History & Biography (2010 Gift Guide)

The staff of the Everett Public Library has put together a fabulous gift guide of books and music in a variety of subjects. You’re sure to find something to please every reader on your list. Why not give yourself a gift and check one out today?

Click here to read or print the complete list. Read on for our guide to History & Biography books.

book covers

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow
A gifted biographer, Chernow offers a vivid and humanized portrait of George Washington. This is a sweeping story by a fine storyteller. Given the nature of politics in recent years, it would be fair to suggest that many Americans should read this book.

 The Autobiography of Mark Twain by Mark Twain
2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death. Per his wishes, the first of three volumes of his autobiography has just been published. This is an uncensored self portrait, meandering from past to present, full of devilish humor and caustic wit. There are wonderful reminiscences of youth, travel stories and bold sketches of the enemies, friends and scoundrels in Twain’s life.

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
Cleopatra is perhaps the most beguiling woman ever to have walked this earth. Her short life was marked with sexual and political scandal, and she notoriously reshaped the ancient world. This intriguing biography is a great choice for the powerful women in your life, or for any reader who appreciates deep, detailed, and riveting storytelling.

The Kennedy Detail by Gerald Blaine with Lisa McCubbin
This is the story of a small team of men whose single mission was to protect John F. Kennedy. Amid the hope and tumult of the campaign trail, on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, their failure to do so changed history. Drawing on the memories of fellow special agents, Blaine offers an extraordinary insider’s view of the job. He captures the stress of the mission and the heartbreaking feelings of failure and loss that would forever linger.

The Man Who Invented the Computer by Jane Smiley
Novelist Jane Smiley takes a turn at non-fiction with the story of John Atanasoff, a young physics professor who wanted to improve the speed and accuracy of research calculations. One winter evening in 1937 he sketched a design using binary switches and an array of capacitors to do the computing. Though he never bothered to patent the invention, he changed history. 

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
In this lighthearted and eclectic book, Bryson takes readers on a journey through his house in order to “write a history of the world without leaving home.” It is an entertaining journey.

For more gift book ideas and reading lists, see this page in our Readers’ Corner.