Riding into history

I began to feel that myself plus the bicycle equaled myself plus the world, upon whose spinning wheel we must all learn to ride, or fall into oblivion and despair.  –Frances Willard Election Day is almost upon us.  I think the only thing that everyone can agree on is that it’s all been very interesting.Continue reading “Riding into history”

Things that make me happy. . .

Staying up past midnight, finishing one of the best books I’ve read all year.  And did I mention that it’s historical fiction?  Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein probably has a very long wait-list at the library (it took me months to get it), but it’s so worth the wait.  British women in World WarContinue reading “Things that make me happy. . .”

For better or worse, these are my people

Some books are a pretty easy sell for me.  A YA romance set in a living history museum?  The only shock here is that it was published last fall, and I’m just now getting to it.  Leila Sales’ Past Perfect is absolutely delightful.  Now, it might not be as funny to non-history nerds, but IContinue reading “For better or worse, these are my people”

Story first, history second

Perhaps I was a wee bit prejudiced as I started reading.  Friends that I trusted had very mixed reviews, but I didn’t quite believe them.  After all, the book had won the 2011 Newbery award.  And it was set in 1936, flashing back to 1917 and 1918.  Quite possibly one of my favorite time periods.  I shouldContinue reading “Story first, history second”

What if?

Many moons ago (11 years ago, to be exact.  Good lord, how time flies!), I was an intern at the Women’s Museum.  Part of my job was to process the many, many loans–it’s a non-collecting institution so every artifact on display had to come from somewhere else.  I have many, many stories about that summerContinue reading “What if?”

A new kind of historical fiction?

It’s not often that there’s a great, free, literary event in Dallas.  I still think longingly of my days in Raleigh, when I was just 10 minutes away from one of the best indie bookstores in the US.  I went to author events all the time–Sue Monk Kidd, Linda Sue Park (right after she wonContinue reading “A new kind of historical fiction?”

A few more like her. . .

Though I have a lot of issues with most modern historical fiction, there are a few authors that I just trust.  Richard Peck.  Christopher Paul Curtis.  Karen Hesse.  I first became familiar with her through Out of the Dust, a book that ultimately won the Newbery.  If I ever taught the 1930s, this book wouldContinue reading “A few more like her. . .”

A Politically Incorrect Confession

I have never been a fan of Native American history.  It’s not the guilt over how we stole their land and slaughtered them, whether by disease or guns.  No, it’s really just that I am not an outdoorsy person.  And living off the land has never been something that interested me.  I admire that some tribesContinue reading “A Politically Incorrect Confession”

Vacation Reading

This post was started in the midst of my recent vacation, but then there were internet connection issues and piles of stuff to go through when I got back to Texas and, well, you know how it is.  Part of my trip was spent at a friend’s house who is also a big kid litContinue reading “Vacation Reading”

Let me count the ways. . . In love with Calpurnia Tate

As a public historian in Texas, there are certain subjects that you just have to deal with on a regular basis.  The Alamo.  Cowboys.  The frontier.  I have attended conferences where it feels like every single session is pre-1900 history and mostly about the Texas Revolution.  These are all fine topics for historical study, butContinue reading “Let me count the ways. . . In love with Calpurnia Tate”