Category Archives: History

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

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography

The well-known and much-beloved Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder began their life as a single-volume autobiography. In the process of seeking a publisher for the autobiography, Wilder’s daughter, the writer Rose Wilder Lane, realized that parts of it … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir, Nonfiction | 13 Comments

Suffragette: My Own Story

Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903. The group had a single focus: Votes for Women. And they were willing to do whatever they had to to get that vote. They spoke up against those who … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir, Nonfiction | 14 Comments

Seabiscuit

Seabiscuit was the biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, getting more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But no one would have been able to predict it. He had short, crooked legs, a “sad tail,” and a pedigree that … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 19 Comments

Elizabeth and Hazel

David Margolick’s book, Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock, revolves around the by-now iconic civil rights photograph of two fifteen-year-old girls:           This photo, taken by journalist Will Counts, shows Elizabeth Eckford, one of … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, History, Nonfiction | 12 Comments

Persian Fire

Tom Holland introduces Persian Fire, his amazingly great book about the war between the Persian Empire and Greece, by pointing out that questions about these factions, these ways of being, and these cultures are still relevant today. Osama bin Laden … Continue reading

Posted in History, Nonfiction | 6 Comments