Michel Neuhaus Neuhaus itibaren Talewadi, Maharashtra 416512, Hindistan
It's difficult to give a bad review for a book that takes this much of your life to read, but I've read too many Civil War books to give a bad one thumbs up. “Team of Rivals” is in reality two books, one very good and one shockingly bad. The first book covers the lives of Lincoln, Bates, Chase, Stanton and Seward from birth to 1860. Tales of their rise is rich and detailed full of stories that paint a picture of their varying personalities. Great. The second book, however, is bad. Once the ‘Team’ is assembled and the guns of the Civil War are rattling, Goodwin’s narration falls apart. Anyone with even a vague grasp of the Civil War will be surprised at the author’s lack of knowledge on the subject. The battle of Fredericksburg is covered in one sentence, Chancellorsville in two sentences and Gettysburg in two paragraphs while various balls and festivals hosted by Mary Todd and Kate Chase are covered in 10 page slices. I find it ironic that Goodwin points out how unimportant Lincoln regarded these events, yet she insists on giving us a blow by blow of every decoration and dinner party. Disturbing how much the superficial dominates the book. I began to seriously wonder if the author was aware that the War and Lincoln’s perseverance in the face of it is why he is so admired. Goodwin should stick to writing about baseball. To write about Lincoln and know so little about the War is not the work of a master historian. Read the fantastic first half but don’t waste your time with anything past 1860.
This Corrina Chapman Mystery is fun and amusing with just enough dark depth to carry the plot. Set in Australia during the heat of their Christmas season, Corrina finds herself in the center of intrigue and mystery surrounding a modern day Virgin-Mary-runaway. While Corrina runs her bakery, fostering and mentoring a former wayward soul, her boyfriend Daniel searches for the runaway girl and the gardner's son she disappeared with. Filled with quirky characters with as many flaws as virtues, the reader celebrates along with Corrina and her crew, striving for religious tolerance during the pinnacle of Christian celebrations, all while enduring heat, drought, and fierce winds at Christmas time (Yucky, I'd definately be dreaming of a White Christmas!). Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
I got this title from a list somewhere of best books of 2008. I loved it. It's not a book to be listened to in audio format---it totally needs to be enjoyed visually.