Non-Fiction Reading List

“During a steam train trip on the 4th of July, I discovered yet another connection just over an hour away in Franklin, PA. With the wheels of our passenger car clacking beneath my seat, I plotted Part Two of my novella-turned-novel.”

When I was in high school I learned that bias exists. The victors of war and conflict are the ones history generally favors. I constantly have to remind myself of that as I conducted research for my first intended-for-publication manuscript. I learned that I had to throw what I thought I knew about my state’s history, heck, even my country’s history, out the window with each source material I read.

Okay, not all of it. But a lot of it. 

I’ve debated long and hard if I should include this section or not, because I don’t want any of the material to possibly give away what my novel series is about. Then I realized that if you’ve followed me on Twitter or my Facebook page or even this website long enough, then you already know that it’s deeply based on history.

So why not share much of what I’ve researched by including sources you may find useful as well? Have a read of some of the titles below. You may discover some interesting facts about American history!

*I have omitted just a few titles because they’d most definitely give too much away!
*None of the links are affiliate links. I do not gain any revenue from them. They’ve been added purely for educational purposes.


The Age of the Battleship: 1890-1922 Brayton Harris

Always in a Hole  |  Arthur Vincent Ciervo

The American 1890s  |  Susan Harris Smith, Melanie Dawson

The American Civil War: A Military History  |  John Keegan

The Amazing Pennsylvania Canals  |  W.H. Shank

The Book of Irish Legends  |  Iain Zaczek

The Canal Age Charles Hadfield

The City of Sedition  |  John Strausbaugh

Pennsylvania’s Coal and Iron Police  |  Spencer J. Sadler

The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy Joan Quigley

Everyday Dress: 1650 – 1900  |  Elizabeth Ewing

Fashionable Folks  |  Maureen A. Taylor

Fire Underground David DeKok

Forgotten Tales of Pittsburgh  |  Thomas White and Kyle McQueen

The German Immigration into PA through the Port of Philadelphia from 1700 – 1775  |  Frank Reid Diffenderffer

The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln before the Civil War Daniel Stashower

The Irish Americans: A History  |  Jay P. Dolan

The Inside History of the Carnegie Steel Co.  |  James Howard Bridge

Irish Pittsburgh – Images of America  |  Patricia McElligott

Keeping House: Women in Western PA, 1790-1850  |  Virginia K. Bartlett

The Lincoln Trail in Pennsylvania  |  Bradley R. Hoch

Members Only: Secret Societies, Sects & Cults  |  Julie Tibbott

The Molly Maguires  |  Anthony Bimba

New York Night – The Mystique and its History  |  Mark Caldwell

Northwestern Pennsylvania Railroads  |  Kenneth C. Springirth

On the Irish Waterfront  |  James T. Fisher

Over the Alleghenies  |  Robert J. Kapsch

Pennsylvania Disasters  |  Karen Ivory

Pennsylvania Fireside Tales Vol III  |  Jeffrey R. Fazier

Pennsylvania Ghost Towns  |  Susan Hutchison Tassin

Pennsylvania Mining Families  |  Barry P. Michrin

Pennsylvania Railroads  | Mike Schafer, Brian Solomon

Pennsylvania Trolley Museum  |  Edward H. Lybarger

Pittsburgh and the Appalachians – Cultural and Natural Resources in a Post-Industrial Age  |  Joseph L. Scarpaci & Kevin J. Patrick

Pittsburgh During the American Civil War, 1860-1865  |  Arthur B. Fox

The Secret City: Woodlawn Cemetery and the Buried History of New York  |  Fred Goodman

Ten Days that Unexpectedly Changed America  |  Steven M. Gillon

Third Parties in American Politics  |  Howard P. Nash

The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania  |  Wayland F. Dunaway


Baking for Two  |  Tracy Yabiku

Maangchi’s Real Korean Cooking | Maangchi

Sugar-Free Mom: Naturally Sweet and Sugar Free Recipes for the Whole Family Brenda Bennett


Structuring Your Novel K.M. Weiland

Creating Character Arcs  |  K.M. Weiland

Outlining Your Novel  |  K.M. Weiland

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