Evanston Public Library’s History Book Group just celebrated its 5th Anniversary. We meet every two months, so we can look back on a total of 30 books we have read and discussed since our first meeting in March 2018. To celebrate, we just voted on our favorite books, and the result is this Top Ten List (with 11 titles, due to a 10th-place tie) which we are proud to share now with the Evanston community. Here they are, linked to their records in our card catalog. Drum roll, please!
- 1st Place Caroline Elkins, Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire (Knopf, 2022)
- 2nd Place Jill Lepore, These Truths: A History of the United States (Norton, 2018)
- 3rd Place William Taubman, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (Norton, 2003)
- 4th Place Candice Millard, Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill (Doubleday, 2016)
- 5th Place William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (Norton, 1991)
- 6th Place Greg Grandin, The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World (Metropolitan/Holt, 2014)
- 7th Place (tie) Simon Winchester, Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883 (HarperCollins, 2003)
- 7th Place (tie) Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (Modern Library, 2000 [orig. 1845])
- 9th Place Erik Larson, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin (Crown, 2011)
- 10th Place (tie) Mary Beard, SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (Liveright, 2015)
- 10th Place (tie) Andrés Reséndez, A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (Basic, 2007)
If you would like to see a list of all 30 titles we’ve read since 2018, with book jackets and brief annotations, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Reference Desk at 847-448-8630.