2014 – A Retrospective

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Steve has
completed his goal of reading 25 books in 2014!
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Having risen up to yet another Goodreads Reading Challenge (25 this year), it’s time to reflect over the memorable reads of 2014. Ironically, I only read one book actually published this year and that was the most recent, Killing Patton by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, hence my pick for the best of 2014 in History & Biography.

Steve’s 2014 Book Montage

Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General
Thermopylae: The Battle for the West
The Trojan War: A New History
The Wall (Intimacy) and Other Stories
The Fall
The Fifth Column
Hiroshima
The Forgetting Room: A Fiction
Edison: A Life of Invention
First Family: Abigail and John Adams
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Washington: A Life
The Innocent
The Stranger
Night of the Fox
The Confession
The Racketeer
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Rise of Silas Lapham
Poland



Steve’s favorite books »

Share book reviews and ratings with Steve, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

There are still nine more days remaining, so I may exceed my quota this year. And if not, I’ve got a good head start on the 2015 Reading Challenge.

Thanks for visiting and Happy Holidays!

Steve D.

Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General by Bill O’Reilly

Patton

When I saw “Patton” at the theater in 1970, I never suspected anything malicious about the General’s death. I thought it was ironic that he had survived the front-line battlefields of two world wars unscathed, only to meet his fate in a freak accident. But over the years, having become better read regarding all the circumstances of the times and having learned more about the world in general, I’m now convinced that the death of Patton was no accident.

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The Trojan War: A New History by Barry Strauss

1280px-Heroes_of_iliad_by_Tischbein

Having read Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” as a youth, the heroes of those poetic epics have remained embedded in my psyche for decades. Barry Strauss, History and Classics Professor at Cornell University, uses his knowledge and background to discern between what is real, what could be real and what would in all likelihood be pure myth in his book “The Trojan War: A New History”.

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Hiroshima – John Hersey

John Hersey

John Hersey

We were assigned John Hersey’s “The Child Buyer” in High School English, but being the juvenile delinquent that I was in those days, I probably shirked it off and scanned the Cliff’s notes instead. That would explain my lack of recollection of anything about the book or its author.

Now, years later, I am familiar with Hersey as being associated with a journalistic movement born from early 20th century realism writers such as Sinclair Lewis (Hersey’s onetime boss and a major influence), William Faulkner and Upton Sinclair (Lewis’s mentor), culminating to the later writers of the period such as Tom Wolfe, Guy Talese, Hunter Thompson, Norman Mailer and Truman Capote. The “New Journalism” style was a brutally honest approach of reporting which differed drastically from the previous, ultra-conservative schools of writing of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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