The Monuments Men

“The Monuments Men” is a book that seeks to capture a different story of events during World War 2. This story is one of the men and women whose job it was to protect, and find artwork and other historical pieces in Europe. In a way, they were modern day treasure hunters.

Those who are featured in “The Monuments Men” either had a background in art, with knowledge on how best to treat the artwork or sculptures, or they stumbled on the right people who thought they would be good for the job. They found a lack of equipment needed to help efficiently complete their mission, support from their unit, and a lack of knowledge of their existence. They didn’t let this stop them, and were resourceful in their accomplishments.

“The Monuments Men” is a story that deserves to be told so that people may know more about what happened. The only downside for the reader is that at times the story is hard to follow. The writing goes with the events of the war, and follows the soldiers and other helpers where they are in relation to the current battles. At times it is a bit more difficult to keep track of who is where, and which is which. Beyond the story line that may have some more difficult moments, there is a lot of history and story to be read awaiting the reader.


My Life on the Road

To be honest, I chose this book at random by sitting in front of my bookshelf trying to figure out what to read next. After enjoying “Love Warrior”, I decided to go with another book written by a woman. I am happy with my choice.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading “My Life on the Road”. The words flowed with each section of the book connecting. In the introduction, Gloria Steinem encourages the reader to spend some time traveling. As I sat there reading her stories about the people she met, and some of the places she visited, it awakened my desire to travel. The experiences that she described were incredible, and the places sounded beautiful. I think it would be hard not to be influenced by the beauty of her stories.

“My Life on the Road” left me with a few lessons. The first lesson is to find something that ignites a passion within you, and to do something that you enjoy. Another important lesson is to spend time in a place that leaves you with a feeling of belonging. For Gloria Steinem, her interest seemed to be in being an organizer. This lead to her meeting so many amazing people, and sharing such wonderful stories in this book. My guess is her passion, or at least main interest, is in equality for everybody, race or gender makes no difference.

I’m not sure I can recommend this book enough. When they say books have the power to change people, this one should be included.¬†“My Life on the Road” is an example of a book that moves the reader.

The Devil in the White City

On the cover¬†img_20170216_085743_083it says, “MURDER, MAGIC, AND MADNESS AT THE FAIR THAT CHANGED AMERICA”, which is what drew me into reading this book. However, to me it contained more magic and madness than murder. Sure, part of the story involves a serial killer who hid his tracks well, but I feel as though it wasn’t the main focus until the end. Even during that part it wasn’t as thrilling as I had hoped for.

All the talk about the World Fair had me in awe and wonder. The event that was created impacted life farther out in the future than I think the creators imagined. It seemed as though the main focus was to out do Paris, and to bring pride to Chicago. The end result brought so much more to the table. In the process of building the fair they offered benefits to employees that had never been done before, breaking the barrier in employee relations. They also created jobs during a time period where unemployment rates were sky high. It was the most attended peaceful event in history at the time. Some of the display exhibits included items we use in our everyday lives. The World Fair also presented us with the Ferris Wheel.

The magic of the World Fair and its creation is inspiring. Throughout reading the story it left me to wonder what an event like this would bring us in the modern age. Would flying cars become a reality?

The murder side of “The Devil in the White City” did give me the shivers. This man preyed on woman who were especially easy targets (no fault to them given the time period). He would bring on the charm and promise them extravagant things they may not get or do on their own. On top of that he didn’t pay any debts accrued with his businesses and even when dealing with other men he came out winning. His way of claiming not to be the bad guy is sickening. The detectives had their work cut out for them to ensure he got the punishment that he deserved for his cruel actions.

Despite the bit of disappointment I had judging the book from the cover I would still recommend this book. There is so much more to the story that readers can benefit from. If you read this book I hope it leaves with the same feeling of awe and imagination it left me with.