A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proof (Particular Books) by columnist Roger Clarke is just as much about people.
Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the World (Chicago Review Press) by Tristan Donovan is a history of carbonated drinks.
The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day (Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by mathematician David Hand looks at the probability of the improbable.
The End of Plagues: The Global Battle Against Infectious Disease (Palgrave Macmillan) by immunologist John Rhodes is full of medical optimism.
The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI (Knopf) by Betty Medsger recalls a brilliant act of civil disobedience.
Errol Fuller's _Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record_ (Princeton University Press) gives us pictures of what we have lost.
Richard Holmes's Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air (Pantheon) is a grand history of ballooning.
The Greek Vase: Art of the Storyteller (J. Paul Getty Museum) by John H. Oakley is a fine primer to a distant art form.
Last of the Blue and Gray: Old Men, Stolen Glory, and the Mystery that Outlived the Civil War (Smithsonian Books) by Richard A. Serrano tells stories false and true about the last veterans.
4. They Were All Very Merry at Pfaff's BOOK REVIEWS