MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Index of articles by category

Beyond the Book Articles
People, Eras & Events

Page 1 of 6

Order books by:
Note: The key icon indicates member-only content.Learn more about membership.
#MeToo's Founder Tarana Burke
While Kate Walbert's His Favorites takes place in the late 1970s, the novel's initial release in August 2018 was perfectly aligned to contemporary events, as stories about men in positions of power sexually harassing and assaulting women were breaking on a near daily basis. Certainly this was not a new phenomenon, and while the #MeToo ...
170 Years of World's Fairs
Love and Other Consolation Prizes largely revolves around two World's Fairs that took place in Seattle in 1909 and 1962.

Officially known as Universal Expositions, more than 100 World's Fairs have been held in more than 20 countries, large and small, since the first one premiered in 1851. The events showcase a country's ...
A Brief Biography of Copernicus
Nicolaus Copernicus was one of the first scientists to remove the Earth (and consequently, humanity) from the center of the universe, countering the theological teachings of his day. As such, his theories are referred to often in You Are Here. He is regarded as one of the central figures of the Scientific Revolution, and is sometimes ...
A Brief History of The New People's Army
A large part of protagonist Geronima de Vera's backstory in Elaine Castillo's novel, America is Not the Heart, is entwined with the communist rebellion group, The New People's Army, a real-life collective that continues to forcefully oppose elected Philippine governments. The New People's Army (NPA) is the armed wing of the Communist ...
A Brief History of The Renaissance
The Renaissance period (from the French word 'rebirth', Il Rinascimento in Italian) was a period of scientific and cultural changes. The Renaissance was triggered by a new interest in the ancient classical texts and a desire to learn how they could be applied to the arts and sciences - the result was a rebirth of European culture as a ...
A Different Kind of Democratic National Convention
In The Nix, Sam's mother, Faye, takes part in the protests that took place at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, one riddled by unrest and tensions. It was a convention held in Chicago where then mayor Richard Daley was believed to have been instrumental in many of the goings-on both inside and outside the political arena.

The ...
A Few Outstanding Women War Correspondents
Souad Mekhennet is one of many women journalists who have entered dangerous situations to try to inform the world about conditions in a war zone. A few of the most influential and best-known, now deceased, are listed below.

Kathleen 'Kit' Coleman (1864-1915) covered the Spanish-American War for the Toronto Mail in 1898. The Ireland-...
A Glimpse of Beryl Markham
Paula McLain's new historical fiction, Circling the Sun is the story of Beryl Markham, an aviatrix whose incredible flight accomplishments took a back seat to the more famous Amelia Earhart. A number of books have tried to shine the light on this British daredevil who, in many ways, was ahead of her time – Straight on Till Morning ...
A Plantagenet Primer
Henry II (1133-1189), the first Plantagenet* king, was born and brought up in France but lived to rule England for 35 years. His name will always be tied obliquely to the murder of Archbishop Thomas à Becket at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170, even though he's often lauded as one of the most effective of all England's monarchs...
A Quick Tour of the Mexican Revolution
Most of El Paso is set toward the tail end of the Mexican Revolution, which played out between 1910-1920. One of its primary players, General Pancho Villa, is a principal character in the novel.

The Mexican Revolution got its start during the rule of Porfirio Diaz, a dictator who perpetuated a feudal system in the country with just a ...
A Short Biography of Rasputin
Rasputin's role within St. Petersburg's high society is detailed throughout the first section of Sashenka.

Gregori Yefimovich Rasputin was born in a small village in Siberia in 1864 or 1865. At the age of 18 he was sent to a monastery, possibly as a penance for a minor theft. He returned a changed man, and embarked on the life ...
A short history of the French Resistance
France capitulated to Germany on June 25 1940 and was divided into three key zones: A German occupation zone in the north and west, a small Italian occupation zone in the southeast and unoccupied collaborationist 'Vichy France' in the south (map). The French Army was disbanded except for a small force to keep domestic peace, and the ...
A Whiff of Papal Controversy
In Conclave, Robert Harris creates an imaginary world of Cardinals meeting in the Sistine Chapel to elect a new Pope. The Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope or Holy Father, is the leader of the Catholic Church, a religion with over one billion members worldwide.

The Roman Catholic Church recognizes 266 popes in the Annuario Pontificio ...
Adam Smith and his Wealth of Nations
The title of M.T. Anderson's Landscape With Invisible Hand, (and perhaps its protagonist's name), contains a reference to the theories of the Scottish economist Adam Smith, whose landmark 1776 work The Wealth of Nations laid the groundwork for modern free-market economic theory. To laypeople, Smith may be best known for his ...
Afghanistan 1979 - 1994
At the beginning of the novel, Lara, a character reminiscent, in her painful past and gracefulness, of Lara in Dr. Zhivago, arrives on Marcus's doorstep to uncover the fate of her brother Benedikt, who came to Afghanistan with the 1979 Soviet invasion...

The Soviets invaded Afghanistan at the request of the largely unpopular, pro-Soviet...
African-Americans Soldiers in the Civil War
In 'Father Abe,' a short story in Five-Carat Soul, McBride mentions two all-black regiments that fought for the Union army during the Civil War — the 32nd United States Colored Infantry and the 9th Louisiana Colored Infantry.

When war broke out in 1861, African Americans were barred from serving, but this rule was set aside by...
Akbar the Great
Salman Rushdie did a tremendous amount of research before writing The Enchantress of Florence, as evidenced by its six-page bibliography. Many of the characters are drawn from history, the most interesting and prominent being Akbar the Great.

As in the book, Akbar the Great was known to be a wise and benevolent ruler. He ruled theMughal ...
Aleksandar Hemon
Aleksandar Hemon's extraordinary life story is more than simply fodder for book publicists. It informs everything he has written, for his work is restlessly autobiographical, infused with the urgency of thinking through his life on paper.

In 1992, Hemon was a young Bosnian writer, just two years out of the University of ...
America's First Ransom Note
In People of the Broken Neck, a series of mysterious messages, scribbled in salt, follow the Sawyers as they flee from the authorities all across the country. Cryptic communications, especially when interlinked with crimes, have always been intriguing, and the ones in this novel reminded me of ransom notes even if they make no overt ...
Anna May Wong
Anna May Wong was a Chinese-American film star who worked in the entertainment industry from the 1920s to the 1960s. As a person of color, she experienced limitations in the roles she was able to play throughout her career due to discrimination and typecasting. Many recognize her today as an overlooked icon.

Wong was born in 1905 to ...
Apartheid
Apartheid (meaning separateness in Afrikaans*) was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government of South Africa between 1948 and 1990.

The new system was a way for the white Afrikaner National Party to ensure their control over both South Africa's economy and social structure. The key was white ...
Australia's role in the Korean and Vietnam Wars
When war broke out in Korea in June 1950, the United Nations Security Council asked all of its members to assist in repelling the North Korean invasion into South Korea. North Korea was under the influence of the Soviet Union and later in the war Communist China entered the fray as well. Fifteen nations sent contingents to defend South ...
Aviation in 1937
Flora Saudade, one of the primary protagonists in Martha Brockenbough's The Game of Love and Death is an aviatrix. The novel takes place in 1937, a year that was full of aviation inventions and adventures. Here are a few highlights:

  • January 19 – Howard Hughes (pilot, businessman and investor) set a new world record, flying from...

Baruch Spinoza
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein received a PhD in Philosophy from Princeton University, has taught philosophy at Bernard College and written five previous philosophically motivated novels. Her most recent book of nonfiction is Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. Bertrand Russell considered Spinoza 'the noblest and most ...
Belle Époque Paris: From Civil War to Artistic Profusion
The year 1789 was by no means the first time the city of Paris had experienced upheaval, but the Revolution and the decades following it were particularly tumultuous. The Terror, Napoleon, the brief restoration of the Bourbon monarchy, the Second Empire under Napoleon III: the political pendulum swung wildly and violently throughout the ...
Bertha Benz and the First Road Trip
Leah Franqui's novel, America for Beginners, centers on three people of diverse backgrounds making a road trip together across the United States. The term 'road trip' conjures up a lengthy car journey across many miles, generally with a vague itinerary and unplanned stops as the travelers find places of interest to explore. Some feel it ...
Black Women's Bravery During the Civil War
Historian Shelby Foote called the Civil War, 'the crossroads of our being.' It defined humanity and the principles that govern American morality. With freedom as the one virtue worth fighting for, it is no wonder that women of color chose to walk the tightrope of danger and secrecy and participate in the war. Cathy Williams – a real...
Body Snatching
Whitehead's well-researched novel The Underground Railroad offers glimpses into numerous phenomena characterizing the often-brutal experiences of black Americans in the early nineteenth century, both in the South and the North. In one section, Whitehead profiles a group of Boston-area body snatchers, spurred by demand for cadavers in the ...
Bosnia and the Siege of Sarajevo
The 20th century was an intensely bloody time for the Balkan region (20th century timeline & maps) as it emerged from centuries of control by the Ottoman Empire, and briefer control by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, that triggered World War I, took place on the Latin Bridge (also known as the Princip...
Caravaggio
A painting presumed to be by the 17th century painter Caravaggio is central to the plot of The Garden of Evil. The work found (which is purely fictional) is purported to be the artist's copy of an actual oil by Annibale Carracci, entitled Venus with a Satyr and Cupids.

Caravaggio is one of the most fascinating and influential ...
Caribbean Immigration to the United States
In Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin, one of the main characters is a Caribbean immigrant working as a taxi driver in New York City. While the island depicted in the novel is fictional, people hailing from the Caribbean make up a large portion of the immigrant population in the U.S.

The individual islands in the Caribbean are all distinct in...
Cassandra Austen (1773-1845)
Gill Hornby's novel Miss Austen explores Jane Austen's life through the point of view of her beloved older sister, Cassandra. Cassandra is thought to have been Jane's closest companion and confidante. The two were inseparable to the extent that their mother reportedly once commented, 'If Cassandra's head had been going to be cut off, Jane...
Che Guevara
Next Year in Havana is partially set during the Cuban Revolution (1953-1959). Che Guevara (1928-1967) was one of the Revolution's central figures. Although he does not appear directly in Next Year in Havana, the cause he fought for forms the backdrop to much of the story.

Born Ernesto Guevara de la Serna in Rosario, Argentina, ...
Child Soldiers in the Yugoslavian Civil War
The Civil War that led to the breakup of Yugoslavia consisted of a number of separate but related ethnic conflicts spanning the period 1991 to 2001. Sara Novic's debut novel, Girl at War, zeroes in on the Croatian War of Independence, which lasted from 1991 to 1995.

The United Nations estimates that 3,000 to 4,000 child soldiers (some ...
China's The Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution
China's Cultural Revolution, which Chairman Mao Zedong formally announced in 1966, was a reaction to his earlier attempt, known as 'The Great Leap Forward', to increase China's economic base by moving the country away from its agrarian economy to an industrialized one using the massive supplies of cheap humans rather than expensive ...
Churchill's Black Dog
Winston Churchill (1874-1965), the famous British prime minister who told Hitler "we shall never surrender" during World War II, was not the first to describe depression as a "black dog." The Oxford English Dictionary cites earlier uses of the phrase in literature and in nursery lore; for example, a sullen child was ...
Comfort Women
Carmen's experience as a comfort woman in Los Baños was not an uncommon one for southeast Asian women during World War II. The system of brothels began in 1932. In the early stages, volunteer Japanese prostitutes were used until Japan's military expansion made it difficult to get volunteers. At this point, the military turned to ...
Conscientious Objectors during WWII

'This is a war story. It was not meant to be. It started as a love story, the story of a marriage, but the war has stuck to everywhere like shattered glass. Not an ordinary story of men in battle, but of those who did not go to war. The cowards and shirkers; those who let an error keep them from their duty, those who saw it and hid, those...

Cruise Ship Catastrophes
The disaster at the heart of Do Not Become Alarmed unfolds while the characters are on a shore excursion, but certainly some of the more notorious cruise ship disasters have taken place on the ships themselves. Some cruise ship voyages are truly tragic, such as the Costa Concordia ship that ran aground in the Mediterranean, killing thirty...
D-Day at Normandy
In the dramatic final pages of The Kites, the Allies arrive in Normandy to liberate its inhabitants from Nazi occupation, an event that occurred on June 6, 1944 and drastically altered the landscape of World War II. It was the most expansive amphibious invasion in history, with British, American, and Canadian flotillas storming five ...
Dorothea Dix: Passionate Advocate for the Mentally Ill
One of the main themes in A Question of Mercy is mental illness. And if you search for information on its history in the United States, the name Dorothea Dix keeps appearing.

In 1802, Dorothea Dix was born into a reportedly unhappy home in Hampden, Maine. Her parents were neglectful alcoholics: her mother was incapacitated by severe ...
Dovey Johnson Roundtree (1914-2018)
Dovey Mae Johnson Roundtree was an African American civil rights activist and attorney who secured one of the most significant victories against Jim Crow segregation, and broke the color barrier of the Women's Bar in Washington D.C. She also served in the Women's Auxiliary Corps during World War II and, in 1961, became one of a select few...
Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi
Dowager Empress Tzu Hsi (spelled Cixi in Pinyin; pronouced Tsoo Shee) had a bad reputation while she lived and after she died. However, in recent decades the tide of historical opinion has been shifting. Much of the West's view of Cixi comes from the writings ofEdmund Backhouse (1873-1944) who claimed to have had close contact with the ...
Dr. Ian Stevenson
Sharon Guskin's debut novel, The Forgetting Time, explores reincarnation – specifically children who seem to experience it. In an interview about her research, she explains that after stumbling across a book about Dr. Ian Stevenson and his intense research of children and reincarnation, she was hooked.

Ian Stevenson (1918-2007) ...
Drancy Internment Camp
Although only a small portion of The Balcony takes place during World War II, its effects on Benneville and the estate affect the arc of the story and its characters. At the beginning of the novel, Brigitte, the au pair, learns that the current owner of the estate, Olga, had Jewish parents who moved there during the Occupation. While they...
Early Aviatrixes
In Crossing the Horizon, author Laurie Notaro highlights the lives of three women who dared to attempt flight across the Atlantic Ocean during the early days of air travel. They were not the only ones who defied expectation by taking such risks. The novel mentions three other women who also took on the daunting challenge of transatlantic ...
Eccentric British Noblemen
William John Cavendish-Bentinck-Scott, 5th Duke of Portland and the eponymous 'Dead Duke' of Piu Marie Eatwell's book, was undeniably eccentric. He was extremely reclusive, never inviting anyone to his home at Welbeck Abbey and prohibiting his servants and workmen from acknowledging his presence in any way (any who did were immediately ...
eddie Chapman and the de Havilland Mosquito
  • After the war, Chapman dumped his various girlfriends and went back to pre-war lover Betty Farmer, who he last saw as he hurriedly extricated himself from dinner with her in order to escape the Jersey police in 1938. Their daughter, Suzanne, was born in 1954, and the Chapmans set up a health farm at Shenley Lodge in Hertfordshire (south ...
Elise and Otto Hampel
Every Man Dies Alone is inspired by Elise and Otto Hampel, a blue collar couple. Elise and Otto eluded the police and the Gestapo from September 1940-42, 'leaving hundreds of postcards calling for civil disobedience and workplace sabotage all over Berlin.'

One of the frequent subjects of the Hampels' postcards was the Winter Relief ...
Elizabeth I and Royal Intrigues
Elizabeth I was a cautious but crucial supporter of the initial English voyages to the Americas, where merchants and explorers hoped to develop lucrative trade routes, as described in New World, Inc.

Queen Elizabeth was one of the most competent monarchs of the early modern period, and she led England through the transition from minor ...
Order books by:

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Cantoras
    by Carolina De Robertis
    Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis follows five characters who share a house, troubles, joys and parts...
  • Book Jacket: Daughters Of Smoke & Fire
    Daughters Of Smoke & Fire
    by Ava Homa
    Ava Homa's debut novel begins with an epigraph by Sherko Bekas, a Kurdish poet, the last lines of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book of V.
    The Book of V.
    by Anna Solomon
    In ancient Persia, Esther, a young Jewish woman, parades herself in front of the king in a desperate...
  • Book Jacket: How to Be an Antiracist
    How to Be an Antiracist
    by Ibram X. Kendi
    Ibram X. Kendi opens How to Be an Antiracist with a personal story he finds shameful in retrospect, ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Girl
    by Dirk Wittenborn

    A riveting tale of deception, vengeance, and power set against the haunting beauty of the Adirondacks.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Voyage of the Morning Light
    by Marina Endicott

    A sweeping novel set aboard a merchant ship sailing through the South Pacific in 1912.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri

This moving, intimate, and beautifully written novel puts human faces on the Syrian war.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Of Bears and Ballots

An Alaskan Adventure in Small-Town Politics

A charming account of holding local office with an entertaining, quirky cast of characters.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A S Louder T W

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.