Books

Epoch Booklist: Recommended Reading for May 6–12

This week’s selection of books features a novel about U.S. soldiers in Iraq, a children’s classic, and a collection of wild science experiments.

Fiction

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Soldier Up and Drive On

‘The Princes of War: A Novel of America in Iraq’
By Claude Schmid

The setting is Iraq. It’s hot inside those Humvees. Two U.S. Army officers deal daily with an elusive and dangerous enemy. One analyzes intelligence; the other leads a platoon. Will they find the sniper? Fight the fear. Stay motivated. Keep your soldiers alive.

Warriors Publishing Group, 2016, 340 pages

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An American Favorite

‘Gone With the Wind’
By Margaret Mitchell

Set in the South immediately before, during, and after the Civil War and without offering a modern view of slavery, this historical novel has enthralled readers since its 1936 publication. It features scores of characters, but central to the plot is Scarlett O’Hara. She’s raised as a Southern belle on her family’s plantation, Tara, but after the war becomes a hard-hearted businesswoman intent on triumph and wealth. Her romance with Rhett Butler remains one of U.S. literature’s great love stories.

Scribner Reissue, 2011, 960 pages

History

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Americans in China During WWII

‘Blackboards and Bomb Shelters’
By James P. Bevill

Paul Springer grew up in New Jersey during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1937, he won a full scholarship to Ivy League Yale. Yale sponsored a school in Hunan Province, China, and every other year sent three Yale graduates to teach there. Springer wanted adventure and applied with two other Yale graduates. They then sailed to China in July 1941. U.S. neutrality ended before Springer’s first semester of teaching. The author follows the three Yale companions through World War II in China.

Schiffer Military, 2022, 320 pages

Science

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Science You Can Try at Home, Maybe

‘Theodore Gray’s Completely Mad Science’
By Theodore Gray

Depending upon your personality, “Don’t try this at home” is a warning or an invitation. Popular Science magazine’s “Gray Matter” column writer, Theodore Gray, collected some of his wilder experiments in this book. It’s the kind of science book in which pyrotechnics abound and emphasis is placed on the spectacular. Know some teens who think science is boring? Get them this book. It might ignite a lifetime of interest in science.

Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2016, 408 pages

Economics

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A Free Market Proposal

‘Free to Choose’
By Milton & Rose Friedman

Milton Friedman was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. His book, written with his wife, demonstrates how free-market principles help boost an economy and how government intrusion promotes the opposite. The Nobel Laureate’s book was such a hit that it was turned into a 10-part series on PBS in the 1980s.

Mariner Books, 1990, 338 pages

Classics

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Her Words Still Live

‘The Poems of Emily Dickinson’
By Emily Dickinson

One of the greatest American poets, Dickinson published little of her work during her lifetime. In this collection, editor R.W. Franklin assembled 1,789 of her poems. Considering that she edited her verse again and again to alter a word or phrase, we now realize the vast amount of time she spent perfecting her work. A solitary soul—some would call her a recluse—she devoted her later years to the care of her mother and father—and to her writing. In this collection, Franklin gives us an excellent compendium of her poetry.

Belknap Press, 2005, 696 pages

For Kids

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So We Packed Our Bags

‘We Were Tired of Living in a House’
By Liesel Moak Skorpen

Four siblings in trouble for rambunctious play leave home to live in a tree, a cave, near a pond, and by the sea. Each time they must pack up and move, until they finally return home. Lovely illustrations and a sweet story. The book was written for children ages 4 to 7.

Purple House Press, 2021, 40 pages

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A Definitive Childhood Read

‘Winnie-the-Pooh’
By A.A. Milne

Delightful for kids of any age, A.A. Milne’s fanciful tales circa 1926 featuring his son Christopher Robin and his stuffed animal friends epitomize classic children’s literature. Read it aloud or enjoy the delightful audio version.

Dutton Books, 2017, 176 pages

Dustin Bass
Dustin Bass is the host of Epoch TV's About the Book: A Show about New Books With the Authors Who Wrote Them. He is an author and co-host of The Sons of History podcast.
Anita L. Sherman is an award-winning journalist who has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and editor for local papers and regional publications in Virginia. She now works as a freelance writer and is working on her first novel. She is the mother of three grown children and grandmother to four, and she resides in Warrenton, Va. Anita can be reached at anitajustwrite@gmail.com
Jeff Minick
Jeff Minick has four children and a growing platoon of grandchildren. For 20 years, he taught history, literature, and Latin to seminars of homeschooling students in Asheville, N.C. He is the author of two novels, “Amanda Bell” and “Dust on Their Wings,” and two works of non-fiction, “Learning as I Go” and “Movies Make the Man.” Today, he lives and writes in Front Royal, Va. See JeffMinick.com to follow his blog.
Mark Lardas
Mark Lardas, an engineer, freelance writer, historian, and model-maker, lives in League City, Texas. His website is MarkLardas.com
Barbara Danza
Barbara Danza is a mom of two, an MBA, a beach lover, and a kid at heart. Here, diving into the challenges and opportunities of parenting in the modern age. Particularly interested in the many educational options available to families today, the renewed appreciation of simplicity in kids’ lives, the benefits of family travel, and the importance of family life in today’s society.
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