The Russian Revolution by Sean McMeekin Book Review

…Khatisov cornered the commander and explained Lvov’s plans for a bloodless palace coup. Grand Duke Nicholas protested that neither the army, nor the people, would support overthrowing Russia’s sovereign in wartime. Disappointed, Khatisov sent Lvov the agreed-upon code: ‘The hospital cannot be opened.’

the russian revolutionPages 445
Actual Pages 366

I’m taking a road back into Russia. On that ride I picked up The Russian Revolution: A New History by Sean McMeekin.

The Russian Revolution is all encompassing. There’s a lot going on even before it began and McMeekin does an excellent job in organizing the people, events and timelines. However you should not mistake this book to be very deep or to uncover mounds of new information. McMeekin’s effort is here primarily as a survey on the Russian Revolution and for that reason I believe it is for newcomers or for those who want to be reacquainted with the history.

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Fail U. by Charles J. Sykes Book Review

One former president explains that higher tuition often worked like higher-priced vodka or watches – nothing was different, since they tasted the same and told the same time, but consumers were willing to pay more for the brand.

fail uActual Pages 249
Pages 278

I’ve been reading more about Education since I changed my major from it in 2011. This year I DNF’d a few books on the subject (I didn’t even include them on a list anywhere) because they all had bullet points and were at best skim-worthy. There was little point to actually sit down and read them.

Fail U.: The False Promise of Higher Education by Charles J. Sykes dives into the depths of higher education and the problems with it. Trigger Warning: Honesty Ahead.

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Against the Inquisition by Marcos Aguinis Book Review

The curse that had befallen their family had cast a shadow on their faces.

againstActual Pages 615
Pages 620

I came into this book blind. I knew neither its history nor its popularity outside of what I read on the back cover.

Against the Inquisition by Marcos Aguinis follows a Jewish family in Argentina in the late 1500s to the early 1600s. The father is soon taken away by the Inquisition due to his practice of Judaism and the mother, an “Old Catholic”, never knew of the father’s Jewish blood. A family is ripped apart as they deal with losing the earner of the family and must now come to terms with their identity.

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Getting Into Ecuador: Visa de Amparo

Getting into Ecuador seems to be intentionally difficult if you’re anything but Venezuelan.  At least, up until last week.

Ecuador has recently changed much of their immigration policy and it continues to be as confusing as ever. I realize this isn’t what I usually write about but information on this topic needs to exist.

As of today’s date, here’s what you need for a Visa de Amparo if you’re an American.

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Reading In July

After a year of reading a series of awful books, July came around and dramatically increased the average. I still had a few books I put off to the side but without a doubt July has been the best month I’ve had for finding good books. I was starting to wonder when this year was going to turn around.

Below I’ve categorized the books (and DNFs) using the Goodreads ratings I’ve given them. If I don’t have reviews up for them yet on this site, then I probably will soon.

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A Bell For Adano by John Hersey Book Review

Zeto said: ‘I thing it was the tone that mattered. It soothed all the people of this town. It chided those who were angry, it cheered the unhappy ones, it even laughed with those who were drunk. It was a tone for everybody.’

a bell for adanoPages 269

Toward the end of World War II the Americans have moved into Italy and principally the small town of Adano. In this town the people are suffering from hunger, hidden Fascists and a bungling American military bureaucracy. But most importantly, their 700 year old bell is missing and they fear Mussolini had melted it down for the war. Major Joppolo (or Mister Major to the people) promises the people that he will do what he can in order to find out what happened to the bell.

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All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan Book Review

Oh, Pat. All the fights fought and terrible words spoken, all the years of nicks and cuts and scattered days when we tore each other so vicious and so deep. And this is what I’ve done to end it. Announced from the TV-room door that I’d let another man do what you couldn’t.

all we shall know coverPages 192

Donal Ryan is an excellent storyteller. From the moment I read The Spinning Heart I discovered my new favorite literary author. All We Shall Know, his fourth release, is even better than his first.

All We Shall Know is a short fictional book about a destroyed marriage in a small Irish town. Melody Shee approaches her husband in the living room where she plainly tells him that she’s having someone else’s child. Continue reading “All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan Book Review”

Liebster Award

Thanks to Provincial Woman for nominating me for this award. Be sure to go over to her blog and check her out. But first, let’s get to those rules.

1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.
2. Tell 10 facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 8 questions which is given by the blogger.
4. Nominate 10 – 15 bloggers who deserve the award.
5. Make 8 original questions for the nominees to answer.
6. Let them know they’ve been nominated.

What is the Liebster Award?

Liebster award is an award that exists only on the Internet, which is a way of recognizing and admiring bloggers by bloggers. It is also a fun way of discovering new bloggers.

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Alfred Thayer Mahan by Robert Seager II Book Review

Certainly, Mahan’s surviving letters to Ellen Evans can scarcely be called ‘love’ letters. They breathe no fire or passion. It was as though Mahan were negotiating an insurance policy, which, in a manner of speaking, he was.

Pages 713
Actual Pages 608

Wow, where do we start with this one? It’s a big, long book on a very boring man. That isn’t to say the book doesn’t deliver but, well, let’s get into this.

Alfred Thayer Mahan was one of the most, if not the most influential naval historian in the 19th century citing the importance of naval power in the growth of a nation. The significance of his works at the time of their publication cannot be understated.

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Gunpowder Moon by David Pedreira Book Review

The suspects were many; the suspects were nonexistent. This was the Moon, and none of it made any sense.

gunpowder moonPages 288
Actual Pages 286

In the year 2072 the United States, China, Russia, India and Brazil are mining the Moon. It’s an escape for those who volunteered to leave Earth which had been devastated by a subsea methane eruption. While the nations on Earth struggle to regain lost power or to obtain new strength, the tenuous peace on the Moon is threatened after an American is killed.

Gunpowder Moon by David Pedreira is billed as a mystery on the Moon but it isn’t just a mystery. The author also attempts to throw in geopolitical talk with action. Frankly, it’s a bit too much for this short book to handle.

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