Reviews and Blog Posts: history

October is for (Biography) Lovers

Isabella: The Warrior Queen

What is it about biographies and memoirs? Is it the thrill of finding out intimate information about someone we only know through a public face? The inspiration we get from stories of overcoming obstacles? Learning more about someone when all you really know is that you respect their work? Biographies are perpetually popular at the library, and we are always getting new ones in, but it seems that October is the month that all biography lovers are waiting for.

Yesterday Today

cover image, The Harlem Hellfighters

Anytime is the right time to explore history. The 100th anniversary of “the greatest war” evokes cries from ghostly trenches. An assassination may have sparked World War I but a blueprint for conflict existed long before the first shot. This war gave us shell shock, machine guns, and "a lost generation."

Stamp of Approval

USPS Harvey Milk

If you are a philatelist or new to stamp collecting, the unveiling of a commemorative stamp by the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a major event! The latest stamp honoring Harvey Milk, the first openly Gay elected official, is no exception.

Edison and the rise of innovation

by Leonard DeGraaf

DPL Rating:
4

Written by Leonard DeGraaf, archivist of the Thomas Edison National Historic Park, this heavily illustrated biography is academic enough to give the reader a good taste of who Edison was and what his amazing accomplishments were. The historic photographs and artifacts help enhance this story. DeGraaf also takes some time...

White fire

by Douglas J Preston

DPL Rating:
4

The latest of the FBI Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child in which the authors take on an old mining story and combine it with current crimes being committed in Roaring Fork, Colorado, a very wealthy ski resort.  The authors are not very subtle in their description...

Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners

The Night Circus

Every five years, the Young Adult Library Services Association creates a list of Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners in collaboration with academic librarians.

Whether you are a high school student thinking of heading off to college soon, an adult considering returning to school, or at any stage in your life and wanting some direction in your continuing education, the 2014 list is a diverse group of books, nonfiction and fiction, in various categories, that will expand your thoughts about the world around you. The books are at different reading levels and in different formats, and there's something here that should both interest and challenge nearly anyone interested in feeding their mind.

How the Irish saved civilization

by Thomas Cahill

DPL Rating:
2

I wanted to like this book. I had heard good things, but apparently I have been spoiled by modern narrative non-fiction. Cahill runs through pre-medieval history, spending FAR too much time on Rome and Greece (1/3 of the book), in strict chronological order and never really weaving a story, or...

National Jewish Book Awards

Like Dreamers

The Jewish Book Council recently announced the winners of the 2013 National Jewish Book Awards.

According to the Jewish Book Council, "Now in its 63rd year, the National Jewish Book Awards is the longest-running North American awards program in the field of Jewish literature. Established to recognize outstanding books of Jewish interest in various categories, it has earned its place as one of the nation's premiere literary honors."

Some of the winners and finalists include:

Waking Sleeping Beauty

DPL Rating:
5

Did you ever wonder why Disney had such a "hot streak" with The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aladdin and then the magic seemed to fade? Waking Sleeping Beauty is the behind the scenes story of Disney Animation during this time. Told with all archival...

Pop Microhistories: Great Big Stories about Extremely Specific Subjects

Tubes

Good news for popular nonfiction readers: we've recently published a new online booklist chock-full of microhistories. So what is a microhistory, anyway?

The term has meant different things to different people over the years. First used by historians to describe close investigations into the lives of common people, early examples of the practice include Carlo Ginzburg's The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller and Natalie Zemon Davis's The Return of Martin Guerre.

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