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One book for history and one book for adventure

Rochester's lesser-known histories are revealed and wild adventures are highlighted in two books from Minnesota authors.

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“Hidden History of Rochester, Minnesota” by Amy Jo Hahn; published August 8, by The History Press

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"Hidden History of Rochester, Minnesota"
contributed / The History Press

A part of the Hidden History series published by The History Press, this book is filled with lesser-known stories and histories of people and places from the area – stories that have been eclipsed by the more traditional histories.

Some stories might be local lore for the long-time resident and others are new revelations. In both scenarios, it is clearly apparent Hahn has done the research to give these histories accuracy and appeal. Her writing and the numerous photos she has included bring the reader into these stories making them come to life.

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In some cases, Hahn chose to focus on women whose stories have often been overshadowed by their husbands’ or persons and places with less mainstream intrigue but fascinating stories nonetheless. For instance, chapters include Rochester’s Cold War radar base – as a part of a national defense system; the final resting place of the first Black male slave freed by Abraham Lincoln and Rochester’s WWI Flying Ace fighter pilot. Hahn has also included many other figures and names that contributed to the growth of Rochester in unique ways. This is a great read for any Rochesterite and especially for those who enjoy history.

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Amy Jo Hahn
contributed / The History Press

Amy Jo Hahn has a master’s degree in mass communication and a historic preservation certificate. This is her second book for The History Press. She has published several historical articles and has contributed to PBS KSMQ’s “R Town.” She grew up in Harmony and now calls Rochester home.

“Hidden History of Rochester” is available online from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and The History Press (www.arcadiapublishing.com) and in stock at Barnes and Noble at Apache Mall. Hahn’s other book “Lost Rochester” is available at the Rochester Public Library.


“Hypothetically the Craziest Sh%t I’ve Ever Done!?!” by T.C. Blackwell; published Oct. 2020 by Black Gravity Press Publishing

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"Hypothetically The Craziest Sh%t I've Ever Done"
contributed / T.C. Blackwell

Blackwell’s sense of humor shines as bright as her temper steams in this collection of short stories. Told from a first person point of view, these stories of outrageous situations and actions "hypothetically" taken by the author, had me holding my breath at times.

The mystery is how much is fact and how much is fiction. That is part of the intrigue for the reader as Blackwell isn’t telling what parts of these tongue in cheek anecdotes are which – or if she really has done all of it. “Hypothetically,” she has done some crazy, interesting things – to say the least.

These stories left me wide-eyed through most of the chapters. Though I don’t condone all the actions she has “hypothetically” taken, I was definitely captivated by her stories and didn’t put the book down until I read it all. Blackwell’s talent with vivid imagery is well showcased. The content is not for the faint of heart (or the meticulously law-abiding citizen) – unless wild vicarious adventures are what you seek.

T.C. Blackwell
Contributed / T.C. Blackwell

T.C. Blackwell has a bachelor of arts in criminal justice and has a passion for helping young adults bridge the literacy gap. She is a fitness guru and is working on the next adventures for the sequel to “Hypothetically.” She lives in Minneapolis.

“Hypothetically The Craziest Sh%t I’ve Ever Done!?!” is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Book Nook is a feature that highlights books from Minnesota authors. Got a recommendation? Email us at life@postbulletin.com with the subject line "Book Nook."

Opinion by Kelsey Hawley
Kelsey Hawley is a Jill-of-all-trades and as newsroom clerk, supports many facets of the office. She grew up in Rochester, where she continues to make her home with her two daughters, a few fish, a snail and a hamster. Readers can reach Kelsey at 507-285-7734 or khawley@postbulletin.com.
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