as playing ball together and talking about their favorite books. I also felt that Gerit and Anneliese’s growing relationship with each other was developed in a natural way and it felt more real than in the original fairy tale as the two did not love each other at first, but started developing feelings for each other over the course of the story, which I found to be pretty refreshing!

The only problem I had with this book was that the ending felt a bit rushed. It felt like they wanted to quickly skip to the ending of the original fairy tale and did not developed the resolution of the story a bit further to see how the actions of the characters would affect the overall scheme of the story. 

Overall, “The Frog Prince” is a brilliant retelling of the original fairy tale and anyone who is a huge fan of the “Frog Prince” will easily enjoy this book!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Banner

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-04 15:53
An Inuit Folk Tale, Fish-Boy As told by Vanita Oelschlager
Fish-Boy: An Inuit Folk Tale - Mike Blan... Fish-Boy: An Inuit Folk Tale - Mike Blanc,Vanita Oelschlager
An Inuit Folk Tale, Fish-Boy As told by Vanita Oelschlager with art by Mike Blanc is a charming children's story written for grades one to four. It also covers multi-cultural information. I gave it four stars.
 
"Soon we will go to the two island the white trader calls 'Diomedes.' They lie between our land and the big land where the fathers of our fathers' fathers' fathers came from."
 
I received a complimentary copy from Vanita Books and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.
 
This book is in pre-order status until May 1, 2018 so I could not leave a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-03 21:16
The consolidated metropolis
Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919 - Mike Wallace

In 1999, the first book of a projected three-volume history of New York City was published, Entitled Gotham, it covered the history of the city from is beginnings as a Dutch colony to the 1898 consolidation that merged the city with east Bronx, Brooklyn, western Queens County, and Staten Island, and won its authors, Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace, a well-deserved Pulitzer Prize for their labors.

 

It has taken eighteen years for the second volume to be published, yet the result is well worth that wait. Picking up where the last volume left off, Wallace (who is now soldiering forward solo in his efforts) describes the development of the city in all its particulars, covering its many economic, social, political, and cultural aspects. Though diverse in its scope, much of it is united by a common thread of consolidation, which in many respects was only just beginning. Consolidation was a popular concept of the age, with economic combinations emerging in American industry that dwarfed what had come before. Much of this was possible thanks to the financing provided by Wall Street, which served as the beating heart of the new, ever-more nationalized economy.

 

Consolidation was also important at the local level, as the city’s leaders now sought to turn the political achievement into a practical reality. To that end, they created a common infrastructure that tied it more closely together, which they did in a vast construction boom that created many of the institutions and arteries upon which the city relies today. Their efforts were emulated by others, as groups from Broadway to the criminal underworld embraced the benefits of combination. Yet not everyone was accommodated in the process, and Wallace’s book chronicles the many disputes that characterized an often painful growth of Gotham into the global metropolis it became by the end of the First World War.

 

Comprehensive and engaging, Wallace’s book is a worthy follow-up to its award-winning predecessor. Though its size is daunting, the division of the material into subject chapters makes it easily digestible, while Wallace’s ability to use the stories of individual New Yorkers to tell the larger history of the city makes it enjoyable reading. In Wallace the city has found a worthy chronicler, and with the Jazz Age, the Great Depression, and another world war looming, it is to be hoped that readers will not have as long to wait for the next volume.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?