• Ms. Colby's Book List

    Pope Joan

    Pope Joan
    Donna Woolfolk Cross
     
    Explore the world of a girl named Joan as she tries to find the best education possible and become an elite scholar. There's one problem though- Joan is a girl living in a masculine society. Joan decides she must hide who she is, so that she can attain what she wants to become.  Hiding her gender, Joan enters a monastery and the world of religion in search of an education and a life that suits her aspirations.  On the way, she will face challenges: fear of exposure, internal conflicts, and most of all the desires common to women.
    Murder in the Cathedral
    Murder In the Cathedral
    T. S. Elliot
     
    Written in the form of a play, Murder In the Cathedral masterfully deals with the death of historical martyr Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1170.  With lyric and poetry, T.S. Elliot deals with the issues of "faith, politics, and the common good". This spectacular piece propels Elliot's reputation to the "most significant poet of his time."

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    All Quiet On the Western Front
    Erich Maria Remarque
     
    Erich Maria Remarque takes you inside the gruesome realities of World War I through the eyes of Paul Bäumer, a sensitive teenager and typical infantryman in the German army. Enlisted with his classmates at the urging of a teacher, Paul reaches manhood during three years as a soldier. Paul's loss of innocence is the focus of the author's sentiments about patriotic myths and the lasting effects of World War I on an entire generation.
     

    Under a War Torn Sky

    All Quiet On the Western Front
    Erich Maria Remarque
     
    Erich Maria Remarque takes you inside the gruesome realities of
    World War I through the eyes of Paul Bäumer, a sensitive teenager
     and typical infantryman in the German army. Enlisted with his
    classmates at the urging of a teacher, Paul reaches manhood
    during three years as a soldier. Paul's loss of innocence is the
    focus of the author's sentiments about patriotic myths and the
    lasting effects of World War I on an entire generation.
     

    Citizen Soldiers

    Citizen Soldiers
    Stephen E. Ambrose
     
    "This book picks up where Ambrose's bestseller about D-Day left off,
    taking the armies from the hedgerows of Normandy through the Battle
    of the Bulge to the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau. It's an infantry
    soldier's-eye view of the war, filled with interviews of hundreds of soldiers
    from both sides. The tales run from the sublime (American soldiers capture
    a German who rescued an American from a burning tank, ask him if he would
    rather be a prisoner or return to his buddies, and let him go), to the anguished
    (ordered by superiors to keep all his men in their positions, German General
    Bayerlein reports "Not a single man is leaving his post. They are all lying silent
     in their foxholes for they are dead"; American foot soldiers gingerly try to avoid
    stepping on comrades flattened by tanks), to the ridiculous (surprised by three
    Germans, an American tries to surrender, but since they outnumber him they get
    to surrender while he has to go on). A thick book that reads fast."
     

    Rape of Nanking

    The Rape of Nanking
    Iris Chang
     
    "In December 1937, in what was then the capital of China,...the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking and within weeks not only looted and burned the defenseless city but systematically raped, tortured, and murdered more than 300,000 Chinese civilians...Based on extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents in four different languages, Iris Chang, whose own grandparents barely escaped the massacre, has written what will surely be the definitive, English-language history of this horrifying episode- one that the Japanese have tried for years to erase from public consciousness" and to which they have yet to admit.
     

    The Romanov Prophecy

    In 1917 Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia, was executed by revolutionaries. Now, in response to the collapse of the country's economy, the people have voted to instate a new Tsar, one who will be chosen from the descendents of Nicholas II. But a powerful group of Western businessmen want to make sure he is a candidate they can control, and hire African-American lawyer Miles Lord, with his knowledge of Russian language and history, to check the background of their chosen man. Miles is thrilled with his assignment...until he becomes the target of an assassination attempt, and must run for his life, guided by a cryptic phrase penned by Rasputin, a bizarre prophecy that the Tsar will return to the throne - and that Miles himself will see to it.

    The Man Who Killed Rasputin

    The Man Who Killed Rasputin
     Greg King
     
    On December 16, 1916, Prince Felix Youssoupov and a group of conspirators, in what was then considered to be a patriotic act, murdered Grigori Rasputin. Now, nearly 80 years later, the events surrounding the assassination continue to provoke speculation. In "The Man Who Killed Rasputin", a critically acclaimed author uncovers the truth behind the murder of one of Russia's most notorious figures. of photos.
     

    Silent Night

    Silent Night
    Stanley Weintraub
     
    This World War I history tells the strange and compelling true story of December, 1914, when combatants from both sides put down their arms and observed a cease fire.

    The Jungle

    The Jungle
    Upton Sinclair
     
    In "The Jungle" we follow a family of Lithuanian immigrants as they leave their country and set out to live the American Dream. Soon that dream is realized to be a nightmare. They are robbed by corrupt police upon their arrival in New York City and finally make their way to Chicago and to the stockyards where the main Character, Jurgis Rudkus has a friend that he has heard has "made it" in America. The friend runs a deli just outside of the stockyards where the families in the area all work at the stockyards. In order for any family to survive, as Jurgis finds out, all members must work, including children. They are taken on a tour of the stockyards all the way from the killing floors to the packing rooms. At first Jurgis is impressed by the speed and efficiency of the process. But once he begins work on the killing floor he sees and experiences all forms of corruption.
     

    The Rise to Globalism

    Rise To Globalism
    Stephen Ambrose
     
    Surveys the evolution of modern American foreign policy from World War II to the Bush administration, and covers the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Persian Gulf War.

    Ghost Soldiers

    Rise To Globalism
    Stephen Ambrose
     
    Surveys the evolution of modern American foreign policy from World War II to the Bush administration, and covers the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Persian Gulf War.

    Tale of Two Cities

    A Tale of Two Cities
    Charles Dickens
     
    Dickens's only serious, uncomic novel, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, is set during the French Revolution and tells a story of unselfish devotion. The beautiful Lucy Manette marries Charles Darnay, the descendant of an aristocratic French family denounced by the revolutionaries, among whom are the memorably evil fanatic Mme. Defarge. When Darnay is arrested and condemned to death, his place is taken at the guillotine by Sidney Carton, who loves Lucy himself and is willing to die to secure her happiness (and who happens to resemble Darnay). His last words--"'Tis a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done..."--have become nearly as famous as the novel itself, one of Dickens's most popular works despite its sober subject matter. It is also, with BARNABY RUDGE, one of his only two historical novels.
     

    Alexander the Great

    Alexander the Great
    Lewis V. Cumming
     
    An epic history of a man who became one of the most heralded rulers and despised geniuses of all time. "A vivid narrative...a fascinating book...extremely readable." --The New York Times; "Written in the best of good taste and in a style...of lucid simplicity."

    Ends of Power

    The Ends of Power
    H.R. Haldeman
     
    The focus is on Watergate. Haldeman's implicit conclusion is that he could have saved Nixon if only the President had turned the whole problem over to him from the beginning. The treatment of the ex-President is a mixture of scorn and admiration.

    The Great Influenza

    The Great Influenza
    John M. Barry
     
    "No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in twenty weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century. Victims bled from the ears and nose, turned blue from lack of oxygen, suffered aches that felt like bones being broken, and died. In the United States, where bodies were stacked without coffins on trucks, nearly seven times as many people died of influenza as in the First World War..."
     

    11th day...

    11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour
    Joseph E. Persico
     
    Persico returns repeatedly to the last day of WW I, on which combatants took 10,944 casualties; 2,738 died (320 Americans), most after the Armistice had been signed. But this book is more than a recounting of the day. This is a history of the entire war, from its murky beginnings to its aftermath, which resonates today. Persico draws heavily from letters from French, Canadian, English, German, and American soldiers and officers, including a sack-full of letters written by German officers to their families. He also read histories, diaries, personal reminiscences, officers' logs, and interviews to bring into focus a war of attrition: "A mile gained, a mile lost, and bodies in between." He probes the prevailing tendency to romanticize war, even the generals' "map room heroics," which insisted "pressure be applied to the last."