The real story

Squanto greeting Pilgrims: Young Folks History of the United States, 1903. Photo: Library of Congress

TThe story of Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without Squanto, the “friendly” Indian who helped the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony survive. He taught them how to cultivate crops, which plants they could use and which they should avoid, and how to tap the native maple trees for sap.

Squanto acted as…

Inventor of the central heating system

The first kind of central heating was fire. Photo by Marc Renken on Unsplash

AAren’t you glad you don’t have to go outside, chop down trees, hack them into chunks, haul them into the house (bringing in mice, spiders, and all kinds of crawling insects) and shove them into a woodstove to stay warm?

Do you ever think about what it would be like…

Biltmore and the Vanderbilts

Photo by Dillon Groves on Unsplash

The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan

Some books I appreciate for their plot. Some for their character development. In others, I’m awed by the scope of the story, and sometimes I’m fascinated by the uniqueness of the concept.

Denise Kiernan’s nonfiction book, The Last Castle, wowed me with the enormity of its research. Beginning in the…

Nandini Patwardhan’s book

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

Radical Spirits: India’s First Woman Doctor and Her American Champions

I admit it. This was a different kind of book for me to read, but when a friend of a friend wrote it and it was nominated for a nonfiction award, I knew I wanted to get it.

I am so glad I did. Reading Radical Spirits expanded my understanding…

Melissa Gouty

Writer, teacher, speaker, and observer of human nature. Creative content for the literary world. Follow me at, Twitter, or Facebook.

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