By Omar El Akkad
Knopf — April 2017
ISBN 9780451493583 — 352 Pages — Hardcover
Ink and Bone
(The Great Library #1)
By Rachel Caine
NAL – 7th July 2015
ISBN 9780451472397 – 368 Pages – Hardcover
Source: Ace Roc Stars Street Team
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this from the publisher as part of the Ace Roc Stars Street Team in exchange for an honest review.
Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reading copy of this from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Of Bone and Thunder, by Chris Evans
Publisher: Gallery Books
496 pages, hardcover
Published: 14th October 2014
Disclaimer: I received a free advanced electronic reading copy of this from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Last Stories and Other Stories,
by William T. Vollmann
692 pages, eBook
Published 10th July 2014
“Listening for the Shells” (Sarajevo)
“The Treasure of Jovo Cirtovich” (Trieste)
“The Madonna’s Forehead” (Trieste)
“Cat Goddess” (Trieste)
“The Trench Ghost” (Redipuglia, Tungesnes)
“The Faithful Wife” (Bohemia and Trieste)
“The Judge’s Promise” (Bohemia)
“June Eighteenth” (Trieste and Queretaro)
“The Cemetery of the World” (Veracruz)
“Two Kings in Zinogava” (Veracruz)
“The White-Armed Lady” (Stavanger)
“Where Your Treasure Is” (Stavanger, Lillehammer)
“The Memory Stone” (Stavanger)
“The Narrow Passage” (Stavanger)
“The Queen’s Grave” (Klepp)
“Star of Norway” (Lillehammer)
“The Forgetful Ghost (Tokyo)
“The Ghost of Rainy Mountain” (Nikko)
“The Camera Ghost” (Tokyo)
“The Cherry Tree Ghost” (Kyoto, Nikko)
“Paper Ghosts” (Tokyo)
“Defiance Too Late” (Unknown)
“Widow’s Weeds” (Kauai, Paris)
“The Banquet of Death” (Buenos Aires)
“The Grave-House” (Unknown)
“When We Were Seventeen” (USA)
“The Answer” (Unknown)
Disclaimer: I received a free electronic reading copy of this from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra
Publisher: Hogarth Books
402 pages, ebook
Published 1st January 2013
Sources: Blogging for Books & Edelweiss
Five Stars out of Five
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this from the Crown Publishing Group via their Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.
Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman, by Robert L. O’Connell
Publisher: Random House
432 pages, hardcover
Expected Publication: 1st July 2014
Source: Goodreads First-Reads
I used to know a fair amount about the Civil War and Sherman, but not having read much about it in years, many things had slipped my mind. Having lived in St. Louis for a good time and knowing Sherman’s connection to the city I was interested in giving this biography a read. Overall it is a fascinating and very approachable volume, never getting bogged down in too many details and presenting the history and personalities in an engaging style. While not skimping on details and analysis, O’Connell effectively avoids academic tones, relating a good deal in almost conversational fashion. The writing makes it clear that he is really interested in this story and the character of Sherman.
The downside to the book, however, is its organization. O’Connell in the introduction makes the point of needing to separate the various aspects of Sherman’s complex character or personality and behaviors, which at times he feels could become seemingly incongruous or too scattered to follow as one coherent chronological line. This results in the book being divided into three sections: 1) a military perspective (campaigns and his relations with the military hierarchy), 2) another military perspective (his relations with the troops under him), and 3) his personal life. O’Connell’s previous work, which has focused on military and weapons makes the focus of this wartime hero understandable. But, a large amount of the introduction points out the important contributions that Sherman made after the war, which have often gone ignored, particularly in realizing or enabling the “Manifest Destiny” of the previous political years prior to the war’s outbreak.
Sadly, very little text is spent on this period. The bulk of the book is taken up just with the first part. The second part is really a continuation or a rehash of things already covered, but provides a slightly more detailed perspective of Sherman as viewed by his troops. In this way the two chapters of that second part feel more like a biography of the soldiers rather than Sherman. Additionally, much of the private life of Sherman in the final part (again only a couple of chapters) still gets discussed (just more fleetingly or generally) in the earlier sections. The entire end of the book thereby feels like a slightly more specific discussion of things already mentioned, leaving them feel tacked on and superfluous, too separated from the whole.
Despite my issue with the breakup of the organization, this volume would be a fine addition to the library or reading list of those interested in the Civil War and the people involved. O’Connell summarizes other historical accounts of Sherman’s life well within the entirety of his text, often analyzing conflicting views or offering up his own unique take on interpretation of events or beliefs that the historian can only speculate upon with the evidence we have. In all O’Connell seems well-reasoned and informed and he offers copious notes to original sources for those who wish to delve deeper.