As time marches on, we move farther and farther from the events that comprised the Second World War. In this compelling book there are over fifty narratives describing the war abroad and the scenes of the home front. In 2012, this book was featured in a televised piece by “NBC Nightly News” in which a few of the contributors were interviewed. The decorated combat veteran, Robert Christie, penned a verse titled The Hunter which is an especially profound treasure in the work. This book is a “must read” for World War II history buffs.
This book quickly shot to the best seller lists after a copy was gifted to President Obama at the 5th Summit of the Americas in 2009. It was written by one of the most celebrated Latin American journalists of the twentieth century, the late Eduardo Galeano, a Uruguayan author also widely known for his illustrious Memory of Fire trilogy. In it, Galeano analyzes the effects and causes of capitalist underdevelopment in Latin America and presents a passionate account of the five hundred years that spanned from the arrival of the exploitative conquistadors to the time of the work’s original Spanish language publication in 1973.
This Land Is Their Land – This book puts to rest many of the long-standing myths about the first Thanksgiving. Silverman writes that the Pilgrims and Wampanoags forged their alliance out of necessity, giving greater historical context to the events we center our modern holiday around. He further explains that in grand history of the Pilgrims and Wampangoags, the first Thanksgiving was but a minor event.
Mayflower – Philbrick’s Mayflower is a comprehensive look at the Pilgrims’ settling of Plymouth and of greater New England. He holds nothing back in portraying the complex history of the Native Americans’ relationship to the colonizing Pilgrims. Philbrick writes in an exciting, fast-paced manner, detailing the tragedy and struggle of this time period.
The Name of War – Jill Lepore brings a whole other level of complexity to this region and to the two groups attempting to coexist in 17th century New England. Although taking place after the Pilgrim’s early settlement and the first Thanksgiving, The Name of War helps you to understand the fragile alliances that were formed and broken during this time. More importantly, Lepore argues that it was the colonists’ written words and memory of King Philip’s War that hardened their ideas about the Native Americans and furthered the enmity between them.
Internationally acclaimed author “Ruta Sepetys is considered a ‘crossover’ novelist as her books are read by both students and adults worldwide. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Ruta is renowned for giving voice to underrepresented history and those who experienced it.” – rutasepetys.com
Between Shades of Gray – Lithuania, 1941. Exposing the agonies endured by victims of Josef Stalin’s regime, Between Shades of Gray grips readers from the first page with its against-the-odds survival story.
Salt to the Sea – East Prussia, 1945. World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.
Fountains of Silence – Madrid, 1957. Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, the repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence–inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain.
As the last leaves are falling and we wait for the first snows of the year, we look to the Nordic North to learn how to keep things “hygge.” One might describe hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) as the Danish word for the feeling you get while curling up under a cozy blanket in front of a fireplace, a cup of hot tea in hand while the snow falls softly in the night air. As the nights get longer and the days grow colder, here are some books to help you in your quest for perfect hygge at home.
The Little Book of Hygge – Danish author Meik Wiking believes the secret to Danes’ happiness is hygge. Wiking says here are many ways to make this happen: Atmosphere, presence, and comfort are all included in his “Hygge Manifesto.” The little book is filled with anecdotes and simple ways to make your life a little happier.
The Year of Living Danishly – Helen recounts her amusing and heartwarming year uncovering the secrets of living happily–moving from London to rural Denmark. From hygge to childcare, pickled herring to sexism, “The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey that shows us where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.”
Scandinavian Classic Baking – Since baking is considered to be essential to hygge, check out this cookbook for great recipes on all the Scandinavian comfort pastries. The smell of freshly baked treats ready to be eaten in front of a cozy fire will fill your home with hygge.
We’re gearing up for election season. November, then primaries, then the big one!
One Person, No Vote – Carol Anderson documents the modern effort to suppress the vote following the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision. Though these efforts are new, they often echo the efforts from the past. At 160 pages, this book packs a punch. The additional 110 pages of notes and citations demonstrates the soundness of Anderson’s case.
The Woman’s Hour – This is the story of the fight to get Tennessee to ratify the 19th Amendment, making it the last state needed for amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Suffragist and Anti-suffragist converged in Nashville, bringing with them their various coalitions. You know how this all ends, but Elaine Weiss is able to take known history and turn it into thrilling storytelling.
Give Us the Ballot – Much has been written about the Civil Rights Movement in America, but less has been documented about the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Ari Berman starts from there and chronicles the fights and the resistance to expanded voting right up to the modern-day. Required reading for pre-election season.
Oscar Wild and the Return of Jack the Ripper. London, 1894. Who is Jack the Ripper? In this sixth entry in Brandreth’s series pairing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde, rumors have resurfaced that Jack the Ripper is a member of the royal family. When a woman is brutally murdered, Chief Constable McNaughton asks Wilde to use his extensive knowledge of the underworld to help. Wilde enlists a reluctant Doyle and the two team up to solve the mystery. Verbal repartee abounds as the pair’s conversation works many of Wilde’s epigrams into the dialog. Fans of Sherlock Holmes and Oscar Wilde will enjoy the ride.
Lady Cop Makes Trouble. Hackensack, 1915. Constance Kopp is at it again! Having recently been appointed as Deputy Sheriff of Bergen County (although minus the badge), Constance is on duty at the jail when the notorious prisoner Dr. von Mattesius makes his escape. Constance, embarrassed and worried for the future of Sheriff Heath’s job, sets out to apprehend Mattesius. Based on a true story, this second title in the Kopp sisters series is at once meticulously researched and full of humor as Constance juggles her law enforcement responsibilities and her obligations to her two sisters: Norma, who raises carrier pigeons and Fleurette, whose eyes are filled with Broadway stars. Lady Cop Makes Trouble is a witty and consciousness raising romp.
Cold Bright Lights. Melbourne, present day. In this stand-alone mystery from renowned Australian crime writer, Garry Disher, readers are introduced to Alan Auhl, a former homicide detective who is called out of retirement to work cold cases. When a body is found under a cement slab, Auhl’s job is to identify “slab man”. Along with his cold case, Auhl is also trying to help one of his tenants, a young woman whose abusive husband is trying to take her child away. Disher’s characters are always complex and compelling and Auhl is one of the most challenging. With an ending that may shock and will leave readers pondering the nature of justice and morality, Disher’s latest is a must read.