Category Archives: Historical

Summer Reading 2022!

Summer 2022 is all about Fairfield! What do you love about your town? How can you share your story? Learn something new, get creative, and have fun while earning points toward our community goal! We challenge Fairfielders of all ages to reach 1 million points together by the end of the summer. Express yourself, attend events, write book reviews, complete bonus activities, and of course READ to earn points and help reach our goal this year! Your story begins at home!

Sign in or register for summer reading fun for the whole family here.

Here are a few books that will help you earn points this month in both the year-long Adult Reading Challenge AND the Summer Adult Reading Challenge. Let the reading begin!

THE DIAMOND EYE
By Kate Quinn

“Quinn (The Rose Code) draws on a historical female sharpshooter from WWII in her exciting latest…Historical fiction fans will be riveted.” ~Publisher’s Weekly

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

BOOTH
By Karen Joy Fowler

“Ostensibly about the family of Shakespearean actors best known for their connection to Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth, Fowler’s novel explores tensions surrounding race, politics, and culture in 19th-century America.” ~Kirkus

“Throughout, the nuanced plot is both historically rigorous and richly imagined. This is a winner.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

THE TAKING OF JEMIMA BOONE
By Matthew Pearl

“This is a stimulating read which honors the complexity of the events described. History buffs will eat it up.” ~Library Journal

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

“Davis’s grit and determination are moving, and her unflinching reckoning with the “racism and misogyny” she faced in Hollywood makes her story of overcoming all the more effective. Fans will be utterly enthralled.” ~Publisher’s Weekly

FINDING ME
By Viola Davis

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

 

 

2022 Adult Reading Challenge! April

DISCOVER DIFFERENT GENRES!    FIND NEW AUTHORS!    WIN PRIZES!

Join us for a fun book challenge throughout 2022! Sign up and keep track via Beanstack. If you’ve participated in any of our recent summer or winter reading challenges, you’re all set to go and don’t need to create a new account.

Visit Beanstack here.

Our theme for April is CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE. Choose from travel memoirs, natural disasters, and survival stories. Here are a few titles to get you started:

FROM SCRATCH: A MEMOIR OF LOVE, SICILY, AND FINDING HOME
By Tembi Locke

“Readers will not want to put Locke’s memoir down, so compellingly does she describe her unique experiences and the universal ups and downs of life.” ~Booklist

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

THE LONGEST WAY HOME : ONE MAN’S QUEST FOR THE COURAGE TO SETTLE DOWN                         By Andrew McCarthy

“Though most recognizable as a member of the group of actors known in the 1980s as the Brat Pack, actor and travel journalist McCarthy (editor-at-large, National Geographic Traveler) shows off his writing chops in this memoir of his gradual resolution of the major conflicts in his life: to wander or to settle, to commit or to be free, to be lonely or to be sociable.” ~Library Journal

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

ISAAC’S STORM: A MAN, A TIME, AND THE DEADLIEST HURRICANE IN HISTORY
By Erik Larson

“Poignant details and sweeping narrative create a book that is hard to put down even though the outcome is a well-known historical fact: more than 6000 dead and an entire city devastated. At the same time, Larson chronicles a critical period of history for the National Weather Bureau. The blatant errors in judgment led to changes within that federal agency. More than anything, this is a gripping and heartbreaking story of what happens when arrogance meets the immutable forces of nature.” ~SLJ

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

IN HARM’S WAY : THE SINKING OF THE USS INDIANAPOLIS AND THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF ITS SURVIVORS
By Doug Stanton

“A crisp, well-executed reconstruction of naval warfare’s darkest chapter: the sinking and abandonment of the USS Indianapolis.” ~Kirkus

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Popular Titles For June

What your friends and neighbors are reading this month:

THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME  by Laura Dave

“Dave pulls off something that feels both new and familiar: a novel of domestic suspense that unnerves, then reassures. This is the antithesis of the way novels like Gone Girl or My Lovely Wife are constructed; in The Last Thing He Told Me, the surface is ugly, the situation disturbing, but almost everyone involved is basically good underneath it all. Dave has given readers what many people crave right now—a thoroughly engrossing yet comforting distraction.”~  BookPage

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

GOLDEN GIRL by Elin Hilderbrand

“This sweeping love story is Hilderbrand’s best ever. . . Her stories are relatable in an aspirational way, but her attention to detail is what makes her characters feel like living, breathing people you want to know. They would never skimp on citronella candles; they would save the least creaky rocking chair for you.”~ Elisabeth EganNew York Times Book Review

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“It’s 1983 in Malibu, and the famous Riva siblings are hosting their annual end-of-summer party—a legendary affair. By morning, the house is in flames, a blaze fueled by smoldering secrets and long-simmering drama. [Taylor Jenkins] Reid has once again crafted a fast-paced, engaging novel that smoothly transports readers between decades and story lines.” ~The Washington Post

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

HOUR OF THE WITCH by Chris Bohjalian

“Bohjalian blends historical fiction with a thrilling courtroom drama. . . A fascinating and immersive read… What makes this novel remarkable and compulsively readable is Bohjalian’s uncanny ability to capture the Puritan perspective… Hour of the Witch is at once brilliantly idiosyncratic while also recognizable. This genre-defying thriller is sure to become a staple of book clubs and a favorite of historical mystery fans.
~BookPage

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Interested in History? Try One of These Popular Digital Titles!

Interested in history? Now might be a great time to read or listen to a book while you’re staying home and staying safe. Here are a few suggestions that you can download from Overdrive with your Fairfield Public Library card.

Title details for Jefferson's Daughters by Catherine Kerrison - Available

JEFFERSON’S DAUGHTERS
By Catherine Kerrison

“Kerrison contrasts the privileged upbringing of Thomas Jefferson’s two acknowledged daughters with wife Martha—Martha Jefferson Randolph (the eldest and favored daughter), and Maria Jefferson Eppes—and the shadowy life of daughter Harriet Hemings, born to Sally Hemings, his mistress and slave.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Madame Fourcade's Secret War by Lynne Olson - Available

MADAME FOURCADE’S SECRET WAR
By Lynne Olson

“This masterfully told true story reads like fiction and will appeal to readers who devour WWII thrillers à la Kristen Hannah’s The Nightingale.” ~Booklist

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The First Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer - Available

THE FIRST CONSPIRACY
By Brad Meltzer

“Best-selling novelist and television-host Meltzer (The Escape Artist, 2018) and documentarian Mensch bring the fast pace and sensibility of a thriller to the Hickey Plot, a failed 1776 scheme to kidnap and possibly murder George Washington. They vividly evoke the world of occupied New York City in which the scheme unfolded, describing the tensions within the overcrowded wartime community and the webs of relationships linking powerful backstage plotters with the greedy, desperate, or committed ordinary people designated to carry it out… Readers who like their histories full of twists, turns, and cliff-hangers will enjoy this romp through the Revolution.” ~Booklist

For more information, please click here.

Title details for The Radium Girls by Kate Moore - Available

THE RADIUM GIRLS
By Kate Moore

“Moore details the tragic stories of dozens of young women employed as dial painters during World War I. Often the daughters of immigrants, these women were lured to these prestigious and well-paying jobs unaware of the dangers of the radioactive paint present in their workplace—which caused their bodies and clothes to glow, even outside of work…A must-read for anyone interested in American and women’s history, as well as topics of law, health, and industrial safety.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick - Available

VALIANT AMBITION: GEORGE WASHINGTON, BENEDICT ARNOLD, AND THE FATE OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
By Nathaniel Philbrick

“Best-selling author Philbrick (Bunker Hill; The Mayflower) recounts details of Revolutionary War battles in the context of Gen. Benedict Arnold’s character traits as well as his relationships with George Washington and others that affected his successes and downfalls and ultimately led to his defection from the Continental to the British Army.” ~Library Journal

For more information, please click here.

For those interested in Connecticut history, try one of the following. There are more where these came from!

Title details for The Hartford Circus Fire by Michael Skidgell - Available

THE HARTFORD CIRCUS FIRE
By Michael Skidgell

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Connecticut Witch Trials by Cynthia Wolfe Boynton - Available

CONNECTICUT WITCH TRIALS
By Cynthia Wolfe Boynton

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Lighthouses and Lifesaving Along the Connecticut and Rhode Island Coast by James Claflin - Available

LIGHTHOUSES AND LIFESAVING ALONG THE CONNECTICUT AND RHODE ISLAND COAST
By James Claflin

For more information, please click here.

Title details for Connecticut Families of the Revolution by Mark Allen Baker - Available

CONNECTICUT FAMILIES OF THE REVOLUTION
By Mark Allen Baker

For more information, please click here.

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”                                               ~Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Fire and the Darkness: the Bombing of Dresden, 1945

THE FIRE AND THE DARKNESS: THE BOMBING OF DRESDEN, 1945

by Sinclair McKay

February 13, 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden, Germany by British and American bombers. Carried out in 3 raids, it was one of the most devastating attacks of World War II. The first raid, beginning at 10:03 p.m. by British bombers, destroyed buildings, roads, and shelters. The second, again by the British, was an incendiary attack that rained fire from the sky to create a fire hurricane which destroyed everything in its path and suffocated those trapped in collapsed buildings and shelters. With the power lines being destroyed in the first raid there were no air-raid sirens to warn of the second raid, leaving many of those who ventured out to help the wounded caught off guard and out in the open. The third raid, carried out the next day by American bombers, destroyed what was left.

A portrait of the city before, during, and after the devastating raids, this is a story told from all points of view: the residents, the bombers, and the city itself. Those living in Dresden believed they would be spared from such an attack because they were seen as an intellectual and cultural city with very little of their manufacturing aiding the war effort. Dresden was not, however, all innocence. Atrocities were carried out every day in the city with the remaining Jews in Dresden getting their “relocation” letter just days before the raid. As much to devastate the city as to devastate morale, the bombing of Dresden remains one the most controversial decisions of World War II. ~ Sue, Circulation

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

The Splendid and the Vile

THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE

  by Erik Larson

Erik Larson is always my go-to author for narrative non-fiction. His newest, THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE, focuses on Winston Churchill, and those around him, during the Blitz. There has been plenty written about the courage and stoicism of the British citizens during World War II, especially during the terror of the Blitz, but Larson delves deeper. His descriptions of the night raids- from the air raid sirens, to the different kinds of bombs, to the fiery destruction left behind, is enthralling. Churchill’s reaction to the air raid sirens (he ran to the roof as everyone else ran for the underground shelters) illustrates his strong and defiant personality. Readers will gain a new respect for this leader and his ability to convince his countrymen, and the world, that they would persevere even as fire literally rained down from the sky. Anyone interested in WWII history, Churchill, or just a great recounting of a seminal event in history will be captivated. ~ Sue, Circulation

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

Check Out These Mystery Series!

Scottish Bookshop Mystery Series by Paige Shelton

For fans of contemporary or cozy mysteries, this series features Delaney Nichols, an American who has left home for a job in Edinburgh, Scotland at The Cracked Spine. So much more than just a bookshop, the Cracked Spine has a secret room full of antique treasures that her boss, Edwin, has been collecting for years. Murder and intrigue are never very far from Delaney and the mysterious Cracked Spine.
A great cast of characters and a terrific setting make this a mystery series not to be missed.

  1. THE CRACKED SPINE please click here.
  2. OF BOOKS AND BAGPIPES please click here.
  3. LOST BOOKS AND OLD BONES please click here.
  4. THE LOCH NESS PAPERS please click here.

 

Wrexford & Sloane Mystery Series by Andrea Penrose

For fans of historical mysteries, this series features the Earl of Wrexford, a wealthy lord, and Charlotte Sloane, a political cartoonist who writes under the pseudonym A.J. Quill. Charlotte and Wrexford move in different social circles so each has their own web of informants and spies. This makes them a formidable team when it comes to solving murders. Regency London has never seemed as dark and sinister as in this riveting series.

  1. MURDER ON BLACK SWAN LANE please click here.
  2. MURDER AT HALF MOON GATE please click here.
  3. MURDER AT KENSINGTON PALACE please click here.

More World War II Recommended Reading and the Adult Summer Reading Code!

The Adult Summer Reading Code is: Penny                                                                                            For more information about our Summer Reading Programs for all ages, please click here.

June 6, 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy. The library has a wonderful collection of World War II novels and non-fiction. The following are just a few suggested titles. Check back for more recommendations every week in June and July.

THE NIGHTINGALE
By Kristin Hannah
“Hannah departs from the contemporary novels she’s known for with this engrossing tale of two sisters’ bravery in occupied France during WWII.” ~Booklist

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

FORGOTTEN: THE UNTOLD STORY OF D-DAY’S
BLACK HEROES, AT HOME AND AT WAR
By Linda Hervieux
“In her debut, journalist and photographer Hervieux unearths a valuable piece of the D-Day landing story scarcely included in the official records: the contributions of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, the only African-American combat unit to land at Normandy.” ~Kirkus

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

THE SOLDIER’S WIFE
By Margaret Leroy
“Leroy has written a tender love story wrapped around a horrifying account of unspeakable cruelty. She brings to life the island and the characters that populate it.” ~Booklist

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

THE DEAD AND THOSE ABOUT TO DIE: D-DAY:
THE BIG RED ONE AT OMAHA BEACH
By John C. McManus
“A focused tale of the hellish ascendancy of the U.S. Army’s famed 1st Infantry Division on June 6, 1944, underscoring how the Normandy invasion nearly went terribly awry.” ~Kirkus

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

 

World War II Recommended Reading

June 6, 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy. The library has a wonderful collection of World War II novels and non-fiction. The following are just a few suggested titles. Check back for more recommended reading every week in June.

THE LIGHT OVER LONDON
By Julia Kelly
“This is a bold story of a young woman’s innocence and heartache, and her satisfying discovery of her worth and inner strength.” PW

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

THE ALLIES: ROOSEVELT, CHURCHILL, STALIN,
AND THE UNLIKELY ALLIANCE THAT WON WORLD WAR II
By Winston Groom
“Groom’s legions of fans will enjoy his novelistic approach to history, and all readers will appreciate the plethora of information he offers about three of the most important personalities of the twentieth century. With plenty of action, romance, intrigue, diplomacy, tragedy, and richly detailed history, The Allies is a strong addition to WWII collections.” ~Booklist

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

THE ALICE NETWORK
By Kate Quinn
“A compelling blend of historical fiction, mystery, and women’s fiction, Quinn’s complex story and engaging characters have something to offer just about everyone.” ~Library Journal

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

DOUBLE CROSS: THE TRUE STORY OF THE D-DAY SPIES
By Ben MacIntyre
“Macintyre effortlessly weaves the agents’ deliciously eccentric personalities with larger wartime events to shape a tale that reads like a top-notch spy thriller.” ~PW

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings

June 6, 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy. The library has a wonderful collection of World War II novels and non-fiction. The following are just a few suggested titles. Check back for more recommended reading every week in June.

NORMANDY ’44 : D-DAY AND THE EPIC 77-DAY BATTLE FOR FRANCE
By James Holland

“This hefty, scrupulously balanced history of the Allied invasion of northern France goes beyond some of the well-known events of D-Day, thanks to Holland’s meticulous research and clear-eyed view of the big picture… This is an excellent and engrossing new look at the Normandy invasion.” ~PW

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

EVERY MAN A HERO: A MEMOIR OF D-DAY, THE FIRST WAVE AT OMAHA BEACH,
AND A WORLD AT WAR
By Ray Lambert

“Lambert, a 98-years-young recipient of the Silver Star, finally agreed to commit his WWII experiences to paper after realizing that he is one of the last survivors of the D-Day landings at Normandy…All Americans owe Lambert gratitude for his service and sacrifice, and for sharing his memories so that we never lose our connection to the ever-relevant past. ~Booklist

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE
By Anthony Doerr
“A novel to live in, learn from, and feel bereft over when the last page is turned, Doerr’s magnificently drawn story seems at once spacious and tightly composed. It rests, historically, during the occupation of France during WWII, but brief chapters told in alternating voices give the overall—and long—­narrative a swift movement through time and events.” ~Booklist

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

THE FIRST WAVE: THE D-DAY WARRIORS WHO LED THE WAY TO VICTORY IN WORLD WAR II
By Alex Kershaw
“Kershaw is at his evocative best describing the chaos, courage, and carnage of combat, vividly portraying the bravery of the “greatest generation.” Even readers well-read on the subject will enjoy this perspective.” ~Publisher’s Weekly

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

MISTRESS OF THE RITZ
By Melanie Benjamin
“Benjamin, who has made a career out of fashioning compulsively readable historical fiction starring real-life women does it again here with the life story of American expatriate Blanche Auzello, the titular Mistress of the Ritz, whose French husband, Claude, managed the legendary Paris hotel from the Jazz Age into the sixties and, notably, during the German Occupation.” ~Booklist

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

SOLDIER, SAILOR, FROGMAN, SPY, AIRMAN, GANGSTER, KILL OR DIE:
HOW THE ALLIES WON ON D-DAY
By Giles Milton
“Cornelius Ryan and Stephen Ambrose have set the standard for D-Day historiography. It’s safe to say that Milton (Nathaniel’s Nutmeg) can be now added to that list with this refreshing portrayal of how the Allies prepared, fought, lost, and won on that fateful day in 1944.” ~Library Journal

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

MISSION TO PARIS
By Alan Furst
Furst conveys a strong sense of the era, when responding to a knock might open the door to the end of one’s days. The novel recalls a time when black and white applied to both movies and moral choices. It’s a tale with wide appeal.~ Kirkus

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.

MADAME FOURCADE’S SECRET WAR: THE DARING YOUNG WOMAN WHO LED FRANCE’S LARGEST SPY NETWORK AGAINST HITLER
By Lynne Olson
“As well researched and engrossing as her previous books, showcasing her adroit ability to weave personal narratives, political intrigue, and wartime developments to tell a riveting story, Olson’s latest is highly recommended to readers interested in World War II, the history of espionage, women’s history, and European history.” ~Library Journal

For more information, or to place a hold, please click here.