Category Archives: History

The Discoverers

The Discoverers is the first in Daniel Boorstin’s “knowledge trilogy.” (The others are The Creators and The Seekers.) This book, more than 700 pages long in small type, describes the progress of the inventors and explorers of Western civilization, beginning … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 11 Comments

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

In the prologue to this short, but devastating history, scholar Carol Anderson explains her title in this way: White rage is not about visible violence, but rather it works its way through the courts, the legislatures, and a range of … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 25 Comments

The Way to Rainy Mountain

In 2012, I read N. Scott Momaday’s groundbreaking novel House Made of Dawn, which is the story of a young Native man who has returned to the reservation from the second World War in order to face his demons. The … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir | 4 Comments

Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South

That’s a lot of subtitle, no? And all those subtitles don’t even get into the circus sideshows. This book first captured my interest because I grew up just a few miles from Truevine, the Franklin County, Virginia, community where the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 10 Comments

Blood Done Sign My Name

In the United States, when we are first taught about the Civil Rights movement, in our high schools and sometimes into college, it goes something like this: There was segregation and injustice, and it was bad. And then Martin Luther … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir, Nonfiction | 13 Comments

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer

In July 1865, a 13-year-old London boy named Robert Coombs murdered his mother Emily. After the murder, he and his 12-year-old brother Nattie attended cricket matches, played games, and went fishing, all the while claiming their mother was away visiting family. When … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 18 Comments

Mountains of the Mind

For years, I’ve been a lover of the literature of exploration. I’ve read many books in which men (and some women, but mostly men) hurl themselves at intemperate climates and impossible peaks. In Mountains of the Mind, Robert Macfarlane goes … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | Leave a comment

How to Be a Victorian

Do you remember all the chatter a couple of months ago about the couple that decided to live like Victorians? The whole thing seemed silly to me (both the article and the backlash), but somewhere in the conversation someone mentioned … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 32 Comments

March: Books 1 and 2

Growing up in the South in the 1970s and 80s, I learned about the 1960s Civil Rights movement in bits and pieces. It was recent enough to be in a lot of people’s memories, and too recent to be covered … Continue reading

Posted in Graphic Novels / Comics, History, Memoir, Nonfiction | 6 Comments

The Darkest Jungle

In Todd Balf’s book The Darkest Jungle, he explains that by 1854, after the spectacular and expensive failure of the Franklin expedition, the search for the Northwest Passage was sliding off the front pages. The new great hope was Panama. … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, History, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 4 Comments