17. Joan fo Arc: In Her Own Words

In fact, it's not in her words at all, but what can we do about that. Actually, this was a very good read.

Normally I'd say people who claim to recipients of visions from God with clear instructions to go to war are right fucking nutters. But Joan's claims are somehow credible.

15th century. England has all but taken France. Seventeen year old Joan receives clear instructions from God (via St. Michael, the warrior angel) to go to the dauphin and ask him for permission to command his armies. He gives her said permission and command of 10,000 soldiers. She leads them into umpteen battels and swiftly kicks ass in most places. And the rest you all surely know. Captured. Trial. Witch. Burned. This is what we do to our great leaders.

16. The Pearl

by John Steinbeck

Bleak outlook. Sort of like Heart of Darkness except a baby dies because if it all.

Oh, shite, that's a spoiler.