Eleven Books That Got Us Through 2018

From the Human Brain to Nietzsche’s Heart, Zócalo’s Favorite Nonfiction of the Year

In our hunt for the most eclectic stories and ideas of the day, we come across a lot of great writing, and our holiday season gift to you is this list of some of the gems we found over this year. Are you looking for a biography or memoir that will surprise and delight you—maybe about a person you thought you’d figured out long ago? How about a story by a scientist that will help you pepper your holiday party conversation with extremely weird facts? Or a book of history …

How Venezuela’s Oil Riches Fueled a Literary Explosion

In the Mid-20th Century, Writers Seized on the Conflicts Laid Bare by Petroleum's Power to Reshape Society

On December 14, 1922, a gusher of petroleum was discovered in Zulia, a rural area of western Venezuela. For nine days the oil showered onto the surrounding farmland, scaring the …

Zócalo Cracks the Mystery of Your Summer Reading List

From Montezuma to Proust to House Flies, These 10 Nonfiction Books Will Expand Your Seasonal Horizons

This summer, we finally may solve major mysteries: Can Keanu Reeves credibly play a scientist seeking to bring his dead family back to life? Can England win the World Cup …

The Real-Life Adventuress Who Turned Nancy Drew Into a Modern Heroine

Mildred Wirt Benson Helped Invent the Fictional Teen Sleuth Who Became a Generational Role Model

Nancy Drew struggled this way and that. She twisted and squirmed. She kicked and clawed. But she was powerless in the grip of the man.

‘Little wildcat! You won’t do …

Can the Literary Arts Thrive in an Open Book?

A Minneapolis Collaboration Between Three Book-Minded Nonprofits Created a Home for the Arts—and Lots of Other Things

When it comes to music or theater, community-building happens right in front of your eyes. Crowds surge forward to see a band, or settle together into rows of seats as …