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Posts Tagged ‘Nonfiction’

A weekend non-theological book review.  Cause Pastors also need a break with other readings…

Robert M. Gates. Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.  New York, NY: Knopf, January 14th 2014. 640 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Let me begin by saying I rarely pick up memoirs and of those I have started very few I have ever finished.  A lot of them end up being somewhat anti-climatic and sometimes they can be too narcissistic for my taste.  Often in the back of my mind I wonder if there are things left out or opinions given that end up being more of a hindrance to knowing the truth.  So the fact that I finished this memoir and am writing a review of this book speaks volume of how much I enjoyed this work.

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A weekend non-fiction book review.

Luke Harding. A Very Expensive Poison: The Definitive Story of the Murder of Litvinenko and Russia’s War with the West.  New York, NY: Vintage Books, January 24th 2017. 432 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Sometimes facts of history can be more fascinating than any work of fiction.  This is an example of where current events mimics a spy suspense novel of the Cold War era except it is all too real including the fatal consequences.  The author Luke Harding is a British journalist who worked for The Guardian and have spent several years as a foreign correspondent in Russia.  He has written quite a bit about modern Russia including several books on the topic.  I first read his book on Wikileaks which was also intriguing.  This book’s subject matter is even more intriguing than the first.

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A weekend non-fiction book review.

Joshua Rubenstein. The Last Days of Stalin. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, May 10th, 2016. 304 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

The publisher Yale University Press have published some really interesting works on Stalin including a really good one I enjoyed titled Stalin: New Biography of A Dictator.  In this book the author Joshua Rubenstein explores the death of Stalin as well as the weeks leading up to his death and the weeks following his death.  This book is well-researched, insightful and interesting.  Below are some of the highlights.

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In light of Memoral Day weekend, I thought this would be timely to post this review for this Friday Night’s Non-Fiction Review.

James L. Swanson. Bloody Crimes.  New York, NY: William Morrow and Company, September 28th 2010.  464 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This book is a study of the President of the Union and the President of the Confederacy during the last days before Lincoln was killed and the days afterwards.  The side by side account of both these Presidents was a fascinating angle of the book and one which I appreciated.  There were many moments that I thought the juxtaposition was quite fascinating.

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A weekend nonfiction book review! ‘Cause Pastors need a mental break too.

Val McDermid. Forensics.  New York, NY: Grove Press, July 7th 2015.  310 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

This is a fascinating book on criminal investigations by a British author of crime novels and thriller.  In this work of nonfiction she explores the various specialization and sciences behind criminal investigation.  In the beginning of the book she notes that there is a lot of misconception that the public has for those involved with criminal investigations in light of TV shows like CSI.  Intrigued with the topic she gives us a journalistic account of those involved with investigating crime and how the men and women go about with the art and science of finding and proving the suspects.

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I haven’t been able to post weekend book reviews of Nonfictions in a while so here is one!  Why is this posted?  Because Pastors need a break from heavy theological readings too.

tried-by-war-abraham-lincoln-as-commander-in-chief-james-mcpherson

James M. McPherson.  Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief. New York, NY: The Penguin Press, October 7th, 2008. 329 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

The author James McPherson is a distinguished Civil War historian and author of books on the topic of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War.  In this book he narrows his focus to Abraham Lincoln as the military leader of the Union in terms of the Constitutionally given role of Commander in Chief.  In the beginning of the book McPherson made the point that while there are many books about Abraham Lincoln as a politician and there are many books on the military dimension of the Civil War yet surprisingly there’s not that much discussion of Lincoln as the Civilian commander of the military.  Certainly this book makes an important contribution.

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patton-at-the-battle-of-the-bulge-by-leo-barron

Leo Barron. Patton at the Battle of the Bulge: How the General’s Tanks Turned the Tide at Bastogne.  New York, NY: NAL Caliber, October 28th 2014. 432 pp.

This is another work on the European Theatre of World War Two that I enjoyed in the fall of 2016. In this instance I listened to this book in audiobook format.  This book is more operational history and is what probably many who are interested in World War Two battles want to read and hear.  It tells us the story of General Patton’s attempt to break the German military stronghold surrounding the US Army 101st Airborne Division in a town called Bastogne from the perspective of one of Patton’s favorite outfit: The Fourth Armored Division.

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