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Sunday
Jun232013

Books I Read in the Last 18 Months

I’ve been reading a lot of history. Like, a lot of it. I’ve read almost no novels in the past 18 months or so. I think the last one I read was really re-reading The Hobbit before I went to see the movie, so that was in December. And before that it was Red Plenty, which is a novel set in the Soviet Union that’s really a history book masquerading as a novel. That was pretty good.

My bachelor’s degree is in history, as is my unfinished master’s degree. I focused on Ancient Greece and Rome two decades back, and this history kick started with me wanting to revisit that period and refresh my memory. That was really rewarding, and sucked me back into reading history for pleasure.

 Then I dove deep into the American Revolution. It’s a period I never studied after 11th grade, and one I didn’t know really anything about. That sucked me in big time, and as you’ll see I went deep into American History in a way I’ve never done before. I also had an idea for a video game and a board game I want to make some day, so that kept me going.

 I’ve always been fascinated by revolutions, ever since I took a class on them in college called Dynamics of Political Change (American University loved it’s evocative/obscure course titles). The American Revolution naturally led me into the French Revolution and that led me right into Napoleon.

 I’m now deep, deep into the Napoleonic Era. I’ve got a shelf and a half of Napoleonic wargames. I’ve got super-fancy limited edition books. I’ve made custom boxes for my game pieces. I’ve got that Napoleon bug bad. I’ve got import-only DVDs of movies. I’m looking at miniatures with a longing in my heart.

I never knew anything about Napoleon, or at least I didn’t remember anything. Now I know a lot, mostly how little I know. I keep thinking I’ll take a break and try something else for a while, but then I find another book I have to read first. Why I’m fascinated by Napoleon and his wars is a topic for another post. Implying I’m going to actually post on a regular basis. That’s the plan. Really.

But hey! I have not given up on novels. In fact, starting tomorrow my friend Becky and I are going to start reading Moby Dick 1 chapter a day until we’re finished. There will be tweeting and facebooking on it every day.

In the meantime, here’s the list of 36 History Books I’ve Read in the past 18 months or so, in the order I read them. Or listened to them. A lot of these were audiobooks, especially early on.

 

Absolute Monarchs by Julian Norwich

Rubicon by Tom Holland

Carthage Must Be Destroyed by Richard Miles

Augustus by Anthony Everitt

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

The Great Fire of Rome by Stephen Dando-Collins

Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia byChristopher Clark

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff

The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China byDavid Sibley

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen

Proving History by Richard Carrier

Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War by Fred Anderson

The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauff

The Black Count by Time Reiss

The Thirty Years War by C.V. Wedgwood

The American Revolution: A History by Gordon Wood

American Tempest: How the Boston Tea Party Sparked a Revolution by Harlow Giles Unger

As If an Enemy’s Country: The British Occupation of Boston by Richard Archer

The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon Wood

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow

Forced Founders by Woody Holton

Common Sense, The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine

1848: Year of Revolution by Mike Rapport

The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon Wood

Cradle of Violence: How Boston’s Waterfront Mobs Ignited the American Revolution by Russell Bourne

Empire of Liberty by Gordon Wood

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Thomas Jefferson by R.B. Bernstein

The Wars of the Roses by Alison Weir

What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker Howe

Napoleon by Frank McLynn

Napoleon by David Markham

Finding Florida by T.D. Allman

The Oxford History of the French Revolution by William Doyle

Desperate Sons by Les Standiford

Vienna, 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna

by David King

Incomparable: Napoleon's 9th Light Infantry Regiment

by Terry Crowdy

 

Currently Reading:

The Campaigns of Napoleon by David Chandler

 

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