Monday, June 11, 2012

Homeward Bound

This is the second time I have read this book. The first time I read it I was an undergrad, and I thoroughly hated it. This time around, I have a much better grounding in the historiography and can appreciate what a notable book this is. May takes an interesting approach to the Cold War by largely ignoring international relations in favor of examining the effect of the war on nuclear families. Her chapters on sexuality are especially interesting. As a bonus, the class discussion had a tenancy to turn to riotous laughter and some interesting discussions about pornography.

Get it? The people on the bus are "homeward bound."Admittedly, not one of my finer ones.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seamen, Pirates and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700-1750 by Marcus Rediker

Pirates! Merchant seamen! The Royal Navy! And also commodities trading, a lot of commodities trading. This book was another read for my Atlantic World seminar. What better way to talk about the Atlantic than by discussing the men who made the transnational exchanges possible? Admittedly, this book has a Eurocentric orientation, but the English/European perspective is an important one to consider, even if it is not the only one.

The chapters on maritime culture are particularly fascinating; if you are interested in what seamen did and how they viewed themselves, then this book will give you a good (scholarly) understanding. If you are looking for swashbuckling adventure, read Captain Blood instead. Also, go to the Pirate Museum in Key West, FL.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Love Story by Erich Segal

I finished this book in an afternoon, and it is exactly what the title says. I hope my love story has a happier ending.