Pearl Harbor: FDR Leads the Nation Into War

Are you guys tired of me whining about reading my husband’s books yet? Because I am. Why am I still torturing myself (and you)?

Yeah, I don’t know either.

12901821

In all honesty, Steven Gillon’s account of Pearl Harbor wasn’t bad. It was quite informative. My version of the battle on December 7 comes from that Ben Affleck movie (mmmm Josh Hartnett. Whatever happened to him?). You don’t see much of the President’s side of things, but it makes FDR look like a stoic teddy bear. My teddy bear image of him is furthered by seeing him in Annie, wheeling across the lawn with Eleanor by his side.

Come to find out, he was NOTHING like either of those movie depictions. Turns out he was actually kind of a disloyal jackass.

Anyway, it was interesting to read everything that happened in the moments after the Japanese strike–how hard information was to get, how secretive everything was, how the President and his staff handled it all. The book was a little dry, it definitely wasn’t super exciting or action-filled, but it’s not meant to be. It also wasn’t very long–under 200 pages. This isn’t a full bio of FDR, just an in-depth look at the days surrounding the attack. It’s just long enough to really give you the nitty gritty of that piece of history.

41: A Portrait of My Father

Finally, a “husband book” that I actually enjoyed! While I am only recently educating myself on current events and politics, R is EXTREMELY political. Oh man. If you bring up that subject at the dinner table, you better be ready for a debate. While he is not super conservative in a lot of things, he is very much a Republican…and so the more liberal I find myself…the more we disagree.

However, no matter what side of the coin I find myself, I will always find the lives of our presidents interesting. They have an incredibly difficult job, and the media twists and scandalizes them so much during their campaigns. At some point, it’s nice to just look back and see what created those leaders we see on our TVs every night.

22761137

George HW Bush was elected when I was 3, so I barely remember him being president. I mostly remember him running against Clinton in the 90s. However, I’ve grown up with him being in the background my entire life, through his charity and political events, especially once George W came into the seat.

41 confirmed what I always imagined him to be:  a kind, grandfatherly figure, much like my own grandpa (they even had similar glasses). George W, of course, lists his father’s political achievements, but really the book isn’t overly focused on policy. It wasn’t hard for me to follow what was going on. There was quite a bit of name dropping, but that is something I expected. Mostly, it’s just a son being proud of his dad, so much so that he followed in his footsteps.

The writing is typical George W, so don’t expect anything super fancy here. For me, that was a good thing, because it meant I was able to understand it! I’ve read political bios where I didn’t make it past the first chapter. I think most Republicans (and maybe some Democrats too) are going to appreciate this book. I know my husband will, once he gets around to reading it. 😉 Happy Birthday, honey.

 

Misson: Impossible

Time for this week’s edition of The Husband Book:  How Much Will She Hate It?

17569113

To be honest, Mission:  Impossible wasn’t so bad, really. The best part…it was super short–just over 200 pages. It was also one of the easiest reads I’ve had in awhile, so it was a nice break from all the French Lit I’ve been battling with.

Mostly though, it’s a book based on a movie. That’s not a pattern I generally enjoy. Movies based on books? Absolutely. Books have all the details, and movies give us the big picture. But try and take that big picture and put into a novel? It doesn’t work so well. There’s a lot of emotion missing from this, and I guess…for the average action hero guy who would pick this up…it’s probably all that is required.

 

I didn’t hate this one, but I didn’t love it either. Nice, easy read full of American action. It’s exactly what you expect it to be, and if you’ve seen the movie, you know everything about this book already. Mostly just another notch in my book post.

The Camelot Conspiracy

I am always on the fence on whether I should review a book I did not finish, and whether I should count it as “read.” And sometimes, I will even battle through a book just so that I could do those two things without guilt. Other times, it just isn’t worth it. There are other books to read, and today is my day off. After getting through half, it’s time to move on.

10665994

But first, why didn’t I finish The Camelot Conspiracy? Mostly, it’s just not my genre. This is very much what I call a “husband” book. Honestly, the entire time it has been on the shelf, I’ve thought it was nonfiction. The cover looks like one of those political histories, or whatever you want to call them. So when I read the author’s note and was informed it was actually a novel, I was very surprised! I’m trying to make my rounds through all the books in our collection…even the ones that aren’t “mine,” so I can read a bit out of my comfort zone, and this one came up in my cycle.

It didn’t start terribly. It was actually a little interesting for the first 100 pages. However, there is a lot going on, and I don’t know a lot about the Bay of Pigs and the Cold War. It’s not a period of history that is of particular interest to me, so a lot of the historical figures, dates, landmarks, etc were pretty fuzzy. I probably need to freshen up on my research into that era before I try to read fiction about it.

There also were SO many chess pieces in this game to keep track of. This is a novel of conspiracy, after all, and it got very confusing, very fast. I think that’s what did it for me in the end. Once I got lost…I was done for, and it no longer held my attention.

One more note–the editing in this book is a mess, which drives me absolutely insane. The quotation marks are so very often misplaced that it is hard to tell who is talking or when a conversation starts and ends, and sometimes they are missing altogether. Stuff like that just makes me nuts.

So there you have it. I don’t like to give bad reviews often, but I just couldn’t get behind this one.

Beware…This was Bad

I don’t typically keep books on my shelves that I don’t care for. I need the room to add more books! Plus, trading books back to the used book store means credits for me.

But, since The Golden Compass is a husband book…I suppose it’ll have to stay on my shelves.

 

wpid-img_20141013_093039.jpg

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

I had no idea that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a novella. My book is a normal sized book, so I was expecting a normal sized novel! However, the actual story is only 82 pages long, and the rest is filled with little penny dreadfuls. Interesting!

My habit is to read a short story every afternoon, so I’ll save those for later. That way I can move on to other books and reviews and such.

17982083

Speaking of reviews, this was another gothic that was just ok for me. The writing was very simple compared to Le Fanu’s, but after hearing about this story all my life, I was expecting way more out of it. It was mostly lawyering and letters. Sure, there was one murder…but we heard about it second hand, and we hardly even saw the monster.

Some stories are best left to the theatrical versions, I suppose.