“The American Story”
By David Barton and Tim Barton
The Guiding Hand of Providence
Many events leading to America’s founding could be considered pure chance or miracles—depending on one’s perspective. This fascinating retelling of early American history focuses on the role of Providence and provides invaluable clarity for our modern times.
Wallbuilders Press, 2020, 384 pages
By Melanie Kirkpatrick
A Woman of Perseverance and Wisdom
This delightful and inspiring read highlights the practically forgotten figure of Sarah Josepha Hale, considered the godmother of Thanksgiving. Her perseverance is ever-present throughout the book, from her time as a struggling seamstress to her tenure as the editor of one of the most influential magazines in America, Godey’s Lady’s Book. Her writings, whether public or private, had powerful sway. In this book, Hale is rightly given center stage as one of America’s most influential figures.
Encounter Books, 2021, 323 pages
By Peter Stark
A Pacific Empire in the Making
Jump on board for this harrowing adventure following the fate of an ambitious quest in the 1800s. Two men with two visions create a lasting legacy in American history. Business tycoon John Jacob Astor has a grand entrepreneurial plan to create a global enterprise. President Thomas Jefferson envisions the spread of democracy to the West Coast. Author Peter Stark brings this largely forgotten saga to life, as we follow two groups on their respective heroic quests. A riveting read of exploration and survival.
Harper Collins, 2015, 308 pages
“The Falcon Thief”
By Joshua Hammer
The Art of Egg Snatching
This tale is bold and brilliantly told in a fast-paced narrative. Readers will be swept along this ride of a likable rogue, Jeffrey Lendrum, who gets his kicks (and profits) from stealing rare bird eggs. His nemesis, an equally likable British wildlife detective, Andy McWilliam, is determined to end his peregrine egg pillaging days. This true-crime drama partnered with high adventure will keep readers rappelling through the pages.
Simon and Schuster, 2021, 275 pages
“Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide”
By Cecily Wong and Dylan Thuras
For Hungry Armchair Travelers
Beer bathing in an Austrian castle. Pyrotechnic fishing in Taiwan. A pecan pie vending machine in Texas. These are some of the weird and wondrous culinary curiosities explored in this fascinating guide. Bite-sized stories uncover obscure local traditions, rare delicacies, hidden-gem destinations, and near-forgotten histories.
Workman Publishing Company, 2021, 448 pages
Right Versus Tyranny
A classic that speaks to our time. Against the mandate of Creon, king of Thebes, Antigone buries her brother, whom Creon considers a traitor. She is then condemned to death. This tragedy raises many excellent questions: Do we take the righteous path, as did Antigone, or obey a tyrant’s orders? To whom do we owe fealty, the gods or our rulers? What takes precedence: love of family or obedience to the state? What occurs when that state censures the obligations of family and faith?
Sophocles’s play condemned tyrants then and does so today.
Prestwick House, 2005, 80 pages
By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Love Between a Child and a Pet
A Pulitzer Prize winner from 1938 about a backwoods Florida boy, Jody Baxter, and the fawn he adopts, Flag. We read of Jody’s coming of age and the tension that occurs when Flag begins eating the family’s crops. An American classic.
Scribner Publishers, 2021, 416 pages
By Esther Forbes
The Tale of a Young Patriot
This 1943 award-winning historical fiction novel focuses on a teenager engaged as a young silversmith apprentice in Boston and his part in the explosive events leading up to the Revolution. An American classic; intended for teen readers.
Clarion Books, 2011, 320 pages