Tag Archives: Europe

Book Review – The Monuments Men

The Monuments MenThe Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel

Review: For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, the Monuments Men were a group of Allied soldiers tasked with preserving the cultural history of Europe. They stopped the bombing of churches and other significant architecture and tracked down art and artifacts stolen by the Nazis. The book follows a dozen or so of the original men who built the Monuments Men unit and discovered thousands of stolen art in hidden Nazi caches. The writing was middling but the story itself was inspiring and long overdue for telling.

Book Review – Potato: A History of the Propitious Esculent

PotatoPotato: A History of the Propitious Esculent by John Reader

Review: I received this book as a Christmas present from my sister who said she expected to see it on my blog at some point. So, here it is. Now I know that an entire book about potatoes might seem incredibly boring at first glance, but I happen to love both learning new things and potatoes. This book is a vindication of my often expressed feeling that potatoes are the perfect food. Mr. Reader goes into detail about the history of wild and domesticated potatoes and how potato cultivation played a large role in world history. Potatoes are a hardier crop than most grains making them easier to grow in harsh and colder climates. Yet, they are also a very efficient source of protein, vitamins and slow-carbohydrates. I have just one complaint about this book and that is I felt that some of the history sections veered too far into general history having nothing to do with potatoes. I felt those sections while somewhat interesting were unnecessary. However, in general, the book is well-researched and very informative without being too dry. And now, I need to go find something potato to eat…