Showing posts from June, 2011

Book Review: Boone, A Biography by Robert Morgan

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Hardcover $20.97
Paperback $12.50
Kindle $9.99

Link for the book @ publisher:

Authors website:

Published by Shannon Ravenel Book, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in 2007
Non-fiction/American History/The Old West/Frontier
538 pages

Daniel Boone did not really wear a coonskin hat, he wore a beaver felt hat in order to keep the sun and rain off of his head. He was a gypsy, nomadic in lifestyle, often gone for long periods of time, so long that his wife thought he might have been dead. He had a happy easy going personality, disliked fighting and arguments. When the fall of the year would come his heart drove him to the woods to hunt and trap. Just as a poet is led to write poetry, Daniel Boone was driven to roam the forests in search of game or new land.
Daniel Boon…

The Old West Update

I have a few more books on The Old West to read before "riding-off in to the sunset" to another genre.

1. Boone, A Biography by Robert Morgan
2. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
3. Empire of The Summer Moon, Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S. C. Gwynne
4. Brave Companions, Portraits in History by David McCullough
5. Blood And Thunder, The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West by Hampton Sides
6. Crazy Horse and Custer, The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors by Stephen E. Ambrose

Blissful Reading!

Book Review: Children Of The West, Family Life On The Frontier by Cathy Luchetti

Authors site:

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Hardback $28.05

Link for the book at publisher:
Published by W W Norton and Company May 2001
256 pages/ Non-fiction/Children of the West/American History/The Old West

The first wagon birth occurred in 1843. I cannot imagine giving birth to a baby in the middle of no-where, with no physician, maybe no other women to help, and knowing that my baby may not survive the birth nor I.
Yet, many women traveled by covered wagon following their husbands out west. They settled in California and Oregon. Many settled in Nebraska, Colorado, Montana or the Dakota Territory.
The book Children Of The West delivers (no pun intended) a thorough job in educating the reader about what life was like for a child born in the west during the trip, or for a child that lived thorough the memorable experienc…

Book Review: Faith and Betrayal, A Pioneer Woman's Passage in the American West by Sally Denton

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Hardcover available for .99 and up from used book store
Paperback $11.20
Kindle $9.99

Link for the book @ publisher:
Paperback $14.00

Published by Knopf April 2005/240 Pages
Non-fiction/Pioneer Women/The Old West/Mormon

Jean Rio Griffith's was born in 1810 in Scotland. An only child to a mother of French aristocratic birth (surviving the French revolution) and to a father that was of Scottish aristocracy. Jean Rio grew up having the best of education and the best in piano and voice instruction. She later gave piano performances in concert halls in Europe. She married a Henry Baker of London and they lived near St. Paul's Cathedral. Together they had 9 children. Jean Rio lived a life of luxury and stability. Yet, she was disenchanted with the Anglican Church and with aristocratic…

Book Review: Calamity Jane of the Western Trails by J. Leonard Jennewein

"Little about Calamity is provable, and how much that has been told is most inaccurate, or even fanciful."
James McLaird in the foreword

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Paperback $7.93

Published by Dakota West Books  First Edition 1953, Fourth Edition 1991
48 pages
Non-fiction/The Old West/Pioneer Women

Calamity Jane was a rough and tough, chewed tobacco, drank whiskey to excess, spit, cursed, solid looking big-boned gal. She could crack a bull whip and ride a horse like a man. She preferred the company of men. She was an anomaly in a culture and age where women were women and men were men....and they did not cross the line over to the other.
On the other hand she was quick to help those who were sick or in need. And even though she was course and rough as sandpaper, she had many friends that through her life helped her.
Calamity Jane for most of …

Book Review: Volume 2 Covered Wagon Women, Diaries and Letters From The Western Trails, 1850 Edited and Compiled by Kenneth L. Holmes

"The historian who would read women's diaries must 'hear' what is not written, and understand what is spoken only by allusion and indirection."  Lillian Schlissel

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Paperback $13.46
Kindle $9.99

Published by Bison Books 1996/296 pages
Non-fiction/History/Pioneer Women/Diaries and Journals/Westward Expansion
Volume 2 of 3 Books on Pioneer Women and their Diaries, Letters

Before reading this book and the previous reviewed book on Pioneer women---I thought most women of this age were domestic, passive, servitude towards men. I guess some were, but certainly not all. Even for those women who did obediently do what their husbands or fathers wanted, they all had feelings and opinions. Inside their mind they may have been quaking with anger or fear, but society standards and the inability for most women to not be able to provide financially for themselves, t…

Book Review: Pioneer Women, The Lives of Women on the Frontier by Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Paperback $17.79
Not Available on Kindle

Published by University of Oklahoma 1998/144 pages
Non-fiction/History/Pioneer Women/The Old West

"Americans have always had itching feet." John Mack Faragher
And I might add when men have itching feet to move, their wives move with them.
In the 2 books I've read so far on Pioneer women, it was the husbands that initiated the plan to move westward. Their wives without a choice in the matter moved with them.
Yes, there were some women that moved west because of business ventures whether owning a saloon, or working as a prostitute, or following the gold rush for opportunities there.
There were also women that were sold as slaves and brought to America from another country mainly China.
These women worked in prostitution, they were considered the low tier of this trade. Their cubicle of work was called a crib measuring 4x6. These women earned…

Preview to Pioneer Women

When I was a girl I was fascinated by the stories my grandmother's told me. Stories of drawing water from a well for daily use, wearing a bonnet, layers of petticoats under long dresses, riding in a wagon and not a car, cooking and baking in a wood stove, going to bed shortly after dark and waking up before dawn, house dances, courting, picking cotton, and the endearing way my maternal grandmother called her daddy "papa". My grandmother's were both born in the early 1900's. My maternal grandmother's mother died when my grandmother was 4 years old. It was her oldest sister Bertha that took over as "mother and homemaker".
My paternal grandmother was 1 of 14 children. Her paternal grandfather fought in the Civil War and relocated to Texas after that war. I love history and I love stories. I especially love stories and history of women. Women that against the odds of their environment, or family circumstances, or education, or the age in which they were…

67th Anniversary of D-day

Today marks the 67th anniversary of D-day Normandy 6th of June. Veteran's of this battle are becoming smaller in number with each passing year. My dad is a D-day Veteran and is still living at age 88.

As a child growing up my dad would often talk of some of his experiences of World War II with mom and I. Most often he would share during our evening supper meal when we were all gathered together. Dad was selective in what he shared because I was a child, but as I grew older he shared more of his experiences with me. Yet, I know that it is impossible to fully express what combat is like, only a person that has experienced it first hand understands.

As I've gotten older and more mature, with each passing anniversary I hold my dad's heroism during D-day more precious. He is my daddy, age 88, with many aches and pains. I carry a list with me at all times with information on his lengthy history of past surgeries and current medications. He has become more frail and falls easily,…

Book Review: Causes, Reconstruction America, 1863-1877 by Tonya Bolden

Link for the book @ Amazon:
Hardcover $15.56

Link for the book @ publisher:
Hardcover $19.95

Author's site with synopsis:

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers December 2005/144 pages
Non-fiction/Civil War/Reconstruction After Civil War/American History
For ages 9-12...but I'm much older than 12.

This book was written for young adult readers, but I'm posting this book on this blog as well as my blog for children/young adult books.

This year I've taken part in a Civil War Reading Challenge through War Through The Generations. This is my 3rd year to take part in a War Through The Generations Challenge hosted by fellow blogger's--Serena and Anna.  Thank you to Serena and Anna both for hosting these challenges!

Books on the Reconstruction ca…

A Story of a Real Cowboy Life

I read this article recently in the Dallas Morning News. I found it an interesting article about a man that is now 106. He lived the life of a real cowboy in the western area of Texas. I wanted to include this article as apart of The Old West theme of books I'm reading this summer.

Blissful Blogging!