Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Did you watch the movie "Night at the Museum 2" and think they were exaggerating the Custer part to be funny?  After reading Larry McMurtry's Custer on adobe reader, I have to say, I kept thinking of that movie the entire time.  McMurtry is a wonderful writer.  He is colorful, not-too-detailed, and he is funny.  Who knew history good be so amusing?  And remember, I am talking about a slaughter, so that says alot. 
McMurty starts at the beginning of Custer's career and works his way to the end, even past it, including his wife's mission to save his reputation.  He includes general history of the time, the Indians, and war tactics of the time.  It isn't told like "this happened and than this happened and than this happened."  He tells it more like a narration.  The book also includes a lot of illustrations and pictures.  It is a short book and perfect for someone who would like to learn more about history with as little effort as possible.  Highly recommended.
I received this digital book for free from "www.edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Amish cookin'

"The Amish Family Cookbook" by Jerry and Tina Eicher is a collection of recipes used by Amish and in books with Amish in them.  I learned one thing from reviewing this book and that is that I don't like using a kindle for a cookbook.  This book doesn't include a "go to" button to each chapter.  So it makes flipping through impossible.  I also do not have a kindle fire, so no pictures were available to me either.  Pictures are a must have in a cookbook.
But as for the cookbook itself, it is pretty good.  The last Amish cookbook I used tended to be variations of stews and soups, this one is a more modern style of cooking.  Amish cook pretty much like everybody else, more vegetables and desserts maybe, but this one is pretty contemporary.  I bookmarked several recipes to try at a later date and made the buttermilk cake.  Good, by the way.  I especially like the venison recipes that were included.  I am always looking for new ways to serve deer.  I highly recommend this book, especially for say, a new bride.  Has a lot of basic learn to cook recipes.  I would however, recommend getting a regular book and not a digital.  I recieved this book for free from http://www.netgalley.com/

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Amish at War

"Arms of Love" by Kelly Long is about an amish couple during the Revolutionary War.  Adam is the abused grown son of the bishop who was also abused at a child. Lena is the woman he loves whose mother has just died in child birth and whose father is held prisoner by the patriots for not giving his property or fighting.  Lena's mother has made Adam promise that after she died he would not continue his relationship with Lena while still living under his father's rule. He decides to break up with Lena and join the war for freedom.  His freedom. Meanwhile, Lena must figure out a way to survive on her own, without Adam's help, and raise her three younger siblings. 
The story seems out of sorts.  It seems hard to believe that Adam would honor the promise to a dead woman and that at the age he is, still refuse to leave his father.  The plot seems pushed and unrealistic.  I recently read two other books about a group of people who can't fight due to religion (Quakers and Amish) and come to support the war fighting or in alternative ways.  Maybe the reason I didn't like this one so much was due to me being tired of religions and wars going together in a book with a splash of romance.  Need to pick a different kind of book for awhile.  I received this book for free from www.booksneeze.com.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Amish in the Civil War

"The Face of Heaven" by Murray Pura is a romance placed during the Civil War.  The novel is heavy on Civil War and light on romance.  Lyndel and Nathaniel are friends who live in the same Amish community in Lancaster County during the 1860's.  While working the farm Lyndel finds two runaway slaves hiding in her barn.  She goes to the aid of her brother and his best friend, Nathaniel, to keep them safe.  Eventually they are caught and there becomes somewhat of a civil war between the Amish on whether the Amish should be for or against slavery.  For or against fighting for slavery.  Nathaniel choses to leave the community and fight on the side of the north to end slavery; Lyndel follows him and serves as a nurse for the North.  The book follows them throughout the war.
This novel has a lot of information on Civil War.  At times it reads like a text book.  The romance and the characters take a backseat to the details of the war.  There almost is no plot beyond the war.  I, a history buff and not a huge fan of Amish fiction, thought that was in favor of the book, however, I can see someone who was looking for more romance or Amish being disappointed.  I would recommend this book to all history lovers, especially women, but not so much to your run of the mill romance reader.  I received this book for free from http://www.netgalley.com/.