History, Biography, and Politics

Lost Girls may be about unsolved murders, but it isn’t just any true crime book. It’s also an excellent example of great investigative journalism, as Kolker makes the story behind the crimes and their unsolved nature unsettling, moving, and infuriating. I couldn’t put it down.  

Reviewed by: 
Flannery
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062183651
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - May 6th, 2014

As most of us remember, Salman Rushdie was sentenced to death by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 for writing The Satanic Verses, and was forced to live underground for nearly two decades. Here, at last, is his story of trying to live a “normal” life while in hiding. Brilliant writing, and one hell of a story.  

Reviewed by: 
Rico
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812982602
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - September 10th, 2013

When the writer James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential, American Tabloid) was ten years old, his mother was found murdered in a Los Angeles suburb. The police could not solve the case. Not surprisingly, this event haunted Ellroy and, in a way, shaped his entire life. As an adult, he enlists the help of a retired L.A. County Sheriff and sets out to find his mother’s killer.  

Reviewed by: 
Rico
$15.95
ISBN: 9780679762058
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books - August 19th, 1997

As a history nerd, I know way too much about the British monarchy and, more specifically, the Plantagenet dynasty, but even I was surprised by Dan Jones's book. The Plantagenets are a fascinating family which helped shape the European world extensively. If you think your family has problems, you've got nothing on the murders and betrayals of the Plantagenets.

Reviewed by: 
Ivy
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143124924
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - March 25th, 2014

Anyone who knows me knows I'm obsessed with comic books. However, I had no idea the depths of my lack of knowledge about Wonder Woman's true origins. This is not about Diana Prince's mystical creation, but rather about her creator and his motivations for bringing her into the world. Lepore's revelations will shock even the most seasoned comic book fans.

Reviewed by: 
Ivy
$29.95
ISBN: 9780385354042
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Publishing Group - October 28th, 2014

At 17, Eustace Conway moved into the forest to live in a teepee, subsist on wild game (including roadkill) and foraged plants, and to inspire lazy, in-the-box modern Americans into a commune with the natural world. Unlike Christopher McCandless (subject of Into The Wild) Conway isn’t in it for the hermit-status seclusion or even the adventure; he became a tireless teacher, public speaker, land-owner, and camp director, driven by his unyielding and fastidious need to become a “Man of Destiny.” Beyond a play-by-play of his adventures, Glibert explores Conway’s motives and inspirations, his complicated relationship with an emotionally abusive father, and his charming but demanding personality. Most of all, it’s a brilliantly deep, engrossing look at the model of American frontier masculinity that deteriorated at the Industrial Revolution.    

Reviewed by: 
Julia
$16.00
ISBN: 9780142002834
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - May 27th, 2003

Ghettoside is about the thousands of murders that go unsolved in poor communities across the country, murders that cause unceasing grief and are largely ignored by the media. Its scope is both enormous and intimate, taking on a monstrous, seemingly insurmountable problem by focusing on the people who live and work in these stricken neighborhoods. Ghettoside challenged so much for me, including my own ignorance and cynicism. I can't imagine a more important time for this book to be widely read and discussed.

Reviewed by: 
Kat
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385529983
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - January 27th, 2015

As a girl who desperately wanted to be an astronaut, the name Sally Ride meant everything to me. But I knew very little about her; Ride was an extremely private person who rarely spoke about her life. Before her untimely death in 2012, Ride gave permission to her partner to go forward with a biography. Sherr's book captures Ride's brilliance, verve, and determination. 

Reviewed by: 
Kat
$28.00
ISBN: 9781476725765
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 3rd, 2014

This memoir is chock-full of twists and turns as it chronicles his search of two distinct yet parallel mysteries that color his life. Mr. Cumming's voice is rich, distinctive, and you can't help but imagine it in a Scottish brogue. His openness is easy to relate to and incredibly refreshing from such a theatrical powerhouse. 

Reviewed by: 
Ivy
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062225061
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dey Street Books - October 7th, 2014

I’ve always loved maps, but previously knew very little about the history of cartography, so I found this fascinating. While clearly delineating the technical advances of the great cartographers Brotton discusses the political, economic and/or religious objectives that distort all maps. This is a perfect book for map lovers, history buffs and fans of well-researched non-fiction. 

Reviewed by: 
Rico
$20.00
ISBN: 9780143126027
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - October 28th, 2014

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