Category Archives: Non-fiction – History

Final Thoughts on Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger’s Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History (by Bethany)

Once I was in a strip joint and needed to go to the bathroom. The thing is, strip joints don’t have women’s bathrooms – or this one didn’t, anyway. When I asked a staff member, he pointed me toward the … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger, Non-fiction - History, Nonfiction - Cringeworthy Propaganda, Nonfiction - General, Nonfiction - Military, Reviews by Bethany, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the First Half of Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger’s Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War that Changed American History

I read almost nothing this weekend – just a few chapters of Henry and Clara and a few chapters of the book named above, which I’ve been reading off and on for about a week. I don’t have much to … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger, Non-fiction - History, Nonfiction - Cringeworthy Propaganda, Nonfiction - General, Nonfiction - Military, Reviews by Bethany, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

‘Celia’s an Artful Little Slut’ (And Other Thoughts on the Founding Fathers)

I am reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, albeit somewhat slowly, and I am trying to share my HAMILTON obsession with you in ways that are not derivative and cliché (you’re welcome), so today I’m here to tell you … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Non-fiction - History, Nonfiction - General, Nonfiction - Memoir/Biography, Reviews by Bethany, Ron Chernow, THE HAMILTON SOUNDTRACK, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Review of William Rosen’s Justinian’s Flea: The First Great Plague and the End of the Roman Empire (by Bethany)

This is the sort of history book I love – multidisciplinary, oriented around synthesis rather than analysis, and not afraid to go into detail about a sex act that a certain former empress of the Eastern Roman Empire liked to … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Glimpses into Real Life, Non-fiction - History, Nonfiction - General, Nonfiction - Science, Read-All-Day Friday, Reviews by Bethany, Uncategorized, William Rosen | Leave a comment

Thoughts on Christopher Hitchens’ Thomas Jefferson: Author of America

Robert Frost has been much on my mind lately – probably because my birthday is approaching. Along with Philip Larkin, Frost is the poet that best captures for me the slow but orderly forward motion of time. At the same … Continue reading

Posted in Christopher Hitchens, Non-fiction - History, Nonfiction - General, Nonfiction - Memoir/Biography, Reviews by Bethany, THE HAMILTON SOUNDTRACK, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Review of Sarah Vowell’s Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

Sarah Vowell has been a favorite of mine for a few years, ever since I read The Wordy Shipmates. If I could stomach NPR, I probably would have known of her sooner. Sarah Vowell does for American history what I … Continue reading

Posted in Non-fiction - History, Nonfiction - General, Nonfiction - Humor, Nonfiction - Memoir/Biography, Nonfiction - Military, Reviews by Bethany, Sarah Vowell, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For Copy Editors Everywhere

I read a fantastic book of short stories this weekend – Thom Jones’ The Pugilist at Rest – and I really want to review it for you, but I don’t quite have the wherewithal for that now. I’ve been copy-editing … Continue reading

Posted in Glimpses into Real Life, Joseph J, Ellis, Non-fiction - History, Nonfiction - General, Nonfiction - Memoir/Biography, Reviews by Bethany, THE HAMILTON SOUNDTRACK, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Review of James Shapiro’s The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606

I thoroughly enjoyed this intense study of the year 1606 in the life and career of William Shakespeare, though I thought that an equally appropriate subtitle for the book would have been “England in 1606.” I’m not suggesting that Shakespeare … Continue reading

Posted in Authors, James Shapiro, Non-fiction - History, Nonfiction - General, Nonfiction - Literary Studies, Reviews by Bethany, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thoughts on James B. Woulfe’s Into the Crucible: Making Marines for the 21st Century (by Bethany)

This isn’t the sort of book that I can in good conscience “review.” I read it because a brief but important scene in the novel I’m writing takes place during the Marine Corps training exercise called “the Crucible,” and I … Continue reading

Posted in James B. Woulfe, Non-fiction - History, Nonfiction - Education, Nonfiction - General, Nonfiction - Military, Reviews by Bethany | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Review of Anne Fadiman’s The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures (by Bethany)

This book was everywhere for a while. I know that I resisted its pull for a long time before I bought a copy. I was intrigued, but this was maybe 10-12 years ago and I knew myself to be very … Continue reading

Posted in Anne Fadiman, Authors, Non-fiction - History, Nonfiction - Anthropology, Nonfiction - General, Nonfiction - Science, Reviews by Bethany | Tagged , | 6 Comments