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The Wordy Shipmates
The Wordy Shipmates
Author: Sarah Vowell
New York Times bestselling author Sarah Vowell explores the Puritans and their journey to America in The Wordy Shipmates. Even today, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but Vowell investigates what that means -- and what it should mean. What was this great political enterprise all about? Who were these people who are conside...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9781594484001
ISBN-10: 1594484007
Publication Date: 10/6/2009
Pages: 256
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.

3.4 stars, based on 51 ratings
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Wordy Shipmates on + 164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have read many non-fiction books (including history books) in that past and they are usually very dry. I would read a little and then have to absorb it. Not this book. The author's writing style took a tiny bit of getting used to at first but then I felt like reading it just flowed along. I could keep reading it like a novel but was learning so much at the same time. I would recommend it.
reviewed The Wordy Shipmates on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I had SO looked forward to this book, after thoroughly enjoying "The Partly Cloudy Patriot" and "Assassination Vacation". But this book just wasn't as good as her previous books.

I think what was missing from this book was the author! In her previous books she was more an active participant in discovering the history, and she was better able to inject her snarkiness and humor. Her experiences and reactions were what made the books so funny.

Here, however, the book was the author's retelling of Puritan history, but without enough participatory experiences. It definitely had its moments where the author's voice shined through, but it had way too many excerpts from old Puritan texts, that slowed down the narrative just because they were more difficult to read.

I did learn something, and am glad I read the book. I just didn't enjoy it as much as I had the author's previous works. If you've never read Sarah Vowell before, don't start with this one. Pick up "Assassination Vacation" instead. :)
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reviewed The Wordy Shipmates on + 395 more book reviews
In The Wordy Shipmates we are shown that the Puritans life was not Thanksgiving every day. They fought with the Indians,they fought the British and they fought with each other.

I found I liked The Wordy Shipmates near the end where she describes a trip with her niece and nephew to Boston. During a reenactment of the Puritans war against the Indians, author Sarah Vowells nephew, who is wincing through violent scenes, asks when do they have Thanksgiving. Vowells answer is 16 years earlier. I like that because I related with the boy as he learned about the history but that was only one sentence or more.

I found this a very hard read. I picked it up because I had seen Vowell on The Daily Show and I liked her sense of humor. I found myself trying to read and not understanding what I read. From other reviews it seems I picked the wrong Sarah Vowell book to start with. The fact that it had no chapters was not a good thing. It needed something to breakup what was being learned.

I wish I could have connected with the book and understood better to especially catch the humor.
As for now I will be on the lookout for Vowells early books. This one is going to the exchange pile.