Democracy in America
I joined the Goodreads History Book Club a little while back in the hopes that it would motivate me and provide a source of information about good books about history for me to read. I really have a desire to not only read fun SciFi and Fantasy books, but also to increase my knowledge by reading non-fiction as well. This book club is a step in that direction.
This month’s read for the club, actually the book for both December and January, is Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville. I’ve never read it before, but look forward to it’s 650+ pages. Actually, its been quite a few years since I read any kind of history book so I’ll be relearning how to read and pay attention to this format again. Hopefully this is not too painful of an experience. I enjoyed history in high school and college but that was a long time ago. Nowadays If I’m not reading SciFi, Fantasy, or Horror (for another book club), I’m digging through the technical details of a Computer Science or Programming book. And each of these flavors of reading requires a different mindset so I’ll have to reacquaint myself with this brand of non-fiction.
From my limited understanding, I’ve heard that this is a pretty well written work looking at the representative democracy in the United States as it stood in the early 19th century. With the book published in 1835 and 1840 – two volumes – is stands almost 60 years after the country was created and 2 decades before the Civil War so it’ll be interesting to see a Frenchman sees America at that time. And how it relates to today, almost 200 years later. I’ve often heard references to Tocqueville and Democracy in America but this is the first time I’ve actually been motivated to read it.
We’ll see how it goes.
I also started up a new fun read – The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. This book is about a woman who wakes up with amnesia and slowly learns she’s involved with a secret organization that deals with the supernatural. I just got started, but I love the name of the protagonist – Myfanwy. It looks like a mouthful, but it’s described as being pronounced like Tiffany with an ‘M’ instead of the ‘T’. In any case, she learns she is a Rook (hence the name of the book), a high-ranking member of the Checquy organization and that she’s got abilities of her own that help her defend Britain.
The first chapter really grabbed me and I am excited to keep reading this debut novel to find out what adventures await Myfanwy.