Maybe it's just our inner geek, but we love knowing the back-story about the place we live.
Today's local holiday gift guide suggestion celebrates exactly that type of local history geekdom.
Local history books.
There are a surprising number of books about the history of the Capital Region. On a recent trip to The Book House we found books on Guilderland, Lansingburgh, the trolleys of the Capial Region, the railroads of Rensselaer and the Schenectady Stockade. And there were tons more. Well, not tons in the literal sense, but you get the idea.
Here are a few local titles that looked good:
Architects in Albany- Diana S. Waite - A companion to the 1993 book Albany Architecture, this book focuses on the local and national architects who designed many of the buildings you walk past, drive by, live in or work in today. It's published in part by the Historic Albany Foundation. $25
Hudson River Panorama -- Tammis K. Groft/W. Douglas McCombs/Ruth Greene-McNally -Commemorating the Hudson 400, this book is an illustrated history of The Hudson River and its impact on the people and landscape. $25
Saving Troy - William Patrick -A year in the life of firefighters and paramedics in Troy. While it's not exactly history, it gives you a glimpse inside a layer of the Collar City that you don't normally get to see. $
Saratoga Lives - Mike Hare - Think "Spoon River Anthology." Real and fictional characters from four different time periods in Saratoga's history speak out about their lives. In the process they give an account of the ups and downs of a city from a wide variety of
Sure, most of them are available on Amazon or on the local shelves at Borders, but if you're really into local, you can find most of these titles at The Book House in
Stuyvesant Plaza or Market Block Books in Troy.
Who are they for?
History or architecture buffs or anyone who might like to know more about the place they live.
Most of the local books we saw (including the titles mentioned here) are available for $30 or less.
There are lots of other local history titles available, but if you know someone who is more into fiction or essays, you'll find plenty of books by local authors. A few you might want to try: Dan Nester's, "How to be Inappropriate," Allen Ballard's suspense novel "Carried by Six" and Michael Barrett's murder mystery, "The Keeler Principle."
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