history

Book Hunters in Brief #23: Memorial Day

Harris County Public Library owes a debt of gratitude to the members of the U.S. Armed Services both past and present, as well as to their families. We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you.

The History of a Language

Would you be surprised to find out Shakespeare's works are written in Modern English? It's true! Modern English started in about 1450. Granted, Shakespeare's time included the early years of the Modern English period (1450-1800), while we live in the Late Modern English period (1800 onward). There are some differences, but not many. See for yourself

Book Hunters in Brief: The Monuments Men

Book Hunters in Brief - Monuments MenIf you loved the book and movie, The Monuments Men, then we think you ought to take a look at these:

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman 
Zookeepers in Nazi-occupied Warsaw use their unique position to move Jewish citizens to safety in empty animal cages.

Thieves of Baghdad: One Marine’s Passion for Ancient Civilizations and the Journey to Recover the World’s Greatest Stolen Treasures by Matthew Bogdanos
Bogdanos tells the tale of marines on missions very similar to the work of the Monuments Men, this time in modern-day Iraq.

The Forger’s Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century by Edward Dolnick
A mediocre artist in Nazi-occupied Holland makes his living selling Vermeer forgeries to the enemy.

The Soldier Spies by W.E.B. Griffin
A scientist who is an expert on jet aircraft must be smuggled out of Germany before the Nazis can get to him.

If these aren’t your cup of tea, visit Book Hunters, answer a few questions, and within a couple weeks you’ll have a customized reading list in your email inbox.

Cooking Up A Little History

Can you stomach these recipes from times past? Only one way to find out. Grab a book and get to cooking!

A New Take on History

A History of the World in 100 ObjectsA customer recently recommended a book that gives you a different view of learning history: A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor.  I've added it to my to-read list.  

Understand History, Understand Today

Jerusalem: the BiographySo many of today's conflicts across the world are based on the conflicts of yesterday.  Pick up a book at the library that helps you understand the underlying reasons behind it all.  One I'm reading right now feels more like an epic novel than a dry textbook.  Check out Jerusalem: the Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore. 

Houston's Ever-Changing Cityscape

Last Sunday, 70 years of history disappeared in ten seconds.  What was once the downtown Houston Foley's (and later Macy's) department store was demolished in ten seconds to make way for an office tower. Foley's opened its doors in the 1940s and was a popular place to shop for many Houston locals. Its popularity as a shopping destination slowly declined as the decades passed and the land was purchased by an outside company. It is just one of many changes to the downtown Houston landscape through the years. If you're curious about Houston's architectural history, these books will lead you on a tour back down the streets of the past.

The Heritage Society presents "176 Years of Houston History"

Houston 1943 a rainy dayDo you have a passion for history and love learning? If so, you won't want to miss this! This Thursday, June 27th, The Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park will visit Kingwood Branch Library to do a special presentation on Houston History, from the Austin colony to present. All ages are welcome to attend. This one-hour presentation begins at 10:30am in the 1st Floor Meeting Room. No registration is required. For more information, please call 281-360-6804 or visit 4400 Bens View Lane, Kingwood TX 77339.

Image: "Houston, Texas. A rainy day." Courtesy of Library of Congress

Know More about the Presidents

Don't Know Much about the American PresidentsDo you know that Andrew Jackson would be irate to see himself on the $20 bill?  Do you know just what George Washington's false teeth were made of?  (Not wood!)  Check your Presidential trivia and learn more with this easy-to-read and enlightening book: Don't Know Much about the American Presidents by Kenneth Davis.

Genealogy: Researching Texan Ancestors

We celebrate Texas Independence Day on March 2nd, but 21 April 1836 is the date of the Battle of San Jacinto, the final battle in the Texas Revolution.  The 2013 San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment will be held on April 20th at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, and in honor of this event in history I’m going to focus on resources for researching your Texan ancestors and Texas history for this month’s post.  If you want to learn more about the battle of San Jacinto or th

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