August 19, 2014

The endurance of the human spirit or The Halifax Disaster

It's a little unsettling to me that prior to reading Curse of the Narrows I had never heard of the explosion that caused so much devastation in Halifax, Nova Scotia on December 6, 1917. When the munitions ship, Mont Blanc, collided with the Belgian Relief vessel, Imo, on that fateful day none of the inhabitants in Richmond could have predicted the loss that their town would incur. I have to admit that at the outset of this book I was struggling to comprehend what was occurring as much of the language was 'nautical' in nature which I've always found confusing. However, once Mac Donald began discussing the 'human element' I was hooked. Basically, the entire town was decimated in a matter of moments and thousands were killed, injured, orphaned, and made homeless. Oppenheimer used the statistics from the blast to calculate the effects of an atomic bomb (and used these calculations to create the bombs used in Nagasaki and Hiroshima). One of the unique factors in this event was that there was an historian on the ground that immediately began rounding up accounts and taking interviews in order to preserve the details of the day and the days and months preceding it. I highly encourage any fans of history (in particular WWI-era) to give this book a try. Additionally, the Appendix and Notes at the end of the book were absolutely phenomenal which is always one of my favorite parts in any nonfiction work and if you aren't reading these I highly encourage you to do so. :-D

Next up is Horrorstor (imagine the last 'o' has those little dots over it) by Grady Hendrix. I'm already impressed with the book based on its packaging (yeah, yeah don't judge a book blah blah blah) because it looks like a retail catalog. The reason for this is that the setting for the book is a furniture superstore called Orsk. When five employees agree to spend the night in the store to discover who is causing havoc each night they discover more than they had bargained for. O_O It's a horror story in a furniture store! (I am genuinely wary of mannequins so I really hope they don't turn out to be the baddies in this.) I can't wait to report back to you guys with my review!!

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