Reading Assignment #1: Through Part 2 of In the Garden of Beasts

You came, you voted...and, yeah, you dissed a dead guy, a legendary musician and a cinematic smartass by quite a large measure, and an improv queen by notsomuch. At the close of the poll, historian Erik Larson beat the pack scoring a little over 40 percent of the total votes.

Larson and his latest, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, were already the stars of an Arts & Letters Live event earlier this season. Following his critical darlings such as The Devil In the White City and Isaac's Storm, In the Garden of Beasts is already receiving loads of ink from all manner of rag and review.

So let's dive in, shall we? Cue up your readers or open your books and begin, appropriately, with Das Vorspiel (the prologue). We'll read on through Part II: House Hunting in the Third Reich, Chapter 10: Tiergartenstrasse 27a by Friday, July 15 (better known as Harry Potter 7.2 Day, but that's neither here nor there).

Now, we've been told by overachieving co-workers, who have already read In the Garden, that it's a super-fast read. If you find that you're breezing through much faster and you're getting antsy waiting for our deadline, please tell us either in the comments here or via Twitter @the_mixmaster.

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