Pleasure Reading: Looking forward

It’s the weekend (well, almost) and except for marking, two chapters to write and many others to edit, I’m free! Well, let’s not forget the normal household and personal chores. But close enough, eh?

I’m dangling a reward in front of my eyes for when I hit the next marking milestone: reading Alan Taylor’s The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels and Indian Allies. I picked up the book on the recommendation of a former colleague, Dr. Andrew Smith, who blogged about Taylor’s book in December.

After all, we’re celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 this year: shouldn’t I get back to a topic I haven’t touched since Professor Million’s Indiana History class that I took as an undergrad?

I’m two chapters in and quite hooked, but I’ve sworn to hold off reading the rest until I get more marking done. It’s a thick book (about 450 pages of text with another 150 of apparatus) and will take hours to digest. What’s slowed me down is that it’s in a volume that’s heavy enough so I can’t just drop it in my purse and haul it everywhere (I tend to pleasure read in fits and starts when I’m on the go with my busy family).

Another busman’s holiday, I suppose: I grew up not far from the site of Prophets-town and the Battle of Tippecanoe. Tecumseh was a household name but there’s already so much in Taylor’s story that I’m learning anew, particularly Canadian history elements but also some useful perspectives from my European interests. Even if I don’t often teach the modern topics (and my research interests stay mostly before 1750) this book is shaping up as a valuable read!

Let’s see if I can get the two sets of tutorial responses marked early enough this weekend that I can get back to this fun book.


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