It’s that time of year for the deluge of “best” book lists.
LitHub photo (2015)
Many of these lists separate fiction and nonfiction. (In a few weeks I’ll be posting my own fiction favorites here.) Smithsonian.com, however, compiles a list of history books! This year it includes a few of the “big men” biographies (Richard Nixon, Ulysses S. Grant, Muhammad Ali) that remain so popular with many readers. But is also includes several that illuminate hidden corners of history.
Marjorie Spruill’s Divided We Stand is about the 1977 National Women’s Conference in Houston that provoked a counter-conference organized by Phyllis Schlafly. Anyone interested in women’s rights issues should read this book.
In The Jersey Brothers, Sally Mott Freeman delves into her own family history to tell the story of the Pacific theater in World War II. While there are lots of books about World War II, I think the Pacific is still a neglected area.
And of course, Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann’s gripping tale of the murder of Osage Indians in the 1920s is on many “best” lists, and deservedly so.
If you’ve missed these 2017 books, take some time over the holidays to get caught up on your reading. (Hint: put them on your holiday gift wish list and/or buy them as gifts for the favorite people in your life.)