Thursday, July 4, 2013

Who's On Top: Nonfiction

Top 5 Nonfiction:
Hardcover:
1. Happy, Happy, Happy, by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach
2. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell
3. Dads Fat, by Jim Gaffigan
4. Eleven Rings, by Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty
5. Let's Exploer Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris
#Spotlight:
Unbroken
by Laura Hillenbrand

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit. 



Paperback:
1. Proof Of Heaven, Eben Alexander
2. Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell
3. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
4.The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
5. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
#Spotlight:
The Glass Castle
by Jeanette Walls 

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town—and the family—Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.


Ebook: 
1. Dads Fat, by Jim Gaffigan
2. Let's Exploer Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris
3. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
4. Let's Exploer Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris
5. Happy, Happy, Happy, by Phil Robertson with Mark Schlabach
#Spotlight:
Little Prisoners
by Casey Watson

Little Prisoners is a harrowing, yet moving memoir about two innocent and frightened 'unfosterable' children who do not know what it means to be loved.

The shock that strikes Casey and her family when Ashton and Olivia arrive is immeasurable. Two frightened little waifs stand before them, hair running wild with head lice, filthy nails and skin covered in scabs. Ashton, aged nine, and Olivia, aged six, are the eldest of five siblings, taken away from their family because they were considered at risk.

Originally a temporary, emergency placement, the weeks turn into months. And gradually the children start to feel like they truly belong to a family and to reveal the horror of what happened to them.



Disclaimer: All material comes from Goodreads.com and NYTimes.com. 

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