Tag: history

Currently Reading (August ’20)

Currently Reading (August ‘20)

These are the books I wish to finish reading this month. Maybe I will get to read more as well if possible. My reading list for this month.

  1. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James is a horror novella. The story is about a young woman who gets a job as a governess for two mysterious kids on an estate which seems to be haunted. I just started reading it and it has a gothic feel to it because of the descriptions. The young girl who is the narrator of the story is unnamed so far. It is an intriguing read.

2. Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau is a book that details the social experiment Thoreau carried by living in a secluded cabin for two years. I am only a couple of chapters in but, it has a philosophical undertone to it. It talks about the author’s experience with nature and living simply, being self-reliant. It is a little difficult to read because there is a lot of symbolism and depth to the writing.

3. My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin.

My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin is a story about an American Heiress, Cora Cash, who travels to England with her mother to find an aristocratic match. The world in England is different than what she is accustomed to and when she marries Ivo, an eligible but secretive bachelor, her life changes. I enjoyed reading this book so far though I have trouble relating to Cora’s character which I hope will happen eventually. It seems like a fun read.

4. Morrigan’s Cross by Nora Roberts.

Morrigan’s Cross by Nora Roberts is the first book of the Circle Trilogy. A sorcerer named Hoyt loses his brother in 12th century Ireland to evil forces. He is chosen for a mission by the goddess Morrigan and is told he will be joined by five others to form a team to destroy Lillith. Nora Roberts has a way of blending fantasy elements with the reality that it seems grounded. The story and the characters are interesting. I finished almost seventy pages at one go when I started reading.

*Get a copy by clicking on the book covers above.

Book Review: We Were the Lucky Ones (Georgia Hunter).

We Were the Lucky Ones

— Georgia Hunter

The title of the book is what caught my eye and I have been meaning to read this book for months now. It is a fictionalized account of a true story about the author’s family which I found out after I was finished reading it. We Were the Lucky Ones is a book set during World War II about the Kurc family, who are well assimilated Polish Jews and their survival during the holocaust.

The story begins in the spring of 1939 in Poland and France when it seems imminent that something that has been looming for the past few years is finally here. The whole family gets a point of view, as they narrate the story through their perspectives and respective circumstances. The parents are Nechuma and Sol; their daughters Halina and Mila and three sons Genek, Jakob and Addy, and not including the spouses and extended family. Except for Addy who is in France, all the others are living in Radam, Poland at the beginning of the war.

As I mentioned before, the narrative shift from one family member to another which takes the reader to different places and times and even countries. In the beginning, it was a little difficult to keep track of the characters as each chapter has a new narrator but as the story progresses it makes sense why the author decided to do this. There is a uniqueness to each character that clearly comes through the writing and you can feel their pain and helplessness throughout. The story goes from Poland to France to Siberia even to the Middle East and South America.

The descriptions of their situations are stated more as facts that pack a punch for a reader and the characters are just reacting to their circumstances. Addy, who hasn’t seen his family since before the war constantly thinks about them, not knowing if they are alive or not and whether he will ever get to see them again. I liked the spirit and realistic emotional impact of each character as they do what they have to in order to survive and it is heartbreaking to read about their struggles.

The part of the story which takes place in the ghetto is extremely difficult to read; a lot of the story is difficult to read but that part where Mila decides to leave the ghetto with her daughter and a few others for work and what follows that decision was completely unexpected and a little uncomfortable to read. The family keeps thinking about the happier times of their home in Radom and of each other fondly which gives them a little hope in such times and its fascinating to me that no matter how bad the situation, the perseverance to survive is there

I didn’t know it was based on a true story till I got to the very end of the story where the author has written a detailed epilogue of sorts of her family and their survival and the impact it had on them. They lost a lot of their extended family during the war and everything else familiar to them but they survived. By the time I finished reading the story, the title of the novel made complete sense. It is a heartbreaking and emotional ride and even more so since it is based on a true story. I finished this book over the weekend; it is emotionally draining but I liked the book

Historic Places to See – My wishlist.

I dream of traveling the whole world like most people do; it’s on almost everyone’s bucket list. I have a list of destinations solely based on the history of the place which some people think is weird but it’s not. As long as I can remember I have had an unexplained interest in history. I love to reading histories be it of a person or a place. I like to imagine how it was during the olden days; it’s one of my favorite pass times. I have a travel wish list to satisfy the history buff in me.

  • Pompeii

Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city along with Herculaneum was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. It is said to have been a bustling town since 1st century AD. After the eruption though Pompeii and other towns were buried and remained undiscovered until a part of the place was unearthed in 1599 but remained forgotten till 1748 when explorers rediscovered the site. The objects buried beneath Pompeii were well-preserved under the ash due to lack of air and moisture. It has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


  • Athens

Athens, Greece is one of the oldest cities in the world. The city has a recorded history of over 3000 years but it is said to be inhabited for the last 7000 years. In ancient Greece, Athens played an important role in art, literature, drama, philosophy, and science. There are beautiful structures symbolizing the Greek civilizations like the Parthenon and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The city has a rich cultural heritage and is a must-see for history lovers.


  • Machu Picchu

This ruined city is located in Peru which is accessible only through a train or a four-day trek as it is situated at the top of a mountain. It was built as an estate for Inca Emperor Pachacuti during 1438-1472. This beautiful ancient city was abandoned after the Spanish Conquest of the region and discovered again after decades. It was named as one of the New Wonders of the World in 2007.


  • Colosseum

Rome has been the heart of art and culture in Italy since centuries. The most symbolic structure in Rome is the Colosseum which was built in the first century AD. It is also the largest amphitheater in the world. It was used for Gladiator combats, spectacles, and even executions during the early Roman Empire. It has crumbled a little over the years and parts of it are restricted but it is still a very captivating part of the western civilization.


  • Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is situated on the bank of the river Yamuna in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is a magnificent structure of white marble built by the Mughal King Shah Jahan as a tomb for his wife Mumtaz. The Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world and famous as a symbol of love all over the world. It is an architectural gem from the period of the Mughal rule in India.



There are many more fascinating historic places I hope to see someday the list could go on and on but these are the ones which sit at the top of my list. I have imagined visiting them since I read about them in history text books. Cities like Athens and Rome have such an incredible and vast historic significance even in today’s world.