The Fight to Save the Town: Reimagining Discarded America by Michelle Wilde AndersonWelcome to...Stockton, CA; Josephine County, OR; Detroit, MI; and Lawrence, MA.
Where you'll explore...how systemic inequities and late-stage capitalism adversely affect working-class communities throughout America.
Further reading: For another thought-provoking book on the subject, check out Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
The Colony: Faith and Blood in a Promised Land by Sally DentonWhat it's about: In 2019 Northern Mexico, nine Mormon women and children were killed by a local drug cartel, targeted for their ties to a fundamentalist sect in the region.
Read it for: a compelling and well-researched chronicle of the tensions between breakaway Mormon communities in Mexico and their neighbors.
For fans of: Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven and its recent miniseries adaptation.
The Earth Is All That Lasts: Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and the Last Stand of the Great Sioux... by Mark Lee GardnerWhat it is: a fast-paced dual portrait of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, the Lakota chiefs who helped defeat George Armstrong Custer's forces at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.
Why you should read it: Award-winning historian Mark Lee Gardner's evocative latest is "a strong work of Western history that strives to bring the Native American view to center stage" (Kirkus Reviews).
Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels, and Crooks by Patrick Radden KeefeWhat's inside: a thought-provoking collection of 12 previously published New Yorker articles by journalist Patrick Radden Keefe that focus on crimes and the schemers who commit them.
Why you might like it: Keefe's incisive profiles of notorious figures like Mexican drug lord El Chapo and Dutch gangster Wim Holleeder reveal their stories without glamorizing their misdeeds.
Don't miss: updates at the end of each essay.
We Carry Their Bones: The Search for Justice at the Dozier School for Boys by Erin KimmerleWhat it is: a sobering investigation of the Dozier School for Boys, the abusive Florida reform school featured in Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Nickel Boys.
What happened: After the school was shuttered in 2011 due to allegations of torture and murder, author and forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle located its cemetery and uncovered dozens of bodies buried in unmarked graves, utilizing forensic and DNA testing to reunite the victims with their families and reveal the causes of their deaths.
Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden: Two Sisters Separated by China's Civil War by Zhuqing LiStarring: Hong and Jun Chen, two close-knit sisters who became separated during the Chinese Civil War and who were unable to reunite for decades.
Author alert: Zhuqing Li is a professor of East Asian Studies at Brown University and the niece of Hong and Jun.
Further reading: For more books on how the tumultuous changes of 20th-century China impacted family relationships, read The House of Yan by Lan Yan or Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister by Jung Chang.
Sisters in Resistance: How a German Spy, a Banker's Wife, and Mussolini's Daughter... by Tilar J. MazzeoHow it began: After he became disillusioned with the Third Reich, Italian foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano began pouring his frustrations into his diaries, documenting numerous state secrets.
What happened next: An unlikely trio of women helped deliver Ciano's diaries to the Allies; these documents later became crucial evidence during the Nuremberg trials.
Read it for: a pulse-pounding narrative worthy of a John le Carré novel.
Cabin Fever: The Harrowing Journey of a Cruise Ship at the Dawn of a Pandemic by Michael Smith and Jonathan FranklinWhat it's about: the ill-fated journey of the Zaandam, the Holland America cruise ship which set sail from Buenos Aires on March 7, 2020 and quickly became stranded during the early days of COVID-19.
What's inside: a vivid you-are-there narrative offering firsthand accounts from passengers and crew who fought to maintain hope in the midst of illness, isolation, and dwindling provisions.
Reviewers say: "A harrowing thriller that brings the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID pandemic into the microcosmic enclosed world of a cruise ship" (Library Journal).
Contact your librarian for more great books!
L.E. Smoot Memorial Library
9533 Kings Hwy
King George, Virginia 22485