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Favorites of 2019 - L Verge - 12-27-2019 05:36 PM

Just finished my third favorite book of 2019. I'm still holding Spying for the South by the late-Tony Horwitz in first place, but followed fairly closely by James Conroy's Jefferson's White House: Monticello on the Potomac. And, third place goes to our own Susan Higginbotham's historical novel, The First Lady and the Rebel.

They firmly establish my appreciation for books that teach me social and cultural history throughout American history -- as well as the period from ca. 1840-1880. However, this year I did read several books on the turn of the 20th century and enjoyed them.

RE: Favorites of 2019 - RJNorton - 12-27-2019 07:03 PM

I think my favorite was Lincoln's Greatcoat: The Unlikely Odyssey of a Presidential Relic by Reignette Chilton. Hard to imagine writing a 197 page book on such a topic, but Reignette did it!

RE: Favorites of 2019 - Susan Higginbotham - 12-27-2019 08:24 PM

Aw, thanks, Laurie! Haven't read Spying for the South yet, and am still working on the Conroy book. I think my favorite (which is at least is 19th-century) was Hallie Rubenhold's "The Five," about the lives of the victims of Jack the Ripper.

RE: Favorites of 2019 - Craig Hipkins - 12-27-2019 08:29 PM

Non-fiction favorites would be Tobin Buhk's "True Crime in the Civil War" & John T. Appleby's "The Troubled Reign of King Stephen." My favorite fiction book was Vivienne Brereton's "House of the Red Duke."
I also managed to finish Richard Hakluyt's "Voyages and Discoveries."

RE: Favorites of 2019 - Rob Wick - 12-27-2019 09:42 PM

This is the first year in I don't know how long that I haven't read one Lincoln-related book. The best book I read in 2019 was Susan Orleans' book The Library Book. She took the story of the 1986 fire that heavily damaged the main branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. In addition to giving a history of the library, Orleans talked about how a library serves its community and the importance it holds. The fire reached temperatures of 2000 degrees and destroyed 400,000 books and heavily damaged 700,000 more.

I also liked Robert Caro's collection of essays called Working, which is likely the closest thing to a memoir we'll ever get from Caro, who is working to finish his biography of Lyndon Johnson. I finished the second volume of his biography as well, but I started it in 2018.

Not sure what I'll try to read in 2020.


RE: Favorites of 2019 - Gene C - 12-28-2019 10:25 AM

My three favorite reads for 2019

Abe Lincoln Grows Up - by Carl Sandburg
It's been well over 40 years since I read this the first time, but I think I enjoyed it more this time.

Mary Todd Lincoln by Jean Baker.
The more I read about Mary Lincoln, the more interested in her I become. This book seemed to give a deeper, more balanced look into her life.

A Threat To the Republic by Jerrod Madonna.
Jerry presents some different and reasonable ideas to consider when looking at Lincoln's assassination. Interesting and thought provoking.

A book I did not care for was Fido - Dog Diaries by Kate Klimo.
A children's book. I was disappointed in how Fido was portrayed. He didn't seem to have a strong character or personality, not much different than the other dogs in the story.

RE: Favorites of 2019 - Mylye2222 - 12-28-2019 10:35 AM

My favorite was Lincoln's White House. I felt like I was there. Lot of laughs, and some tears while reading.

RE: Favorites of 2019 - ReignetteC - 01-07-2020 06:58 PM

(12-27-2019 07:03 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  I think my favorite was Lincoln's Greatcoat: The Unlikely Odyssey of a Presidential Relic by Reignette Chilton. Hard to imagine writing a 197 page book on such a topic, but Reignette did it!

Thanks, Roger! There is more to the story; as anticipated, the book has led to some exciting finds and loose ends. Perhaps in a couple of years, I can convince my publisher to produce a second edition.

In the interim, I have been speaking about the subject under the topic, "A Tale of Two Coats." I even had a replica greatcoat at one of the presentations.

Thanks again!