Over My Dead Body: Unearthing the Hidden History of America’s Cemeteries


When Melville took a summer job mowing the lawn at the cemetery in his hometown before his senior year of college, he probably didn’t expect it to turn into a lifelong interest in graveyards. Yet as he clocked hours cutting grass, he realized that cemeteries are more than homes for the dead — they’re receptacles of history and tell stories of the towns around them. Melville goes coast to coast visiting cemeteries that have influenced landscape architecture, literature and architectural styles, considering what modern memorializing means for sustainability, land use and more. (Abrams Press)

This Is Our Summons Now: Poems 


What does it mean to summon and be summoned in a poetic sense when, as Rodrí-guez notes, “It can be a demand to appear in person, a request for assistance, or an event or image to recall”? With an eye on the poets who have come before him and a keen ear for oral traditions, Rodríguez’s poems ask the reader to consider individuals and families, and our collective history and the future we want to co-create. In reading the collection, we are summoned to leave this world better than we found it. (FlowerSong Press)

Soccer in Mind: A Thinking Fan’s Guide to the Global Game


Far and away the world’s most popular team sport, soccer is a source of endless curiosity, entertain-ment, and, of course, fandom. As a scholar and former minor league player and coach, Guest knows better than anyone how soccer can be a universal language — a culture that reaches across race, class, gender and borders to bring people together. Through the lens of sociology and psychology, readers will come away with a better understanding of what their favorite sport means for them, their community, and the world over. (Rutgers University Press)

Muslims of the Heartland: How Syrian Immigrants Made a Home in the American Midwest


Stereotypes about the Midwest are pervasive — that the region is “flyover country,” that it’s monolithically white, and that Chris-tian values are the only ones worth having. Curtis, a descendant of Syrian Mid-westerners, dispels these harmful myths by sharing the long and storied history of Muslims in America’s heartland. Readers meet Arab Americans who shaped the region through working in farming, railroad car factories, bookmaking, poetry, and more — so many of whom haven’t historically been given their due. (NYU Press)

A Bar In Toledo: The Untold Story of a Mafia Front Man and a Grammy-Winning Song


"A Bar in Toledo" — described by the publisher as a “Rust Belt psychodrama”— is a wild romp through the world of music and organized crime, which are more inextricably linked than you might think. Duane Abbajay took his brother’s nightclub from bankruptcy to becoming a hall-mark of the Toledo entertainment scene, inspiring a Grammy Award-winning country song (Kenny Rogers’ 1977 hit, “Lucille”) and running afoul of a mafia boss along the way. Rife with nostalgia and action that’ll keep you turning pages well into the night, this true-crime story simultaneously shines a stage light on American music and the seedy underbelly that keeps the gears of the entertainment industry turning. (University of Toledo Press)

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