January – Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
The book takes place primarily in late 19th century Chicago during the development of the Chicago World’s Fair. This non-fiction masterpiece describes the struggles and wonder of the Fair as well as the dark side of serial killer H. H. Holmes who was active at that time. The author provides a beautiful, but dark, impression of one of the country’s biggest cities during what they hoped to be one of their most impressive triumphs. Reads as fiction, but expands your knowledge tenfold. Rumor has it Leonardo DiCaprio purchased the rights to make the book into a film.
February – The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
A fictional piece that describes a young woman and her family’s ongoing search for the infamous Vlad Tepes, otherwise known as Dracula. The author did an incredible amount of research on Eastern Europe in the 15th century. So much so that it makes you feel like a true historian as you read this bruiser of a novel. The book clocks in at just under 650 pages, but it is well worth the commitment. It’s the type of book that makes you feel a void after you finish reading it because you continue to think about the characters and the progression of the story and then have to remind yourself that it’s over.