Just another GR refugee. Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.
My ARC courtesy of Chicago Review Press/Net Galley - much thanks!
This survey of what America was like, and what Americans were up to, in 1844 (an election year, and an important one) is broadly chronological, smoothly written, and sometimes very amusing.
President Tyler ("His Accidency") is trying to get re-elected, despite being quite aware both parties (Whigs and Democrats) hate him, offering his possible election rivals seats on the Supreme Court. John Quincy Adams, no longer president, has retired to the U.S. House of Representatives, and is fighting the "gag rule" preventing the discussion of slavery by that body. Andrew Jackson is also out of the White House but not retired from politics - his opinion will count for much in the election. The Millerites think the world is coming to an end, and predict the Second Coming of Christ for both spring and fall. Joseph Smith first runs for president, and is then assassinated. Americans, professional explorers and otherwise, are heading west to Oregon and California, neither of which are part of the United States.
It's a very good coverage of an important year in U.S. history (1844 would elect James K. Polk, determine war with Mexico in the near future, and the expansion of both the U.S. and of slavery). It would probably be very interesting to read this back-to-back with Bernard DeVoto's excellent 1846: The Year of Decision, which takes a similar format.