Tuesday, January 9, 2024

What did Genea-Santa Bring? Christmas Books 2023

For many years I have posted the books that Genea-Santa has put under my Christmas Tree. Now that Christmas and Three Kings Day have passed, I am starting to read the Christmas Books I received this holiday season.  I hope that you enjoy this, and find a book or two you might like to read, too.  Here they are in no particular order.

The Boston Massacre: A Family History, by Serena Zabin, 2020, was intriguing to me just because of the title.  Professor Zabin is the chair of the history department at Carleton College, and she also co-designed a video game about the Boston massacre. This book promises to tell a new slant to the story. I can't wait to read it! 

Several years ago I heard a lecture by the author of this book, They Sawed Up a Storm: The Women's Sawmill at Turkey Pond, New Hampshire, 1942, by Sarah Shea Smith, 2010.  The book outlines the wonderful story of women who were recruited as lumber jacks during WWII, to use the fallen trees from the Great Hurricane of 1938.  Turkey Pond is a local landmark in Concord, New Hampshire, with a historical marker commemorating these women.  Their contribution to the war effort was used for building ships and other important materiel to help win WWII.  I've been meaning to read this book for years, since hearing the lecture.  Now it's my chance! 

In December I went to Spain for my mother-in-law's funeral mass.  A dear family friend from Malaga, Spain (in Andalusia) told us about this book SS Heliopolis: The Immigration of Andalusians to Hawai'i, by Miguel Alba Trujillo, 2020.  He thought I would appreciate this story, especially with my family tree having branches in Hawaii at the time of this event (1907).  Our friend in Spain told the author about my interest, and the author surprised me with this book just in time for Christmas.  I've already read the first few chapters, and it looks like an interesting story of desparate immigrants moving from Europe to a completely new and different culture for survival. 

A few years ago, when the COVID pandemic hit, we fled to AutoCamp in Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, for a weekend in an airstream camper.  We had a wonderful time exploring Cape Cod, and while relaxing by the camp fire I read parts of this book, which was on the bookshelf inside our camper.  I never finished the book before we had to leave Cape Cod. Last year Santa brought me the wrong book.  So I searched for it online. Santa Claus found it first, and it was under my Christmas tree this year.  Natural History Essays, Henry David Thoreau, 2011, includes his essay about his walk to Mount Wachusett from Concord, Massachusetts, which fascinated me since I grew up near the mountain and climbed it many times on Girl Scout hikes, blueberrying, and riding the ski lift. Now I can read the rest of his essays in this volume!  

This is a strange history book, but fascinating to anyone interested in the ocean, Lego, or pollution.  Adrift: The Curious Tale of the Lego Lost at Sea, by Tracey Williams, 2022 is the story of the sixty-two containers that fell of a cargo ship in 1997.  One container held over 5 million pieces of Lego (coincidentally they were all ocean themed pieces of Lego).  Soon after the accident people on several continents began to find these Lego bits on their local beaches.  I thought Vincent would enjoy this book, and he is already half way through it!  There is also a Facebook group for fans of this Adrift story, where they post photos and stories of their beachcombing Lego finds.  This will be a fun history to read. 

For the truly curious: 

Christmas Books 2022    

Christmas Books 2021  

Christmas Books 2020  

Christmas Books 2019

To Cite/Link to this Blog Post:  Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "What did Genea-Santa Bring?  Christmas Books 2023", Nutfield Genealogy, posted January 9, 2024, ( accessed [access date]). 

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