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2018 Reading Wingding

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34. Peter David, Pulling Up Stakes. High-concept YA from the longtime comics writer/Star Trek novelist about a young guy descended from a family belonging to a secret society of vampire hunters who can't bear to tell his mom...that he's been turned a vampire. Hilarity ensues as he goes through the motions of what traditions expect of him while contriving to hide his deep dark secret. It's not trailblazing by any means, and I toll my eyes at any and every vampire story that starts by bragging about which vampire weaknesses aren't true (toss out too many, and you're not really writing vampires anymore, now are you?), but David still knows from punchlines and fast-paced adventure.


35. David Simon, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. A 2005 reissue of the 1988 nonfiction award-winner that was later adapted into NBC's Homicide: Life on the Street. It opened doors for Simon, then a Baltimore Sun journalist/editor, to connect with Hollywood, begin writing for the show, and then move on to create his own small-screen works like The Wire. Thirty years later, his fly-on-the-wall observations and sharp, insightful prose still have an impact when describing everyday life for the murder police back in the day. The 2005 edition includes a new foreword by the equally awesome Richard Price and a new afterword from Simon himself about the original writing process, how the book changed his career track forever, and a Where Are They Now recap of the detectives he shadowed and wrote about.


36. Mikey Neumann and Agustin Padilla, Borderlands: Fall of Fyrestone. I spent two of my last three years' worth of limited video-gaming sessions getting myself lost and mesmerized by the first two Borderlands games for PS3, and missed out on the short time when IDW Publishing brought the world of Pandora to comics. One of the game's original writers and voice actors (who now has his own YouTube series called "Movies with Mikey") was wisely put in charge, firmly maintaining the same tongue-in-cheek tone and inhabiting each of the four main characters in this loose run-through of the first game's first main mission, thankfully with a new take on it rather than a beat-for-beat transcription.


37. Sarah Ganz Blythe and Edward D. Powers, Looking at Dada. Coffee-table companion to a 2006 exhibition at NYC's Museum of Modern Art. I took a seminar in college that name-checked larger personalities from the original Dadaist movement, so it was fun to remember some of that and learn new names. Apropos of many things, this was a vacation souvenir from a modern art museum we visited in Utica back in July.


38. Fred van Lente and Ryan Dunleavy, Action Presidents #1: George Washington! From the creators of top-notch educational graphic novels such as Action Philosophers! and The Comic Book History of Comics comes the first installment of a new hardcover series in which their dual proficiencies in history and humor are brought to bear on the more renowned occupiers of America's highest office. It's fact-filled, impartial, funny, not averse to pointing out flaws but also not interested on obsessing on those flaws being the only things that matter. I was surprised and excited to find this in a gift shop inside Philadelphia's roughly 7,000 history museums.


39. Cullen Bunn and Joelle Jones, Helheim, v. 1: The Witch War. Vikings plus witches plus one zombie-fied super-viking, with equal parts betrayal and sacrifice tossed in, equals much bloodletting but a surprising amount of subtle emotional moments.


40. Mike Carey and Mike Perkins, Rowans Ruin. A shiny happy American blogger agrees to swap houses for one fun summer with a British lady her same age. Sadly her U.K. counterpart failed to mention she lives...in a haunted house! DUN-DUN-DUUUUUUN. I guessed the biggest plot twist early on, but not every twist. Successful on the spooky side anyway.

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  • 2 months later...

41. Cece Bell, El Deafo. All-ages autobiographic novel about growing up deaf, the ups and downs of using Phonic Ear devices, the teachers whose cooperation levels varied, the friends who sometimes understood her and who sometimes were a little dense, and her own, very human reactions to all of the above, not always on the patient side. Candid, humble, funny, wonderfully insightful.

42. Georgia Webber, Dumb: Living Without a Voice. Also an autobiographic novel, but from a different perspective. Once upon a time the author loved to chat and sing, but underwent the hardest months of her life when she lost her voice, had to rely on other forms of communication, and struggled with the difficulties of holding down a job in silence as well as giving up activities she loved most. Apropos of her experience, much of the book is abstract-impressionistic, sans words for entire pages at a time to better capture her frustration in isolation -- some of it admittedly self-imposed but none of it endured without a fight.

43. Claude V. King, Henry Blackaby, and Richard Blackaby, Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God. Recommended reading from our church, aChristian self-help book meant to draw inspiration and advice for everyday living and improvement from various pieces of Scripture. It's been around for a while, so this is an updated edition with several chapters rewritten to include testimonials from readers and believers who got positive experiences out of the book. Frankly, a book filled with positive reviews of itself is kind of like having dustcover flaps on every page. It's a little off-putting when you're already holding the item in question, like an Amazon email recommending you buy the thing you just bought from them last week. This self-congratulation reaches its nadir when the authors talk about that time their book convinced Mike Huckabee to get out of ministry and into politics instead. That's an actual thing in the book.

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44. Adam Glass and Patrick Olliffe, Rough Riders v. 2: Riders on the Storm. The historical superteam is back in action: Teddy Roosevelt! Houdini! Jack Johnson! That jerk Edison! And Annie Oakley, even though she died in the first volume! This time the team takes on the anarchists who assassinate President McKinley, only to learn they answer to a much higher power in the last place anyone expected to look. The adventurous lunacy continues to ramp up, with lots of explosions, more surprising historical faces, and a shirtless Roosevelt ready to box his way to victory.


45. Ryan North, How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler. A thick, kickstarter'd comedic nonfiction tutorial on how to invent science from the ground up if you're ever trapped in the past and you're not the Doctor or Reed Richards. It's filled with tons of actually practical how-to guides from the basics of survival (food, fires, clothing, potable water) to Inventing Progress 101 (creating a language, farming knowhow, medicinal substances) to the very, very advanced topics at the end if you master all the preceding chapters (flight, simplistic computers, hazardous chemicals). Anyone who digs North's ongoing work on Unbeatable Squirrel Girl will find the same voice here in full effect, though I admit I skimmed more quickly over some chapters that favored serious science at the expense of punchlines.


46-50. Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli, David Marquez, et al. Ultimate Comics Spider-Man v. 1-5. The original stories of Miles Morales, a.k.a. Spider-Man, soon to star in his own animated film. On another Earth apart from the Marvel Universe we know, an escaped experimental specimen gives an average NYC teen a somewhat different set of spider-powers, which occasionally goes great except when everything goes wrong and loved ones keep getting injured or killed in front of him. It's at turns funny, action-packed, and emotionally traumatizing, a solid launch for a hero with worse luck than Parker. The only major misstep comes in the third volume, a souring forced crossover with the Ultimates, a.k.a. Worst Avengers Ever.


51. Ray Fawkes, Underwinter, v. 1: Symphony. A string quartet unknowingly makes a deal with a devil and finds their fortunes going through the roof but their mental states growing increasingly precarious with each increasingly creepy performance. Visually stunning horror with flourishes inspired by Bill Sienkiewicz, David Mack, possibly Vince Locke, and/or other abstract artists in the comics field.


52. Steve Bryant and Mark Stegbauer, Ghoul Scouts, v. 1: Night of the Unliving Undead. a group of kids band together to figure out what happened when zombies invade their town. It's the Walking Dead but for all ages, where it still takes head shots to kill a zombie, but none of them are gross or bleeding a lot. The kids have chemistry and make decent tour guides when it comes to preparing your own kids for the zombie apocalypse, and confirms you can ward off a zombie with a potato gun if you set your mind to it.


53. Brandon Easton, Lyndsay Faye, N. Steven Harris, Steven Grant, et al., Watson and Holmes, v. 2. In this version Watson is basically Detective Luke Cage and Holmes is his shorter, sometimes smarter, equally black, dreadlocked partner. The adventures are transplanted to NYC and are more like crime dramas than detail-oriented mysteries, but are eminently serviceable in that vein.


54. Trevor Mueller and Gabo, Albert the Alien, v. 3: Home Life. Continuing the all-ages misadventures of the naive but advanced foreign exchange student from beyond. Harmless fun for kids and loaded with SF references for parents to pick out.


55. Brian K. Morris, The Original Skyman Battles the Master of Steam. An original prose novel starring one of many Golden Age heroes whose rights have been snapped up over the decades by various smaller publishers once they fell into public domain. Fans of olde-tyme superheroics should enjoy Skyman's return here, his simple ways of life, the occasional callbacks to unbelievable plot devices of yore, and -- most importantly -- the joys of Nazi-punching.


56. Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten, Umbral, v. 1: Out of the Shadows. Dark fantasy about a young lady, an aging magician, and other varying companions in a faraway land eluding shape-shifting monsters seeking the magical MacGuffin in her clutches, complicated by the fact that she doesn't trust magic and the monsters keep returning in the forms of the book's earlier tragedies. It's mostly a lot of well-drawn running and running, very little explaining or coherent world-building, interspersed with bits of slaughter and cackling disembodied ghouls. The series only managed one more volume before it was canceled unexpectedly, so I had a hard time investing myself in it. Looks great, though.

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  • 4 weeks later...

57. Joshua Williamson, Carmine DiGiandomenico, et al. The Flash: Rebirth, Deluxe Edition vol. 1. The most recent relaunch of the Scarlet Speedster brought new challenges (a super-speedster epidemic!), new super-speed-hero pun names (Godspeed! Fast Track!), and an unexpected surprise for fans of James Robinson's Starman. DC's "Rebirth" initiative went a long way toward recapturing the feel of classic arcs without the burden of caring much about The New 52.


58. Joshua Hale Fialkov and Gabo, The Life After, vol. 1. A dead young man finds himself mistakenly sent to the purgatory where suicides go, only to find himself cursed with the power to see the fates of the dead, pursued by a Brazil-style bureaucracy intent on fixing its systemic mistakes, and teamed up with the only suicide who can help him: Ernest Hemingway. I'm not a big fan of "Everything You Know About the Afterlife Is Wrong" or "Well Actually the Universe is Governed Corruptly" tales, but this one's better illustrated and less cynically offensive than most.


59. Various, Sagebrush and Tumbleweeds: A Western Comics Anthology. Each year the Louisville Cartoonist Society assembles a themed collection by local creators, none of them famous in the medium and -- judging by the results here -- almost none of them ready for prime-time. A few might get high marks as high school art assignments, but when the best of the lot is a Kate Bush songfic...I guess it's nice that my money went toward encouraging aspiring artists? Sort of?


60. Gerry Conway, Chris Claremont, John Buscema, Carmine Infantino, Jim Mooney, et al. Essential Ms. Marvel vol. 1. With Marvel's Captain Marvel coming to theaters in March, now seemed like a great time to visit the original adventures of Carol Danversin her first-appearance sexist costume, entirely written and drawn by males. (The now-moribund Marvel "Essential" collections reprinted two years' worth of comics in a big chunk made affordable by printing on cheap paper in black-and-white, perversely deleting all the handiwork of colorist Marie Severin, the lone female artist across two dozen stories.) Carol's early days saw her as an Air Force veteran turned '70s women's-lib magazine editor, struggling with her Kree-borne powers and her boss J. Jonah Jameson, and mostly fighting other heroes' arch-villains. These stories also featured the first Marvel Universe appearances of Mystique and Rogue, making for a fun history lesson, albeit hard to recommend to a modern audience out of context.


61. Joe Casey and Tom Scioli, Godland vol. 1. Astronaut Adam Archer gets vast superpowers and fights evil on behalf of the American government, aided and abetted by his three sisters, one of whom has her own STEM-heavy skill set and is none too keen on playing sidekick. The whole thing is one big Jack Kirby homage, with square jaws and crackling energies and messed-up sci-fi villains (one baddie's head is a skull free-floating in a liquid-filled dome), but Casey the writer (a co-creator of Ben 10) eschews the cheesiness of Kirby the writer and instills the otherworldly characters with more natural, current-century voices.


62. Ransom Riggs, A Map of Days: The Fourth Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children. Probably kicking off a new trilogy, the last one ended with Our Heroes departing their merry-olde-England time loop (the formerly titular "Home For" them having been destroyed) and seeking refuge in present-day Florida. Central character Jacob Portman has to teach this bunch of time-traveling friends our strange and confusing ways, figure out how to deal with his non-peculiar blood family, learn new secrets about his dead grandfather's past adventures, navigate a romantic relationship with his grandpa's ex-girlfriend (the inherent "ew" factor finally moves front and center), and deal with new assignments, new peculiars, new lies told to Miss Peregrine (who's much more entertaining now that she's played by Eva Green in my head instead of Miss Beetle from Little House), and the complicated politics of American peculiars, which are vastly awful and touchy compared to what he's used to. It naturally ends on a cliffhanger, but it's an effective perpetuation of the series and filled with yet another round of vintage pics, though not as bizarre as those seen in earlier books. I think Riggs' collection is running low on "how-did-they-do-that" enigmas, so now he's digging into his "non-weird but really moody" scrapbook.



...and that's probably it for 2018. One of my most productive reading years in ages.

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  1. The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace, H.W. Brands: Standard fare by one of America's premier historians.
  2. Brave Men, Ernie Pyle - A compilation of the famous war correspondent's reports from the front and the men he met.
  3. Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel, James Luceno ~ Want the backstory of Orson Krennic's development and recruitment for the Death Star project?
  4. Reagan: The Life, H.W. Brands ~ Epic story of successes and failures of Ronald Reagan during his journey to the pinnacle of power.
  5. Power & Destiny: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, Jon Meacham ~ Gentle narrative of the man who had done everything and had nowhere else to go but the Presidency.
  6. James and Dolley Madison: America’s First Power Couple, Bruce Chadwick ~ The partnership between the anti-social Madison and his vibrant wife.
  7. The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914: Margaret McMillan ~ Breaks down the events in the late 19th/early 20th century that led to the outbreak of WWI.
  8. Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest Finest Hour, Lynn Olson ~ War correspondents living in London during the war and losing their objectivity.
  9. Dunkirk: The Men They Left Behind, Sean Longden ~ The untold tale of the men who were captured and languished in German P.O.W. camps for five years.
  10. Old Man River: The Mississippi River in North American History, Paul Schneider ~ Part travelogue, part historical yarn.
  11. The General vs The President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, H.W. Brands ~ What happens when a hero courted by the media undermines American foreign policy and the authority of President publicly.
  12. Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow ~ The book that started the craze; the epic tale of the orphan who fought a Revolution, created an economy and died ignominiously.
  13. Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View ~ Short stories encompassing the SW universe; my favorite one involved Admiral Motti's incident report about being strangled in the Death Star briefing room.
  14. Millard Fillmore, Paul Finkelman ~ Short biography of the 13th President and his disappointing post-Presidential career.
  15. George Mason: Forgotten Founder, Jeff Broadwater ~ Biography of one of the founders who wouldn't sign the Constitution.
  16. The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness, Harlow Giles Unger ~ The Era of Good Feeling also saw the end of the revolutionary generation.
  17. The Russian Revolution: A New History, Sean McMeekin ~ With 100 years of perspective behind it, the book documents the betrayal of the oppressed Russian people by those who promised them a socialist paradise.
  18. Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America, Walter R. Borneman ~ The efficient, ruthless rise of a man who accomplished all of his Presidential goals.
  19. The Third Reich in Power, Richard J. Evans ~ Follow-up to a book I read last year, "The Coming of the Third Reich", Evans takes us through the Reich's early years and how power was ultimately solidified.
  20. John Tyler: The Accidental President, Edward P. Crapol ~ What happens when a President dies and the Constitution is unclear as to what happens next. The story of what happened when this occurred for the first time.
  21. Martin Van Buren, Ted Widner ~ Small biography of the 8th President.
  22. Founding Mothers, Cokie Roberts ~ Want to learn more about the mothers, grandmothers, wives and sisters of the Revolutionary generation?
  23. The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur, Mark Perry ~ Biography of one of the most well-known, most-respected and recklessly insubordinate generals in American history.
  24. Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man, Walter Stahr ~ One of the most important members of Lincoln's cabinet and would-be assassination target gets the royal treatment here.
  25. The Third Reich at War, Richard J. Evans ~ After building up the confidence and the economy of the German people, the regime now leads them to war.
  26. All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay from Lincoln to Roosevelt, John Taliaferro ~ From a Secretary to Abraham Lincoln to a statesman of the new century.
  27. Goebbels: A Biography, Peter Longerich ~ The meticulous, fanatical Minister of Propaganda from his earliest beginnings to his inevitable end.
  28. James Buchanan and the Coming of the Civil War, John W. Quist and Michael J. Birkner ~ A series of essays about the failures of our 15th President to prevent the nation from unraveling.
  29. Jonathan Jennings: Indiana’s First Governor, Randy K. Mills ~ The unremarkable life and end of a drunk who ended up in an unmarked grave. No, seriously.
  30. The Roughest Riders: The Untold Stories of the Black Soldiers in the Spanish-American War, Jerome Tuccille.~ The fight for equality end the army didn't begin here, but it continued to progress.
  31. Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman Behind the Legend, John E. Miller ~ The story of the real Laura Ingalls on her journey to becoming a beloved writer.
  32. Heir to the Empire City: New York and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt, Edward P. Kohn ~ The impact of life in NYC on the mores and development of one of our most progressive Presidents.
  33. Mrs. Lincoln: A Life, Catherine Clinton ~ The much maligned and oft-misunderstood life of the long-suffering Mary Todd Lincoln.
  34. The American Vice-Presidency: From Irrelevance to Power, Jules Witcover ~ Mini-biographies of America's vice-presidents.
  35. Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert. E. Lee, Michael Korda ~ The complicated life of the man who would lead the Confederate Army.
  36. The Nuremburg Trials: The Nazis and Their Crimes Against Humanity, Paul Roland: ~ Coffee Table book. Not much detail that can't be found elsewhere.
  37. Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism, Doris Kearns Goodwin ~ Goodwin includes a fair biography of Taft, along with the story of investigative reporters like Ida Tarbell to describe the great changes on the American landscape at the turn of the century.
  38. Shiloh, 1862: Winston Groom ~ Groom's detailed description of the events that made up the bloody Tennessee battle.
  39. Time and Chance: Gerald Ford’s Appointment with History, James Cannon ~ How a nice guy ended up the 38th President.
  40. Vicksburg 1863, Winston Groom ~ One of the turning points of the Civil War done in Groom's detailed style.
  41. After Lincoln: How the North Won the Civil War and Lost the Peace, A.J. Langguth ~ A war-weary country combined with realpolitik to stymie racial progress.
  42. Signing Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the United States Constitution, Denise Kiernan & Joseph D’Agnese ~ They risked a lot to forge a new namtion; some risked everything.
  43. The Forgotten Conservative: Rediscovering Grover Cleveland, John M. Pafford ~ An examination of the fiscal policies of the 22nd and 24th President also serves as a decent biography.
  44. The Johnstown Flood, David McCullough ~ McCullough uses archival data and personal stories in his inimitable storytelling style.
  45. Stalin’s Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War, Robert Gellately ~ How Stalin used bigotry, class warfare and terror to stay in power.
  46. Mussolini’s Italy: Life Under the Dictatorship, R.J.B. Bosworth ~ A detailed account of the muddled Fascist regime in Italy.
  47. Looking for Anne of Green Gables: The Story of L.M. Montgomery and Her Literary Classic, Irene Gammel ~ The troubled life of one of the most beloved children's authors.
  48. Grant, Ron Chernow ~ Chernow gives Grant the Hamilton treatment in this huge biography.
  49. A Great and Glorious Adventure: A History of the Hundred Years War and the Birth of Renaissance England, Gordon Corrigan ~ It really was just a bunch of mini wars, I swear.
  50. Patriotic Fire: Andrew Jackson and Jean Laffite at the Battle of New Orleans, Winston Groom ~ How America used mercenaries to supplement its Navy during the War of 1812.
  51. The Story of Charlotte’s Web: E.B. White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic, Michael Sims ~ The biography of White and his efforts to tell a fake story grounded in reality.
  52. The House By The Lake, Thomas Harding ~ A vacation home goes through generations of change as different German families occupy it during the turbulent 20th century.
  53. Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution, Ruth Scurr ~ How people who oppose tyranny can become the tyrants themselves.
  54. The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull and the Battle of Little Bighorn, Nathaniel Philbrick ~ The missteps of one of the US Army's most colorful, and despicable, figures.
  55. The Tudors: The Complete History of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty, G.J. Meyer ~ And you thought Henry the VIIIth was bad? Wait'll you see his kids!
  56. The Vikings, Neil Oliver ~ archaeological attempt to breathe life into the storied Norsemen.
  57. The Third Reich in History and Memory, Richard J. Evans ~ A series of book reviews and essays that analyze what we think about the Third Reich today and why we think what we do, sometimes erroneously.
  58. Roanoke: Solving the Mystery of the Lost Colony, Lee Miller ~ An analysis of the events in England that caused the colonists to be abandoned and the efforts to find their trail.
  59. John Jay, Walter Stahr ~ America's first Chief Justice's biography.
  60. Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President, Candice Millard ~ The Gilded Age was remarkable for its technological innovations, none of which could save James Garfield.
  61. The Assassination of the Archduke, Greg Kind and Sue Woolmans ~ The life of Franz Ferdinand, his struggle for recognition and the death which sparked the First World War.
  62. Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, Daniel Goldhagen ~ Explores how apathy, cultural anti-semitism and economic considerations caused people to act as a cog in the machine of murder.
  63. Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments That Redeemed America, Douglas R. Egerton ~ The struggle of black soldiers didn't stop at being allowed to enlist.
  64. Isabella of Castille: Europe’s First Great Queen, Giles Tremlett ~ The forging of modern Spain began with the marriage of between the heirs of Castille and Aragon.
  65. Hitler’s Last Courier: A Life in Transition, Armin Lehmann ~ A peace activist looks back upon his years as a teenage Hitler Youth boy who witnessed the last days in Berlin.
  66. The Peasant Prince: Thaddeus Kosciuszko and the Age of Revolution, Alex Storozynski ~ How a Polish engineer helped us win the Revolution, then returned home to try to help his own country.
  67. Hitler’s Traitor: Martin Bormann and the Defeat of the Reich, Louis Kilzer ~ Conspiracy theory that Hitler was betrayed at the top by one of his closest advisors.
  68. The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered, Laura Auricchio ~ A lengthy biography of the Marquis de Lafayette's life.
  69. Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior & President, Ari Hoogenboom ~ An extremely lengthy biography of America's 19th President.
  70. No Ordinary Time: Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, Doris Kearns Goodwin ~ Goodwin's account of the partnership between the two Roosevelts to bring America through the war.
  71. The Unexpected President: The Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur, Scott Greenberger ~ How a party machinery hack found himself President and was inspired to change his reputation by a admiring shut-in.
  72. Eva Braun: Life With Hitler, Heike B Grtemaker ~ The complex psychology of a sheltered young woman who is one of the great mysteries of the Third Reich.
  73. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West, Stephen Ambrose ~ The personalities that made up the exploration of the Louisiana Territory and the journey that made history.
  74. The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England, Dan Jones ~ Straighforward account of the Anjou dynasty.
  75. Unlikely General: Mad Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America, Mary Stockwell ~ The flamboyant life of little-discussed General of the Revolution.
  76. Francis I: The Maker of Modern France, Leonie Frieda ~ passable biography of one of France's greatest.
  77. The Family Medici: The Hidden History of the Medici Dynasty, Mary Hollingsworth ~ Excellent study of the art-collecting family from Florence.
  78. The Shadow Emperor: A Biography of Napoleon III, Alan Strauss-Schom ~ When you're not quite good enough and you're stuck ruling France...
  79. Louis XIV, Anthony Levi ~ The Sun King in all his glory.
  80. Woodrow Wilson: A Biography, John Milton Cooper, Jr ~ Our 27th President warts and all.
  81. Goering: The Rise and Fall of the Notorious Nazi Leader, Roger Manvell & Henrich Fraenkel ~ Basic biography of Htler's henchmen.
  82. Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Henry Blackaby & Claude King ~ standard Christian help fare
  83. Just Give Me Jesus, Anne Graham Lotz ~ inspirational back to basics evangelistical work.
  84. Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler’s Defeat, Giles Milton ~ Fascinating discussion of the secret department of misfits designated to fight dirty.
  85. Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom: Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys and the American Revolution, Christopher Wren ~ Unflattering portrayal of some of the Revolution's most famous, and little-mentioned, names.
  86. Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation, John Ferling ~ How the United States developed based upon the philosophies of two very different men.
  87. The Wright Brothers, David McCullough ~ Excellent narrative about the turn-of-the-century brothers who innovated themselves into history.
  88. Memoir of a Revolutionary Soldier, Joseph Plumb Martin ~ Fascinating account of life in the War for Independence by an ordinary person.
  89. Franklin Pierce, Michael F. Holt ~ Short biography of our 15th President.
  90. American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague, Civil War” Belle of the North” and Gilded Age Woman of Scandal, John Oller ~ One of the true celebrities of the 19th century and her scheming to keep her family on top.
  91. Frederick the Great: King of Prussia, Tim Blanning ~ The disturbing life of one of the greatest of German rulers...folks, go easy on your kids when they're young.
  92. One Giant Leap: Neil Armstrong’s Stellar American Journey, Leon Wagener ~ Reverent biography of the first man to set foot on the moon, from his birth to his struggle to maintain his privacy in the post-space exploration era.
  93. Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams, Louisa Thomas ~ The remarkable woman who was wife to one President and mother to another.
  94. The Bitter Taste of Victory: Life, Love and Art in the Ruins of the Reich, Lara Feigel ~ How writers, musicians, directors and actors tried to use culture to change Germany in the post-war period.
  95. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin ~ The cabinet of Abraham Lincoln contributed greatly to his development as a leader under pressure.
  96. Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman, Robert K. Massie ~ From naive German princess to the undisputed ruler of all the Russias, the saga of one of Russia's greatest figures.
  97. A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan, Michael Kazin ~ The original advocate for the common man. Remembering a time when one man's popularity nearly all others for nearly four decades.
  98. The Battle of Ezra Church and the Struggle for Atlanta, Earl J. Hess ~ Serviceable tale of the Civil War battle.
  99. The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe: A Biography, Elaine Showalter ~ The story of the female writer of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and her struggles to be acknowledged.
  100. The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage and the Founding of America, Rebecca Fraser ~ Incredibly good tale of the people who boarded the Mayflower, their dreams, their goals and the reality of their life in the New World.
  101. Ten Days That Shook the World, John Reed ~ Reed's naive and hardly objective view of the Russian Revolution.
  102. Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times, Joel Richard Paul ~ The Chief Justice that put the Supreme Court on the map,straddles ideology to redefine the highest bench.
  103. The First Lady of Fleet Street: The Life of Rachel Beer: Crusading Heiress and Newspaper Editor, Eilat Negev and Yehuda Koren ~ Interesting, but ultimately, disposable biography of a little-known female journalist.
  104. “They Have Killed Papa Dead!”: The Road to Ford’s Theatre, Abraham Lincoln’s Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance, Anthony S. Pitch ~ Well-down account of the conspiracy against Lincoln and the hunt for his killer.
  105. Only 317 Survived: USS Indianapolis (CA-35) Navy’s Worst Tragedy at Sea – 880 Men Died, USS Indianapolis Survivors ~ Accounts by survivors of their experiences on board and in the sea.
  106. Magnificent Desolation, Buzz Aldrin ~ Largely self-serving memoirs of one of America's biggest heroes.
  107. Hunting Evil: The Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped the Quest to Bring Them to Justice, Guy Walters ~ How realpolitik and the realities of the post-war era combined to allow murderers to go unpunished for decades.
  108. The Burden of Hitler's Legacy, Alfons Heck ~ Follow-up to Heck's previous memoir that studies his journey from Hitler Youth leader incarcerated by the French to partnering with a Holocaust survivor to bring the story of the past to young people in America.





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