There are several new books about nineteenth-century presidents. The best is probably the one about Garfield, called the most extraordinary man ever elected president but then asassinated six weeks into his term. Another new book, The President and the Assassin, is about President McKinley, another is about Grover Cleveland who kept his cancer surgery a secret, and then one about the assassination of Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly. It’s a great season for readers who love history and biography.
There are also several wonderful new books about Wisconsin. Two are about vintage gardens and the contributions of early immigrants to gardening. There is a fabulous book of photographs of taverns–one is in Boyceville, three in Durand and other towns in our part of the state. My favorite book from the Historical Press this season is about the Ho-Chunk. It’s a gorgeous book full of vintage photos, most fairly formal portraits, but not the stiff, sober type so familiar in old photos. There are smiling families, laughing young women, people clearly getting a kick out of being photographed. And they are beautiful. The Ho-Chunk, at least those featured in this book, seem particularly favored by nature.