Harriet Tubman Day – 5 Great Reads

Harriet Tubman was an escaped slave who went on to become a saviour to many, an abolitionist and anti-slavery activist. Born into slavery in around 1822, Tubman escaped to freedom, and subsequently made some thirteen missions back to the south, helping to rescue around 70 families using a network of safe houses known as the underground railroad.

When the Civil War began, Tubman worked for the Union Army and was the first woman to lead an armed expedition when she led the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more then 700 slaves.

Tubman died on 10th March 1913 and became an icon of American courage and freedom. The date is marked as Harriet Tubman Day and today we’re recommending five books that we think capture her spirit.

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

No list of books from this period would be complete without The Underground Railroad, the award winning and groundbreaking bestseller of last year. While a novel, the book tells the story of escaped slaves well and is an important read for those wanting to find out more about this period of American history.

The Underground Railroad US
The Underground Railroad UK

12 Years a Slave – Solomon Northup

Solomon Northup’s memoir of a black man born free and then sold into bondage is a harrowing read. Made into a movie it won several awards and is one of the most important books from this period of history.

12 Years a Slave US
12 Years a Slave UK

Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom – Catherine Clinton

If it’s Tubman you want to learn more about then this biography is a great place to start. A complete story of Tubman’s life, from slave to abolitionist, it makes for riveting reading.

Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom US
Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom UK

Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of America’s Fugitive Slaves – Eric Foner

Pulitzer Prize winning author, Foner here tells the story of three men who as part of the underground railroad helped more than 3,000 fugitive slaves to freedom.

Gateway to Freedom US
Gateway to Freedom UK

The Book of Awesome Women – Becca Anderson

And if all of that has left you wanted to read about more brilliant ‘sheroes’ from history then The Book of Awesome Women should leave you feeling like you can achieve anything at all!

The Book of Awesome Women US
The Book of Awesome Women UK

Five Brilliant Books by Irving Wallace

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Irving Wallace (March 19, 1916 – June 29, 1990) was an American bestselling author and screenwriter, best known for his heavily researched novels, many with a sexual theme.

Born in Chicago, Illinois to a Jewish family from Russia (Wallace is an Americanised version of Wallechinsky), Wallace developed an interest in writing early in life. As a teenager he sold his stories to magazines, before serving in the Frank Capra unit during the Second World War.

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John Green Launched ‘Life’s Library’ International Bookclub

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John Green, young adult author and avid reader, noticed how much more enjoyable reading became when he had someone to discuss the literature with. Along with his friend and colleague Rosianna Halse Rojas, he decided to start an online book club where fellow readers could read along and join in discussions wherever they were. The book club, Life’s Library, has proven to be incredibly popular and- unlike many online subscription bookclubs- is successfully raising money for charity thanks to the generosity of Green and Rojas.

The triple-levelled membership rates offer a choice for every budget- from $25 (includes the chosen book, gifts, and discussion materials), $10 (includes discussion materials), and $0 (which includes the ability to join in the discussion via an invite to their Discord chat). Each book is read and discussed for six weeks before moving on to the next. The book club’s first shared read was Jacqueline Woodson’s If You Come Softly.

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The Bestselling Books of the Last One Hundred Years: 1937

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We started at 1918, bringing you the bestselling books of the last one hundred years. We’re moving along now, covering each year at a time and we’re well into the 1930s now. Today we’re documenting the ten bestselling books of 1937, and what you were reading instead.

1937 was the year the Hindenburg crashed down over New Jersey, the year Amelia Earhart vanished on her attempt to be the first woman to fly around the world, and the year that the Marihuana Tax Act started the move towards the criminalisation of the drug in the US.

So here they are, the ten top selling books of 1937 as the world, unbeknown sat on the brink of World War II. We’re also featuring some well known books that didn’t make the cut!

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The Bestselling Books of the Last One Hundred Years: 1936

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We started at 1918, bringing you the bestselling books of the last one hundred years. We’re moving along now, covering each year at a time and we’re well into the 1930s now. Today we’re documenting the ten bestselling books of 1936, and what you were reading instead.

1936 was the year that President Roosevelt was voted in for a second term, the year that Jesse Owens won four golds at the Berlin Olympics, and King Edward VIII abdicated the crown to marry Wallis Simpson.

So here they are, the ten top selling books of 1936 as the storm clouds collected before World War II. We’re also featuring some well known books that didn’t make the cut!

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FRA Readers’ Choice Top 20: March 2019

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Each month we list your top 20 reads of the month, chosen by members of our reading group, The Cwts @ Reading Addicts.

This month is a mix-up of classic books, new releases and recommendations from the Cwts, including some books that have featured heavily in the Top 20 every month. We hope you find something that interests you.

Here are the top 20 books for March, chosen by you!

With our new reading challenge for 2019 inspired by authors’ birthdays, you may find each month this affects the books voted for and we may see authors appearing in the Top 20 during their birthday months.  Read More

The Bestselling Books of the Last One Hundred Years: 1935

By | Discussion and Recommendations | No Comments
We started at 1918, bringing you the bestselling books of the last one hundred years. We’re moving along now, covering each year at a time and we’re well into the 1930s now. Today we’re documenting the ten bestselling books of 1935, and what you were reading instead.

1935 was the year the Depression continued, increasing unemployment to more than 20%, Jews were stripped of their citizenship, and Mussolini attacked Ethiopia, you can see why people might have wanted to escape into books.

So here they are, the ten top selling books of 1935 as the storm clouds collected before World War II. We’re also featuring some well known books that didn’t make the cut!

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