I tend to gravitate towards Historical Non-Fiction and Native American Cultural books. I have always been fascinated with the early history of the American West, both Anglo and Native. I also enjoy a good novel and have recently started delving into the world of essays. Aside from reading, I enjoy exploring the wonderful wilderness that this world has to offer us and a good, long-distance bike packing trip!!
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
“Cormac McCarthy’s masterwork, Blood Meridian, chronicles the brutal world of the Texas-Mexico borderlands in the mid-nineteenth century. Its wounded hero, the teenage Kid, must confront the extraordinary violence of the Glanton gang, a murderous cadre on an official mission to scalp Indians and sell those scalps. Loosely based on fact, the novel represents a genius vision of the historical West, one so fiercely realized that since its initial publication in 1985 the canon of American literature has welcomed Blood Meridian to its shelf.” - Penguin Random House
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
“Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for fame. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent – but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own.
Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice’s first novel.
Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall…Sweeping across the late twentieth century, A Ladder to the Sky is a fascinating portrait of a relentlessly immoral man, a tour de force of storytelling, and the next great novel from an acclaimed literary virtuoso.” -- Penguin Random House
The Earth is Weeping by Peter Cozzen
”After the Civil War the Indian Wars would last more than three decades, permanently altering the physical and political landscape of America. Peter Cozzens gives us both sides in comprehensive and singularly intimate detail. He illuminates the intertribal strife over whether to fight or make peace; explores the dreary, squalid lives of frontier soldiers and the imperatives of the Indian warrior culture; and describes the ethical quandaries faced by generals who often sympathized with their native enemies. In dramatically relating bloody and tragic events as varied as Wounded Knee, the Nez Perce War, the Sierra Madre campaign, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, we encounter a pageant of fascinating characters, including Custer, Sherman, Grant, and a host of officers, soldiers, and Indian agents, as well as great native leaders such as Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, and Red Cloud and the warriors they led.
The Earth Is Weeping is a sweeping, definitive history of the battles and negotiations that destroyed the Indian way of life even as they paved the way for the emergence of the United States we know today. “ - Penguin Random House
Short Nights of The Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan
“An Indiana Jones with a camera, Curtis spent the next three decades traveling from the Havasupai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the Acoma on a high mesa in New Mexico to the Salish in the rugged Northwest rain forest, documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. It took tremendous perseverance — ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him into their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Eventually Curtis took more than 40,000 photographs, preserved 10,000 audio recordings, and is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian.
His most powerful backer was Theodore Roosevelt, and his patron was J. P. Morgan. Despite the friends in high places, he was always broke and often disparaged as an upstart in pursuit of an impossible dream. In the end he fulfilled his promise: He made the Indians live forever.” - Timothy Egan
Killers of The Flower Moon by David Grann
“In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered.
As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.” - Penguin Random House