S.C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon

Empire of the Summer Moon

When I saw S.C. Gwynne was a scheduled speaker for Books in Bloom this year, I decided it was the perfect time to try one of his books that had been on my to-read list for a long-time, Empire of the Summer Moon.

I’ve been interested in the American West and Native American history since I was a child–my family can vouch for how weirdly obsessed I was with Son of the Morning Star as a nine-year-old–so I was excited to try Gwynne’s well-regarded history of the Comanche tribe.

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My Year in Reading

What was your year in reading like?

I know a lot of my bookish friends tend to describe their year in reading by how many books they read — and I do that too — but that still doesn’t say much about your year in reading, like what you were actually reading in those 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, etc. books you read over the course of 2016.

And, so to that end, I thought I’d recap my year in reading –a lot of which did not end up on the blog — and you could share your year in reading in the comments.

Note: not all of the books I mention are available in the library, but we can certainly try to get them for you through ILL if you’re interested!

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Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels

the-killer-angels

Call me what you will but I LOVE historical fiction. It’s one of my favorite genres.

However, I am one of the first to admit that a lot of historical fiction novelists are much better at writing either the historical aspect or the fictional aspect, but not both. So when I find a work that manages to integrate history and fiction seamlessly and handles both effectively, I consider it a gem. Michael Shaara’s classic The Killer Angels about the Battle of Gettysburg is just such a gem (and the winner of a Pulitzer Prize – maybe I should be a judge?)

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T.J. Stiles’s Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America

custers-trials

George Armstrong Custer is one of the most controversial figures in American history.

Don’t believe me?

Pick up any book about him or the American West or the American Civil War and see what the authors have to say about him. Some will praise him as a brave but misunderstood genius, some will denigrate him as an egotistical moron, and some will eulogize him as a tragic figure.

I’ve personally always found Custer a fascinating but relatively unsympathetic historical figure, but reading T.J. Stiles’s excellent, Pulitzer-Prize winning Custer’s Trials forced me to  re-evaluate some of my assumptions about him.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book Published This Year

This is it.  Believe it or not, you have made it to the last post of the 2016 Library Challenge.

If you’ve been participating in the challenge or following along with the blog, you know we have taken quite the journey this year, working our way through a range of interesting challenges, everything from romance to nonfiction to badly-reviewed books.

The only one left is a book published in the last year. So, without further ado, let’s take our last romp of the year with a round-up of some recent releases that have received positive reviews.

As always, if you’re interested, please visit our online library catalog for more information on any of the books.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Pulitzer Prize Winner

Let’s be real. For many, the Pulitzer Prize is not a reading turn-on.

And I understand why. If contemporary literary fiction isn’t your thing, ploughing through some of the past winners may seem like real work.

But I like literary fiction and think many prize-winning books make for a good read, even if you aren’t living in an ivory tower. If nothing else, they always give you plenty to think about!

Don’t forget that Pulitzers are also awarded for nonfiction, history, and biography.

Ready to take the plunge? Here’s a few prize winners that may just draw you in…

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2016 Library Challenge: A Nonfiction Book

Not in the mood for a novel but still want something to read?

Looking for a book that qualifies as “nonfiction” for the library challenge?

Love nonfiction but unsure of what’s been recently released?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then this post is for you!

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