The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean’s newest book, The Library Book (Simon & Schuster, $28), is about a fire and a library but like all things this New York Times bestselling author writes (The Orchid Thief, Rin Tin Tin), it’s so much more. A lover of libraries since she was very young, Orlean had been toying with the idea…

Highland

A Greek immigrant with a love of books and a degree in engineering, Jim Roumbos decided to open Miles Books in downtown Highland in 1986. Since then big chain stores like Borders went bankrupt and closed their doors, but Roumbos remains open. “My dad, who at the time, couldn’t speak English and worked 70 hours…

Swedish Settlements on the South Shore

Northwest Indiana is famously known as a melting pot, a coming together of a vibrant amalgam of people from many countries and different cultures, making the area rich in diversity. But what may be surprising to those of us who grew up in the Region, the first non-English speaking people to move into the Indiana…

Young Lincoln: Growing Up in Southern Indiana

Many people aren’t aware that Abraham Lincoln spent his formative years in Southern Indiana, moving there from Kentucky with his family at age seven, leaving with them when he was 21. It’s these years that Jan Jacobi, an avid Lincoln enthusiast and an award-winning educator who currently is teaching at St. Michael School of Clayton…

Lost Recipes of Prohibition: Notes from A Bootlegger’s Manual

When I was writing my book, A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana (History Press), about Nettie Diamond, a wealthy widow and pharmacist who was murdered by her fifth husband, a much younger bootlegger named Harry in Indiana Harbor on Valentine’s Day 1923, one of the things I learned was that it was relatively easy…

The story behind ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’

Several decades ago, George Saunders and his wife were visiting Washington D.C. when their cousin mentioned that anecdotal evidence indicated President Abraham Lincoln had surreptitiously visited the tomb of his 11-year-old son, Willie. For years, the story of Lincoln, so overcome by grief, that he stole into the monument where his son was interred, nagged…

How the French Saved America

Give credit to France for the forming of our nation because without their help we might still be, as stereotypes go, eating crumpets, drinking tea and speaking with British accents. That’s the focus of a new book by noted author Tom Shachtman in his latest book How the French Saved America: Soldiers, Sailors, Diplomats, Louis…