Thursday, December 4, 2008

BlogTalkRadio - Laura Miller

So I listened to Laura Miller, author of The Magician's Book, this afternoon on Blog Talk Radio. It was really interesting, and I'm enjoying the book so far. Watch for a review coming soon!

Monday, December 1, 2008

book binge

Between conference discounts and 1/2 price day at the library book sale a couple of weeks ago, I went a bit of a book binge. I thought some of you might be interested in the new additions to my library...especially if any of you are interested in Indiana like I am.

Thomas Hart Benton and the Indiana Murals
Greetings from Indiana: Vintage Hoosier Postcards
The Identity of the American Midwest: Essays on Regional History
Indiana Political Heroes
Meredith Nicholson: A Writing Life
Who's Your County Named For?: And Other Hoosier County Facts
First Ladies of Indiana and the Governors
Robert Owen's American Legacy
The Circle: The Center of Indianapolis
Recollections of Sixteen Presidents from Washington to Lincoln
The Play-Party in Indiana
A Bibliography of Booth Tarkington, 1869-1946
Indiana Authors and Their Books, 1816-1916

The Camel Club
The Collectors
Stone Cold

The Grand Tour in the Eighteenth Century

The library book sale got me the rest of David Baldacci's Camel Club series, which I can't wait to read after finishing Divine Justice (review here).

Does anyone else go haywire at library book sales?

Review : American Buffalo

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon by Steven Rinella. Spiegel & Grau (2008).
[release date: December 2, 2008]

This was the perfect Thanksgiving time read. The U.S. lays claim to the symbolism of several animals including, of course, the turkey. Then there is the eagle, a symbol of freedom and strength, that beat out the turkey to become our national bird. The buffalo conjures images of the American West and our pioneering spirit. Though the buffalo is fraught with American symbolism, I had never given much thought to its history and relationship to humans.

In American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon, Steven Rinella charts the course of this symbolic animal through American, and pre-American, history. After years of fascination with the American buffalo, Rinella won a coveted permit to hunt one in Alaska. American Buffalo begins with his success in the hunt and then takes us back to his first personal encounter with a buffalo.

Rinella is skilled at making the history of the buffalo on the North American continent both interesting and relevant. His search for the buffalo's meaning has taken him across the country several times making for a personal connection throughout his narrative. Interspersed with the buffalo's history is Rinella's hunting tale, which is also compelling. I can't imagine being alone in the wilds of Alaska yet felt as if I were right there beside Rinella.

I grew up in northern Indiana with a hunting father so Rinella's detailed description of his hunt, and more specifically, his kill didn't really bother me. If you are anti-hunting or have a weak stomach, you may have difficulty with some of the later passages in the book. This is just fair warning, however, because I still think you should read this book. Rinella gives great insight into the American buffalo and its ties to our history. I'll be watching for future contributions from this author.

and the winners are...

Sorry for the delay in posting the Divine Justice giveaway winners! The winners (randomly selected by are....


Congratulations, ladies! Thanks to everyone who entered.

EDIT: Sandra wasn't actually interested in this book so I've selected another winner. Congratulations....

Gwendolyn B.