The Year Without Summer: 1816

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The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250042750
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact us for more info
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 11th, 2014

An astounding study in climate change in the aftermath of a monster volcanic eruption (10 times the force of Krakatoa). This single natural event had world-wide consequences: New England blizzards in June; European food riots; panicking establishment of fringe religious sects; mass population shifts; even the composition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  What a year!


How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City

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How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781608195916
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Bloomsbury USA - March 4th, 2014

Author of ten books on the City of Light, Joan DeJean begins in the 17th Century and takes us though the dazzling history of how and why Paris became the most beautiful city in the world – full of stunning architecture, lavish parks, museums, boulevards, monuments – a city alive with adventure and excitement.


A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome

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A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome: Daily Life, Mysteries, and Curiosities Cover Image
By Alberto Angela, Gregory Conti (Translated by)
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ISBN: 9781933372716
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Europa Editions - May 26th, 2009

Great pleasure for the history buff or curious general reader.  Angela picks a specific day at the height of the Roman Empire and follows various typical Romans through their day, illustrating how they dress, eat, etc.  Angela's easy conversational style belies what must be copious research.


The Secret Rooms

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The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, and a Family Secret Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143124733
Availability: On Order at the Wholesaler
Published: Penguin Books - December 31st, 2013

Downton Abbey this is not, yet neither is the mystery concealed in the gothic castle quite the horror story one expects.  Bailey does a magnificent research job in her quest to go through the copious amounts of never seen letters and material belonging locked away at Belvoir Castle in the early twentieth century and discover exactly what the then Duke of Rutland was trying to conceal.  The lengths this branch of the aristocracy were willing to go to in order to preserve their lineage is a tale of 'class obsession, hypocrisy and constipated emotion' and the narrative is peopled with fascinating characters capable of more depth and deception than Masterpiece Theatre often provides.



Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs, by Paul Koudounaris

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Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs Cover Image
ISBN: 9780500251959
Availability: On Order at the Wholesaler
Published: Thames & Hudson - October 8th, 2013

Worth it for the pictures alone, scholar Koudounaris fleshes out a strange little corner of Catholic history- that of the skeletal remains of martyrs that were dressed and ornamented as a response by the Catholic Church to the Protestant Reformation. Read about the skeletons, what they meant to the communities that hosted them and how they ended up. Fascinating!


Double Cross

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Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307888778
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - May 14th, 2013

Ben Macintyre’s latest history of WW2 espionage might be his best. The story of the six double agents and the spymasters who helped launch the D-Day invasion is a fascinating, harrowing and often funny page-turner you won’t forget. If you loved Agent Zigzag, Double Cross is a must-read, an unbelievable true story written in Macintyre’s characteristic entertaining and addictive style, with romance, tragedy and farce all rolled up together.


1775:A Good Year for Revolution

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1775: A Good Year for Revolution Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143123996
Availability: Available at Wholesaler
Published: Penguin Books - September 24th, 2013

How and why did the farmers, hill people, city lawyers, wealthy plantation owners and other completely disparate peoples - some  of them extremely contrary - join the American revolution?  It's a complex, fascinating story, way beyond the handy school version, and Phillips has done a superb job of laying it all out.  A valuable addition to the ongoing historical record.


The Hub's Metropolis

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The Hub's Metropolis: Greater Boston's Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780262018753
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact us for more info
Published: MIT Press - March 22nd, 2013

Somerville rowhouses, huge building lots in Weston, stately homes along Comm. Ave. in Newton -- there's a reason for every aspect of the Boston area's built environment. Read about the accidental and deliberate design decisions that led to the region we know today, and then go see for yourself, using the walking tour suggestions throughout the book.


Bunker Hill

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Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution (The American Revolution Series #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780670025442
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact us for more info
Published: Viking - April 30th, 2013

Philbrick’s clear and entertaining prose brings an old story to life. Live with our patriots and marvel at their heroism and foibles. Washington, Warren, Knox, Bunker Hill, Breed’s Hill and Battle Road. Loyalists, Generals, Admirals, and mad King George. Boston occupied and under siege! Enjoy and marvel at the exploits as Philbrick enthralls us – again!

Jane Jacobs


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