Book Review: The Woman Who Wasn’t There by Robin Gaby Fisher & Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr.

tumblr_ma7o0tTihj1qznuh0o1_400I can’t remember where I first heard about Tania Head but something took me to Amazon where I purchased The Woman Who Wasn’t There by Robin Gaby Fisher & Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr. I’ll tell you right off the bat that I’m very interested in famous liars and reading memoirs that are later revealed to be fictitious. Maybe it was the psychology minor that I attached to my history specialization during my undergrad but I’m so interested in what motivates people to tell lies on such a colossal and daring scale.

Needless to say, The Woman Who Wasn’t There tells the story of a liar, specifically Tania Head, a woman who claimed to be in the South Tower during the terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001. It wasn’t even that Head pretended to be there, she carved out a name for herself as an “ubersurvivor” (as termed by the authors) with possibly one of the most dramatic and harrowing survivor tales to come out of that infamous day. Continue reading

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Book Review: Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala

waveAlthough I’m an avid book lover, I find it easy to get out of the habit of reading. However, I find it just as easy to get back into the habit which is what happened after I finished reading The Painted Girls, by Cathy Marie Buchanan. Hungry for more delicious literature, I started reading Wave on my Kobo. Partially because it was there and partially because I’d recently watched The Impossible in preparation for movie awards season.

Both The Impossible and Wave are centered around the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. The reason why I’m finding this topic so intriguing is because it occurred in such recent history and because I can so clearly remember it happening. I don’t remember the fallout very well (which possibly had something to do with my selfish teenage self focused more on high school prom and university applications), although I do remember my history teacher, a priest named Father T, letting us throw money at him which he tried to catch in a garbage can to give as donations. Continue reading

The Future of Books

8-29-10ipadI’m sort of obsessed with this topic as a book lover, historian and someone who embraces new technology. With the advent of the ebook, everyone seems to wonder what will become of the typical paper book. When I was working at a public library, it was around the time that ereaders got really big; it seemed like everyone and their grandma (literally) got one for Christmas and was eager to use it to take out library books. Continue reading

The Journal of Hélène Berr

As a student I spent a great deal of time focusing on Holocaust studies and in my spare time, I’ve read countless biographies and books about WWII and the Holocaust. One of my preferred genres within the larger WWII genre are war diaries, and in particular, diaries from Jews who experienced the Holocaust.Helene Berr

The funny thing is, I actually stumbled across the Journal of Hélène Berr a couple years ago when I was in Ottawa. I was browsing the sale history books (you can seriously find so many non-fiction gems in this section!) and came across the journal, purchased it, and then proceeded to let it sit on my bookshelf for two years. Flash forward to this year’s Holocaust Education Week when I recognized the name Hélène Berr in one of the programs and was inspired to do a little Google investigating. Continue reading

Lies, Lies, Lies!

After reading a chapter of James Loewen’s Lies Across America, I remembered how much I enjoyed Loewen and his writing. In an American history seminar class during my undergrad, I read his book Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, which was awesome. Yes, Loewen is very biased, but his book was so enjoyable. It was very interesting and read like a novel, something any non-historian (or historian!) can get behind! If you’re interested in checking it out (which you totally should), read my synopsis after the jump to see if it’s something you’d enjoy. Continue reading