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review 2017-07-21 10:42
An excellent naval history of the Civil War
War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865 - James M. McPherson

A few years ago I decided I wanted to read a naval history of the Civil War. To my surprise, I learned that, for all that has been written about the conflict, there are relatively few books about its naval aspects and the ones I found proved disappointing. Had I waited a little longer I would have discovered that this book was a perfect fit for my needs, as James McPherson brings his expertise as the nation's foremost Civil War historian to the study of its naval aspects. Drawing upon both primary sources and secondary studies he surveys the various components of the naval war, from the Union blockade that was a critical dimension of the conflict to the revolutionary development of steam-powered ironclads, all of which he describes in his clear and assured prose. If there is a complaint to be made about this book it is that the apparent parameters of the Littlefield series for which he wrote it limited the amount of depth in which he can explore his subject, yet within its confines he has provided the best single-volume history of the Civil War at sea there is or is likely to be for some time to come.

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text 2017-06-01 16:51
June TBR: Small Bear Press Month
Tyrannia: and Other Renditions - Alan DeNiro
North American Lake Monsters: Stories - Nathan Ballingrud
The Monkey's Wedding and Other Stories - Lizza Aiken,Joan Aiken
The Liminal People - Ayize Jama-Everett
The Fires Beneath the Sea - Lydia Millet
Fire Logic - Laurie J. Marks
Couch by Benjamin Parzybok (2008-11-01) - Benjamin Parzybok
After the Apocalypse - Maureen F. McHugh
The Child Garden: A Novel - Catriona McPherson
A Stranger in Olondria - Sofia Samatar

Last year I got a Humble Bundle of Small Bear Press books that I archived and never got to, so I'm dedicating June to at least testing out some of them. I read one last year called Stranger Things Happen that a lot of people seem to like but I hated it. A lot of these look good though. They seem really creative so I'm holding out hope. Once I finish Dragondawn, I will tackle this pile and see where it leads.

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review 2017-05-06 19:03
Review of Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James McPherson
Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution - James M. McPherson,Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincol

I enjoyed this short book of academic essay by the most famous Civil War historian James McPherson.  The essays look at specific aspects of Lincoln as President including his use of metaphors, his single-minded focus on complete victory in the War, and his views on liberty.  Great read for people with a deep Civil War or Lincoln background, but probably too heavy for anyone interested in a popular history.

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review 2017-03-10 22:34
The Reek of Red Herrings: A Dandy Gilver Mystery - Catriona McPherson

This is book 9 in the Dandy Gilver series, and it’s a strong entry. I have to admit that I find Alec a good deal more annoying than Dandy seems to. He certainly doesn’t add much to the story for me. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of interesting stuff about local folk traditions, and a nice creepy factor to the solution to the mystery. As usual, this is right at the line of cozy vs not, which is one of the things I appreciate about the series.

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review 2016-11-30 00:00
At Water's Edge
At Water's Edge - S. McPherson Dezaray has never quite recovered from her parent's deaths, in large part because her brother blames her for it, and in drunken rages beats her on a regular basis. So when her doppleganger from another, magical realm saves her, and then accidentally takes her place, Dezaray finally gets a chance to breathe. But as much as she likes being in the alternate world, her doppleganger needs to get back to save her world, and they can't both remain in the same world at the same time.

This is a heartbreaking tale of finding love and worth and forgiving oneself. I have to say, though I've had this book read for a bit, I kept forgetting to rate it because I keep having a hard time associating the title with the story (also happened after I bought the book, and when I finished reading it I pulled out of the ebook and went - oh yeah, that's what it's called).

The book ends on quite the cliff-hanger. I wish the author would have taken it just a step farther, but that might take the reader back into the midst of disappointment and depression, rather than leaving them on a high note. Oh well.

The story was still good. Lots of action, angst, and romance. An exciting read, and a story my mind keeps returning to. I'll have to put the rest of the books on my to-be-read list. :)
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