This summer I have been reading Charles Frazier’s second novel, Thirteen Moons. It was a tall order to follow up Cold Mountain, and Thirteen Moons falls short, but that’s more a recommendation for the former than a criticism of the latter. I have also read a couple of good biographies. One is Reynolds’ John Brown, which deals with Brown’s complicated position fighting for a noble cause using tactics that roughly amounted to domestic terrorism. The other is the first volume of Wayne Franklin’s James Fenimore Cooper, an important re-assessment of that author’s place in antbellum American culture. I highly recommend all three books.