Thursday, April 4, 2013

Book Review Thursday - 4/4

And we are back after a bit of a hiatus. I have 4 book reviews to catch up on, but I might only get to one tonight. We'll see how I do. :)

A couple of weeks ago, I finished Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. This novel is a nonfiction book about the life of James A. Garfield focusing mainly on his political career and his assassination.

I have been trying to clean up my iPod and read the books that have been downloaded for a while and I have been reading them in alphabetical order for the most part. When I got to this book, I wasn't sure what to expect because the author is new to me and I don't read a lot of nonfiction because I find them to be very dry and boring.

Once I started listening to this book, I couldn't turn it off. Garfield came from poverty in northern Ohio and ended up becoming a beloved politician. He won his party's presidential nomination against his will and ended up winning the presidency as well. Four months after his inauguration, he was shot twice by a mentally unstable man who had been trying to get an office under Garfield.

Garfield was shot during the times where some doctors understood that there was a need to cleanliness. Unfortunately, the doctor who took over Garfield's case was not one of these doctors. The wounds Garfield endured were ones that could have been survived.

I think that I enjoyed this book so much because it was written and read in a way that was like a friend sharing a story and not in the manner of a regurgitation of facts. I had tried reading something about Shakespeare a couple of years ago and it was so dry that I couldn't make it through the first chapter, I think. But this book was very good. If I could find more books written in this fashion, I could see myself becoming a fan of the nonfiction!


Jennifer said...

I haven't read this one but sounds good. A good one which is fiction but based in history is Devil in the White City - set in Chicago in the time leading up to the World's Fair - you might enjoy it when you finish the ones already on your iPod!

tudorc said...

I loved this book and had my book club read it to rave reviews. My daughter is in love with this author's book, River of Doubt about Teddy Roosevelt. As already mentioned, Erik Larson is a master story teller and I would strongly recommend Isaac's Storm. And, of course, wonderful Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. DH and I listened to it on a road trip and it was soo good.....

desertskyquilts said...

Thanks for this great recommendation! I would say that Isaac Asimov's 2-volume autobiography was as good as his fiction stories. I don't generally read biographies for the same reason you don't, but I did like his. In Memory Yet Green and In Joy Still Felt. You have to buy used versions, because they came out in 1979 and 1980, but it's worth it.

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