erik larson

I spent the last week in Kenya. My husband had work meetings, my youngest had school vacation, so we decided to visit our boarding school kids for the first time as a whole family. We watched the JV soccer game, helped with homework, played epic soccer and basketball games, and ate meals all five of us together at one table. It was fantastic.

We also spent a lot of time on the airplane, in airports, and in taxis stuck in traffic. So I got to read quite a bit. I finished one book by Erik Larson, started another, and downloaded the third, which I have already read but want to read again. Reading Erik Larson feels like getting a history lesson but not like any history lessons I ever had at school. Fascinating, and character and story driven, rich with minute details that bring an age long-lost back to life.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America

This is narrative nonfiction at its best. Larson captures a city and a nation at a pivotal point in its character and physical development. His account of the World’s Fair and a murder mystery are captivating.

 

 

 

Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History

Weather becomes an actual character in this book. I love how Larson is able to so vividly capture a place and time in history. He focuses on one character while diving into side stories and then they are all swept up together as the storm comes crashing down.

 

 

 

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin

Just started this one so can’t say much. But what a great title, right?

 

 

 

 

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Not released yet. March 10, 2015. I’m already on the list when it comes out.

 

 

 

 

 

What I’m Reading This Week

Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream

Love this look at the academic struggle and triumphs of kids of whom the world expects nothing. Reminded me of Djibouti’s Girls Run 2 team.

 

 

Requiem (Delirium Trilogy)

Finally got the last book in this trilogy from the library queue and just started it this week. Update: finished it on the airplane. Seriously skimmed, as I was just trying to keep up with my teens. Entertaining, interesting premise – love is a disease that people must be cured of.

Any other Erik Larson fans?

What are you reading?

*sign up to receive Stories from the Horn, the Djibouti Jones monthly-ish newsletter, coming to your inbox this Sunday, March 1.