Five New Books with Indiana Ties

And a few local road trips they inspire.

Soldier Girls
By Helen Thorpe
Now in paperback, this New York Times favorite follows three Indiana women who joined the National Guard prior to 9/11 and wound up serving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thorpe documents the highs and lows of their lives for 12 years. And she captures extraordinary moments—a pre-deployment trip to the Classy Chassy strip club in Indy is as hilarious as getting home and meeting people who have never heard of Afghanistan is heartbreaking.
After reading this, visit:  The Indiana Military Museum in Vincennes.



9780253016881_medWinesburg, Indiana
(Indiana University Press)
Edited by Michael Martone and Bryan Furuness
This collection begins with a mock cease-and-desist letter from a lawyer representing the fictional town of Winesburg, created by novelist Sherwood Anderson. (“We have patented Madness. We own Trembling.”) From there, 30 writers create the characters in what Martone calls “a sad town populated by people who have desperate, writeable lives.” Some of them are terse. Some, like Roxane Gay’s “Tara Jenkins,” are beautiful.
After reading this, visit:  Martone’s hometown of Fort Wayne, which surely informs the humorist’s locales.


81yPrGcJaFLThe Flying Circus
(Gallery Books)
By Susan Crandall
Crandall tells such a compelling story in her 11th novel—about a daredevil pilot, a penniless heiress, and a young man on the run, all escaping Indiana in 1923—that we were surprised to get to the end and learn (spoiler alert!) that several of the scenes were entirely imagined by a character. It helps to have an interest in early aviation to completely enjoy the book, but even without it, the Noblesville native’s love story is wonderful.
After reading this, visit:  The Wilbur Wright Birthplace and Museum in Hagerstown.


9780253016560_medLooking Behind the Label
(Indiana University Press)
By Tim Bartley, Sebastian Koos, Hiram Samel, Gustavo Setrini, and Nik Summers
Five educators ask: Is “shopping with a conscience” a promising or wrongheaded way to bring about social change? The answer is: Depends on the industry, depends on the product. In any case, not many of us are doing it. The book claims only 29 percent of Americans have ever boycotted a product—good news for the electronics, apparel, food, and paper-products manufacturers studied here.
After reading this, visit:  New Haven, to see what it looks like when a company as big as Vera Bradley abruptly leaves town.


9780253017154_medThinking About Video Games
(Indiana University Press)
By David S. Heineman
The subtitle here is “Interviews with the Experts,” which is an excellent description of what’s inside. In a series of Q&As, Heineman talks to 11 insiders about not only video-game history and design, but emotions, media coverage, and more. How seriously do we take this stuff? The book points out that the National Endowment for the Arts now funds video-game designers. (And Indiana University is launching a video-game design major this fall.)
After reading this, visit:  The Galloping Ghost Arcade in Chicago, the world’s largest.