american history

The Giver of Stars

By Moyes, Jojo
5
Rated by Lisa H
Oct 7, 2019

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes is historical fiction at its very best!  Set in 1939 Southern Kentucky, the lives of five strong female characters come together to form and operate the Packhorse Library, where they deliver by horseback, books, magazines and newspapers to those living in remote, rural areas.


One of the main characters, Alice, an Englishwoman, marries an American and is brought to Kentucky where she hopes to start a new, dazzling life with her husband. That is not to be the case.  Alice finds living with her husband and her father-in-law to be stifling and oppressive. Alice

Nov 25, 2015

Treasure in a Cornfield is a must-read for anyone who has ever dreamed of unearthing a ginormous time capsule that’s almost 160 years old or going on a treasure hunt that only asks you to lift a finger when the page needs to be turned.  Color photographs, muddy adventure, and juicy historical tidbits pack every single page. 


After searching for the perfect steamboat to excavate and discovering the whereabouts of the Arabia, Greg Hawley and his family invest all of their time, money, and energy into bringing the steamboat to the surface of the cornfield that protected and preserved it for

Hamilton

By Lin-Manuel Miranda
5
Rated by Rachel C.
Nov 5, 2015

I recently found myself saying something I never would have thought I might say: "I'm so in love with George Washington right now."


The reason for such a strange statement?  Hamilton.  It's an odd concept, a hip-hop musical about the guy on the ten dollar bill, most famous for having been killed in a duel with the current Vice President, based on the 800+ page biography by Ron Chernow.  And it's magnificent.  Lin-Manuel Miranda earned his MacArthur Genius Grant with this work.


There are a number of reasons that this is a perfect storm of a musical. Narratively, it's a story with

Apr 10, 2014

Weather—a fact of nature we all live with. The extremes of this past winter are a hot topic from the news to neighborly conversations. But rarely does weather become such a dominating life force as it did for almost a decade from 1931 to 1939 in the southwest plains—the Dust Bowl. In The Worst Hard Time Pulitzer Prize winner Timothy Egan takes us back to a time we think we know and delves so deeply that we come away with a new respect for the people who lived through the “dirty thirties.”
He begins with a history of the area that covers the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, western Colorado and

Oct 23, 2009

Along with the long-forgotten contents of the basement of the Panama Hotel, Henry Lee’s memories of 1940’s Seattle are unearthed.  When new hotel owners start to renovate the boarded up, old Japanese-designed building they discover the personal belongings of numerous Japanese families who were interned during WWII. As a resident of Seattle’s Chinatown, just the other side of the Panama Hotel from Japantown, Henry witnessed first-hand the removal of the Japanese. His friendship with a Japanese classmate leads him to hold a special interest in the dusty belongings of one family in particular