Category Archives: History

Mythbusting: Part II

In my last post, I looked behind the curtain to bust the myth of the mid-19th-century “independent pioneer” during the western expansion of the US. Today I uncover the myth of the lonely autobiographer, who delves deep into memories to … Continue reading

Posted in Autobiography, Historical fiction, History, Memoir | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Mythbusting: Part I

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Caroline Fraser, 2017 (NYPL e-book) I inherited my love of “prairie fiction” from my mother: Willa Cather, O E Rølvaag, Hamline Garland, Sherwood Anderson. Top of the list, of course: Laura … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, History | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Have you forgotten something?

Despite being set in two different centuries, nearly 100 years apart, the books in today’s post share one element: a blinkered Euro-centric view of life “down under”. Read on to see what I mean. In A Town Like Alice (1950, … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Am reading, Australia, Fiction, Historical fiction, History, New Zealand, Travel | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

In the near future

Lory at The Emerald City Book Review recently wondered if her readers had reading plans for the year. Excellent question, if only because it gives me a chance to prep you for what’s to come on this blog. My usual … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Am reading, Australia, Fiction, Historical fiction, History, New Zealand, Travel | 11 Comments

A well-governed shark

It’s time for another progress report on my reading-the-sea project. For this post, I had planned to include notes on Melville’s Billy Budd, but I’ve been busy having fun instead — fun reading other books, that is, so BB will … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Am reading, Classic, History, Seafaring | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

The voyage so far

As promised, here’s the first of what may be several updates on my tour of books set on water in honor of Herman Melville’s 200th birthday. Initially I had planned to make these reviews brief, but, well, you know … … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Classic, Fan fiction, History, Seafaring, Travel | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Sea cruise, baby!

No need to get excited. I plan to travel virtually, in honor of Herman Melville’s 200th birthday. Over the next few months I’ll be aboard stories set on ships (with perhaps a rowboat or two) that will take me up … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Am reading, Classic, Fiction, History, Seafaring | Tagged | 8 Comments

Super-Tramp!

No, not the 1970s prog-rock group (although their song, “Take the Long Way Home” may be apt for what will become obvious reasons). For this month’s Wales Readathon, Book Jotter has selected William H Davies’ Autobiography of a Super-Tramp as … Continue reading

Posted in Am reading, Dewithon, History, Travel book, Wales Readathon | Tagged | 4 Comments

Brueghelian Obsession

The fourth and last in a series of novels involving the search for lost art. But a new slant here: this novel is for adults. Headlong, Michael Frayn (1999), Picador, 342 pp. Remember that Rod Serling story, where the Nazi … Continue reading

Posted in Art, History, Mystery | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Unexpected endings

Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses, Bess Lovejoy (2013) Lovejoy gives us a list like no other: what happened to the mortal remains (bones, ashes, or otherwise) of historical figures, from Alexander the Great to Hunter S. … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, History, Macabre | Tagged | 2 Comments