Historical Non-Fiction Favorites of 2016

Historical Non-Fiction Favorites of 2016

The first of two gathering posts today at I am, Indeed, featuring favorite and unforgettable Historical Non-Fiction reads from 2016.

Genre: Historical, Non-Fiction




Heroines of Mercy Street:
The Real Nurses of the Civil War

Pamela D. Toler

Little, Brown & Company/Hachette Audio
304 Pgs/ | 8 Hrs: 24 min
Rel: 16 February 2016

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Research for this story is effectively presented: this isn’t a dry read, in fact, the narration by Suzanne Toren helps to provide a sense of life to these women, known and unknown, that puts the letters into a frame that is accessible to all readers, not just those interested in history or the facts.  I’ve actually given copies of this title to friends who are nurses, and can wholeheartedly suggest this for readers with or without an interest in history or the US Civil War.   If you are a fan of the PBS Series, or are interested in learning more about the women who made history – this is the title for you.

See My Review




The Three-Year Swim Club
The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory

Julie Checkoway

432 Pgs.
Grand Central Publishing
Rel: 27 October 2015

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From dirty irrigation ditches to the prospect of the 1940 Olympic Games cancelled because of World War II, through the War, detainment in camps and even performance above and beyond the norm on the battlefield, the Sugar Ditch Kids survived and found a calling within themselves to keep moving forward. While it’s easy to feel that the historical detail overwhelms, the skill with which Checkoway uses detail, imagination and empathy to bring this story to light is nothing short of marvelous.

See My Review

The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts


The Perfect Horse
The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis
Elizabeth Letts 

384 Pgs.
Ballantine Books
Rel: 23 August 2016

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Saddened by the Dept of Agriculture and their narrowmindedness in accepting the rescued horses and the US horse people (think AHSA) to establish the breed properly here, the contributions of Podhajsky cannot be praised strongly enough. Take a moment to see the balletic moves, understand that this breed can be dated back to Ghengis Khan, and then dream of your own airs above the ground.

See My Review




Les Parisiennes
How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved, and Died Under Nazi Occupation

Anne Sebba

480 Pgs.
St. Martin’s Press
18 October 2016

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While circumstances (and choices) for each woman were unique, the goal was ultimately to survive long enough to see the Nazis leave, abandoned by their men (more than 1.5 million French soldiers in German POW camps by the end of 1940), abandoned by their government and oftentimes the world. The choices these women faced were horrid, and Anne Sebba shows us their options, their thoughts and actions, allowing us to understand and perhaps empathize with the eventual outcome, bringing the history and time to light in some small way.

See My Review