Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse (The Life Behind the Legend) by Mike Sajna

Hardcover: 367 pages
Publisher: Castle Books (October 8, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0785820361



From the Inside Flap

The northern Great Plains at the time of Crazy Horse’s birth, around 1839 or 1840, were still wide-open buffalo country well known only to a few white traders and trappers. But before the Oglala Lakota war chief was two years old, the first white emigrants appeared on their way to Oregon, launching one of the greatest mass migrations in history and setting the stage for the end of the freedom plains tribes had known. Even as Crazy Horse was becoming one of the Lakota’s most renowned warriors, many of his people had already given up their way of life and moved to reservations established by whites who saw them as a hindrance to progress. Those, like Crazy Horse, who chose to follow the old ways soon found themselves confronting an enemy whose might and tactics often were beyond their comprehension and whose goal was their destruction.This poignant book sheds new light on the life and death of one of the greatest Native American leaders, “one of the bravest of the brave,” in the struggle against the westward movement of white settlers. Author Mike Sajna reveals Crazy Horse to have been not only an intelligent war chief with the good of his people at heart but also an ardent lover and cautious warrior who at times made mistakes and was as frightened as anyone when it came to confronting death. Sajna portrays Crazy Horse as a quiet, shy person who avoided attention off the battlefield but nevertheless inspired awe, excitement, jealousy, and fear. From his childhood when he showed courage capturing a wild horse to his first fights with the Pawnee and Shoshone, it was clear that Crazy Horse would become a fierce warrior. And yet he was also a tender man who was almost killed pursuing the woman he loved. Together with Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse led the great Sioux-Cheyenne Uprising of 1876?77, which reached its high point on June 25, 1876, with the destruction of Colonel George Armstrong Custer and more than 250 men of the Seventh Cavalry at Little Big Horn. The surrender less than a year later of Crazy Horse and his people was considered, even by his contemporaries, an epochal event in the history of the Plains Indian wars and the West. This meticulously researched biography goes a long way in separating the facts from the many myths that cloud Crazy Horse’s life, while at the same time placing him firmly within the context of his times.

So… This book took me a long time to read.  Many reasons why, but one of them is NOT that I didn’t want to read about Crazy Horse. 

However good and informative this book is… barely any of it tells me much about Crazy Horse.

In the beginning the author admits that information on Crazy Horse is very limited to only a few “facts” and much from old Indian lore.  Therefore, it winds up that the only “facts” are mostly in the last 3 chapters of the book, which surround his being in the fight that kills Custer, and the final chapter on how Crazy Horse dies. All other information is declared “unconfirmed”.  sigh.

I was disappointed that very little is known about Crazy Horse, but if one has not read other books about Native Americans, back when White man took over then this book would be informative.

I was determined to read all the book just in case more information I had not read before might show up.  And some did.

One exciting book title showed up and when I searched it on Amazon I know I want all the information written by the author , A Eastman, on the Indians.  The main book being titled Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains. But of course I want what I can’t afford! (nothing new there!) Click the link.. don’t laugh too hard!

[ Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains[ INDIAN HEROES AND GREAT CHIEFTAINS ] By Eastman, Charles Alexander

The Lance & The Shield

The Lance and the Shield (The Life and Times of Sitting Bull) by Robert M. Utley.

Hardcover: 413 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (June 1, 1992)



 “His narrative is griping….Mr. Utley transforms Sitting Bull, the abstract, romanticized icon and symbol, into a flesh-and-blood person with a down-to-earth story….THE LANCE AND THE SHIELD clears the screen of the exaggerations and fantasies long directed at the name of Sitting Bull.”
Reviled by the United States government as a troublemaker and a coward, revered by his people as a great warrior chief, Sitting Bull has long been one of the most fascinating and misunderstood figures in American history. Now, distinguished historian Robert M. Utley has forged a compelling new portrait of Sitting Bull, viewing the man from the Lakota perspective for the very first time to render the most unbiased and historically accurate biography of Sitting Buil to date.

After reading “Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee”, this book on Sitting Bull is no surprise that it too is sad.  But, always something to learn when you read these books.

I found Sitting  Bull to be much more then a Warrior.  He was “head of a household”.  He cared for all his people.  Once again the “intruders” into a land of Natural Born Americans, mistreats him and all Indians, like THEY are the intruders.  You really get a sense of how many “lies” (broken truths) the Lakota (Sioux) and others had to endure.

I truly wonder why more History is not taught in schools. It is a HUGE part of American History.  But then,… it shows how the immigrants treated them.  How the lied to them.  How the took everything from them.  Mother Earth, no longer was allowed to care for them.  They were taught to be useless and hopeless, and to have the “government take care of them”.   Today it’s called “welfare” and those on it are told to get off their butts and go to work… yet, back then they told the Indians, “we will care for you for all we have taken from you.”..  It would seem some things never change. 

I do recommend this book. And the book of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.   I give high praise for the authors for putting out the books so others can learn of the most horrid (and seemingly forgotten) of Genocides.

Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown.

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (1617)

487 pages.

(Book 13)

Immediately recognized as a revelatory and enormously controversial book since its first publication in 1971, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is universally recognized as one of those rare books that forever changes the way its subject is perceived. Now repackaged with a new introduction from bestselling author Hampton Sides to coincide with a major HBO dramatic film of the book, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown’s classic, eloquent, meticulously documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. A national bestseller in hardcover for more than a year after its initial publication, it has sold over four million copies in multiple editions and has been translated into seventeen languages.

Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the series of battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them and their people demoralized and decimated. A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee changed forever our vision of how the West was won, and lost. It tells a story that should not be forgotten, and so must be retold from time to time.


There is not a lot I can say about this “history” book. Some of it we have heard or read about over the years.

The first 12 pages of this book is more then heartbreaking.  The people who came to this country were, in my opinion, truly “sick of mind”… sadly, some things never change.   Greed.


Quoting from the book cover:

“Traditional texts glory in our nation’s western expansion, the great conquest of the virgin frontier.  But how did the original Americans… the Dakota, Nez Perce, Utes, Poncas, Cheyenne, Navaho, Apache, and others… feel about the coming of the white man, the expropriation of their land, the destruction of their way of life?  What happened to Geronimo, Chief Joseph, Cochise, Red Cloud, Little Wolf, and Sitting Bull as their people were killed or driven onto reservations during decades of broken promises, oppression, and war?

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is a documented account of the systematic plunder, of the American Indians during the second half of the nineteenth century, battle by battle, massacre by massacre, broken treaty by broken treaty.Here for the first time is their side of the story.  We can see their faces, hear their voices as they tried desperately to live in peace and harmony with the white man.”


This is one of those rare books that will  have to be pried out of my cold dead hands.  That’s all I can say.

Cheech, Is not my Real Name …but don’t call me Chong! by Cheech Marin.

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing;(March 14, 2017)
ISBN-10: 145559234X


The long-awaited memoir from a counterculture legend.

Cheech Marin came of age at an interesting time in America and became a self-made counterculture legend with his other half, Tommy Chong. This insightful memoir delves into how Cheech dodged the draft, formed one of the most successful comedy duos of all time, became the face of the recreational drug movement with the film Up in Smoke, forged a successful solo career with roles in The Lion King and, more recently, Jane the Virgin, and became the owner of the most renowned collection of Chicano art in the world.

Written in Cheech’s uniquely hilarious voice, this memoir will take you to new highs.

My girlfriend Cathy bought me this book for my birthday.  Cheech had been on shows promoting the book and it was being said that it was written with much humor.  I figured I needed some humor and mentioned the book and the next thing I know there it is!

The book IS written with humor. 

I can’t say I followed his whole career so it was interesting to read that I knew more of his career than I thought I knew.  And still much I didn’t know. It was a good story if a rise to fame and the good and bad that comes with it.  I did have one disappointment.. I knew drugs were involved with Cheech and Chong, but for whatever reason I thought it was more Chong, then Cheech.  It probably was but the disappointment (for ME.) was to hear that many still use some.  But that’s just me.  I never felt that anyone needed “help” to enjoy yourself or to be happy.  To me, that’s a false happiness.   So.. whatever… I still enjoyed the book and thin “Cheech” did a lot of good to make people happy.  That’s got to be a good feeling for all comedians… making others happy.

Thanks Cheech.  And although you thought Cheech and  Chongs Corsican Brothers was your worst movie.. I loved it!

Book of the Dead

Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.

Paperback: 621 pages
Publisher: Warner; P edition (2007)
ISBN-10: 0446618500


Amazon review

An FBI agent, rotting away in a high-security prison for a murder he did not commit…
His brilliant, psychotic brother, about to perpetrate a horrific crime…
A young woman with an extraordinary past, on the edge of a violent breakdown…
An ancient Egyptian tomb with an enigmatic curse, about to be unveiled at a celebrity-studded New York gala…

This book took me a long time to read.. NOT because I wasn’t enjoying it though.  Life got in the way.  But I finally finished it  and can say I still enjoyed it.

I came to find out that the main characters did 2 books before this one.  It didn’t seem to bother the reading of this book. I thought about reading the other two books, but looked around at all the books I have here and decided to not push my luck. 

There was a multitude of “mysteries” going on at once.

Why was the FBI agent in prison?

Who stole the diamonds and sent them back all crushed?

Why were people who went into the tomb being found dead? 

To find out the answers.. you’ll have to read the book!

Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run: A Call to Those Who Would Save the Earth  by David Brower (1995).

(Book 10 for 2017)

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: New Society Publishers; 2nd edition (April 1, 2000)
ISBN-10: 0865714118



This is the testament of one of the few authentic sages of our time. Brower’s voice is passionate, perfectly cadenced, humorous, and very wise. And original: while most writers point to where we are, this one draws the map.?Edward O. Wilson, author, The Diversity of Life and Naturalist

Credited with galvanizing an entire generation of environmentalists in the 60’s, David Brower, the highly respected “archdruid” of the modern environmental movement, recalls with wit and wisdom his 50 years of controversial activism and offers an inspired strategy for the next generation of “those who would save the Earth.”

In this intelligent and engaging chronicle of his years as an agitator for the planet, Brower points out the irony that since the first Earth Day 25 years ago, we’ve lost one-seventh of the world’s productive land to pollution, clear cutting, and pavement-and our population has doubled! From the politics of preserving the environment and how to use New York-style PR to save tigers and dolphins, to reengineering cities, the future of hypercars, and his vision for the Earth Corps, Brower takes us on a sweeping journey of what has been and what could be if we apply CPR (Conservation, Preservation, Restoration) to our wounded world. Printed on entirely tree-free kenaf paper, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run follows its own prescription for saving the world’s forests.

This book is about saving our environment.  Animals, Land, Air, and Water… if you have no interest in the Earth we live on then a book such as this will never go on your TBR list.

I found parts I want to share.. just in case it matters..


(pg. 16)  What happened? Sometimes we have been greedy and unthinking, but at other times the road to environmental disaster  has been paved with good intentions.  Too often in what we do, we fail to consider the two most important things: the cost to the future, and the cost to the Earth. We can be very clever, we humans, but sometimes not so smart.

(pg. 24)

Consider what my friend Justice William O. Douglas once told President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Andy government bureau more than ten years old should be abolished, because after that it becomes more concerned with its image than with its mission.

(pg 59)

What we need in these perilous times is  consummate negotiator between the Earth and its human predators.

(pg 94)

You don’t know how to fix the holes in our ozone layer.

You don’t know how to bring salmon back up a dead stream.

You don’t know how to bring back and animal now extinct.

And you can’t bring back the forests that once grew where there is now desert.

If you don’t know how to fix it, Please stop breaking it!

(pg 126)

We need to tire of trashing wildness.  It’s not making us happy.  It’s not making us healthy.  It is making us miserable and despairing.  Killing trees, habitat, and animals and separating ourselves from nature is making us all a bit crazy.  We nee to save the wild in order to save ourselves.

(pg 131)

In wilderness is the preservation of the world.


Nevertheless, I concluded that our own major wilderness areas in North America are wilder than anything in the Galapagos, although our wildlife will never be as untroubled by people.  Our wilderness will remain wilder so long as we stop chopping away at it. That said, let’s remember that only about 4 percent of the United States is designated wilderness, and half of this is in Alaska. Loopholes abound in the legal language protecting these  remnants, and each generation must review the gems left it by the generation before, and be ready to guard the house against burglars.  The well-traveled Sierra and the lonely Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana, according to an army study for World War II, are the only two places in the Lower Forty-eight where you can get more than ten miles away from a road.

(pg 178)

In the not so distant past, I saw Murray’s remark on commitment serve almost as religion for the people, including me, who helped keep dams our of Dinosaur National Monument, the Yukon, and the Grand Canyon, who helped keep loggers with itchy axes out of Olympic National Park, who helped ban DDT, who helped establish the National Wilderness Preservation System and additions  to the National Park System in the North Cascades, Kings Canyon, the Redwoods, Great Basin , at Point Reyes, and the Golden Gate, Cape Cod, Fire Island.

   We helped do all this with a Sierra Club membership less than one-tenth of its present size.  Even our success in gaining passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 was accomplished with a far smaller club than now exists.

  There are now millions of dues-paying environmentalists in the United States alone.  Some count the number at 10 million.  There are more; they just haven’t signed up yet.  But whatever the number, they don’t seem to have near the power they should.


This is the type of book that is totally up to the person who realizes they have an interest in the destruction of our World, and into Americas portion of it all.

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Bantam (December 30, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0385344066

(Book 9 for 2017)


On a spring morning in 1951, eleven-year-old chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train’s arrival in the English village of Bishop’s Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear. Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously pushed under the train by someone in the crowd. Who was this man, what did his words mean, and why were they intended for Flavia? Back home at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ crumbling estate, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to the test. Following a trail of clues sparked by the discovery of a reel of film stashed away in the attic, she unravels the deepest secrets of the de Luce clan, involving none other than Winston Churchill himself. Surrounded by family, friends, and a famous pathologist from the Home Office—and making spectacular use of Harriet’s beloved Gipsy Moth plane, Blithe Spirit—Flavia will do anything, even take to the skies, to land a killer.

Wow! I forgot how much I enjoyed Flavia  and her chemistry and her very special family!   This is book 6 in the series and all of them have been totally enjoyable!

This book had a bit of sadness to it and yet it didn’t slow down.  Quite a few family secrets and surprises in this one!

If you’ve read any of them I suggest you keep reading.  And, if you haven’t read any of this series I think you would enjoy them.. It all begins with Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie…

I still love t hat Favia named her bicycle! (I named mine too! Mine was Nellie Belle )

There are two more yet to read but one has so many choices that I now can no longer make up my mind! lol