Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bookviews - March 2011

By Alan Caruba

My Picks of the Month

Of all the themes of literature I like, history is my top choice. This is greatly enhanced when the author can write well. This is the case of James Carroll’s Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World ($28.00 Houghton Mifflin). Just out this month, Carroll adds to his reputation that already includes a National Book Award and a PEN/Galbraith Award, among others. No other city on Earth so ignites the Judeo-Christian mind while remaining the object of desire for Muslims who lay claim to it by virtue of myth and past conquest. Carroll, a former Catholic priest before becoming a scholar, brings to his history of the city, the theme of human sacrifice, dating back to the story of Abraham and Isaac, and to earlier, pagan eras with the practice was common. Jerusalem is central to the religious imagination as the site of the most holy events for Judaism and Christianity. It is also the site of repeated conquests over the millennia and, today, the place where a renewed State of Israel, its original people, exists. Carroll takes the reader on a great journey that is the history of Western civilization as it played out in a city where great dramas occured, where armies clashed, where holy men sought the essence and presence of God, where its great temple was transformed into the torah, a book of worship and wonder. Turn off the TV, read this book. Learn about Jerusalem.

I always approach books by economists with caution because today’s trendy analysis is often tomorrow’s derided buffoonery. That said, Dambisa Moyo brings an impressive set of credentials to her latest book, How the West Was Lost: Fifty years of Economic Folly—and the Stark Choices Ahead ($25.00, Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Born and raised in Zambia, the holds a PhD in economics from Oxford University and a Master’s from Harvard University’s JFK School of Government. She has been a consultant for the World Bank and worked for Goldman Sachs for eight years. Her first book, “Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working” drew raves. What worries the author (and lots of others including myself) is the way the U.S. is filling up with poorly educated, unskilled and unemployed people, directly affecting our wealth and standing in the world. We are, after all, a nation who elected someone who hadn’t finished even one term in the Senate, had never managed a business, and place of birth is a subject of controversy. The sheer folly of “social justice” programs like those that caused the meltdown of the U.S. housing market is just one of the foolish practices threatening recovery and growth. Ms. Moyo argues for the U.S. to remain open to the international economy. There’s not much that misses her keen eye and this book is well worth reading for the warning it issues.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have been friends with Tom DeWeese for some two decades and served as the director of communications for the American Policy Center, his grassroots activist organization addressing a wide range of assaults on everything from property rights to the American educational system. I was, therefore, delighted to receive his new book, Now Tell Me I Was Wrong: 15 years of unheralded wisdom and warnings in the battle for the Republic ($19.99, softcover, available at Amazon, $16.95, plus $2 shipping, direct from the Center. Tom has a love of America and a determination to thwart those who would take away our rights that is unrivaled. It would be easy to dismiss him as some kind of zealot, but as the book reveals, he has been ahead of the curve over the years in sounding warnings about the many ways those in the White House, Congress and special interest groups have sought to distort or over-ride the Constitution in order to limit the freedoms it bestows on Americans. I would recommend his book even if I did not know him because it addresses a broad spectrum of issues with an arsenal of facts that represent a one-stop fount of information to provide anyone valuable insights to the challenges America faces today, internally and beyond our shores. Tom is never boring! He would have been right at home at the Boston Tea Party or Valley Forge. I have been a fan of Jack Cashill’s writings since reading his book, “Hoodwinked.” A contributor to, I recall reading in September 2008, a speculative article that posited the view that it was former Weatherman, Bill Ayers, who had written Obama’s memoir, “Dreams of my Father.” He made a good case at that time by comparing the language of both books that strongly reflected Ayers’. In Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America’s First Postmodern President ($25.00, Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster) Cashill has written a very lengthy expansion on the WND theme and, about halfway through, I concluded that Cashill had said everything that could be said, but had managed to write even more. He is a very gifted writer and a serious one while also being entertaining. He does good research. If understanding who Obama’s mentors, friends and facilitators have been is your goal, this book will surely help fill in a lot of blank spots in his largely undocumented past. The near total lack of curiosity regarding the candidate for president by the mainstream media is another theme that is also explored. Two years into his first term, whatever credibility Obama had has been largely dissipated by the massive spending he initiated and the healthcare legislation to which his name is attached.

Confused by all the claims and predictions about global warming? Maybe you need to learn about the laws of thermodynamics. Physics and science is based on logic and, therefore, anyone can understand the world better if you approach it with a basic understanding of the physics that determines everything, much as Einstein’s general theory of relativity showed that light does not always travel in a straight line. The Handy Physics Answer Book by Dr. Paul W. Zitzewitz, PhD is now in its second edition ($21.95, Visible Ink, softcover) and even for someone like myself who never studied the subject, it is a fascinating journey toward greater understand of the universe and how it works. That’s why it’s definitely one of my picks of the month. Do you want to get all the information you will ever need to put the global warming (the claim that carbon dioxide causes the earth to heat up) hoax to rest? Some knowledge of physics and other sciences will help, but the one book that finally addresses all the lies is Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory by several contributing authors, that represent leading, physicists, scientists, a retired engineer, and a legal analyst with a specialty in the subject ($21.80, Stairway Press, softcover, $9.95 Kindle edition). This is not light reading as the science is presented in depth and the physics can be daunting to anyone not schooled in it. Overall, however, the book is a triumph of objectivity regarding a topic that has dominated the news and politics since the late 1980s when it was sprung on the world with a series of claims of impending doom that have never ceased. Then and now just about every natural phenomenon and weather event was blamed on global warming. Efforts have ensued to “reduce the carbon footprint”, to change the way electricity is provided, and to put a price on carbon dioxide so it could be bought and sold as a commodity. The sheer absurdity of this and the fact that it was little more than a get-rich scheme for those putting it forth has finally begun to dawn on people. For the record, carbon dioxide represents an infinitesimal 0.329% of the earth’s atmosphere and plays no role in heat absorption or transfer. I highly recommend this book.

On a lighter note, all of you who live to eat, not just eat to live, will enjoy A Feast at the Beach by William Widmaier ($14.95, 3L Publishing, softcover) has put together some brief stories of life in Provence, France, in the 1960s.with an emphasis on the tastes and smells of Southern France, complete with recipes of dishes that, though born in the U.S., evoke his memories of vacations spent at his French grandparent’s home in St. Tropez. My late Mother, Rebecca, a teacher of haute cuisine, used to say that food and memory go together. This book is proof of that. For those who love great dining, there’s Patricia Lewis Mote’s Great Menus: Seasonal Recipes for Entertaining ($25.00, Dicmar publishing, trade paperback) enhanced by David Harp’s photos that will make your mouth water. The author, the mother of two and grandmother of four, has lived in five foreign countries, England, Norway, France, Germany, and Japan. She resides now with her husband, Dan, the former president of the University of Maryland (1998-2010) in Annapolis. One recipe after another will inspire you to try them out and are sure to please your family or just yourself. This is a book for people who truly live to eat, to enjoy the dining experience. I grew up dining Mediterranean style on the foods of Italy and France, so when Zov Karamarian’s new book, Simply Zov: Rustic Classics with a Mediterranean Twist arrived ($39.00, Zov’s Publishing, Tustin, CA) I was instantly entranced with its large size format, page after page of mouthwatering full color photos and its recipes that will entice you to try them out, one by one, in your own kitchen. From appetizers like beef pirozhki with mushrooms to breakfast bananas foster French toast, or soups like coconut chicken chowder, a classic Tuscan tomato salad, main dishes to sweets, this cookbook stands out in so many ways. No wonder people come from all over the world to visit her restaurant in California. This book is an instant classic.

Real People: Biographies, Autobiographies, and Memoirs

The bestselling memoir, Nomad: From Islam to America—a Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations by Ayaan Hirsi Ali is now in softcover ($16.00, Free Press) and well worth reading. Ms. Hirsi first captured attention with her memoir, “Infidel”, the story of her physical and emotional journey to freedom. It is testimony to the threat the Islam poses to the West and why she believes the U.S. is underestimating the threat of radical Islam. It is a horror story of the way Muslim women, even in the U.S., are thwarted from completing their education, and  why some become victims of so-called honor killings. I would recommend you read this compelling book. In a very different story, one’s heart is touched by Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan ($25.99, William Morrow), an account of how Grennan volunteered to help the Little Princes Children’s Home, an orphanage in war-torn Nepal. Initially unsure he could help, he was soon won over by a herd of rambunctious, resilient children whom he learned were not orphans at all, but the victims of child trafficers who promised families in remote villages to protect them from the civil war by taking them to safety, for a fee. Instead, they were abandoned in Kathmandu, the nation’s capital. He set about returning them to their families despite great odds. He found a cause and he found a wife! Great reading.

Another woman says “Being an explorer isn’t my job. It’s who I am. Exploration is deeply embedded in my soul, coursing through my veins.” Aside from the florid rhetoric, there is an interesting autobiography of sorts to be found in Pink Boots and a Machete: My Journey from NFL Cheerleader to National Geographic Explorer by Mireya Mayor, a host on the GEO Wild Channel ($26.00, National Geographic Books), just out this month. She was an overprotected child of a Cuban immigrant mother who didn’t even want her to join the Girl Scouts fearing that camping was “far too dangerous.” After graduating high school she became an actress and then a Miami Dolphins cheerleader. Her love of animals led her to an anthropology course in college and then to being a Fulbright Scholar and renowned primatologist and globetrotter. At age 30 she’s survived a plane crash in the jungle, been chased by an elephant and a gorilla, and stung by nasty insects. In short, an interesting life. An entertaining book is Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History’s Most Notorious Women by Elizabeth Kerri Mahon ($15.00, Perigee Trade, softcover). As the author notes, from the ancient world to present day, women have caused wars, ruled empires, defied the rules laid down for them, and brought men to their knees. While women’s rights and power has been limited through much of history, that didn’t deter the women in Mahon’s book.

I am old enough to remember the bombing of a Birmingham church in 1963, but Carolyn McKinstry was there in the church! Just 14 years old at the time, she had spoken to four of the victims just minutes before the bomb went off and killed them. While the World Watched ($17.99, Tyndale House Publishers) is the Civil Rights movement as experienced and told by Carolyn Maull McKinstry who saw it as a young black girl, as told to Denise George. This is the nitty-gritty of what it was like to grow up in the segregated South, through the courageous movement that ended that ugly chapter in American life. Writing fifty years later, this is the a book that a younger generation would benefit from reading and an older one can revisit. Black Faces of War: A Legacy of Honor from the American Revolution to Today by Robert V. Morris ($30.00, Zenith Press, Quayside Publishing Group) is a large format tribute the Afro-American men and women who fought and died for America, long before America showed them any appreciation or dignity. It was not until President Truman officially ended racial segregation in the U.S. Army, the Tuskegee Airmen had earned fame during World War Two, and even earlier, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry fought valiantly in the Civil War. From Crispus Attucks, the first man to die in the American Revolutions to Gen. Colin Powell, theirs is a great story and this book provides a fresh perspective.

The American Revolution was, of course, intended to overthrow England’s control of the colonies, but America was also passing through an intellectual revolution as well, one that lasted about eight-five years from 1725 to 1810. The leaders of American society were often men who challenged Christian orthodoxy, celebrated human reason, and saw nature as evidence of the creator’s handiwork. Revolutionary Deists: Early America’s Rational Infidels by Kerry Walters ($20.00, Prometheus Books) explores that period of American history with its prominent figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and others who were critical of orthodox Christianity. This was America’s first culture war and it lives on today. From the same publisher comes Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie’s biography of Marie Curie ($17.00, softcover), the iconic woman whose scientific achievements in an era when women were largely restricted to roles as wives and mothers. Curie (1867-1934) made history when she postulated that radiation was an atomic rather than a chemical property, a breakthrough in understanding the structure of matter. She coined the word radioactivity and her research isolated two new elements, polonium and radium. She would win two Nobel Prizes, one in physics (1903) and one in chemistry (1914). Born in Poland, she was the first of her sex to become a professor at the Sorbonne University. Ironically, her long exposure to radium led to her death from aplastic anemia. She was not just a brilliant scientist, but a courageous person who has since inspired others to enter the field of science.

Alan Arkin is one of those actors who has been around a very long time. He’s appeared in more than eighty films. He is also a director and musician, but mostly he is just very gifted, although you would not read him saying anything like that in An improvised Life: A Memoir ($17.00, Da Capo Press, softcover) in which he relates knowing he wanted to be an actor by age five. I have known any number of actors who have said the same thing. It has a lot to do with wanting to pretend to be someone else. Arkin’s memoir devotes a lot of space to the art of acting and, thus, will be of greater interest to those who love drama. Arkin, unlike many actors, has an intellect that takes in more than just acting. That said, you really have to be a fan to get too deep into this memoir.

To Your Health!

One of the most interesting new books of 2011 has to be The Longevity Project by Howard S. Friedman, PhD and Leslie R. Martin. PhD ($25.95. Hudson Street Press). It is the story of a landmark eight-decade study in psychology to answer the question of who lives longest—and why. Many of the common beliefs we have about living a long life are dispelled. For example, people do not die from working long hours at a challenging job. The study found that many who worked the longest lived the longest. It is commonly believed that getting and staying married was a guarantee of long life, but the study found this is not necessarily true, especially for women, nor is it the happy-go-lucky who thrive. It turns out it is the prudent and persistent who do best over the long run. The book even offers tests you can take yourself so that you can optimize your choices to increase your life. So much of life is outside one’s control such as your genetic inheritance or whether we are caught up in a war. How one handles stress is a significant factor, but a life built on successive successes is likely to be a longer one. Both my parents lived into their nineties, both enjoyed success in their fields of endeavor, both loved to eat well, both were free of any serious disease, so the odds are that I will be reviewing books for a very long time to come. Read this book and increase your chances, too.

Other than cancer, the most frightening diagnosis a person can receive is that of Alzheimer’s Disease, the slow degeneration of the brain that robs an individual of all memory and capacity to function. That’s why I would unhesitantly recommend Stop Alzheimer’s Now: How to Prevent and Reverse Dementia, Parkinson’s, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis and other Neurode-generative Disorders ($19.95, Piccadilly Books, Ltd., Colorado Springs, CO, softcover). More than 35 million people have dementia today and each year 4.6 million new cases occur worldwide. Parkinson’s disease, another progressive brain disorder, affects about four million people worldwide. This book outlines a program using ketone therapy and diet backed by decades of medical and clinical research that has proven successful in restoring mental function and improving both brain and overall health. The best medicine is preventative medicine. This book will prove helpful to those suffering neurodegenerative diseases, as well as anyone who wants to be spared from ever encountering one. Protect your brain!

It is not uncommon for those who have suffered a heart attack to experience a second one. Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 foods, 8 weeks to reverse heart disease by Janet Bond Brill, PhD, RD, LDN ($15.00. Three Rivers Press, softcover) offers a program that will put the victim of a previous heart attack on the way to better health by providing a guide to good practices. The author discusses why the Mediterranean diet is the gold standards for heart-healthy eating, how “good carbs” like oatmeal lower bad cholesterol, why a glass of red wine with dinner is great for your heart, and much more. If you or someone you know has had a heart attack or looking for ways to ensure you don’t have one, this book is the one to read.

One of the most successful series from Workman Publishing is its “What to Expect” series devoted to topics such as what to expect when you’re expecting a baby and what to expect in the first year. This series has now been joined by What to Expect the Second Year by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel ($24.95/$15.95, hard and softcover). It picks up after an infant’s first birthday and takes parents through baby’s first steps, lightning-speed learning, and all manner of common toddler behavior from tantrums to picky eating, nighttime refusal to go to bed, and much more. Don’t “wing it.” Learn what countless other parents have before you encounter year two.

Kid’s Books

It’s no secret that I love children’s books and may be among only a handful of reviewers that try to include notice of them on a regular basis. The following are all from Kids Can Press.

For the very young, though to whom a parent might read a book, there’s Kitten’s Summer by Eugenie Fernandes ($14.95) in which various animals “dash”, “scramble” and leap as the child enjoys the illustrations and learns words about movement. Continuing the cat theme, there’s My Cat Isis by Catherine Austin and illustrated beautifully by Virginia Egger ($16.95) for the early reader and draws a comparison between a boy’s cat and the Egyptian goddess namesake in an entertaining tale (no pun intended!) A rather unusual twist on the story of the Three Little Pigs is found in Happy Birthday Big Bad Wolf by Frank Asch ($16.95) in which the pig family overwhelm the wolf with kindness and friendship. In the real world, this usually does not work, so I would suggest some caution with this version. You may recall that in the original version the pigs are saved from being the wolf’s dinner by a strong, brick house.

Melanie Watt’s squirrel stories adds a new one to the series with Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party ($16.95) in which the main character must overcome his fear of just about everything to plan a party. It’s funny at the same time it demonstrates how one can overcome fears. Friendship and its importance is the theme of Without You by Genevieve Cote ($16.95) when a pig and a rabbit, friends, go their separate ways after a minor disagreement. Both discover there’s a lot less fun in playing alone. Small Paul is a hilarious story written and illustrated by Ashley Spires ($16.95) about a little boy who wanted a life on the sea, but was rejected by the navy because he was too small. The pirates weren’t so picky, so he enrolled in Pirate College to learn how to be one. When he cleaned up the ship, the Rusty Squid, the pirates objected. They were lazy and dirty. They tossed him overboard, but soon discovered how stinky their ship really was and rushed back to rescue him. It is a great story for any little boy (or girl) who won’t clean up their room!

For early readers, ages 8 through 10, there are two books that are sure to please. As part of the Sam & Friends Mystery series, Book Four, there’s Witches’ Brew by Mary Labatt and Jo Rioux ($16.95) Sam, a detective dog, grows suspicious when “three strange sisters” move into a house on the street and all manner of strange things begin to happen. Sam and his human family begin to suspect awful things are happening. Told in text and cartoon illustrations, the story has a happy ending, but I won’t tell. Finally, for the older child who may find horrid endings of interest, there’s Dreadful Fates: What a Shocking Way to Go by Tracey Turner and illustrated by Sally Kindberg ($14.95) that uses text and cartoon illustration to relate the actual stories of how various people throughout history met a weird end.

The publisher, American Girl, is quite prolific, producing a variety of series designed to encourage girls to make the most of their talents, skills and interests. Adding to its Innerstar University series are two new titles, A Winning Goal and Into the Spotlight, both priced $8.95 and aimed at early readers, ages 8 and up. They are fun to read with the added twist of being “A book starring you with more than 20 endings!” These both reflect common experiences for the age group, seeking to stand out, but also fit in. American Girl also publishes mystery series featuring separate characters such as Rebecca, Samantha, and Julie. Well written and intriguing, I would think any pre-teen would enjoy them. They are priced at $6.95 so they don’t bite into any parent’s budget. With the arrival of spring, it’s time to think about places for playtime and Oddles of Ocean Fun ($12.95) offers lots of activities in what they describe as “this rip-it-out, tear-it-up, fold-it-open book.” It’s 80 pages of sea and sand inspired posters, crafts, puzzles, doodles, bookmarks, picture frames and more. Literally hours of craft activity

Finally, for young hoop fans, ages 7 and up, there’s the Ultimate Guide to Basketball by James Buckley, Jr. ($15.95/$7.99, Beach Ball Books, Santa Barbara, CA, hard and softcover editions). I have never seen an entire basketball game in my life, but I found the book to be quite interesting and handsomely illustrated. The truth is, this book would interest adults as well for the wealth of facts, stats, and information about the game’s stars over the years. This publisher has two other books, First Pitch: How Baseball Began and Weird Sports that will prove equally entertaining. If you have a young, sports minded member in your family, check out

Novels, Novels, Novels

Too many novels today are fairly predictable in their choice of topic and the way they are written, so anyone seeking a new literary experience often has to search around. The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb ($25.95, Penguin Press) combines American and Vietnamese history from the not so distant past to present the story of Old Man Hung, the enlightened proprietor of a popular shop that served a soup and has served as a meeting place for a group of young dissident artists, but is now a makeshift stall where people leave Hanoi’s main streets to enjoy his beef noodle soup. A faithful customer is Tu, a young tour guide, often for American veterans visiting the nation in which they fought a war. The two men are joined by Maggie, an art curator who is Vietnamese by birth but has lived most of her life in the U.S. She has returned to search for clues to her dissident father’s disappearance. Their intertwined narrative will change their lives forever.

A selection of softcover novels offers a variety of reading experiences. From the University of North Texas Press comes A Bright Soothing Noise by Peter Brown ($14.95) a collection of short stories that grip the reader in ways that make some read several at one sitting. Filled with characters, young, old, black, white, male, female, crazy and sane, and all caught up in some defining moment of their lives, this is the kind of reading pleasure that can get lost in the stacks. Don’t miss out on it. Amaryllis in Blueberry by Christina Meldrum ($15.00, Gallery Books) is a story of family secrets that cannot be hidden or escaped. Set in the 1970s, Amaryllis has grown up with three older sisters, Mary Grace, Mary Catherine, and Mary Tessa. She, however, does not share their blond hair, fair skin, and pale blue eyes. Moreover, she possess the extrasensory gift of synesthesia, the ability to taste emotions, hear colors, and know when something bad is going to happen. Their mother, Seena, has built her life on deception and wants to protect her daughters from anything that might threaten the illusion of their happy home. To save that, her husband Dick, a physician, moves them from Michigan to Africa, hoping to heal the family in a new unfamiliar place. Suffice to say, it does not and watching it unfold, the reader is swept along in a very unusual tale that begins with Seena on trial for murdering Dick. A very different story, lighter and romantic, is also from Gallery Books. Swept Off Her Feet by Hester Browne ($15.00) takes the reader to Scotland and its famous reel, a complex dance, is at the heart of a novel about two very different sisters whose dreams may just come true at a romantic ball. Evie Nicholson is in love with the past. She is an antiques appraiser in a London shop. Alice, her sister, is in love with Fraser Graham, a dashing Scotsman who she secretly desires. She is a delightfully complex story of sisters swept off their feet, a modern Cinderella story that women will enjoy.

The Winter Thief by Jenny White ($13.95, W.W. Norton) continues her series of Kamil Pasha novels. I previously recommended “The Sultan’s Seal” and am happy to report that Istanbul’s wise and fiercely dedicated magistrate, Kamil Pasha, is on the job in the winter of 1888 when Vera Arti carries an Armenian translation of The Communist Manifesto into the offices of a prominent Ottoman publisher. Would he publish the work? “Everyone wants to offer us a utopia. No one offers us peace” he tells her. When she leaves, she does not realize that men from the Sultan’s secret police are following her. What she doesn’t know is that her husband, Gabriel, is behind the robbery at the Imperial Ottoman Bank, as well as the shipment of guns. She is captured, tortured, and interrogated. Kamil Pasha is on Gabriel’s trail but the secret police interfere. Their chief plans to slaughter some Armenian villages to gain the Sultan’s favor. History and fiction are a powerful mix in this page-turning thriller. The legendary curse that surrounds Shakespeare’s MacBeth is the background for Jennifer Lee Carrell’s Haunt Me Still ($15.00, Plume Books) whe the heroine, Kate Stanley, is called to Edinburgh to direct a private performance of the play using authentic relics from Shakespeare’s day. It doesn’t take long for the curse to stir. Some of the actors go missing. Kate finds a local woman dead under circumstances that reflect ancient pagan rituals and human sacrifice. Kate becomes both a suspect and possible figure victim. In short, some very intriguing reading.

For lovers of the macabre, two new titles. Apostle Rising by Richard Godwin ($14.95, Black Jackal Books, softcover) demonstrates his ability to write dark crime fiction. In this novel, a serial killer is targeting British politicians and the crime scenes are signature replicas of the Woodland Killings that took place 28 years earlier. The case became an obsession for Chief Inspector Frank Castle, one that he was not able to solve and close. This is just good, old fashioned detective fiction, reflective of the special skills that a British author brings to the genre. A very different setting is the background and time of Fire the Sky: Book Two of Contact—The Battle for America series by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear ($26.00, Gallary Books). They have made a reputation for themselves as chroniclers of early Native American life and the novel recreates the conflict-filled years following one of the first European invasions as seen through the eyes of a courage pair of Indians as it follows Hernando de Soto’s brutal expedition north from the Florida peninsula as the explorer looks for plunder. For anyone interested in this era and lost civilization, this book serves up a powerful love story as conflict moves inexorably toward to major battle.

That’s it for March! Please tell your book-loving friends and family members about Bookviews which, each month, provides notice of fiction and non-fiction that you likely will not learn about anywhere else. Bookmark Bookviews and come back every month.