Sarah Rose brings us D-Day Girls, the history of a few brave women who fought behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied Germany. Much of this story is information gathered from declassified military documents, diaries that the women kept, and various letters sent back and forth to paint a picture of these lesser-known heroines. With all of that collected together, we are treated to a novelization of that historic part of WWII and the history of the women of the Special Operations Executive.
Jill Lepore takes on an ambitious project with These Truths: to create a one volume history of the United States of America. In it, we see comparisons of the hypocrisy in how we act and treat each other, along with how much of our collective point of view has not drastically changed from then to now. These Truths gives us the history from 1492 onward, showing how politics, law, journalism, and technology have shaped and changed America since the beginning.
David McCullough is best known for his writings on history, and The Pioneers is no different, following a few early settlers who settled near the Ohio River and built one of the earliest settlements in the area. This story follows Cutler, Putnam, Cutler’s son Ephraim, a carpenter/architect, and a physician who would become a pioneer in science. The story is pieced together from mostly unknown text and documents from these early settlers, giving us a unique look into the lives of those early pioneers.
The Longest Line on the Map
Discussing a forgotten piece of American history, The Longest Line on the Map brings the story of the Pan-American Highway to those who have either forgotten about it or have never heard of it. The road was built in an effort to connect North and South America, and this book details the history and effort that was needed to bring this ambitious project to life. It also explores the politics, deals, and technology needed to take on such an ambitious and unprecedented project.
Brenda Wineapple’s The Impeachers is a fascinating narrative of an important piece of American history: the very first impeachment of a United States President. After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson was placed into the highest office during a difficult time in America. To further disrupt things, he used his power as the president in ways that had not been experienced up to that point, much to the dismay of Congress and various others that were dedicated to fighting for justice. This book is a terrific read for anyone with questions regarding the use of impeachment.
Like many of us, Paul Goldberger has an obsession over America’s favorite pastime, baseball. This book is an in-depth peek into the history of the stadiums that we have come to know and love. From the first park to the modern stadiums that we enjoy now, Paul Goldberger does and amazing job of collecting and organizing the history of these stadiums in a beautiful way.
Weber’s Ultimate Grilling
The good folks at Weber have created this beautiful cookbook/guide for those that have been dreaming of grilling since the end of winter. This book is more than just recipes, giving helpful advice and information related to the science of cooking, so that anyone can be a master of the grill. With beautifully done, high-quality photos, easy-to-follow recipes and wonderful facts about grilling, this book really does live up to its name.
The Second Mountain
David Brooks’s The Second Mountain is an idea for a roadmap that can guide people to lead more fulfilling lives by focusing less on ourselves and more on the idea of community. Based on the concept that the first mountain we tackle is going to be one for the self, the second is about doing what you can to make the world a better and kinder place. Part discussion of philosophy, part critique of society and the general idea of selfishness, this book is designed to help motivate the reader to find a better path.
Becoming Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss, nee Theodor Geisel, was a complicated man. He struggled as a writer and artist, only turning to children’s literature, which he considered “literary slumming,” only after having abandoned myriad other career paths. He was also not immune to the racism and misogyny of his day, and auth Brian Jay Jones doesn’t shy from those truths. In Becoming Dr. Seuss, Jones explores the development of this complicated personality, examining the struggles that finally produced an unlikely and successful career in children’s literature. Jones draws extensively from personal documents, interviews, and previous biographies to produce an engaging, often inspiring story of a fascinating man and artist.
This is Jared Diamond’s third book in a trilogy that follows the way that societies can rise and fall, and in his newest, Upheaval, we get to see just how they fair after disaster strikes. Looking at the issues with more of a personalized lens, the book shows us how various countries around the world have coped with disaster and in some ways did so in a way that is more akin to how one would approach an individual dealing with trauma. Jared gives us six different countries that all had some kind of crisis or conflict and what they had to do in order to come out the other side. Featuring personal stories from both Diamond and those in the countries discussed, Upheaval is a wonderful addition to the trilogy.