Reading History

If you're like A2-D2, you have this innate ability to read a history based book, regardless of time period and be captivated.  If you're like this, I must admit, I'm a bit jealous!  Though I understand the importance of history, I'd much rather read about it through historical fiction!  The problem with this is that historical fiction often edits history to best fit the plot of the book, and it is not a true representation of the time period.  So, how do I read history books? I select history books based on my current fiction readings!  For example, I read an interview with one of my current fiction authors and they were asked who their favorite non-fiction writer was...the response - Robert K. Massie.  So, of course, I looked Mr. Massie up and Googled what should be the first Massie book I read...the response - Catherine the Great.  Once I read Catherine the Great, I started reading other books about the period from other points of view and have a better idea about this specific point in time.  Regretfully, this can be a tedious task to determine what books to read next.  Thankfully, I found Guesthollow.com.



Guesthollow.com is a Mom and Dad team who homeschool their kids, and have been doing so since the kids entered Kindergarten.  What you'll specifically be interested in is The History Shelf on their website.  Here you can select a time period and see Historical Fiction, History Books, History Videos and Documentaries, History Books and Novels for Children, and History Videos for Children.  The list is in no way extensive, and the creators of Guesthollow.com will tell you that themselves.  These are books that they have found useful in their homeschooling, and that would be a great jumping off point for anyone interested in a time period!  Note: Many history books cover large expanses of time, and for these books, Guesthollow.com categorizes them based upon when they START in history, not necessarily what they focus on or where they end. 

The website does have a "search" option on the sidebar, and I've tried to enter book titles I've read like Catherine the Great and it does direct me to the correct time line.  What I have found is that the website is much easier to navigate if you know the specific time period you are interested in before going to the site.  Right now, I'm interested in the French Revolution because Assassins Creed (the video game) is coming out with a new multi-player that is set in this time period.  Really, the trailer for the video game would make anyone interested in this time period - check it out here.

Thanks to the color coding and the date organization, I know what books to potentially start with while researching this new timeline! The links on each book take you to Amazon.com for product description and reviews.  If the video is available on YouTube, you will be linked directly to the video!  For what use to be a tedious task, Guesthollow.com has helped narrow down my reading list!

I hope you've been able to do a bit of reading yourself over the summer! What time periods are you focusing on right now?  Is there something I need to add to my history book "to read" list? Until next time...



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