My Summer Reading List - Not Just For Genealogists | The Armchair Genealogist
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My Summer Reading List - Not Just For Genealogists

One of the greatest pleasures in life for me is a warm summer day, a cold drink, a comfortable chair and a good book. Summer time affords me the luxury of spending a little more time reading. As a writer and genealogist, reading is like breathing. This summer I have prepared a list to share with you.

Some of the books on my summer reading list, I have already read and recommend to you based on my personal opinion. Others I have sought out and are my own personal reads for this summer. Some may interest only family historians, while others appeal to a much wider audience.The books on my list usually fall into a couple of categories, first the non-fiction books on genealogy and writing. I am always looking to read another’s perspective and pick-up a few pointers to improve my skills. Secondly, in the fiction area, the genealogist in me looks for historical novels, I am also drawn to a novel that is a memoir or based around the life of a real person. You will find I am personally interested in reading about women with remarkable life stories and who have displayed great human spirit.

The Book of Negroes (Canadian Edition)My Recommended Summer Reading List

The Book of Negros by Lawrence Hill published in Canada in 2007; it has since been released in the States under the title Someone Knows My Name. The Book of Negros is a historical document that listed every slave who came to Nova Scotia under British protection. Aminata Diallo abducted from her West African home at the age of 11, this book follows her remarkable journey. A female 'Roots' of sorts, but completely fictional makes this a great summer read. Someone Knows My Name is available in Kindle. Publisher Norton 2007

Elizabeth StreetElizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano, is an immigrant story of how a first generation American outwits one of the most famous crime organizations of the 20th century. The story of Giovanna Costa begins in the small fishing village of Scilla. After facing the death of her first husband, Giovanna makes her way to New York City where she becomes a midwife, remarries and faces down the Italian-American Mafia. The story is based on the authors own great-grandmother. Available in Kindle Edition. Publisher AmazonEncore May 2010

My Name Is Mary Sutter: A NovelMy Name is Mary Sutter is a debut novel by Robin Olivieria. Mary, a 20-year-old midwife dreams of becoming a doctor of course against the better wishes of her mother and society. Set during the civil war, Mary makes her way to Washington where her good work becomes recognized and the reader is given a remarkable heroine to cheer on as well as a window into the medical hardships of the times. Available in Kindle Edition. Publisher Viking May 2010

The HelpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett is set in Jackson Mississippi during the civils rights movement, Eugenia Phelan is home from college, and is struggling to find her path in life. Eugenia (Skeeter) begins to collect the stories of the black women in her community– the maids. Eugenia’s book brings pride and hope to the black community, giving her the confidence to pursue her own dreams. DreamWorks has optioned to turn this book into a major motion picture. This book is available in Kindle. Publisher Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam Feb 2009

The Yellow House: A NovelThe Yellow House follows the story of a young Irishwoman in this debut novel by Patricia Falvey, set between World War I and the Irish War of Independence. Eileen O’Neill inherits war, disease, mental illness and greed while struggling with national pride, family loyalty, class division and her own spirit. This book is available in Kindle. Publisher Center Street Feb 2010

How to Do Everything GenealogyHow to Do Everything Genealogy by George G. Morgan, this second edition volume explores everything from the basic rules, research methods, web-based research, DNA, social networking sites, blogs, podcasts and the latest hardware and software. George G. Morgan an award-winning author with 7 genealogy books to his credit. The first edition of How to Do Everything with Your Genealogy, published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne was one of the best-selling genealogy "how-to" genealogy books published in the last 20 years! This book is available in Kindle.

You Can Write Your Family HistoryYou Can Write Your Family History by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. If you’re struggling with how to take all that genealogy research and turn it into family history that will read like a novel then pick up Sharon’s book this summer. Even if you have never written a single page, this book will walk you through the process. Sharon is a certified genealogist. She specializes in Irish and Italian research and is a consultant in writing and editing services of non-fiction books particularly memoirs, biographies and family histories. Originally published by Betterway Books in 2003, it was reprinted by Genealogical Publishing in 2008.

How Will I Know Where I’m Going, If I Don’t Know Where I’ve Been? Elizabeth Ruderman Miller shares her genealogical accomplishments with others who understand the passion of tracing their ancestors. She shares her path of exploration, discoveries, methods and stories in the hopes of inspiring others to do the same. Elizabeth has brought us this book through self-publishing and it stands as an example to other genealogists looking to self-publish. AuthorHouse 2009.

Should you choose to read any of the above recommendations, feel free to drop me a line and offer up your thoughts on any of the books on the list.