I saved this one until nearly last because, well...gross. I think several of you remember the fiasco that was Not without my Book! Club's initial attempt at reading I, Claudius. I didn't even make it halfway through, and I think a lot of people gave up a lot sooner. So, naturally, I was not looking forward to attempting to conquer this particular member of the list, but it wasn't actually all that bad. Maybe it was just too advanced for my senior self, or maybe because the last half was done with the confusing and chaotic attempt to describe the geneology of this twisted Roman family, but the rest of the book was both somewhat enjoyable and not too difficult to read. Basically, almost every one of Claudius's family members, plus countless other affluent members of Roman politics, was either tried on some ridiculous charge and then killed, or possibly banished and then killed, or secretly poisoned by sweet grandmother Livia, or murdered outright. And of course, this was in between numerous other political scandals and hushed up crimes, chief among them incest. Seriously, ew. And so, ultimately and out of nowhere, Claudius finally becomes emperor himself, and then the book ends. It was certainly an interesting look into the inner workings of ancient Rome, though I didn't really look into how much of this was based on historical documents and actual things and how much is mere speculation and ficional liberty. I actually think that Jill, after her Roman City and Latin classes, might be able to appreciate the premise of the book a little more, though I completely understand if she doesn't feel like attempting it :)
30. A Patriot's History of the United States, by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
I've been working on this one off and on since the beginning of this challenge. I think I've mentioned before that- at over 800 pages of small font with long chapters and no pictures- this particular history book was more daunting than any textbook I've had to read (and that's including AP World). But I've finally finished! and, overall, it wasn't too bad. As you may be able to guess, in summary, the book is basically a history of the United States, going back to the earliest settlers from Europe and such and covering all the way up to 2004, when I presume the book was completed. Parts of it were actually pretty interesting, talking about the backgrounds of various presidents and other important historical figures, and explaining why they did or did not get along with each other. But then it would start going into great detail about politics and wars and other things that really just don't interest me. Also of note, this book was intending to balance out a lot of more liberal historical accounts of the country, so on one hand, it was interesting to see a different perspective about causes and correlations and outcomes and such. On the other hand, though, the conservative bias became increasingly evident as the timeline progressed to the most recent century or so. Once again, it was interesting to see the contrast in perspective, but the author was also kind of mean to some of the liberals mentioned during this time period.
And so with that...
That is all :)