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History…of a Sort


History…of a Sort
Gere Branch BooksTalk, October 2, 2017
Guest Reviewer: Scott Childers, Executive Director of the Southeast Library System

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires
by Tim Wu (2010) [not in the Lincoln City Libraries collection]

A non-fiction title that talks about how different communications and media inventions turn into industries, and then how those industries create the need for laws and policies.

Hector’s Bliss
by Dennis Vossburg (2007) [Vossburg]

After the Civil War in America, colonies of freed slaves made their way to the Great Plains, drawn by the promise of free land, rich soils and a good life. This book is the story of one such family who settles down near Goose Lake in the northeastern Nebraska sandhills.

When the Legends Die
by Hal Borland (1963) [Borland]

When his father killed another brave, Thomas Black Bull and his parents sought refuge in the wilderness. There they took up life as it had been in the old days, hunting and fishing, battling for survival. But an accident claimed the father’s life and the grieving mother died shortly afterward. Left alone, the young Indian boy vowed never to return to the white man’s world, to the alien laws that had condemned his father.

book coverThe Homesman
by Glendon Swarthout (1988) [Swarthout]

The Homesman takes place in the 1850s, when early pioneers are doing anything they can to survive dreadful conditions. Women especially struggle with these conditions are are sometimes driven mad by heartbreak, loneliness, depression, and being overwhelmed with life. The fictional tale describes the trip two members of a community have to make, to take some of these women, to asylums in the East.

book coverHolmes on the Range
by Steve Hockensmith (2007) [Hockensmith]

1893 is a tough year in Montana, and when brothers Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer sign on as ranch hands at a secretive ranch, they’re not expecting much more than hard work, bad pay, and a few free moments to enjoy their favorite pastime: reading stories about Sherlock Holmes. When another hand turns up dead, Old Red sees the perfect opportunity to employ his Holmes-inspired “deducifyin'” skills and sets out to solve the case. Big Red, like it or not (and mostly he does not), is along for the wild ride in this clever, compelling, and completely one-of-a-kind mystery.

book coverCrocodile on the Sandbank
by Elizabeth Peters (1975) [Peters]

Set in 1884, this is the first installment in what has become the bestselling Amelia Peabody series. At thirty-two, strong-willed Amelia Peabody, a self-proclaimed spinster, decides to use her ample inheritance to indulge her passion, Egyptology. On her way to Egypt, Amelia encounters a young woman named Evelyn Barton-Forbes. The two become fast friends and travel on together, encountering mysteries, missing mummies, and Radcliffe Emerson, a dashing and opinionated archaeologist who doesn’t need a woman’s help — or so he thinks.

book coverMark of the Lion
by Suzanne Arruda (2006) [Arruda]

After driving an ambulance along the front lines of World War I, Jade del Cameron can fire a rifle with deadly precision. Still suffering trauma from the Great War, she sets off for Africa, determined to fulfill a man’s dying wish…never expecting to become involved in murder. Rich with romance, mystery, and adventure, Mark of the Lion introduces a fascinating new heroine and explores the elusive heart of a compelling and exotic world.

On the Rocks: A Willa Cather and Edith Lewis Mystery
by Sue Hallgarth (2013) [not in the Lincoln City Libraries collection]

The year is 1829 and Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Willa Cather and her partner Edith Lewis are summering on Grand Manan, an island in the Bay of Fundy. In their cottage’s sparsely-furnished attic room, Cather is at work writing Shadows on the Rock, her tenth novel. Edith is painting watercolors from the cliffs, two hundred feet above the rising tides of Whale Cove. Out of the corner of her eye, Edith sees a body plunge from the edge of a cliff to the rocks below. One of the top ten Titles to Pick Up Now recommended in O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, February 2013.

book coverThe Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln
by Stephen L. Carter (2012) [Carter]

What if President Abraham Lincoln survived the assassination attempt at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865? That question sets the background for the story of twenty-one-year-old Abigail Canner, a young black woman with a degree from Oberlin and a letter of employment from the law firm that has undertaken Lincoln’s defense. Here is a vividly imagined work of historical fiction that captures the emotional tenor of post-Civil War America, a brilliantly realized courtroom drama that explores the always contentious question of the nature of presidential authority, and a galvanizing story of political suspense.

book coverTime and Again
by Jack Finney (1970) [Finney]

When advertising artist Si Morley is recruited to join a covert government operation exploring the possibility of time travel, he jumps at the chance to step into New York City in January 1882. Aside from his thirst for experience, he has good reason to return to the past — his friend Kate has a curious, half-burned letter dated from that year, and he wants to trace the mystery. But when Si begins to fall in love with a woman he meets in the past, he will be forced to choose between two worlds…forever.

book coverThe Swan Gondola
by Timothy Schaffert (2014) [Schaffert

On the eve of the 1898 Omaha World’s Fair, Ferret Skerritt, ventriloquist by trade, con man by birth, isn’t quite sure how it will change him or his city. When he crosses paths with the beautiful and enigmatic Cecily, his whole purpose shifts and the fair becomes the backdrop to their love affair.

book coverThe Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern (2011) [Morgenstern]

The circus arrives without warning. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway — a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love. True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.