Thursday, June 20, 2013

Who's On Top: NonFiction

This Week's Spotlight: 
Hardcover:
The Boys In The Boat
by Daniel James Brown

For readers of Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit and Unbroken, the dramatic story of the American rowing team that stunned the world at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics

Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

The emotional heart of the story lies with one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard and to find a place he can call home. The crew is assembled by an enigmatic coach and mentored by a visionary, eccentric British boat builder, but it is their trust in each other that makes them a victorious team. They remind the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together—a perfect melding of commitment, determination, and optimism.

Drawing on the boys’ own diaries and journals, their photos and memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, The Boys in the Boat is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate story of nine working-class boys from the American west who, in the depths of the Great Depression, showed the world what true grit really meant. It will appeal to readers of Erik Larson, Timothy Egan, James Bradley, and David Halberstam's The Amateurs.

Paperback:
An Army At Dawn
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.

Ebook:  
The Dog Lived (And So Will I)

by Teresa J. Rhyne


"Funny, smart, uplifting, and fun, The Dog Lived (and So Will I) reminds us that animals are among our best teachers, our most powerful healers, and our most steadfast friends. I loved it!"-Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig

The tale of a dog who wouldn't let go and the woman who followed his lead.

Teresa Rhyne vowed to get things right this time around: new boyfriend, new house, new dog, maybe even new job. But shortly after she adopted Seamus, a totally incorrigible beagle, vets told Teresa that he had a malignant tumor and less than a year to live. The diagnosis devastated her, but she decided to fight it, learning everything she could about the best treatment for Seamus. Teresa couldn't possibly have known then that she was preparing herself for life's next hurdle - a cancer diagnosis of her own.

She forged ahead with survival, battling a deadly disease, fighting for doctors she needed, and baring her heart for a seemingly star-crossed relationship. The Dog Lived (and so Will I) is an uplifting and heartwarming story about how dogs steal our hearts, show us how to live, and teach us how to love.

"This poignant and fast-moving memoir of Teresa and Seamus--both definitely Type A personalities-- is proof that even a hard-charging lawyer is no match for a big-hearted beagle. Their mutual triumph over terrible trials is a testament to the healing power of dogs. Four paws up!" --Martin Kihn, author of Bad Dog (A Love Story)

"This encouraging tale of finding love and love in unexpected places is full of small yet valuable life lessons that any animal-lover would appreciate."--Publishers Weekly

"A book that dares to be honest and sad and hilarious all at once. It will help inspire many people to respond to the unexpected in their own lives with humor and grace."--Susan Conley, author of The Foremost Good Fortune

Top 5 Nonfiction:
Hardcover:
1. Happy, Happy, Happy, by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach
2. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell
3. American Gun, by Chris Kyle with William Doyle
4. The Gun At Last Night, by Rick Atkinson
5. Eleven Rings, By Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty

Paperback:
1. Proof Of Heaven, by Eben Alexander
2. Wild, By Cheryl Strayed
3. American Sniper, by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
4. Quiet, by Susan Cain
5. Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell

Ebook:
1. The Dog Lived (And So Will I), by Teresa J. Rhyne  
2. Proof Of Heaven, by Eben Alexander
3. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell
4. Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris 
5. Happy, Happy, Happy, by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach

Disclaimer: All blurbs are from Goodread.com and all list are from NYTimes.com.

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