Over the Christmas weekend I finished reading “Artemis” by Andy Weir. I thought it would be a good read because I had read Weir’s first novel, called “The Martian.”
Maybe you remember either the book or the movie made from it by the same name, starring Matt Damon. I loved “The Martian” in book and movie form.
I would say that “Artemis” is, well, only meh. Clearly not the best book I have read in 2017.
What book might that be?
Without a doubt, the best book I read this year was “The Second World Wars” by Victor Davis Hanson, a classics scholar who decided to write a history of the war like no other.
The New Yorker just published a piece about the book, and it has been featured in reviews elsewhere. They are all positive.
I have read a great many books about World War II. What makes this one so great is Hanson’s approach from 30,000 feet, and then his fine use of the most important details. As The New Yorker writer notes, Hanson points out how the Allies miscalculated from Day One about Hitler’s and Japan’s capabilities and how those miscalculations give Hitler and Japan an outsized advantage — at first.
I will leave it at that. If you are interested in world history, this is the book for you this year and, perhaps, next.