Book Review: Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy by Serhii Plokhy
Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy
Author: Serhii Plokhy
Published: January 1, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
On 26 April 1986 at 1.23am a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine exploded. While the authorities scrambled to understand what was occurring, workers, engineers, firefighters and those living in the area were abandoned to their fate. The blast put the world on the brink of nuclear annihilation, contaminating over half of Europe with radioactive fallout.
In Chernobyl, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy draws on recently opened archives to recreate these events in all their drama. A moment by moment account of the heroes, perpetrators and victims of a tragedy, Chernobyl is the first full account of a gripping, unforgettable Cold War story.
I read the whole thing and I really enjoyed it!
First, let’s talk about the missing star. Most of it is about the kind of reader I am, and I completely acknowledge that. This book was very technical. There were several places where science was included with very little explanation. Normally, I work my way through technicalities with a very limited understanding; I even had a hard time with that in this book. I think a bit more explanation of the scientific and medical would have been beneficial. I also didn’t agree with the conclusions that Plokhy reached at the end. I’ll admit that my political views lead to a different solution to the nuclear problem and that’s ok; it just took away a bit from reading the epilogue. The last thing has more to do with Plokhy’s background; he’s a native Ukrainian who has written several works on the history and impact of Ukraine. Unfortunately, his writing felt biased, leaning towards the villainization of most outside of a certain movement within the Ukraine. It didn’t feel very neutral in several places and my inner historian didn’t like that. But, that all can be condensed into 1 star and the rest of the book made up for all that.
It was a straightforward story put forth and I very much enjoyed reading it. I learned a lot and I found it easy to read. Plokhy was able to take a story with so many plot points and twists and players and lay it all out in a clear timeline with understandable perspectives. This is a really good history book and I feel like I learned many things that I didn’t know before. I absolutely recommend it as a historical reference.
Blog Tour: 50 Dinosaur Tales and 108 More Discoveries From the Golden Age of Dinos
Today I am part of the Blog Tour for 50 Dinosaur Tales by Sabrina Ricci and I will be sharing my review. If you are a dinosaur fan and enjoy reading facts on newly discovered dinosaurs, then this is the book for you!
“Gualicho takes a bite out of the ornithopod’s back as it runs away from her, causing it to stumble and fall. She jumps on top of the body and rips open its neck with her teeth. The ornithopod becomes still and limp.
Satisfied, Gualicho begins to feast. But, after only two bites, she senses something is wrong. She lifts her head and sees a Mapusaurus making its way toward her.”
About 50 Dinosaur Tales
Blending fiction with fact, 50 Dinosaur Tales imagines the way 50 newly described dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous lived in their natural habitats.
Also included is a list of fun facts for each dinosaur story, and facts about 108 additional dinosaurs.
If you want to hear more about new dinosaurs as soon as they are discovered, listen to the weekly podcast I Know Dino.
50 Dinosaur Tales: And 108 More Discoveries From the Golden Age of Dinos
Author: Sabrina Ricci with Garret Kruger
Published: September 30, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
If you are a dinosaur enthusiast then this is the book for you! I grew up reading as much as I could about dinosaurs, watched all things dinosaurs, had dinosaur toys and absolutely loved (and still love) all things Jurassic Park! I even wanted to become a paleontologist for a while as I was growing up.
50 Dinosaur Tales is written by Sabrina Ricci who also has a weekly podcast with her husband Garret called I Know Dino. In 50 Dinosaur Tales, we learn all about the dinosaurs that were recently discovered in the last few years. The dinosaurs were sorted by continent (which is easier said than done as the continents have moved from their original locations).
There are 50 short stories about various dinosaurs and the stories chronicle ‘everyday life’ of these animals, blending fiction with facts. The stories even show the dinosaurs interacting with each other. There are also some facts mentioned for these dinosaurs after the stories. If you want to learn more about these creatures and are reading an e-copy of the book, there are links to the podcasts you can go to learn about the dinosaurs and a list of resources if you want to look into the information yourself.
The short stories would be perfect for younger kids wanting to learn about dinos, but the rest of the information may possibly become tedious for those younger readers. There is also a picture that accompanies the short stories.
There are a wide variety of dinosaurs presented and you will learn about them! There is no way I am going to even attempt to pronounce the names of these creatures as it would be impossible! And OMG, there is a dinosaur called Thanos (Thanos simonattoi) who is referencing a particular villain… If you know your Marvel characters, then you know who I’m talking about…
Everyone has a favorite dinosaur and my favorites tend to be the carnivores. As you read, maybe you will discover a new favorite that is lesser known.
Thank you to Ms. Ricci for bringing us her knowledge and love of dinosaurs to the page!
Barnes & Noble
About the Author:
Sabrina is a writer and podcaster. She loves nerdy things, like technical specs and dinosaurs, especially sauropods. When she’s not writing, she’s podcasting with her husband at I Know Dino (iknowdino.com), a weekly show about dinosaurs.