Lot's of news about books lately. I read a lot in the winter. Mostly nonfiction, but not always. I do love a good historical fiction, especially one that doesn't depart from historical facts. I’m talking about authors like Kenneth Roberts, James Michener, or Alexander Thom. However, the best example of this quality of historical fiction writer I've found is Jeff Shaara. I was first turned on to his father Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels (a novel of the Civil War battle of Gettysburg) way back in the 80s. The Killer Angels inspired me to travel to Gettysburg and visit the battlefield the first time. After reading the book, I said to myself, “Man, I want to write like that some day.” Naturally, when Jeff picked up the torch and wrote his first book, Gods and Generals (a prequel to Killer Angels), I was immediately hooked on his work as well. He has since written about the Revolutionary War, the War with Mexico, World War I, and both theaters of World War II. The thing about Shaara books is that they are historically accurate, and the characters are real people. For the most part I can safely assert that only the dialog is fiction. The most common reaction from someone who first reads a Shaara novel is “Why don’t we teach history this way?” You might say that I am a fan.
I found out that the next Jeff Shaara book will be out on Amazon on May 29. Titled A Blaze of Glory, it is a novel of the Civil War battle of Shiloh. A Blaze of Glory is the first in a new trilogy about the western theater of the Civil War. I will admit that the excitement of finding out this information was somewhat lessened by the fact that my book pusher, Jeff Bezos over at Amazon, notified my wife Sheila before telling me. I was hurt until I remembered that Sheila bought me the last Shaara book I read, The Final Storm set in the Pacific Theater during WWII.
So let me recommend to all of you readers of strictly nonfiction, or those of you on the opposite end of the spectrum who have never found a “history book” that has excited you. You can’t go wrong with a Jeff Shaara novel. I’ve read them all, and I’ll put in my pre-order for A Blaze of Glory. When it arrives, the Shaara book goes straight to the top of the reading pile. Can you get a better book recommendation?