Thursday, March 15, 2018

Reviewing Anthony Hope's "The Prisoner of Zenda"

One of my favorite books—and perhaps my favorite of any adventure/swashbuckler—is Anthony Hope’s The Prisoner of Zenda. I began reading this book completely ignorant of its genre or plot. In fact, I believe it was one of the books I’d had on my shelf for a decade or so, and had originally purchased at a library used book sale just because I liked the cover and thought the title intriguing.

As it turns out, this book is one of those action-packed, romantic, larger-than-life plots set in a fictional, vaguely European country and peopled by beautiful heroines, dastardly villains, and chivalrous heroes.

Rudolph Rassendyll is an Englishman visiting the land of his ancestors, Ruritania. His visit coincides with the coronation of a distant cousin of his, also coincidentally named Rudolph. And, coincidentally, they happen to look exactly alike. All these coincidences are coincidentally fortunate because King-to-be Rudolph’s jealous brother Michael drugs the heir apparent and has him kept prisoner in a castle in the town of Zenda (hence the title).

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Reviewing Llewellyn and Maloof’s The Living Forest

Maybe this book would technically be categorized as a “coffee table book” due to its large dimensions and high-quality photographs. Yet The Living Forest: A Visual Journey Into the Heart of the Woods also contains a lot of informational text and can serve a few purposes beyond the casual leafing-through that “coffee table books” tend to receive.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Reviewing Michael Farquhar's "A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans"

History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.
~ Winston Churchill

Minoring in history in college I was fascinated by what made some people “memorable” or considered major influences to how the world was shaped during their time. Why do some names go down in history, and others fade into obscurity?

“The Past” is what has really happened. “History” is how the past is remembered. “The Past” is complete, unbiased, and true. “History” is susceptible to massive omissions, lies, interpretations, and manipulations.