College football arrives and a couple of good books

College football is finally here. Yea!

My Gators won today, but their offense was so inept they were embarrassing. I think Urban has his work cut out for him this week. Meanwhile…

I finished two decent books lately, and am reading another.

The last real book I read was “The Last Stand” by Nathaniel Philbrick. As you can probably tell by the title, it’s about George Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Philbrick does a very good job analyzing the week leading up to the battle and the climax on June 25, 1876.

He extracts information from both the “white” and the “Indian” side of the conflict, and presents a pretty decent hypothesis of what the last hour or two must have been like for the men of Custer’s battalion.

What amazed me were the deep seated issues and problems that were a long standing part of the 7th Cavalry Regiment. The low standards of training and leadership were eye opening. The jealousies and personal feuds among the regiments top officers combined with the nepotism and favoritism that were prevalent in the regiment  set the stage for a disaster before Custer saw his first Sioux . When you top that off with the incredible series of tactical blunders on the day of the battle, it’s no surprise how it turned out.

If you don’t like military history, this will probably bore you. However, if you are drawn to this kind of subject matter, this is a very good account of the battle.

I had a road-trip last week. I usually try to pick up an audio book to keep me alert and awake. For this trip, I picked up “Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World” by Vicki Myron. This is not a great piece of literature, but it is a cute story. You probably already know the story. A small town librarian (the author) rescues a tiny kitten from their overnight book drop on a freezing winter night. She names the kitten, “Dewey and raises him as a library cat. Dewey turns out to be a pretty cool cat who becomes the life of the library.

I currently share a residence with two cats, neither one of whom would meet Dewey’s standards of people-loving sociability. I just can’t imagine Sid the Tailless allowing himself to be carried around, upside down, by a toddler. I can’t imagine Berta the Timid allowing herself to be in the same room with a toddler.

So I appreciated the author’s story of her cat. Myron does a good job painting a portrait of an amazing pet.

Because the author was also Dewey’s owner for the 19 years of his life, I’ll forgive some of the over-the-top sentimentality and excessive anthropomorphism. The story is good but the cat-love can be a little annoying. All the same, it is an entertaining story, and worth the effort.

I’m currently reading “The Big Short” by Michael Lewis. I’ll give you a report when I’m finished.

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