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Old 10-18-2009, 06:13 AM
 
Location: The Midst of Insanity
3,224 posts, read 6,523,350 times
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I love history in general. I was reading a lot on WWI, then WWII, now I've been getting into Soviet history-in particular the history of the Gulags (forced labor camp system), the purges, and collectivization. I know, nothing too pretty and happy. Brutal, breathtaking, utterly fascinating.

What kind of history do you fancy? What in particular have you been reading lately?
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Historical fiction or non-fiction? I've read a lot of historical fiction - Tudor, Egyptian, Medieval. Of the non-fiction I've read, most of it has been autobiographies - 2 written by geisha's. But most recently I read David Starkey's "Henry, Virtuous Prince" which is the first half biography of Henry VIII.

I'm not very into wars or more modern history. The only interest I have in those time periods relates specifically to my ancestry.

Last edited by PA2UK; 10-18-2009 at 09:13 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
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For me, it's not so much the kind of history but rather who the author is. I will pretty much read anything [and have listed my favs] by James McPherson (Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution), Nathaniel Philbrick (In The Heart of the Sea), Mark Bowden (Killing Pablo), and Mark Kurlansky (The Basque History of the World). No matter what their subject matter, they write great, informative non-fiction books. I also enjoy non-fiction about animals and/or animal behavior. Never Cry Wolf and Seabiscuit are among my animal behavior favs, and the latter includes a lot of early 20th-century American history.
If you are interested in Soviet history, a great accompaniment is the film Burnt By the Sun; not a book but an excellent film that illustrates the specific historical era to which you are referring.
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
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My husband loves to read about Civil War history and WW2 History. As for me I like a well researched historical novel, such as those that Eugenia Price wrote about the Civil War era. I was so absorbed by them that I evenutally took a trip to the area she wrote about. Savannah and the Golden Isles area of Georgia.
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:56 AM
 
1,995 posts, read 3,079,410 times
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Not straight history so much for me but I generally read historical novels set in the 1700s or 1800s. Lately, I have been reading some old books which are accidently historical (most of them are written in the early 40s) and I am finding them interesting apart from the subject matter of the plot for the references they contain to life at the time. The only bad thing is that the frequent references to cigarettes are making me remember how much I enjoyed smoking!
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:24 PM
 
13,510 posts, read 15,425,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
I love history in general.
Same here, and as I have gotten older it has almost entirely replaced any fiction reading.
Quote:

What kind of history do you fancy? What in particular have you been reading lately?
Most recently it was the history of New York and New Jersey from the Dutch colonial era through the Revolution; with a heavy dose of reading on the founding of the settlements in present-day Ontario for those who remained loyal to the Crown and left the new republic. History of Loyalist colonials was virtually non-existent when I went to school, and since then I have discovered that a major portion of my maternal ancestors were Loyalists of Dutch and German origin who left for Canada...prior to this I had just assumed that all of my maternal family had migrated from Europe to Canada, when in fact they were early settlers in New Netherland colony.

I have also lived in Cyprus and Portugal and have enjoyed boning up on the history of these places. I went to see Istanbul and did a bit of reading before I went, but I was so impressed by the city's architecture that I picked up a couple of books on the Ottomans....and these sort of tied back into what I had read in Cyprus.

And I have long enjoyed reading about Irish archeology and history.
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
35,822 posts, read 35,635,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
I love history in general. I was reading a lot on WWI, then WWII, now I've been getting into Soviet history-in particular the history of the Gulags (forced labor camp system), the purges, and collectivization. I know, nothing too pretty and happy. Brutal, breathtaking, utterly fascinating.

What kind of history do you fancy? What in particular have you been reading lately?
I don't care for historical biographies but sometimes I have to read them for my book discussion group.

The last American history book that I read and enjoyed, for a time in which I did not live, was about the Donner Party called "Desperate Passage: The Donner Party's Perilous Journey West" by Ethan Rarick.

I've recently ordered "The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History" and hope I like it.

I usually like to read about historical tragedy or an event rather than read about a period. For example, I'd rather read about a battle than a war. I'd rather read about an escape, a massacre, a capture or a rescue than read about "prison camps," in general. I'd rather read about the Hamilton/Burr conflict than read biographies of either man.

"The Killing Fields" was a book I enjoyed. In the past I read a lot about the holocaust.

I read more recent history (within the last 50 - 60 years) than long ago history when it comes to Asia, Europe, Africa or South America.
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Welland, Ontario Canada
321 posts, read 748,536 times
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I love reading historical books. I'm just reading one called "Mutiny" which is the true story that the movie "The hunt for Red October" only in this case it wasn't a russian sub that mutinied it was a russian anitsubmarine ship that mutinied and they never made it to America because that wasn't where they were headed. The sailors who mutinied (the captain was not part of this) wanted to bring attention to what they considered the terrible government in the former USSR.

I like reading books about ship disasters (excluding Titanic which I am heartily sick of hearing about) especially ships like the Goya, General Steuben, Cap Arcona, Thielbeck and Wilhelm Gustloff who were sunk by enemy fire while transferring thousands of refugees out of war torn Europe. To this day they don't know exactly how many died.

I recently read the book by Peter Maas (title eludes me), about the sinking of the submarine USS Squalus and the valiant effort made by Swede Momsen and his personnel to raise her up and save those sailors who were still alive. I"m trying to get a copy of the book about the sinking of the USS Scorpion - even though I believe it was equipment failure - still it's good to read what other people think.

I love reading English history - pre-tudor times. I especially enjoy reading novels about the Wars of the Roses.

I think that's about it.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,527 posts, read 7,757,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
I love history in general. I was reading a lot on WWI, then WWII, now I've been getting into Soviet history-in particular the history of the Gulags (forced labor camp system), the purges, and collectivization. I know, nothing too pretty and happy. Brutal, breathtaking, utterly fascinating.

What kind of history do you fancy? What in particular have you been reading lately?
************************************************** *****
I love novels with a historical setting. Two of the best I have read in the past ten years are PILLARS OF THE EARTH and the sequel to it by Ken Follet. I am interested in architecture and basic technology and Follet gives a lot of the details about "how to" in his books. Follet is great about explaining how the politics and technologies of a certain time period are interrelated. Plus he tells a great story.

GL2
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,527 posts, read 7,757,955 times
Reputation: 7463
Quote:
Originally Posted by annika08 View Post
I love history in general. I was reading a lot on WWI, then WWII, now I've been getting into Soviet history-in particular the history of the Gulags (forced labor camp system), the purges, and collectivization. I know, nothing too pretty and happy. Brutal, breathtaking, utterly fascinating.

What kind of history do you fancy? What in particular have you been reading lately?
************************************************** *****
I love novels with a historical setting. Two of the best I have read in the past ten years are PILLARS OF THE EARTH and the sequel to it by Ken Follet. I am interested in architecture and basic technology and Follet gives a lot of the details about "how to" in his books. Follet is great about explaining how the politics and technologies of a certain time period are interrelated. Plus he tells a great story.

GL2
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