Thursday, 25 August 2011

BTT: History

Sometimes I feel like the only person I know who finds reading history fascinating. It’s so full of amazing-yet-true stories of people driven to the edge and how they reacted to it. I keep telling friends that a good history book (as opposed to some of those textbooks in school that are all lists and dates) does everything a good novel does–it grips you with real characters doing amazing things.

Am I REALLY the only person who feels this way? When is the last time you read a history book? Historical biography? You know, something that took place in the past but was REAL.
I’m currently reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, so that’s history. Earlier this year I read a short story about Wallis Simpson that I really enjoyed, but I don’t seek out historical fiction - if I stumble upon it I’ll read it (but that happens rarely).

In my youth I recall reading some novel about who even knows what, and it ended with the Archduke Franz Ferdinand being shot, and I thought oooh, and started reading fiction that incorporated the events leading up to World War I, but not necessarily about the war. I also had a period of reading about World War II (both the events leading up to it and the Holocaust), the famine in Sweden, and slavery.

In terms of history in general I’m most interested in warfare, and when it comes to reading about it I prefer textbooks with clear explanations of military strategy rather than a fictional account of what may have happened at battle. I don’t want to read about how the soldiers had no shoes and torn jackets, I want to know how the war was fought, won, lost and why – facts stacked upon facts.


  1. I can handle historical fiction...but I don't think I've read any historical fact books own my own (outside of school).

    TRISH- Here's my BTT Post

  2. Wow! War and Peace has SO many pages! I'm not sure I want to start anything that big. I have Under The Dome by Stephen King, who I love, but it's 1088 pages so I haven't even attempted it yet.
    Here's Mine

  3. I'd rather hear a history lecture - especially at the actual site - than read about it.

  4. I've read a few of Russian/Soviet authors...but they can be 'so depressing'... but glad that I tackled them.
    Have you read Herman Wouk's books on WWII? Enjoyed those quite a bit!
    Here is my answer!

  5. I enjoy history facts about where I live, but truly like historical fiction.

  6. Some history can be very engaging, though I prefer my war stories to include the torn jacket and missing boots... but that's just me.

    Here's Mine: House Millar - BTT


  7. Impressive! War & Peace is on my bedside table at the moment, but it's gathering dust there, I have to admit. My goal this year is to read 111 books in the year 2011 and I keep saying if I have time, I'll make W&P number 111. If I don't, my final book might just have to be 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'!