Monday, November 26, 2012

Peter the Great: His Life and World by Robert Massie

I just finished reading the Pullitzer Prize winning book Peter the Great: His Life and World by Robert Massie. It was interesting to see that since the book was written in 1980 it is not accurate with regards to the current state of Russia.  That aside, it is an extremely well written and documented biography.  It started out slow and spent more time than was necessary on the fact that he led a dissipated life as a youth but once we were beyond adolescence the book became riveting.  The Great Northern War between Russia and Sweden is a pivotal point in Russian history and Massie brings these events to life.  At times while reading I felt as if I were there listening to Tsar Peter and Charles XII as they fought for supremacy.  This is definitely a 4.5 out of 5 star book.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Art Review Walters Museum "African Presence in Renaissance Europe"

A Spectrum From Slaves to Saints

‘African Presence in Renaissance Europe,’ at Walters Museum

The New York Times did a great piece reviewing this exhibit.  I plan to see it this weekend while everyone is out shopping I'll be cruising the hopefully not so crowded Walters Museum.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Free 24 Hour Librarian Service

ASK US NOW is a free service offered by the Maryland Library System that allows you to chat with a librarian anytime 24 hours a day.  I was trying to research the Homestead PA mill strike that led to one of the bloodiest battles in the history of labor.  Unfortunately I did not have much success.  When I contacted the chat room (at 3:00 a.m. in the morning) at Ask Us Now I was overwhelmed by the amount of information available on this subject and with the speed in which it was delivered to me.  After the chat they sent an email transcript with all of the reference links enclosed.  If you're not from MD check your state library system to see if they offer a similar service.  This truly is the greatest thing since sliced bread!