Review: Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg

Rating: 4 out of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one — there are plenty of facts, but also stories of a more personal nature, and these altogether create a vivid image which highlights our biases and possibly helps us conquer them. Yet, this last is the aspect that is always most troublesome and Ms Sandberg’s work seems to reflect this — there are quite a few times when the instructive stories involve fighting for one or another goal, often on behalf of other people, and it is only the positive message throughout which allows us to think this might change for the better in the future. Continue reading “Review: Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg”

Review: Warlords of Ancient Mexico, Peter G. Tsouras

Rating: 5 out of 5

I tend to like the books which are accessible and yet take us into mostly unexplored worlds. This one was definitely of that kind — of the names I knew before that of Hernan Cortes stands out, and even he was only an intruder into this story. Montezuma is the other name that some people have heard, but Mr Tsouras uses not this but a different spelling option, trying to get rid of the bias we have so often pushed onto our understanding of the Mexican region. Continue reading “Review: Warlords of Ancient Mexico, Peter G. Tsouras”

Review: Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman

Rating: 3 out of 5

I thought this was average at best. It wasn’t that the stories are bad — I know them from before and Norse mythology is absolutely amazing. What I was disappointed in, however, is that a lot of the very cool stories were not considered. That being said, Mr Gaiman’s introduction into this topic was pretty good and included aspects which are wise to keep in mind when dealing with mythology in general (such as who wrote it down and what did they really think). Continue reading “Review: Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman”

Review: The Tower is Full of Ghosts Today, Alison Weir

Rating: 2 out of 5

I was hoping this would be on par with some other works by Alison Weir I’ve read, but I really can’t recommend this short story to anyone. It is without purpose and direction, and while it grasps a historic sense of the moment in the events described, it is without that feeling one expects from a story.

Review: This Sceptred Isle: Empire, Vol. 1, Christopher Lee

Rating: 4 out of 5

‘Empire’s first installment sounded a bit weaker to me than my recollections of the previous series’. This could be due to an error on my part, remembering wrong what I thought of the previous ones, especially as I am at a loss to say what was missing. A gripping narrative interwoven with historical citations and the story of the development of Britain (and the modern world) doesn’t leave much to be said, if one appreciates that the level of detail will not be perfect if the subject matter spans five hundred years.  Continue reading “Review: This Sceptred Isle: Empire, Vol. 1, Christopher Lee”

Ordensburg Arrasch (Araiši)

Arrasch is a site which is more known for its pre-Christian lake dwelling reconstruction, but the locale also hosted an Ordensburg for many centuries — and indeed this is what I was hoping to describe here. The truth is, however, that we know very little about this place under the order and the ruins which are extant today do not create a mighty impression. We are truly talking about a smaller holding in between the major castles of Cesis (Wenden) and Sigulda (Segewold) with the Order properties hemmed in on either side by the Archbishop of Riga.

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Araiši Lake Dwelling

I had been hoping to visit Araiši ever since I read about a 9th century lake dwelling having been reconstructed there. Of course, reconstructions have their own downsides — potentially misunderstanding archaeological remains and such — but even so they can present a uniquely wonderful picture of the preceding centuries/millennia. Araiši, dating to the pre-Christian era of these lands, was even more of a sightseeing target for this reason.

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