I spent this weekend finishing A People's History of the Civil War by David Brooks, which has the distinction of being the gloomiest book in the series I've yet read. Howard Zinn's original work covering the United States forced the reader to confront one tragic episode after another, but it also imparted to the sympathetic some revolutionary vigor, also telling how common people have time and again rallied against the powerful and advanced the cause of justice. Although this treatment of the Civil War also contains scenes such as those, they're meager and flickering lights engulfed by the great darkness of the war itself. I am looking forward to collecting my thoughts on it and then moving on to the general merriment of the French Revolution.
Although I've found this set of reading toe-curlingly-pleasing so far, it has had the side effect of lodging Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose" in my head for days on end. I can go nowhere without hearing that beautiful melody playing in my head. Wherever I go, I'm followed by the strains of an accordion. I've since discovered that Dean Martin and Louis Armstrong both did covers of the song, with English lyrics but incorporating the French title (like Pete Seeger did with "Die Gedanken sind frei").
So, on the agenda this week: a couple of reviews pending, my French set to continue reading, plus possibly the new Rick Riordan Egyptian fantasy novel.
* Like Simon Shama's Citizens.