Needham History Center & Museum

Past History Book Group Resources

History Book Group – 2022-2023 List

We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence (Becky Cooper)
The Dictionary of Lost Words (Pip Williams)
Beheld (TaraShea Nesbit)
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (Isabel Wilkerson)
Reader’s choice/discuss both:
         The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek (Kim Michele Richardson)
         Book Woman’s Daughter (Kim Michele Richardson)
Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (Patrick Keefe)
Remember Me to All the Friends: Civil War letters from George W. Harwood, MA 36th (Janet M. Drake)
Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy (Nathaniel Philbrick)

History Book Group – 2021-2022 List

Monkey Boy: A Novel (Francisco Goldman)
This Land is Their Land:  The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving (David J. Silberman)
Four Winds (Kristin Hannah)
Spin (Peter Zheutlin) – local author!
Banned in Boston (Neil Miller)
All about Annie Oakley! Choose a biography about Annie Oakley to discuss and compare
The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game (Mary Pilon)
Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (Maya Jasanoff)

History Book Group – 2020-2021 List

The Great Influenza (John Barry)
The Beekeeper of Aleppo (Christy Lefteri)
Voyage of Mercy (Stephen Puleo)
Spying on the South (Tony Horwitz)
The Glass Castle (Jeanette Walls)
Perfection Salad, Something from the Oven, or What She Ate – choose one by Laura Shapiro
The Three-Cornered War: Union, Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West
(M. Nelson)
Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads (Paul Theroux)

History Book Group – 2019-2020 List

These Truths (Jill Lepore)
Becoming (Michelle Obama)
The Red Notice (Bill Browder)
Making Haste from Babylon: the Mayflower Pilgrims and their World (Nick Bunker)
The Enchantress of Numbers (Jennifer Chiaverini)

History Book Group – 2018-2019 List

The Last Fish Tale (Mark Kurlansky)
Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure (Julia Siler)
The Guns of August (Barbara Tuchman)
Eleanor of Aquitaine (Alison Weir)
The Peabody Sisters (Megan Marshall)
A Gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles)
The Last Days of Dogtown (Anita Diamant)
Charlotte Bronte: a Fiery Heart (Claire Harman)
Book Group summer field trip to Hammond Castle in Gloucester

History Book Group – 2017-2018 List

Hamilton (Ron Chernow)
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (Mary Beard)
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
Blizzard of Glass – The Halifax Explosion of 1917 (Sally M Walker).
Hillbilly Elegy (JD Vance)
The Gods of Gotham (Lindsay Faye)
Sisters In Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor & Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court (L. Hirshman)
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (Stephen Greenblatt)
The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman (Nancy Marie Brown)
Book Group summer field trip to Gloucester, in preparation for The Last Fish Tale.

History Book Group – 2016-2017 List

The Warmth of Other Suns (Isabel Wilkerson)
Isaac’s Storm (Erik Larsen)
97 Orchard (Jane Ziegelman)
Margaret Fuller (Megan Marshall)
The Race Underground (Doug Most) Needham author!
Crow Hollow (Michael Wallace)
of Los Alamos (TaraShea Nesbit)
Daughters of the Samurai (Janice Nimura)
Book Group summer field trip to Concord – Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and Orchard House

History Book Group – 2015-2016 List

Undaunted Courage (Stephen Ambrose)
Patriots (A. J. Langguth)
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch (Jean Lee Latham)
Reading about the Gardner Museum robbery: Pick one (or more!):
The Art Forger (Barbara Shapiro), The Gardner Heist (Ulrich Boser), or Master Thieves (Stephen Kurkjian)
The Name of War (Jill Lepore)
The Frozen Water Trade: A True Story (Gavin Weightman)
Orphan Train (Christina Baker Klein)
Southern Lady, Yankee Spy (Elizabeth R. Varon)
Dead Wake: the Last Crossing of the Lusitania (Erik Larson)
Book Group summer field trip to the Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth

History Book Group – 2014-2015 List

Book of Ages: the Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (by Jill Lepore)
Caleb’s Crossing (by Geraldine Brooks)
Harvard Yard (by William Martin)
Dark Tide (by Stephen Puleo)
Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air (by Richard Holmes)
The Given Day (by Dennis Lehane)
Cascade (by Maryanne O’Hara)
Book Group summer field trip to the Quabbin Reservoir

History Book Group – 2013-2014 List

People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks.
Nella Last’s War (The Diaries of Nella Last)
Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn by Robert Martello
Someone Knows my Name (Lawrence Hill) Celebrating African-American History Month!
Call the Darkness Light (Nancy Zaroulis) Celebrating Women’s History Month!
The Silver Pigs (Lindsey Davis)
Founding Mothers (Cokie Roberts)
Book Group summer field trip to the Lowell mills.

Great Infulenza book cover
Monkey Boy book cover