The Story of Ain’t: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published

Title: The Story of Ain’t: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published

Author: David Skinner

 the story of ain't My synopsis: David Skinner explores the creation of Webster’s first, second, and third dictionary. He discusses words that were added and words that caused much controversy.

Pro: Readers will learn about how Webster’s dictionary started and about words that were added.

Con: The author likes to repeat himself, and the writing is rather dry.

🧠Lessons learned: I learned the word “colloquial” as the author used it several times. I also learned that the dictionary is not meant to correct people’s usage of words but instead record them. After all, language evolves and the dictionary has to keep up.

Who is this for? This is for language nerds or people curious about Webster’s earliest dictionaries.


7 Events That Made America America

3 out of 5 stars

7 Events That Made America America

By: Larry Schweikart

7 events that made america america . Overview: The seven events that the author chose are outlined below.

1. Martin Van Buren’s ideas about political parties 
2. The Dread Scott decision 
3. The Johnstown flood 
4. Eisenhower’s heart attack 
5. How rock n’ roll penetrated the iron curtain 
6. Ronald Regan trying to keep the peace 
7. Obama’s favorable media treatment

Pro: This piece of writing has quite a bit of supporting evidence and references to back up some of the claims presented. The writing is easy to follow and insightful.

Con: There is a conservative undertone throughout the book that makes some of the author’s statements seem more bias. The title is a little misleading due to the events the author chose to include. The events Larry Schweikart chose were not all events that “made America America”. Most would criticize the fact that the author could have chosen more significant events to support his claims about what the founders believed to be right.

Who is this for? This book is meant for people searching for a quick overview on a few mentionable events.

Angela’s Ashes

4 out of 5 stars

Angela' Ashes book  Pro: This book is an eye-opening memoir about Frank McCourt’s childhood. Some common themes include poverty, alcoholism, religious beliefs, society, class, and most importantly perseverance. I really enjoyed this memoir.

Con: It does paint a poignant picture of what it is like to be in rags and have to feed your kids sugar water instead of nutritious food. It’s brutal and honest. Which is what I love about it, but some readers may not like reading about such desperate times.

The Black Death: A History from Beginning to End

4 stars out of 5

the black death a history from beginning to end.jpeg  The kindle edition has 45 pages. It took me about 20 minutes to completely read it. It consists of multiple explanations for why the Black Death started. It also talks about plague doctors and literature works that resulted from the plague. It briefly discusses persecution due to religious beliefs. Most importantly, the timeline goes through different outbreaks.

Pro: The structure of the book starts with the Black Death, then the second pandemic, and ends with the third pandemic. This allows the reader to understand that there was more than one outbreak. Great book for those wanting to learn a little about the Black Death.

Con: While this little book is comprehensive, some of the events mentioned are very brief. So, if you are looking for a book that is more in-depth when it comes to different pandemics then this book is not for you.

The Crusades: A History From Beginning to End

4 stars out of 5

the crusades book.jpeg  This is a short read consisting of about 60 pages. The events in this book are told as a story. The timeline goes through the debatable number of Crusades. This includes the Kingdom of Heaven, the King’s Crusade, the Self-Defeating Crusade, the Final Crusade, and ends with the Post-Crusade World.

Pro: The structure of the timeline is great because it does not only note facts about the Crusades but tells them in relation to significant historical figures which helps the reader with the details.

Con: You need to know a few facts before reading. Such as what the Crusades were (if you don’t already know). You should also know about the seven major crusades that historians count.