This week, we feature a biography about a Civil War General that is almost forgotten as well as a fascinating story of a shipwreck that stunned Britain.
‘Union General: Samuel Ryan Curtis Victory in the West
By William L. Shea
Samuel Ryan Curtis was one of the North’s most skilled generals. Pea Ridge was one of his key victories. He did not lose a single battle. He commanded Union troops in Trans-Mississippi, during the Civil War, and helped to make peace with Sioux. He was a well-known civil engineering expert and helped to establish the Republican Party. This biography is Curtis’ first and only. It covers the nearly forgotten Union generals’ political, engineering, and military feats.
Potomac Books 2023, 368 pages
“Samuel Pepys, the Strange Wrecking of the Gloucester: A Shipwreck That Shocked Restoration Britain”
By Nigel Pickford
It’s 1682 in Restoration Britain. Charles II is in grave health and invites James Duke of York, Duke of York, to return from exile so that he can prepare for his rightful place at the throne. The future king sails to Edinburgh with a fleet. The Gloucester, his ship sinks off the Norfolk Coast. Although he is saved many are killed in the tragedy. Many conspiracy theories surround the death of this frigate. Samuel Pepys (a Diarist) plays a part.
Pegasus Books, 2023, 304 pages
‘Wind Sprints: Shorter Essays’
By Joseph Epstein
Epstein is a well-known essayist who has been around for a long time. This collection (or casuals), contains 143 short and sharp thoughts about current culture and society. Writing on a variety of topics is a skill that the writer has. “Khaki-Pantsman,” The Attack on the Hot Dog” or “Spandexless,” is evident in titles like “Spandexless”, “Spandexless”, and “Khaki_Pantsman”. Epstein offers wisdom and insight on topics as diverse as love and death, literature, film, food and exercise. He also includes witty humor.
Axios Press, 2016, 608 pages
“The Last Kingdom”
By Bernard Cornwell
It is the first book in Cornwell’s medieval saga. It is the year 866 A.D. and the Danes have taken over England, conquering every town and humiliating every king. The narrator, a captured boy from English royalty, quickly falls in love with the Vikings and becomes their spokesman. He is caught between his loyalties as his new friends march towards complete dominance of England. Cornwell captures both the brutality of the Vikings and their charming qualities. It is a fascinating and entertaining read.
HarperCollins 2006, 368 pages
“The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods”
By A.G. Sertillanges, O.P., Mary Ryan (translator)
This guide to thinking and study was first published in 1920. It has been a valuable resource for generations of writers, students, and professors. Sertillanges provides many concrete, practical recommendations for a fulfilling scholarly life without forgetting its noble ideals. The book’s final line is a reminder of its core: “It is rewarding to do a job well. However, the reward for hard work is to be able to improve it.”
Reprint of 1992 Catholic University of America Press, 264 pages
“The Jolly Barnyard”
By Annie North Bedford
This is a classic celebration of kindness, generosity and compassion. The farm animals tussle about what they should give the farmer as a birthday present, while the farmer offers them their favourite treats. Each animal gets the best, from horses to cows to chickens and many other animals. A special birthday present awaits the farmer when he returns home from work.
Golden Books, 2004, 24 pages
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