History, Nonfiction

Nonfiction November Week 3: Expert Opinion

This one is always a tough one – I have so many interests and tend to read pretty widely across them. When I taught social studies we frequently had to create “text sets,” a collection of fiction and nonfiction across multiple reading levels that pertained to whatever topic we were covering. So this year, I’ve thrown it back to my teaching days and focused on the subject which fueled my degree – early American History, and for become the expert, I’ve included some books about female aviators during WWII that served as a research base for my sister’s masters degree that have also fascinated me!

Week 3: (November 15-19) – Be The Expert/ Ask the Expert/ Become the Expert with Veronica at The Thousand Book Project

Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert). 

Be the Expert

My final thesis for my history degree was titled “Early American History with a Focus on the Foundations of the American Legal System and Its Basis in English Common Law.” I thought I would teach, but was always fascinated by the era of the Revolution and early Supreme Court decisions and my advisor thought I wanted to be a lawyer. So I combined the two, and that was what I came up with. I’ve included some of the books I read for my thesis, as well as some newer titles on the subject. (I also wrote an extended paper on US residential building codes focusing on the Levittowns of the 1950s and how it influenced building codes today but nobody short of my dad, a contractor, wants to see that text set!)

  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  • A People’s History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons
  • Supreme Court Decisions edited by Richard Beeman
  • Travels with George by Nathaniel Philbrick
  • 1776 by David McCullough
  • First Ladies of the Republic by Jeanne E. Abrams
  • Reporting The Revolutionary War by Todd Andrlik
  • The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell

Become the Expert

This list is bookended by the Germans and the Russians with primarily Americans and Brits in between. Laura and I have both been fascinated by female aviators for quite some time, my interest stretching back to childhood and learning about Amelia Earhart and then ramping up when I started reading Elizabeth Wein’s WWII fiction and met Maddie, her intrepid pilot heroine. It strings that a few of the titles still insist on calling these brave women girls, but I take solace in the face that there are these books, and more, about the brave women and that all but one here are written by women as well as opposed to my first set where most are written by men.

  • The Women Who Flew for Hitler by Clare Mulley
  • Skyward by Sally Deng
  • The Women with Silver Wings by Katherine Sharp Landdeck
  • Fly Girls by P. O’Connell Pearson
  • Sisters in Arms by Helena Page Schrader
  • The Female Few by Jacky Hyams
  • Fly Girls by Keith O’Brien
  • Clipped Wings by Molly Merryman
  • A Spitfire Girl by Mary Ellis with Melody Foreman
  • Women Aviators by Karen Bush Gibson
  • A Thousand Sisters by Elizabeth Wein

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