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Well-Researched Works for History Buffs: The Revenant, Frederick the Great, and 1491

25 Jul

Do you open a book to the notes and bibliography and marvel at the 150+ pages of thorough research?  Will this assure you that this massive compendium holds all wonderful magic you crave?  18th century Prussian battles? 15th century pre-Columbian Americas?  Yes please!  How about we add a novel with its own short, but concise, bibliography that entices the reader with a fictionalized recreation of a story shrouded in myth but rooted in fact?  Sign me up!

The Revenant
by Michael Punke
revenant
Michael Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans changed my life.  I was seven and it was revelatory; a work of fiction with an historical backdrop.  That being said, when I saw trailers for Alexandro Iñárritu’s The Revenant I was all in. Based on a true story?  Oh yeah!  But, wait, there’s a book!  How did I get so lucky?  Michael Punke delivers a page-turning tale of revenge and survival in a brutal frontier landscape.  Set in 1823, Punke recounts a fictionalized version of the tale of Hugh Glass, a very real fur-trapper who was left for dead after a grizzly attack in the wilderness.  Because Michael Punke researched his subject masterfully, the reader easily finds themselves absorbed in an authentic feeling epic, complete with Hugh Glass’ surprising back story of piracy and his life among the Pawnee Native Americans.  Have you already seen the movie?  Don’t worry, this book has a few surprises for you.  Besides being available in print, HPL resident card holders can also borrow it as an ebook from eLibraryNJ or as an ebook from eBCCLS.

Frederick the Great: King of Prussia
by Tim Blanning
FredericktheGreat
Do you love court intrigue?  Do you love 18th-century European battles?  How exactly does a middling kingdom in central Europe rise to first-rate power in the course of one man’s 46 year reign?  Tim Blanning delivers the authoritative English-language compendium of Frederick the Great in a biography that elucidates the enigmatic King of Prussia through meticulous research that includes a vast array of personal letters.  Complete with detailed maps of battle-lines and marvelous illustrated depictions of the illustrious King’s statues, palaces, and portraits.  Wonderfully accessible, the author instructs readers while keeping them enticed in this top-down analysis of Frederick the Great.  You can borrow it in print from HPL or as an ebook from eBCCLS.

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
by Charles C. Mann
1491_Mann
While Charles C. Mann promises a lot with this title, he certainly delivered with precision an invigorating and revelatory history of the people of the pre-Columbus Americas.  Mann’s 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus provided me with a re-education in a subject that most people, myself included, have a tenuous grasp of.  Mann expertly uses archaeology, science, and great writing to compel the reader to question everything they thought they knew about Native American history in the tens of thousands of years before Europeans “discovered” the Americas.  One of my favorite discoveries was finding out that Charles C. Mann wrote a second book, 1493, that I will be suggesting in the future.  You can borrow 1491 in print from HPL or as an ebook from eBCCLS.

Written By:
Adam Cricco
Library Assistant

Celebrate Pride Month!: A Selection of LGBTQ+ Books to Checkout from HPL

27 Jun

The pride of the LGBTQ+ community can be seen shining bright all year long and all summer long it shines even brighter. From festivals to parades to special events, there are so many different ways to celebrate. We wanted to take the time to highlight some amazing books that are either written by LGBTQ+ authors and/or hold strong LGBTQ+ characters. Check them out the next time you pass by The Hoboken Public Library.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Y.A. Fiction)
By: Becky Albertalli
SimonHomosapiensAgenda
In Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. Incredibly funny and poignant, this twenty-first-century coming-of-age, coming out story—wrapped in a geek romance—is a knockout of a debut novel by Becky Albertalli.

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (Essays)
By: Audre Lorde
Sister Outsider
In Sister Outsider, a charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde-scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde’s philosophies resonate more than twenty years after they were first published.

Love! Valour! Compassion! (Play)
By: Terrence McNally
Love, Valour, Compassion
In Love! Valour! Compassion!, eight gay men spend holiday weekends contemplating relationships, AIDS and mortality. McNally has written numerous successful plays, many of which deal with homosexuality, and touch on AIDS. McNally has had major contributions to the queer theatre community and theater itself.

The Art of Being Normal (Y.A. Fiction)
By: Lisa Williamson
Art of Being Normal
The Art of Being Normal features two boys with two secrets.  David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl.   On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal – to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year eleven is definitely not part of that plan.  When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy; because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long.

50 Queers that Changed the World: A Celebration of LGBTQ Icons (Biography)
By: Dan Jones and Michele Rosenthal
50queers
LGBT people are some of the coolest in history – Freddie Mercury, Divine, Virginia Woolf, Marlene Dietrich, Andy Warhol… the list goes on. Queer subculture has had an enormous impact on style, music, science, art and literature. From Oscar Wilde, who defended his homosexual relationships in court, to RuPaul acting as an ambassador for drag on network television, queer people have fought to express their identities and make a difference. This book celebrates the lives, work, and unique perspectives of the icons who changed the world. Featuring beautifully illustrated portraits and profiles, 50 Queers Who Changed the World is a tribute to some of the most inspirational people of all time.

You can get more great LGBTQ+ books suggestions in some of our previous posts including LGB Memoirs, Lesbian Classics, LGBTQ Favorites, and LGBTQ ebooks.

Written by:
Angelica Cabrera
Library Outreach Assistant

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