November 3, 2023
Microhistories are popular nonfiction books that allow readers to engage with the world by focusing on a very specific subject. There is something for everyone – whether you like sports, food, fonts, or…cadavers?! Here are some examples:
The Core of an Onion: Peeling the Rarest Common Food—Featuring More Than 100 Historical Recipes by Mark Kurlansky
The king of the microhistory, this is Kurlansky’s newest. He includes historical images and his own drawings – and unpeels the layers of a food you didn’t realize could be so interesting! History, stories, and recipes all come together in his talented writing.
Ice: From Mixed Drinks to Skating Rinks—A Cool History of a Hot Commodity by Amy Brady
This new book explores how ice is everywhere and has shaped many aspects of our daily lives. From the sports we play – to the foods we eat – to the drinks we chill – ice is nice. How did it become so prevalent in our lives and, more importantly, what is its future?
Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield
With humor and charm, Simon Garfield will change the way you look at every typed word. Whether it is the power of Helvetica, the controversy of Comic Sans, or how a humble font like Gotham helped shape a political campaign, typeface has personality! What does your favorite font say about you?
A History of Basketball in 15 Sneakers by Russ Bengtson
If you are a hoop fan or obsessed with sneakers (or both!) this informative book shines a spotlight on iconic brands such as Converse, Reebok Pumps, Air Jordan, and others. Sneaker tech will make you jump!
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong
Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall by Alexandra Lange
Okay, a shopping mall is considerably bigger than a microbe…but no less fascinating. In this cultural history we learn of the birth of Malls in the 1950s and their potential demise. Consumerism, socializing, merchants, and shoppers. Check out a copy of this book and read it … at the Mall. (Please, really do that!)
Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World by Henry Grabar
Parking lots. Parking structures. Parking spots. They take a lot of planning and prime real estate for empty cars. Yet so much is determined by this necessity: building design, housing affordability, shaping the economy, and more. Go park at your local library and check–out this book!