I have a little non-work related question … a little fun day Friday as we head into the last month of summer!
Wondering if any of you have any good reads of the historic fiction/non-fiction variety-preferably about places!
I just finished reading with my book club, The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis, which took place in the 1950s in NYC at the Barbizon Hotel. I wasn't super into the book, but it was fun to visit the ACTUAL Barbizon Hotel when I was on a recent visit to NYC!Thanks!(inquiry minds at my office want to know too, we have a work book club and our first book was about one of our National Treasures, the Panama Hotel in Seattle, the book The Hotel on Bitter and Sweet, which we all enjoyed!)
Hello Fellow Preservationists,
Kathleen Ernst (www.kathleenernst.com) writes award-winning mysteries, historical fiction, and non-fiction for adults and young readers. Her work has earned an Emmy, and nominations for an Edgar Allan Poe and multiple Agatha Christie awards.
My favorite is the Chloe Ellefson mystery series. Ernst stages her books in historic sites where our heroine, a museum curator, gets herself entangled in murder and mysteries of times gone by. Book nine is due to be released in early October where she finds a body hidden in a century-old bake oven of one of the buildings situated in Heritage Hill Historical Park, Green Bay Wisconsin.
The books are light, suspenseful and weave the story in an out of historical and current day events. The coolest thing is visiting these places and walking right alongside of Chloe as she learns about herself and perhaps some things that are best forgotten.
President, Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands
www.plumandpilot.org Celebrating 10 Years!
Plum and Pilot Islands: Where History and Nature Meet at the Door!
I am a big believer in travel-themed reading! The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett was a perfect read the last time I was in SF. Not only is it a page-turner thriller, but it perfectly captures the grit and neighborhood character of 1940s SF.
Rosin Preservation, LLC
Kansas City, MO 64108
One of my all-time favorites is Imagining the Past: East Hampton Histories by T.H. Breen.
How we make history--and what we then make of it--is engagingly dramatized in T. H. Breen's portrait of a 350-year-old American community faced with the costs of its "progress." In the particulars of one town's struggle to check development and save its natural environment, Breen shows how our sense of history reflects our ever-changing self-perceptions and hopes for the future.
Breen first went to East Hampton, the celebrated Long Island resort town, to write about the Mulford Farmstead, a picturesque saltbox dating from the 1680s. Through his research, he came across a fascinating cast of local characters, past and present, who contributed to, invented, and reinvented the town's history. Breen's work also drew him into contemporary local affairs: factionalism among residents, zoning disputes, and debates over resource management. Driving these heated issues, Breen found, were some dearly held notions about a harmonious, agrarian past that conflicted with what he had come to know about the divisiveness and opportunism of East Hampton's early days.
Imagining the Past is about the interplay between some of the East Hampton histories Breen encountered: the "official" histories of many generations, the myths and oral traditions, and the curious stories that Breen, as an outsider, discerned in the town's rich holdings of artifacts and documents. With a warm yet wry regard for human nature, Breen obliges us to confront our pasts in all their complexities and ironies, no matter how unsettling or inconvenient the experience.
Historical Resources Manager
City of Venice
Venice Museum & Archives
Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably
impossible for vigorous streets and districts to
grow without them....
– Jane Jacobs from The Death and Life of Great American Cities
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