After writing last month’s blog post, I renewed my vow not to post reviews of books I didn’t finish and to seriously reconsider if I was going to post a review of a book I did not like. I’ve discovered that there are a lot of books I don’t like, but obviously many other readers do because they’re on bestseller lists or have hundreds of five-star reviews. Or both.
That means this month’s post is very short. In fact, I’m only going to review one of the books I read.
Arizona: A Cavalcade of History
By Marshall Trimble
I’ve actually been reading this book over a period of months, like I do most non-fiction I buy. I bought it several years ago, when I was new to Arizona and thought it would be interesting to read about its history. Like most books in my “I thought it would be interesting” category, it sat on my bookshelf for a long time. But, in thinking about writing a historical romance series, I decided it was time to pull it off the shelf and read it over breakfast in small bites.
I’m sorry I waited so long. This is an extensive, entertaining history of Arizona, highlighting the events, and even more, the people, that created it. I’ve heard of many of these over the course of the years I’ve lived here and some of them long before, thanks to the popularity of cowboys and Indians shows on television during my youth, but this book put them into perspective, filled in the blanks I didn’t even know were there.
There are maps throughout the book, making it easier to visualize locations, and photographs of people, both average and famous, sprinkled within the text. There’s also an extensive bibliography I can refer to as I seek out more information on a particular topic.
There was only one thing I found problematic. Most of the chapters are organized by topic: the native people, the Catholic missionaries, mining, cowboys, railroads, etc. I noticed where people and events in different chapters overlapped those in other chapters, but there’s no timeline that includes all of them. I would have liked an easy reference so I could tell if the discovery of gold and the mining boom occurred at the same time the railroads arrived, earlier, or later, as one example. I’ll have to create that for myself in the future.
But overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.