What We Are Reading: March

we are the destroyersWe Are the Destroyers, by D. K. Lindler
review by Caroline Cook

We Are the Destroyers, by first-time author D. K. Lindler, is the first volume in the We Are . . . Are We series. I should mention, in the interest of full disclosure, that the author is my aunt. Lindler, formerly director of real estate at a major hospital, turned her interest to herbal medicine and organic food when her dog had an auto-immune disease that wasn’t helped by conventional medicine. This forms the basis of the philosophy behind her first book.

We are introduced to Captain Bel’lar and his crew, on a mission to find the legendary blue-white planet, which they hope will be a new home for mankind. Their home planet is being destroyed by overconsumption, and its people are being slowly destroyed by synthetic food and drugs. Bel’lar comes to realize that all of this has happened before, and may happen again. This story, full of past lives, holy men and women, sentient star ships, and a conflict between Organs (those who still consume organic food grown from the earth) and Syns (who consume purely synthetics), all make this a creative and compelling story.

I found myself turning the pages easily, eager to learn what would happen in the end. Lindler hasn’t quite hit her stride as an author yet, with a few kinks to work out in dialogue and character development of the supporting cast, but she has a talent for storytelling and a unique perspective. It should be interesting to see how the rest of the series unfolds.

civil war western territoriesThe Civil War in the Western Territories: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, by Ray C. Colton, PhD
review by Jim Turner

This Civil War book almost jumped off the shelf and into my hands when I read the title. I knew I had to have it when I saw that it was from the University of Oklahoma Press. Since OU Press first began in 1928, they have enjoyed an excellent reputation for scholarly western history books.

Leading historians have often ignored this topic, and most people don’t even know there were any Civil War battles fought west of the Mississippi. Published in 1959, Dr. Colton’s book may be the only book to cover such a wide scope. Colton doesn’t go into as much detail as more recent books on each separate territory, but it is encyclopedic when it comes to the number of events and their connections with overall Civil War politics and military strategies.

Unlike many military historians, Colton doesn’t get bogged down in minutiae. Even though this was his doctoral thesis, his crisp, clear style moves the reader along smoothly. Frequent quotes from soldiers transport you into history. Referring to the Union’s Colorado Volunteers, a Confederate Texas Volunteer after the Battle of Glorieta Pass: “Had it not been for the devils from Pike’s Peak, the country would have been ours.” And the account of Texas lancers’ futile attempt to charge headlong into Union riflemen at the Battle of Valverde, New Mexico, is gripping.

I may never sit down and read this book from cover to cover, but it’s the kind of book that you can pick up, read some accounts for pure escape into the past, and then put it down for months. Also, the detailed index allows travelers to create their own historic tours.

 

 

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