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    • Michelle

      Important Announcement!   07/28/2018

      Dear BCF members,   This forum has been running now for many years, and over that time we have seen many changes. Generalised forums are nowhere near as popular as they once were, and they have been very much taken over by blogs, vlogs and social media discussions. Running a forum well takes money, and a lot of care and attention, as there is so much which goes on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.   With all of this in mind, and after discussion within the current moderator team, the decision has been made to close this forum in its current format. I know that this will disappoint a lot of our long term members, but I want to reassure you that it's not a decision which has been taken lightly.    The remaining moderator team have agreed that we do not want to lose everything which is special about our home, and so we are starting a brand new facebook group, so that people can stay in touch, and discussions can continue. We can use it for free and should be easier for us to run (it won't need to be updated or hosted). We know not everyone has FaceBook, but we hope that those of you who are interested will join the group. We will share the link, and send invites as soon as we are ready to go. Added: We may as well get this going, find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/195289821332924/   The forum will close to new registrations, but will remain open for some time, to allow people to collect up any information, reading lists etc they need to, and to ensure they have contact details for those they wish to stay in touch with.    The whole team feel sad to say goodbye, but we also feel that it's perhaps time and that it feels like the right choice. We hope we can stay in touch with all of you through our new FaceBook group.   I personally want to thank everyone who has helped me moderate the forum, both in the past and the present, and I also want to thank every single person who has visited, and shared their love of books.. I'm so proud of everything we've achieved, and the home we built.   Please visit the new section in the Lounge section to discuss this further, ask questions etc.
Anna Begins

Anna Begins 2017

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Great review :)! I'm glad you enjoyed Prague Winter so much. It's a big book, but you read it pretty quick!

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Oh yes, isn't the bar the Red Pony? His friend is Native American? I really want to read the book!

 

Yes - the friend`s played by Lou Diamond Phillips. :) 

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Yes - the friend`s played by Lou Diamond Phillips. :)

 

I didn't know that! Remember Young Guns? I think we are about the same age :D

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Great review :)! I'm glad you enjoyed Prague Winter so much. It's a big book, but you read it pretty quick!

Three and a half days! :o

 

Definitely one for my wish list, thanks Anna!! :)

I know you like reading about WWII, I think you'd really like it.

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Three and a half days! :o

That is insane :o. Well done :D.

 

I hope you like 1984 upon re-read :)!

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I didn't know that! Remember Young Guns? I think we are about the same age :D

 

:lol:

 

That came out while I was at University, but I don`t think I saw it. :)

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Lurved Young Guns!!! A young Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez! :)

I had the biggest crush on Emilio Estevez!

 

Wishing you a wonderful year of reading, Anna B.  :smile: 

And to you as well :)

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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L Shirer (1147 pages)

 

If you're looking for a book about the holocaust, the lives of Nazi occupied people, or what life was like for the average German, this is not your book.

 

In The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William L Shirer used journals of the upper echelon of Nazi government, which include background information about their foreign relations, along with top secret commands, and statements from Nuremberg. Having searched thousands of newly released documents, Shirer presents them in a way that is somewhat confusing in the beginning, but settles into a rhythm.

 

I read 100 pages a day of 1147 and it was A LOT of history in just the 100 pages. I took several breaks a day.

 

The Blitz, landings at Normandy and even the occupations of some countries are barely mentioned. Only two chapters focus on society. One on German people's lives, but is more technical, like sub chapters on the justice system. The other is brief as well, focuses on what life was like under occupation and of concentration camps. That's it- two chapters. But the chapter about Barbarossa is 200 pages.

 

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich was published in 1960, so perhaps Shirer had only certain newly released documents available.

 

A highly respected journalist, Shirer reported from Nazi Germany in the early 30's, hearing and witnessing Hitler's massive rallies and speeches. He also traveled to many countries as they were invaded. Shirer has a book about his experiences, called Berlin Diaries.

 

William L Shirer started the bureau of Edward R Murrow's CBS in the 30's, was the only American reporter in Vienna when occupied in 1939 and was embedded with the German army as it invaded France. He also covered the Nuremberg trials from Germany in 1946.

 

The Rise and Fall is a masterpiece.

 

4/5

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Great review! It's not something I would personally read, but I'm glad you really liked it :).

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Great review, Anna. Back in the day I read tons of books on WWII/Hitler, and I am pretty sure I've read that one. I do remember the two names of volumes, one by John Toland, Adolph Hitler. Also, The Arms of Krupp by Manchester. Good stuff.

 

I think I read so much back then that I'm kind of "hitlered out". Heh.

 

Anyhow, Happy Reading! :D

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Great review! It's not something I would personally read, but I'm glad you really liked it :).

Thanks for cheering me on! :)

 

Great review, Anna. Back in the day I read tons of books on WWII/Hitler, and I am pretty sure I've read that one. I do remember the two names of volumes, one by John Toland, Adolph Hitler. Also, The Arms of Krupp by Manchester. Good stuff.

I think I read so much back then that I'm kind of "hitlered out". Heh.

Anyhow, Happy Reading! :D

My whole scope of interest is 1914 to about 1950, so I don't get bored. Plus, there are always new documents and opinions as time moves on. :) Madeleine Albright ' memoir Prague Winter was a refreshing reflection.

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My whole scope of interest is 1914 to about 1950, so I don't get bored. Plus, there are always new documents and opinions as time moves on. :) Madeleine Albright ' memoir Prague Winter was a refreshing reflection.

 

Ah, I was going to ask which was your favourite era. :) I`m an Industrial Revolution girl, though I like art deco, William Morris, and the books of the 30`s and 40`s. Plus, i`m getting more interested in the Elizabethans. :)

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The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L Shirer (1147 pages)

 

If you're looking for a book about the holocaust, the lives of Nazi occupied people, or what life was like for the average German, this is not your book.

 

In The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, William L Shirer used journals of the upper echelon of Nazi government, which include background information about their foreign relations, along with top secret commands, and statements from Nuremberg. Having searched thousands of newly released documents, Shirer presents them in a way that is somewhat confusing in the beginning, but settles into a rhythm.

 

I read 100 pages a day of 1147 and it was A LOT of history in just the 100 pages. I took several breaks a day.

 

The Blitz, landings at Normandy and even the occupations of some countries are barely mentioned. Only two chapters focus on society. One on German people's lives, but is more technical, like sub chapters on the justice system. The other is brief as well, focuses on what life was like under occupation and of concentration camps. That's it- two chapters. But the chapter about Barbarossa is 200 pages.

 

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich was published in 1960, so perhaps Shirer had only certain newly released documents available.

 

A highly respected journalist, Shirer reported from Nazi Germany in the early 30's, hearing and witnessing Hitler's massive rallies and speeches. He also traveled to many countries as they were invaded. Shirer has a book about his experiences, called Berlin Diaries.

 

William L Shirer started the bureau of Edward R Murrow's CBS in the 30's, was the only American reporter in Vienna when occupied in 1939 and was embedded with the German army as it invaded France. He also covered the Nuremberg trials from Germany in 1946.

 

The Rise and Fall is a masterpiece.

 

4/5

I had that book in my collection a long time ago but I am not sure if I read it, guess my memory isn't as good in my old age. :)

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I had that book in my collection a long time ago but I am not sure if I read it, guess my memory isn't as good in my old age. :)

It was a good book- thanks for reading my review! I'm glad to see you around more :)

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Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum (736 pages)

 

An epic history of Russia's gulag prison system, Anne Applebaum gives details of those that survived and of the lives of those who didn't.

 

From the famous to the peasant, 10- 12 million people died in the gulags of the frozen North and the deserts of the South. About 80% of the book deals with experiences and lives of those imprisoned in what was simply hell.

 

A reread for me, 5/5

 

 

A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (208 pages)

 

A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was a reread also, which began my interest in the history of the gulag system and branched out into overall Soviet history. I took four years of the Russian language in High School, so I've always been interested in Russian history.

 

Work is called off when the thermometer hits -40 below, unfortunately for Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, it's only -37 and after trying to get admitted to the infirmary, he's off to work.

 

I often read comments that Ivan Denisovich tries to get out of work all day, is lazy and sneaky. Even in my rereading of this novel, I see Ivan Denisovich as a survivor, an intelligent man and one who works just as hard as his team. Which is unimaginable.

 

Ivan Denisovich has worked his way to this desolate, frozen tundra, which is harsh but not like the previous camps he'd been incarcerated in. For doing nothing to be in the gulag system, Ivan Denisovich spends his day just trying to be... alive at the end of the day. Alas, just to start a new one.

 

5/5

Edited by Anna Begins

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Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut (270 pages)

 

I just can't believe how much I enjoyed this book. I am formally in love with Kurt Vonnegut and aim to read most of his 40 novels.

 

Howard Campbell Jr is a former Nazi imprisoned in Israel. Writing his memiors ahead of his certain death sentence, Campbell tells the story of how he worked in the Propaganda Ministry and became a spy for the United States. There is only one contact he had, the only one who can save his life.

 

If this all seem straightforward, I've deleted details that could jeopardize your experience :)

 

A background story that includes his dead wife and an elderly white supremacist makes quite a story, with a great ending. It led me straight to more Vonnegut, which led to Breakfast of Champions.

 

6/5

 

*Amazon's synopsis gives the book away.

 

 

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut (303 pages)

 

In his seventh novel, Vonnegut's Creator of the Universe aims to make all of his characters major ones, weaving such a tale, I'm not sure which I liked more, Breakfast of Champions or Mother Night.

 

This is the story of a second rate science fiction author named Kilgore Trout. He is invited to an arts convention in the small town of Midland City, Indiana.

 

The parallel story is of a man with schizophrenia who owns a car dealership in Midland City. He is going insane.

 

When the two meet up, the story rapidly makes a memorable ending after quite the head trip. Funny hand drawn pictures are delight throughout.

 

6/5

Edited by Anna Begins

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It's nice to see some reviews in your thread :). I'm glad you enjoyed these four books so much :).

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Glad you're enjoying Vonnegut :) I'm only read Slaughterhouse Five and I did like it, but I'm not sure I'd ever love his books quite as much as you seem to! :lol:

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I tried reading one of his books and couldn't stand it. :)

 

btw, when are you going to read a Western, you keep promising. :)

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Glad you're enjoying Vonnegut :) I'm only read Slaughterhouse Five and I did like it, but I'm not sure I'd ever love his books quite as much as you seem to! :lol:

I had only read Slaughterhouse Five as well (I thought it was weird, but that was a long time ago :P ), and I read about Mother Night in an article about how everyone in the US is freaking out and reading 1984. The article had 10 more books to read "now that you've read 1984" :D I just tend to like books that have dual realities or play with my head ;)

 

I tried reading one of his books and couldn't stand it. :)

 

btw, when are you going to read a Western, you keep promising. :)

I'm hoping The Cold Dish will excite me :) Sort of a Western Jack Reacher :D

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I'm #4 on the hold list at the library for Cold Dish so it will a couple weeks or more before I get to read it. Are you going to read it soon or will it be down the road a bit.

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