Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Sunday Salon: Watching Prohibition, Part 1, A Nation of Drunkards

Partly inspired by reading Karen Blumenthal's great nonfiction book, Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition, I decided I needed to watch one of the newest Ken Burns' films, Prohibition. It is in three volumes, and I've only had time to watch the first part, A Nation of Drunkards, but I do hope to get to the second and third discs as they become available. 

I enjoyed watching this documentary! This first disc covered almost a century in American history. And there were parts of it that were truly fascinating. Many things I've just recently learned about--through reading Blumenthal's book and through watching this documentary. What I loved about this one is that it was rich in primary sources--they were quoting so many different people, and the quotes were truly brought to life by the actors. And one thing that was a very pleasant surprise was seeing Catherine Gilbert Murdock as a featured historian/researcher.

Watch Prohibition
  • IF you love history
  • If you love documentaries
  • If you love learning new things, and enjoy having "I didn't know that!!!" moments
  • If you want to see American history really come to life
  • If you want to learn more about social/moral "progress" in the 19th century, the formations of clubs, unions, and other reform movements (like the Women's Christian Temperance Union, American Temperance Society, Anti-Saloon League, etc.)

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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