This outstanding nonfiction was recommended by Publisher’s Weekly.
People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo by Richard Lloyd Parry (Find in our catalog).
Excerpt from Library Journal review in our catalog: “This true crime tale reads like a novel, but few of its fictional counterparts have this much insight into murder cases and the psychology of the people involved. Foreign correspondent and author Parry (Tokyo bureau chief, The Times; In the Time of Madness: Indonesia on the Edge of Chaos) tells the story of Lucie Blackman, a young Englishwoman who mysteriously disappeared in Japan in 2000. He vividly captures the atmosphere and culture of Tokyo, where Blackman lived before she disappeared, and tells of her family’s excruciating attempts to find answers and the bizarre trial of the man accused of her brutal murder. Parry remains objective but writes sympathetically of all involved. He delves into the lives of members of the victim’s family as well as of the accused man, adding layer upon layer of complexity to an already complicated case.”
The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600–1675 by Bernard Bailyn (Find in our catalog).
From our catalog: “Bernard Bailyn gives us a compelling account of the first great transit of people from Britain, Europe, and Africa to British North America, their involvements with each other, and their struggles with the indigenous peoples of the eastern seaboard. They were a mixed multitude–from England, the Netherlands, the German and Italian states, France, Africa, Sweden, and Finland. They moved to the western hemisphere for different reasons, from different social backgrounds and cultures, and under different auspices and circumstances. Even the majority that came from England fit no distinct socioeconomic or cultural pattern. They came from all over the realm, from commercialized London and the southeast; from isolated farmlands in the north still close to their medieval origins; from towns in the Midlands, the south, and the west; from dales, fens, grasslands, and wolds. They represented the entire spectrum of religious communions from Counter-Reformation Catholicism to Puritan Calvinism and Quakerism. They came hoping to re-create if not to improve these diverse lifeways in a remote and, to them, barbarous environment. But their stories are mostly of confusion, failure, violence, and the loss of civility as they sought to normalize abnormal situations and recapture lost worlds. And in the process they tore apart the normalities of the people whose world they had invaded. Later generations, reading back into the past the outcomes they knew, often gentrified this passage in the peopling of British North America, but there was nothing genteel about it. Bailyn shows that it was a brutal encounter–brutal not only between the Europeans and native peoples and between Europeans and Africans, but among Europeans themselves. All, in their various ways, struggled for survival with outlandish aliens, rude people, uncultured people, and felt themselves threatened with descent into squalor and savagery. In these vivid stories of individual lives–some new, some familiar but rewritten with new details and contexts–Bailyn gives a fresh account of the history of the British North American population in its earliest, bitterly contested years.”
Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945–1956 by Anne Applebaum (Find in our catalog).
From the catalog: “In the long-awaited follow-up to her Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag , acclaimed journalist Anne Applebaum delivers a groundbreaking history of how Communism took over Eastern Europe after World War II and transformed in frightening fashion the individuals who came under its sway. At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union to its surprise and delight found itself in control of a huge swath of territory in Eastern Europe. Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to Communism, a completely new political and moral system. In Iron Curtain , Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Anne Applebaum describes how the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe were created and what daily life was like once they were complete. She draws on newly opened East European archives, interviews, and personal accounts translated for the first time to portray in devastating detail the dilemmas faced by millions of individuals trying to adjust to a way of life that challenged their every belief and took away everything they had accumulated. Today the Soviet Bloc is a lost civilization, one whose cruelty, paranoia, bizarre morality, and strange aesthetics Applebaum captures in the electrifying pages of Iron Curtain.”