Zócalo’s 2020 Summer Reading List Suits a Time Devoid of the Usual Escapes

From Why We Started Calling Ourselves 'America' to Brains With a Mind of Their Own, These 15 Books Examine Essential Questions About Who We Are

We at Zócalo have always been contrarians when it comes to what constitutes a summer reading list. Our idea of a perfect “beach read” has never been your usual summer escapist fare, which seems right for a summer devoid of the usual escapes. So, we’ve assembled a list of insightful books that can be read while sitting on the stoop, or in a comfy chair at home. And, in this time of a global pandemic and the widespread protests in response to systemic racism—it’s fitting that this year’s Book List …

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 …

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 …