John F. Kasson's The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression: Shirley Temple and 1930s America (W. W. Norton) is more than a book about the child star.
Veni, Vidi, Vici: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Romans but Were Afraid to Ask (Atlantic Books) by Peter Jones is history and fun, too.
From Pompeii: The Afterlife of a Roman Town (Belknap/Harvard) by Ingrid D. Rowland tells of how visitors, including famous ones, came to see the ruins.
Ruth Richardson's Dickens and the Workhouse: Oliver Twist & the London Poor (Oxford University Press) tells how she discovered his childhood home.
Dinosaurs Without Bones: Dinosaur Lives Revealed by Their Trace Fossils (Pegasus Books) by Anthony J. Martin tells of footprints, nests, and more.
The Greatest Movies You'll Never See: Unseen Masterpieces by the World's Greatest Directors (Cassell Illustrated), edited by Simon Braund, helps us imagine what might have been.
Nature's Nether Regions: What the Sex Lives of Bugs, Birds, and Beasts Tell Us about Evolution, Biodiversity, and Ourselves (Viking) by evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen is full of sexual surprises.
In Jumbo: The Unauthorized Biography of a Victorian Sensation (Aurum Press), John Sutherland tells how we treated the most famous of elephants, and others.
In Sextant: A Young Man's Daring Sea Voyage and the Men Who Mapped the World's Oceans (William Morrow), David Barrie calls us back to scan the skies.
3. Forum series speakers to explore the power of place ENTERTAINMENT