Monday, January 31, 2011

Beyond Band of Brothers

The recent death of Major Dick Winters inspired me to finally read his memoir, Beyond Band of Brothers.  I'd been considering this book for quite some time, but just wasn't sure if I wanted to read it.  I've seen the HBO miniseries a thousand times, and I was worried that this book would just be the written version, telling the same stories.

While BBOB does touch on the stories told in the miniseries, it is also so much more.  As his war memoir, the stories are all told from Major Winters' view, and we not only get a deeper look into his mind, but we also get to "hear" stories that didn't make it onto film.

I don't think it would be possible for me to do this book justice, so I'll just say this:  Read it.  If you're a history buff, you'll appreciate the historical significance.  If you're not a history buff, you'll take away a deeper appreciation for our veterans.  Despite whatever your interests may be, after reading this book written by an amazing and much admired man, you will want to live your life better.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I first fell in love with Cranford when I saw the mini series and it's sequel (Return to Cranford) on PBS, and I have checked the DVD's out from my local library several times, so I decided it was probably time I read the book.

Elizabeth Gaskell introduces us to the ladies of Cranford, and what a group of ladies they are!  The story is told from the point of view of a young woman who is visiting the Jenkyns sisters, Miss Matty and Miss Deborah.  She tells us her opinions of all the goings-on with the Jenkyns sisters, their friends, and the rural town of Cranford that is filled with mostly middle-aged and older women who are afraid of change.

I don't want to give too much away, but I do recommend seeing both the movies and reading the book.  The two are quite different in many aspects (I understand that the movies are a combination of several different books written by Gaskell that take place in Cranford), but they have the same delightful tone.

There is just something about this group of ladies that I can't get enough of!