RaveChapter 16[Chapman\'s] wry observations and self-deprecating wit make a book that delivers great doses of history and bad news surprisingly readable ... Chapman writes through the lens of Muir’s single-minded immersion in nature and its preservation. This focus allows the book to follow a literal map, printed just before the first page, with chapters moving from Muir’s experiences to Chapman’s to the contemporary environmental problems of each location and the local experts fighting to correct them. Chapman’s observations glue these diverse elements together ... Chapman’s command of history is solid, his environmental reporting by turns sad and infuriating, and his characters met along the way invariably memorable. But it is his engaging prose that keeps readers on the path all the way to Cedar Key, Florida.
David George Haskell
RaveChapter16Haskell creates a pleasing poetry of nature, his carefully crafted sentences luring readers in for the long haul. Open the book to any page, let your eyes fall on a paragraph, and the feeling is akin to walking the halls of a large university and hearing a professor speak with such passion and knowledge about some otherwise obscure topic that you wander through the open door and take a seat in the last row. Before you know it, hours have passed ... Reading ignites the brain centers associated with listening, Haskell explains, such that we cannot help but \'hear\' writing in our head. The physical details of this process might become technical and muddy in the hands of a lesser writer, but Haskell’s voice fills the reader’s auditory pathways with echoes of Wordsworth and Tennyson. Whether describing the human brain or the ways different conifer forests change the voices and crooked beaks of red crossbills in Colorado, compared to those in Washington, Haskell speaks a celebratory poetry of nature. At times it may resemble the cadence familiar to modern ears from the wildlife documentaries of Sir David Attenborough, but Haskell’s voice is unique in contemporary nature writing. \'The Earth’s sounds matter in part because they are ephemeral manifestations of order and narrative,\' he writes near the end of the book. The same might be said of the glorious music of Sounds Wild and Broken.
RaveChapter16While all the stories are compelling with a poignant ring of truth, most indeed turn out not nice ... These fragments, while sometimes disjointed in time and space, continually sung by different voices, nonetheless merge into a coherent whole, a distinctly Southern song that gets into the heads of readers and won’t let go.
PositiveChapter 16The story of Lewis’s life, beginning on a sharecropper’s farm in Troy, Alabama, where as a child he delivered sermons to chickens, is familiar ground ... What Meacham brings to the tale is a keen eye for the historic moment, as well as reverence for the religious faith that drove Lewis to a life of personal sacrifice ... His Truth Is Marching On combines careful reporting, historic photographs, and detailed notes and appendices, but the book ultimately shines brightest as a story of how one man made a difference by believing in justice and offering hope for a nation in difficult times.
PositiveChapter 16As with other titles in the series, The Shameless is loaded with black coffee, cigars, and pages of damn crusading. That alone might not sustain readers through nine books, were it not for the extra rewards that Atkins provides ... His grounding in journalism and true crime lets Atkins populate each new book with characters who mirror real-world counterparts. A keen ear for (mostly profane) dialogue and an attraction to odd police reports combine to give Atkins a penchant for comically bizarre villains ... The result is a slow build toward a violent climax that only an author who has walked in Robert B. Parker’s gumshoes could assemble. The good guys finally mark a win, and yet the damn crusading is far from over.
Daniel J. Sharfstein
RaveThe Nashville Scene...the structure of Thunder in the Mountains is simple and direct, exploring the lives of each man toward their ultimate meeting, the heart-wrenching details of the conflict at the book’s center and the ways in which the war forever changed both men and drove them — and many of those closest to them — toward a sense of mutual understanding. While the book is a thorough and well-documented work of history, it delves into the human condition like the best fiction, offering insights not only into historical events but also into the ways people can grow and evolve ... Thunder in the Mountains is a great and bloody war story to be sure, but it is also a careful meditation on human rights, the reach of government, and the power of a lone voice speaking truth.