The war between the states; our Civil War was raging 150 years ago. Many books have been published over the past 3 years to mark the anniversary of that Great Unpleasantness. Most of those books have been non-fiction.
Dennis McFarland just published what might be the great Civil War novel of our era. "Nostalgia" is the story of a soldier named Summerfield Hayes. During the horrific Battle of the Wilderness in 1864 Hayes suffers greatly and is afflicted by what was known at the time as "nostalgia." That term referred to what we now describe as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
If you surveyed some passersby and asked them to name the most destructive river flood in American history most of them probably wouldn't know the right answer. It happened in 1927. The swollen Mississippi River had burst through the levee system. 27,000 square miles, an area 50 miles wide and 100 miles long was flooded and under as much as 30 feet of water.
Chris West has been a stamp collector for many years. His collection includes some of the first postage stamps that were issued in Britain. West has written "A History of Britain in Thirty-Six Postage Stamps." He selected particular stamps that seemed to speak to him about the history of the particular time periods in when each one was printed.
As we surge headlong through this crazy culture do you ever feel the need for some new words to describe what you are seeing and experiencing? Fortunately for us Liesl Schillinger has stepped forward to plug some of these linguistic gaps.
In her book "Wordbirds" Schillinger coins new expressions to relieve some of these vocabulary shortfalls. Do you hate television or at least pretend to loathe it? According to Schillinger you have a case of "telaversion."
When Bill Bryson was mulling over his next project he was thinking about writing a dual biography of Charles Lindbergh and Babe Ruth. Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean to Paris during the summer of 1927. Nobody had ever done that before. He became an instant celebrity.