The Book Monster Vol. 4

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Summer finally decided to arrive and that means summer reading is here too. To me summer reading involves lemonade, pizza, a lawn chair, and a good book. Sometimes it involves a popsicle, a lawn chair, and a good book. I’m sure you get the picture. Whatever summer reading is to you I hope you’ve begun. If you’re not sure what to read this summer I’ve got a few suggestions below. I’ll keep the suggestions coming all summer long. So grab a book, grab a cold drink, and start reading.

“Shiloh,” by Shelby Foote: You may have seen the charming Civil War historian, Shelby Foote, on Ken Burns’ PBS documentary about the Civil War. But, before he was a historian he was a novelist. This historically accurate novel, “Shiloh”, chronicles the experience of a handful of  soldiers from the Union and Confederacy during the battle of Shiloh as they deal with boredom, fear, the absence of family, famous generals, and a plethora of battlefield horrors.  Although the main characters in the book are fictional, the author has included historically correct characterizations of men like Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Nathan Bedford Forest. In the author’s note he wrote, “Historical characters in this book speak the words they spoke and do the things they did at Shiloh.” I found this note of interest the book paints a great portrait of the Unions two greatest generals, Grant and Sherman. This book is historical fiction at its best.

“Creative Cursing,” Sarah Royal & Jillian Panarese: Do you feel like your foul language has gone stale? Having troubles coming up with new things to say under your breath when your boss’ back is turned toward you? This book is the answer. My wife gave this book to me for Christmas and it has not only helped us generate a more refined cursing vocabulary it has also provided us with lots of laughs and good times. The book is, “A mix ‘n’ Match Profanity Generator.” That means you can view two sets of pages at the same time. On the left side are  nouns, and on the the right side there are verbs. From there you can mix the pages and come up with words like “scum dangler” (this is probably one of the only curses from the book I could get away with on this column).

“What the Dog Saw,” By Malcom Gladwell: Have you ever wondered why condiments like mustard and barbeque sauce come in many different flavors, but ketchup only one? Or how to make your dog behave? Or if birth control pills can prevent cancer? Malcom Gladwell Answers these questions and more in this book. Gladwell is a grade-A journalist who knows how to find answers, even when the question is strange. Often using science as a medium to discover the truth, Gladwell’s discoveries will entertain the curious mind. If you like science, random facts, and you believe that there is no such thing as a stupid question, pick this book up and read it.

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