Accio Jacksons!

An 11-inch holly blog with a phoenix feather core

Two good books

by Rebecca on 2008-08-20

I donʼt really have much to say here, except to apologize for my recent blog silence. Iʼve been reading some good books, and those tend to draw me away from the computer. But thatʼs a good thing, right?

First up, 1776 by David McCullough. I really enjoyed this book because (a) Iʼve pretty much forgotten everything I learned in grade school about the American Revolution except for the midnight ride of Paul Revere (because of that catchy little rhyme), so it was a good refresher, and (b) it shows how truly and completely outnumbered, outgunned, out-trained, and inexperienced the American army was, if it could even be called an army. McCullough does a good job of humanizing the Revolutionary War, all while giving due credit to the diligence of a few key men, like George Washington who was clearly the right man in the right place at the right time.

The book Iʼm working on now is Galileoʼs Daughter by Dava Sobel. Itʼs a historical fiction novel based on the extant letters that Galileoʼs oldest daughter wrote to him throughout his life. Right now, Iʼm learning all about Galileo and his remarkable discoveries and inventions (moons of Jupiter, sun spots, phases of Venus, the telescope). What impresses me the most about his story is that he remains devoted to his Catholic faith and to his God, despite severe criticisms from those who were acting as Godʼs mouthpiece and in spite of tangible evidence that was changing the universe as he had previously understood it. It promises to be a thrilling book, and I canʼt wait to finish it. (And Elizabeth, Iʼd love to talk with you about this book, if you ever get a chance to read it.)

So, I guess the point of this post is that Iʼve been reading about some great men who left the world a better place than they found it, often at the risk of personal comfort and public reputation, and I canʼt help but be awed at their achievements just the same.