Thursday, June 10, 2010

New (used) book acquisitions

Yesterday at work, I decided to take a little walk during my lunch hour and ended up near the main branch of the Cincinnati Hamilton County Public Library, where I saw their annual "Friends of the Library" book sale was taking place. I could not resist such a site, of course, so I strolled over and found the history/military sections and looked over the many choices on the tables and in the boxes below. I found a few I liked and went back to work.

Today at lunch, despite having spent what I thought was a good solid amount of money on the 5 books yesterday, I decided to return to the scene, and, sure enough, I found 4 more interesting ones to bring home to my personal library.

Considering how many books my "to be read" pile already includes, I really don't know when I will get to these, but  I will.

One that I'm particularly anxious to read is The Civil War by Bruce Catton. He is one of the most famous and popular authors of Civil War studies, and I've read his trilogies on the Army of the Potomac and on the war itself for the centennial, but I've never read this single volume account of the war. I was very pleased to find this book.

A small paperback book I found, Decisive Battles of the Civil War by Lt. Col. Joseph B. Mitchell was printed in 1966 but looks older than that. For $0.50, it appeared to be a good bargain.

Stealing Lincoln's Body, by Thomas J. Craughwell is one I have seen when looking at new books before, but never pulled the trigger to get it. Seeing a used copy (though with the library's bindings and markings on it) though, was too much for me to resist.

Another work by a well-known and respected Civil War era historian is America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink by Kenneth M. Stampp. This book, which must feature news of "Bloody Kansas," the "Dred Scott Decision" and more ante-bellum drama quickly caught my attention. I had not heard of it previously, but I look forward to seeing how that hectic year and period are covered in it.

Going away from pure "Civil War" books briefly, I also purchased The American Wars 1755-1953: A Pictorial History From Quebec to Korea by Roy Meredith.  A quick first glance shows that it seems to have some interesting images in it.

Abraham Lincoln: A Documentary Portrait Through His Speeches and Writings  edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher was another small paperback that caught my attention. It may not provide much new material, but was certainly worth the small price I paid for it.

Deeds of Valor: How America's Civil War Heroes Won the Congressional Medal of Honor, edited by W. F. Beyer and O. F. Keydel is another that found its way into my arms. It looks like it holds many fascinating stories of bravery and sacrifice.

Another small book, this time a hardcover one, that caught my attention was Songs After Lincoln by Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Paul Horgan. It is a collection of poems he wrote to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's assassination. I'm not a huge poetry fan, but look forward to seeing how this collection works.

The final volume I purchased was a coffee-table book sized Reader's Digest Illustrated Edition of Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years by Carl Sandburg. I know I have at least one version of Sandburg's work in my home already and have not read it, but this edition truly caught my eye. I will gladly scan its pages and maybe that will lead me to finally add this work to the list of Lincoln and Civil War books I have read.

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