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Jan 30, 2011
The Last Full MeasureThe Last Full Measure by Jeff Shaara

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I wish I could give this one a 4 1/2 rating.

The continuation of a story began by his father, "The Last Full Measure" is a very good book. Jeff Shaara did a good job of picking up where his father left off. I enjoyed the story and the history, especially since the last year of the Civil War is not written about as much as the early years. While he falls a little short of his father's story telling genius, it is nevertheless a very good book to read and one I highly recommend. He brought these historical characters to life, gave them breath, and draws the reader into the scenes behind the battles as well as the battles themselves.
Jan 26, 2011

Michigan weather can be as fickle as any feline. Warm and wrapping itself around your ankles one minute, hissing and spitting at you the next. A common phrase here is, "If you don't like the weather, wait 24 hours."

For the last week we didn't have temperatures... we had minus temperatures. It would have had to warm up to get cold! It was what we call in these parts, "booger-freezin'". The goal is simply to get from point A to point B with all your digits their original color and your face still flexible enough for speech.

I suit up for morning chores in the dark, before 6:00 a.m., and this morning followed the normal routine of insulated coveralls, wool hat, chore boots, knit gloves and finally leather gloves. Three steps outside the back door and I knew I was overdressed. I opened the hatch to our outdoor wood burner and discovered not only coals, but logs still in there. Yup, it was warm all night. After hanging the grain buckets for the horses, I pulled off the leather gloves. After feeding the sheep, I stuck my wool hat in my pocket. By the time I'd tossed out the horse hay, I had my coverall unzipped by half. Once the dogs were fed and the grain buckets put away, the knit gloves were off and I was on my way back to the house, pulling the coveralls off my shoulders as I went.

How warm was it to cause this change in attire and reduced amount of wood burned? It was 27 degrees. Honestly! But after the preceeding week, it was the warmest 27 degrees I've ever felt. I'm not ready for shorts yet... but maybe next week we'll up to freezing!
Jan 12, 2011
The Killer AngelsThe Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Wow. Wow. If you're a Civil War or history buff at all, you need to read this book. Wonderfully written to the point where you smelled the gun powder, heard the cannons, and felt the sweat run down your back. The emotional side of the war was very well presented as well as the depiction of the battles. You felt Longstreet's inner turmoil and Chamberlain's growing confidence. Awesome. Read it.




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