National Book Lovers Day 2018
Today is National Book Lovers Day, a day for all those who love to read. So far this year, I've finished 27 fantastic books and there are many more that I'm extremely eager to crack open. In the spirit of the day, here are three of my favorite books that I've read this year and that I highly recommended to all.
“Veni. Vidi. Vici.” I came. I saw. I conquered. As a brilliant orator, an accomplished writer, a skilled politician, a military mastermind, and more, there were few things in life that Gaius Julius Caesar did not conquer. More than two thousand years after his death, Caesar still remains one of history’s greatest figures. Phillip Freeman’s incredible biography of the man who dominated Rome and shaped its destiny is a golden gem. Concise and accessible, Freeman does a masterful job of telling the story of Caesar’s colossal life. Once you start Julius Caesar, you are not going to want to put it down.
You could spend a lifetime reading different books about the American Civil War, but if I had to recommend the best one volume history of the war, it would have to be The Civil War by Bruce Catton. In just 279 pages, Catton constructed a remarkable narrative of the war that forged a nation. His skill as a writer comes across from the opening line to the very last sentence. As with the first book that I mentioned, The Civil War is also very straightforward. Whether you are looking for a book to start learning about the Civil War or feel like you already know it all, Catton’s work is certainly worth your time.
“With historical accounts like this, who needs novels for excitement?” I could not agree more with the Wall Street Journal’s praise for Bernard Cornwell’s masterpiece, Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles. When it comes to telling the incredible story of the Battle of Waterloo, Cornwell simply cannot be bettered. With the power of his words, Cornwell truly puts you in the middle of the battle that determined the fate of Europe’s future. The author helps us understand all the major players: Napoleon Bonaparte, the Duke of Wellington, Prince Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, and more. We also get to stand side by side with the common soldiers of the armies of France, Britain, and Prussia. For those who survived, Waterloo was the defining experience of their lives. Everything that came after was seen through the prism of that terrible day of fighting. Reading Cornwell’s book is an experience that you will never forget.