Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Book: Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser The Blurb: Drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser—the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series—masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder’s biography. Revealing the grown-up story behind the most…

Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women

The Book: Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women, by Marianne Monson The Blurb: These are the stories of twelve women who “heard the call” to settle the west and who came from all points of the globe to begin their journey: the East Coast, Europe, and as far away as New…

The Apache Wars

The Book: The Apache Wars, by Paul Andrew Hutton The Blurb: In this sprawling, monumental work, Paul Hutton unfolds over two decades of the last war for the West through the eyes of the men and women who lived it. This is Mickey Free’s story, but also the story of his contemporaries: the great Apache…

Dear County Agent Guy

The Book: Dear County Agent Guy, by Jerry Nelson The Blurb: In the tradition of Mark Twain and Jean Shepherd, Dave Barry and Garrison Keillor, Jerry Nelson is a humorist whose beat is the American heartland, a small-town world of pickup trucks and Sunday night pancake dinners, dropping in on neighbors and complaining about the…

The Queen of the Heartbreak Trail

The Book: The Queen of Heartbreak Trail, by Eleanor Phillips Brackbill The Blurb: The story of Harriet Smith Pullen’s early life, from her childhood journeys by covered wagon to her family s subsistence in sod houses on the Dakota prairie where they survived grasshopper plagues, floods, fires, blizzards, and droughts is a narrative of American…

Until We are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran

The Book: Until We are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran, by Shirin Ebadi The Blurb:  The first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Shirin Ebadi has inspired millions around the globe through her work as a human rights lawyer defending women and children against a brutal regime in Iran. Now…

The Plain Choice

The Book: The Plain Choice, by Sherry Gore The Blurb: Raised in a broken family and emotionally overlooked, Sherry Gore grew up without a solid foundation, a prisoner of her own poor choices, and at times without hope.  A series of terrible mistakes left her feeling wrecked and alone and a sudden tragedy threw Sherry…

Bream Gives Me Hiccups

The Book: Bream Gives Me Hiccups, by Jesse Eisenberg The Blurb: Taking its title from a group of stories that begin the book, Bream Gives Me Hiccups moves from contemporary L.A. to the dorm rooms of an American college to ancient Pompeii, throwing the reader into a universe of social misfits, reimagined scenes from history,…

Circling the Sun

The Book: Circling the Sun, by Paula McLain The Blurb: Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of…

Harem: The World Behind the Veil

The Book: Haram, by Alev Lytle Croutier The Blurb: A fascinating illustrated history of one of the strangest, and cruelest, cultural institutions ever devised. Drawing on a host of firsthand accounts and memoirs, as well as her own family history, Croutier explores life in the world’s harems, from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth…

I Am Sophie Tucker: A Fictional Memoir

The Book: I Am Sophie Tucker, by Susan Ecker, Lloyd Ecker The Blurb: Part fairy tale, part crime novel, part rags to riches Hollywood myth, I Am Sophie Tucker tells the outrageous story of one of showbiz’s biggest personalities. The Babble: First in a fictionalized trilogy about the life of legendary vaudevillian Sophie Tucker, I…

Five Days at Memorial

The Book: Five Days at Memorial, by Sheri Fink The Blurb: After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths….