Tag Archives: Microhistory

Top Ten Tuesday: Microhistory Books Worth Reading


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Vintage photos of people from the 1800s through to about the 1940s. Today’s theme is a school freebie, so I’m going to talk about something that doesn’t usually fit into the speculative fiction I blog about here.

As per Wikipedia, microhistory “is the intensive historical investigation of a well defined smaller unit of research (most often a single event, the community of a village, a family or a person).”

I enjoy learning about history in general, but microhistory is by far my favorite way to explore the past.

You can learn so much about all of our ancestors by exploring how they handled incurable diseases, dealt with racism, treated orphans, decided what to eat, and so much more.

All of these books are excellent, by the way!

If you have any suggestions of similar reads or enjoyed the ones I’m about to share, I’d love to hear about it. If you’re not a fan of history, tell me what subjects you did like in school.

Let’s geek out together.

 

The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson book cover. Image on cover shows a drawing of London in the 1800s.

1. The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson

 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot book cover. Image on cover shows a photo of Henrietta Lacks before she was diagnosed with incurable cancer. She is smiling and has a hand on one hip.

2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

 

Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky book cover. Image on cover shows a white piece of paper that’s been crumpled up to look like a salt shaker.

3. Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

 

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore Book cover. Image on cover shows four young flapper women talking during a photo. There is a green hue overlaid them to symbolize the radium that poisoned them.

4. The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore

 

Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World by Dan Koeppel book cover. Image on cover shows the tile of the book on a sticker that’s stuck on a ripe, yellow banana.

5. Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World by Dan Koeppel

 

Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young by Peter Higginbotham Book cover. Image on cover shows a photo of a man who founded a children’s home as well as a photo of orphans sitting together in a dirty room.

6. Children’s Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain’s Young by Peter Higginbotham

 

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly book cover. Image on cover shows a black-and-white photo of young African-American girls in the mid-20th century.

7. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

 

The Many Deaths of Tom Thomson: Separating Fact from Fiction by Gregory Klages Book cover. Image on cover shows a photo of Tom Thompson standing on a log while wearing a knit cap and some working clothes.

8. The Many Deaths of Tom Thomson: Separating Fact from Fiction by Gregory Klages

 

Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders Book cover. Image on cover shows an oil painting of a large Victorian family sitting around a table eating dinner.

9. Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders

 

nd the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts Book cover. There is no accompanying image for this cover. It only shows the title and author on a white and yellow background.

10. And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts

 

. The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade by Ann Fessler Book cover. Image on cover shows yearbook photos of girls in the 1960s.

11. The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade by Ann Fessler