In the last month or two I’ve tried to make an effort to read more books. Not parenting books because I felt I had to, or because I was trouble-shooting an issue like teething, but books that informed me about something beyond the realm of Mommyhood and parenting (or at the very least were highly entertaining and totally trashy). So far this month I’ve read:
A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus’s Germania from the Roman Empire to the Third Reich by Christopher B. Krebs
– An interesting overview of how a sarcastic Roman’s less-than-favorable views on a barbaric people (whom he likely never actually met) became (after some reinterpretation by German Humanists) some of the foundations of the Nazi’s philosophies: racial purity and loyalty with out question. It is rather dull in places, and even if you know a little about Roman history, German history, and Humanist philosophy, it is easy to get bogged down.
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson (Author)
– Covers the first year of US Ambassador Dodd’s term in Berlin, which coincides with Hitler’s rise to power. This book is very simultaneously fascinating and terrifying, it is also extensively footnoted. I would strongly recommend anyone who is curious about German history, and the Nazis rise to power to read it as it is a quick and very approachable read.
Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City by Guy Delisle (Author), Helge Dascher (Translator)
– Another must-read. Done in comic-book style Delise manages to give the Israeli-Palestinian a very human perspective – his own. While his wife works for an NGO (I think it is Doctors Without Borders?) he juggles his career, children, and the various checkpoints, religious issues and holidays that come with living in Israel. He takes what could be a very dull topic and takes it to a whole new level with fabulous drawings and an engaging style. It is a very quick (and captivating) read.
True Porn Clerk Stories by Ali Davis
– This was just fun to read. Trashy, quick and fun.
Concierge Confidential: The Gloves Come Off–and the Secrets Come Out! Tales from the Man Who Serves Millionaires, Moguls, and Madmen by Michael Fazio & Michael Malice
– FABULOUS!! Absolutely FABULOUS!! Like a wonderful real-life version of my favorite trashy UK dramady Hotel Babylon.
Up next I’m going to read the The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of Thirteen American Women and the Dream of Space Flight, by Martha Ackmann.