A bit of a disclaimer: I was contacted by the University of North Texas Press to review Forging the Star on my website before the book comes out this month. I received a free review copy of the book, but I did not let that cloud my judgement as I read. Forging the Star: The Official Modern History of the United States Marshals Service by David S. Turk is a fantastic read for anyone interested in American history. It’s well written, dedicated to facts, and structured to near-perfection.
A History of the Wife is one of the best sociological works containing immense historical attributes and impactful perspectives that stuck with me from beginning to end. From the biblical tales of Adam and Eve to the late 1990’s representation of Hillary Clinton, author Marilyn Yalom drew records of historical significance and combined them with written analysis. A senior scholar at the Institute for Women and Gender at Stanford University (as of 2002), Marilyn Yalom obviously is an expert in the sociological constructs of gender and the passion for understanding the “roles” of husband and wife are blatantly obvious through every page.
Plagues and Peoples by William H. McNeill is an extraordinary historical read consisting of humankind’s records and assumptions of disease throughout our known past. From the construction of early human migrations up until briefly mentioned cases of disease within the 20th century, the original book was published in 1975. The version I acquired, however, was a version printed with a revised preface discussing Ebola and Aids which was re-published in 1998.
Very interesting, very questioning, and overall a fantastic merge of pure fiction and an alternative perspective for what might have taken place had the South gotten a hold of machinery and weaponry more powerful than the Union. There are very few moments that make me question the time period — showing lots of research on the Civil War and the society that functioned within it. But, hardcore historians have to realize that this is a work of fiction — sci-fi time travelling mixed with mind blowing alternate detail.
With a fantastic plot, interesting development, and an honestly perfect, rather humorous ending that actually made me laugh, The Revelation of Herman Smiley is definitely a book I’d recommend to anyone interested in philosophy, religion, or humanities in general. And even if you’re not interested in any of those things, you’d be surprised at how much you’ll learn from this 167 page book.
Wonder, a modern classic in the young adult genre written by R. J. Palacio, is a story about a disfigured middle-schooler from the perspective of six (seven if you have the special edition) different characters. Touching on the concepts of bullying, friendship, and individuality, the book is obviously targeted towards preteens that deal with these topics on a day to day basis.