Krakatoa. August 27, 1883 - The Largest Explosion on Planet Earth
During this year of the first great Eclipse in 100 years, it is constructive to remember that the forces of Nature often control the destiny of men. Simon Winchester's "Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded" paints a vivid picture of this catastrophic event near Java in 1883, one that killed thousands and affected the world's climate for years. A fascinating story of an amazing, long-ago event.
Top Recommendation for August
Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27th 1883, by Simon Winchester
2005 (416 pp)
The catastrophic explosion of Krakatoa in 1883 is the largest to occur on planet earth. 35,000 were killed. The ocean boiled, the sun was blotted out, the earth's climate was changed for years. A great story by one of our favorite story tellers
The Assault that Helped Ignite the Civil War
On May 22, 1856 ardent pro-slavery Congressman Preston Brooks of SC savagely attacked and critically injured anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the U.S. Senate with a gold tipped walking stick. Stephen Puleo's "The Caning: The Assault that Drove America to Civil War", paints a vivid picture of the vitriolic climate of the times and chronicles the major events of the decade leading to the outbreak of the Civil War.
Top Recommendation for May
The Caning: The Assault that Drove America to Civil War, by Stephen Puleo
(2012, Oct - 374pp)
Superb, easy-to-read, highly informative narrative that explains and links the key events in the years l
The Climactic Carrier Battle of WWII in the Pacific
On June 20, 1944, the U.S. Navy took on the the Japanese in the final carrier battle of WW II. The Battle of the Philippine Sea was a disaster for the Japanese who lost 3 aircraft carriers and 637 aircraft. Barrett Tillman's "The Clash of the Carriers: The True Story of the Marianas Turkey Shoot", vividly portrays this stunning victory of the newly mighty U.S. fleet.
Top Recommendation for June
Clash of the Carriers, by Barrett Tillman (2006 - 368pp)
Stirring account of the Battle of the Philippine Sea, a knock-out blow for Japan's navy air which lost 3 carriers, 600 planes and hundreds of pilots.
Benjamin Franklin - America's Most Endearing Statesman
On April 14, 1790, Benjamin Franklin died at the age of 86 after an extraordinary life that began as a 15 year old runaway apprentice and culminated as America's most revered and accomplished elder statesman. Walter Isaacson's "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life" chronicles Ben's adventurous life and and the qualities that made him so appealing.
Top Recommendation for April
Benjamin Franklin, by Walter Isaacson (2004 – 608pp)
A lively, casual and engaging panorama of Ben as a man of amazing depth and breadth who wore many hats and continued to reinvent himself.
Theodore Roosevelt's Greatest Journey - Survival on the Amazon
In March of 1912,after losing his bid for the presidency, Theodore Roosevelt set off on the adventure of his life, exploring the Amazon...and nearly died in the process. Adventure writer Candace Millard's acclaimed "River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey is rich, lush and filled with beautiful scenic descriptions and grisly depictions of man-eating catfish, ferocious piranhas, white water rapids and the prospect of starvation.
Top Recommendation for March
Thoroughly enjoyable yarn about an ex-President's fervent desire for adventure and acceptance after his humiliating defeat for reelection in 1909. Candice Millard (2006 - 432pp)