Shaara, Jeff. Gone for Soldiers.

NY: Ballantine, 2000.

I’ve read a great many books over the years about the Civil War, both history and fiction, and one of the very best novels about that key event in American history, of course, is Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. When he died in 1988, his son took over managing his estate and then moved into the family business, as well. And, despite the complete lack of literary training or previous experience, he’s turned out to be not too bad at it.


Published in: on 27 September 2016 at 9:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Knisley, Lucy. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen.

NY: First Second, 2013.

I’m a big fan of Knisley’s graphic novels, even though they usually contain no fiction whatsoever. She writes from her own experiences, often in a confessional style, and does it very well indeed.


Ardman, Harvey. Reunion: What If the Civil War Had Never Happened?

np: Amazon Digital Services, 2014.

I’ve never heard of Ardman but this one came to my notice because I’m a long-time fan of alternate histories. What-if-ing is great intellectual fun — if you do it right and play by the rules. Ardman has written some twenty books, nearly all of them workmanlike nonfiction, and has produced a number of television documentaries (and lots of commercials, apparently), but this appears to be his first attempt at fiction.


Wambaugh, Joseph. Finnegan’s Week.

NY: Morrow, 1993.

Fin Finnegan is a property crimes detective in the southern end of San Diego, raised mostly by three older sisters (who always made him do things for his own good), just turned forty-five (over the hill), married and divorced three times (an unfortunate habit), fan of Ross Perot in the forthcoming election (hard to remember why anyone would be, now), of rather small stature (which women think is cute), squeamish about autopsies (which is why he works property crimes), and becoming a bit tired of being a cop. (more…)

Published in: on 27 June 2010 at 6:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Connelly, Michael. The Black Ice.

Boston: Little, Brown, 1993.

Connelly has been a popular writer of detective stories for awhile now, still cranking them out in several character series, but he seems to be coasting lately, not always investing sufficient time in his plots or in the bits of “business” that add verisimilitude to the story. It’s a common hazard for a successful popular author. (more…)

Published in: on 23 December 2009 at 7:50 am  Comments (1)  
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