Thursday, February 18, 2016

Great Train Robberies of the Old West

Great Train Robberies of the Old West, by R. Michael Wilson, 2006

I walked into Barnes & Nobles in Park Slope and stopped at the closeout books table in the vestibule. Usually, there isn't anything "must have", but this time I saw a slim book on Great Train Robberies of the Old West, which piqued my interest. I flipped through it quickly and thought, "I'll take it." It looked like A Good Read, and it was. Nothing fabulous -- given the subject, the book easily could have been twice the size. But it presented a series of train robberies, brought out the facts and gave some background on the people involved and let you know what happened to the participants after. There was an appendix with references, which weren't just websites, but also primary sources, including hundred-year-old news articles. So the author did his homework.

I've read stuff like this which reads like expanded click-bait articles that you can find online. Others that make me wish I just went to some online encyclopedia and find my own information. This didn't. I was satisfied. That said, I read it for fun, not for research. It might be a good start if I was interested in the topic, but I'd move on to other resources afterward.

The funny thing was I didn't know how I'd feel when I got to Butch Cassidy and Sundance. Would it be skipped? Would it be the back half of the book? Neither. Their train robberies were covered the same way the others were.

My 2016 GOALS: It was a short read (under 200 pages), and it was just about the first book I picked up when I worked into the book store. Nonfiction.

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