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Topic: Favorite and not so favorite Books of 2011

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Kat (polbio) -
Subject: Favorite and not so favorite Books of 2011
Date Posted: 12/16/2011 6:44 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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What are some of your favorite History books read in 2011?

 My favorite history books I have read this year were:

  1. Atlantic by Simon Winchester (my absolute favorite of the year)
  2. Decisions at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History by Craig Symonds
  3. In Search of the Trojan War by Michael Wood (a reread,but still a good one)
  4. Embattled Courage: The Experience of Combat in the American Civil War (I am currently reading this book, but it definitely deserves a place on my list)
  5. Intellegence in War by John Keegan
  6. First Peoples by Colin G. Calloway
  7. So Far From God by John S.D. Eisenhower
  8. Navajo Weapon: THe Navajo Code Talkers by Sally McClain
  9. Crucible of War by Fred Anderson
  10. Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson

My least favorite history books I read in 2011 (Not a big list, usually if i dont like a book, i find the story interesting, but the book is poorly written or has some incorrect information. It is rare for me to all out hate a non-fiction book, and if that is the case, i usually dont finish it.)

  1. Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty and the Battle of Trafalgar by Adam Nicolson
  2. Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation by John Ehle


Last Edited on: 12/16/11 6:47 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/12/2012 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 210
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Since I have Trail of Tears in my TBR I'm curious to know what it is that you didn't like about the book. 

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 1/12/2012 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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It wasnt very well written and there were several facts that were inaccurate. It just  got frustrating to read.

Date Posted: 1/12/2012 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 210
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I'm looking through my list of books read in 2011 and am realizing that it was a bit light on history books last year.  Still, there were a couple that I enjoyed.

Dear Mr. Lincoln  compiled by Harold Holzer - this was an interesting collection of letters written to President Lincoln during his time in office, arranged in chapters according to subject type.  It included information about his secretaries and how correspondence was handled.  The variety of letters was fascinating.

Judge Sewall's Apology: The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of an American Conscience by Richard Francis - an interesting look at the life of the one judge from the Salem Witch Trials who eventually came to regret his participation.

Date Posted: 1/12/2012 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2011
Posts: 473
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Those both sound interesting. Are they both primary source? Oh, maybe not the second. I just noticed "by Richard Francis." How did you find them?

Date Posted: 1/12/2012 10:11 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 210
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The Lincoln book I found right here at PBS.  I have US history as one of my categories to show on the main page and I believe I bumbled across it as a "recently posted" book. 

I found the Judge Sewall book on a clearance shelf at Buck-a-Book.  It always pays to look .

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 1/13/2012 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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Cindy, I have a similar book about Lincoln. I found it on a Barnes and Nobles clearance table. It is compiled of letters offering condolences for his assassination and newspaper articles around the world written about the assassination. It is a leather bound with that gold color page trim and silk book mark thing in it. It is a nice book. I also have a very old book with all the newspaper cartoons of Lincoln. Looks like i need to look for the one you have to complete my set, lol.



Last Edited on: 1/14/12 4:32 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/13/2012 6:56 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,117
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Books I read in 2011? Who can remember back that far?  :-)

Date Posted: 1/13/2012 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2011
Posts: 473
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Good one Thomas. Most read book in our house for 2011? A book about the very historical figure of Elmo de Sesame Street. Someday, I'm sure he'll be canonized by the church of toddler.