Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Weeds (cheap books)

Last years some time I found myself hanging in the Longville, Minnesota library. So I randomly picked a book off a random shelf, read the first ten pages, and got very interested in the story. The book was The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral-And How It Changed the American West by Jeff Guinn. It is the story of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, The Clantons and the McLaurys. But it is also the story of bison hunting, cattle herding, the evolution of party politics, white-native relations in the Southwest, the history of the Texas Rangers, silver mining, and a bunch of other stuff. It was very edifying. I note here that The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral-And How It Changed the American West is on Kindle for four bucks. I bought a used paperback for about five bucks.

Then there’s this other book, about a similar topic, but with an entirely different perspective and plot.

I discovered this book, Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral by Mary Doria Russell, an excellent author who is an anthropologist, while looking around at other material on aErp/Hollidy et al. (Turns out this is a cottage industry.) Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral is now available in Kindle form for two bucks. I wish I knew that six months ago!

Anyway, while we’re talking about cheap books, lets’ talk about weeds. Specifically, Weeds: In Defense of Nature’s Most Unloved Plants, by Richard Mabey, which was recommended by Carl Zimmer. I’ve not read it, but I’m interested in weeds. They are, of course, a cultural construct, not a real thing, yet they are at the same time a very real thing. If dandelions cost money we would covet them. That sort of thing.

And, of course, it is Spring (supposedly). So, happy weeding! Or, at least, until the snow melts, happy reading!

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