Book Habit Blog - These Truths: A History of the United States

by Jill Lepore

This ambitious book addresses Hamilton’s pregnant question posed in 1787, “whether societies…are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force?”  Searching for an answer, Lepore quotes Lincoln, “We must disenthrall ourselves,” and James Baldwin, “What one begs American people to do…is simply to accept our history.”  Paying homage to both, she offers her story to those who want to know about our past and seek an honest reckoning.  She deliv

Book Habit Blog: The Milkman

by Anna Burns

Winner of the Man Booker Prize (the UK’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize) 2018

What keeps the reader engaged in The Milkman is that the novel is rarely predictable – the actions of the quirky characters are not consistent – the “madding crowd” is, in fact, mad (as, say, the hatter).

Book Habit Blog: Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches

by S.C. Gwynne

This is an historical non-fiction narrative, telling lyrically three, tightly interwoven stories: the settling of the state of Texas; America’s forty year war of extermination of the Comanche tribe; and the saga of pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker, kidnapped by the Comanche as a nine-year-old girl, integrated into the tribe, never attempting nor wishing to escape, who gave birth to and raised the legendary, principal war chief, Quanah Parker.

Book Habit Blog - The Tattooist of Auschwitz

by Heather Morris

This novel imagines the lives of the prisoners of Auschwitz, two especially, Lale and Gita, and demonstrates that sacrificial and romantic love can exist at the the center of death. Actually, the verb should be must, not can. In spite of the Auschwitz directive, that brutality is to be the essential quality of this universe, Lale and Gita must defy that brutality. Their humanity directs them to do so. In choosing to love, they help themselves and others to survive.

Book Habit Blog - Educated - Tara Westover

by Tara Westover

Tara Westover has a Ph.D. in History from Cambridge – and was a visiting fellow at Harvard.

Her memoir looks back at her humble start, born to survivalists, with a father who is always preparing for the end of the world and does not believe in anything tied to “big government.” Tara and her siblings do not have birth certificates, are not sent to school and are not allowed to seek out help from the “medical establishment.” They are left to read and learn on their own – and to work with their father in his junk yard.