Immigrant Patriot by Craig Matthews
What an incredible weaving of the immigrant journeys of a young couple, from Scotland and Italy, who meet in Utah after he survives WWI and the influenza pandemic. By then, she is a young widow, who has lost a young brother, her father, her husband in the war, and another brother to the pandemic.
But they have much more to face, from the deception and destruction of a rampant secretive religion. Remarkably, they escape and find redemption. This is the almost unbelievable story of the author’s grandparents, written as a novel.
Profiles in Kindness by Paul E. Kotz
Subtitle: Stories of Inspiration & Everyday Leadership. Chapters are Eye-Openers, New Insights, Inspiration, Everyday Life, and Leadership. All the essays are short, encouraging in sympathetic ways, recognizing that discouragement and failings happen because we all are human beings. These are short and delightful.
More County Roads by Arvid Huisman
I’ve enjoyed Arvid’s delightful stories for years. For years my sister taught art in Creston, where he was the newspaper publisher. She was always bringing his columns to share. I later discovered he’d published this compilation of some of them. Sure wish you could still get the first volume. Whenever the new issue of Iowa History Journal arrives in the mail, “County Roads” is the first page I turn to.
Arvid has a lively sense of humor, a great memory for details, and such endearing stories.
More Country Roads is available for $16.50 (includes shipping) from Huisman Communications, 9602 Bishop Drive, #59, West Des Moines, IA 50266
Look Unto the Hills by Dennis L. Peterson
Subtitle: Stories of Growing up in Rural East Tennessee. This is an engaging memoir written in the form of 51 delightful essays, divided into seven sections: Farm Stories, Play, School, Work, People, Animals, and Values. Among the compelling stories is one about what wearing a “hideous sport coat” reveals about a man.
Dennis has told some of his stories for Our American Stories.
Into the Room by Steven Rogers
A reluctant and alcoholic traveler, struggling with the mess he’s left his family in, tours the Holy Land with a bunch of “Holy Rollers.” This masterful and conversational story reveals a man who is rotting from the inside out, step by hesitant step, reach a hopeful transformation.
It’s a powerful novel demonstrating that at the right time, all stories are worth telling. This one certainly is.
The Lincoln Highway in Iowa by Darcy Maulsby
This is so much more than a history of a highway. It’s stories and people and wonderful places to visit and even have a delicious meal. Heritage along this iconic highway include Meskwaki Code Talkers, crinoid fossils, a shootout with bank robbers, Ben Franklin stores, an Iowa Freedom Rock featuring Dwight Eisenhower in 1919, and one of only three rotary jails remaining (this one called the Squirrel Cage Jail). The Lincoln Highway meanders through Iowa’s Loess Hills, a rich wind-blown soil in only one other place in the world, China.
This book is such fun to read and is a great introduction to do some traveling along this fascinating and historic road.