The Great 2018 Roundup: The Biggest Books of the Year

By Nicky M. | Arcadia Staff
With 2018 in the rearview mirror, we’re looking forward to a year full of new books, authors, and of course, history to share! But before we let go of last year, we’re taking a look at the favorite books from the year, and what made them so popular with our readers. Check out our Top 5 bestselling books from 2018 below!

Author Beverly Cleary.5. Tracy J. Prince and Zadie J. Schaffer – Notable Women of Portland

The city of Portland, Oregon, is known far and wide for its eclectic lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest. First inhabited by the native Chinook people, the city has gone on to become one of the most unique nationwide, with a culture as varied as its people. It isn’t surprising that the city has been home to some remarkable women since its early days on the American frontier. In Notable Women of Portland, researchers Tracy J. Prince and Zadie J. Schaffer take a look at some of these significant women, who influenced not only their city, but also their state and country.

From author Beverly Cleary to opera singer Mona Paulee, Prince and Schaffer’s book creates a unique pictorial history of Portlandian women, starting with the native populations, and continuing to the modern day. With remarkable women such as these, it’s no wonder Portland has such a colorful history!

An advertisement for Dragon automotive.4. Alan Naldrett – Lost Car Companies of Detroit

Published in 2016, Lost Car Companies of Detroit has continually proven to be a favorite of literary gearheads. Author Alan Naldrett, who also works as a librarian and lecturer, has written several books on Michigan history, but this is his first on automobiles. Lost Car Companies of Detroit takes a look at a sampling of the car companies that existed prior to the reign of the “Big Three:” General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Fiat Chrysler.

In addition to naming some long-forgotten brands (including a car named Dragon), Naldrett explores some of the most unique car anecdotes of the twentieth century. Although these brands are no longer around today, they have helped create the American motor landscape, and Naldrett has endeavored to document them all!

An excursion on the Miami River.3. Paul S. George – Along the Miami River

While Miami is a major world city today, it was once nothing more than a small settlement on the banks of South Florida and the Miami River. The river area had in fact been inhabited for centuries prior to its European settlement, and has seen a wide array of cultures and people pass through. In Along the Miami River, author and historian Paul S. George explores the history of the area from the 16th century forward, beginning with the first visit of Pedro Menendez de Aviles to the Tequesta Indian settlement.

In addition to looking at the general history of the Miami River, George also touches on some of the most important figures of the area, including “Mother of Miami” Julia Tuttle, and oil and railroad baron Henry Flagler. The result is a book that combines and the people and places who helped to turn the Miami River area into the metropolis it is today.

A map of the 77 communities of Chicago.2. Mary Zangs – The Chicago 77: A Community Area Handbook

As one of the largest cities in the United States, Chicago is home to 77 distinct communities, with more than 200 smaller neighborhoods within these communities. These communities, first established in the 1920s, each have their own unique identity, and Mary Zangs has striven to capture their spirit in The Chicago 77: A Community Area Handbook.

One part history, one part guidebook, and one part “fun facts,” The Chicago 77 breaks down each of Chicago’s 77 major communities for both locals and tourists. The book includes maps of each district, points of interest, and even input from locals on what it’s like to live in the neighborhood!

A 17th-century map of “La Floride.”1. George S. Lemieux & Laura E. Mize – Florida Made: The 25 Most Important Figures Who Shaped the State

Written as a collaboration by established journalist Laura Mize and former Senator George Lemieux, Florida Made began as a project to document some of Florida’s most influential figures. The result was a ranked list of some of the most well-known names not only in Florida’s history, but also greater America’s – names like John Quincy Adams, Captain Washington Irving Chambers, and Walt Disney.

Each of the men and women in Florida Made contributed in some major way to the development of the state, and helped to create it into the Sunshine State we know today. From James Monroe’s acquisition of the state in the 19th century, to the growth of its world-famous amusement parks, Florida Made touches on each major milestone in Floridian history.

ON SALE Along the Miami River
ON SALE Notable Women of Portland