Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Who's On Top: Nonfiction

This Week's Spotlight:

by George Packer

A New York Times Bestseller
One of the iTunes Bookstore's "Ten Books You Must Read This Summer"

A riveting examination of a nation in crisis, from one of the finest political journalists of our generation

American democracy is beset by a sense of crisis. Seismic shifts during a single generation have created a country of winners and losers, allowing unprecedented freedom while rending the social contract, driving the political system to the verge of breakdown, and setting citizens adrift to find new paths forward. In The Unwinding, George Packer, author of The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq, tells the story of the United States over the past three decades in an utterly original way, with his characteristically sharp eye for detail and gift for weaving together complex narratives.

The Unwinding journeys through the lives of several Americans, including Dean Price, the son of tobacco farmers, who becomes an evangelist for a new economy in the rural South; Tammy Thomas, a factory worker in the Rust Belt trying to survive the collapse of her city; Jeff Connaughton, a Washington insider oscillating between political idealism and the lure of organized money; and Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who questions the Internet's significance and arrives at a radical vision of the future. Packer interweaves these intimate stories with biographical sketches of the era's leading public figures, from Newt Gingrich to Jay-Z, and collages made from newspaper headlines, advertising slogans, and song lyrics that capture the flow of events and their undercurrents.

The Unwinding portrays a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams, its elites no longer elite, its institutions no longer working, its ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for success and salvation. Packer's novelistic and kaleidoscopic history of the new America is his most ambitious work to date.

by Rick Atkinson

In the first volume of his monumental trilogy about the liberation of Europe in WW II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson tells the riveting story of the war in North Africa

The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. That first year of the Allied war was a pivotal point in American history, the moment when the United States began to act like a great power.

Beginning with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the American and British armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algeria, and then take on the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. Battle by battle, an inexperienced and sometimes poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to the tale are the extraordinary but fallible commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel.

Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and vivid insights, Atkinson's narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.

An Army at Dawn is the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for History.

by Scott Thorson with Alex Thorleifson

The true story of the "world's greatest entertainer"revealed by the man most qualified to disclose it, his longtime live-in lover.


Top 5 Nonfiction

  1. LEAN IN, by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell
  2. HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY, by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach
  3. ELEVEN RINGS, by Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty.
  5. THE GUNS AT LAST LIGHT, by Rick Atkinson

  1. PROOF OF HEAVEN, by Eben Alexander
  2. WILD, by Cheryl Strayed
  3. CONTROL, by Glenn Beck and others
  4. AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL, by Ben Carson with Candy Carson
  5. AMERICAN SNIPER, by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice

  1. PROOF OF HEAVEN, by Eben Alexander
  3. HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY, by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach
  4. LEAN IN, by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell
  5. BEHIND THE CANDELABRA, by Scott Thorson with Alex Thorleifson

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