Week of 31 Jan 2016
When Breath Becomes Air
To paraphrase Abraham Verghese’s introduction, to read this book is to feel that Dr. Kalanithi still lives, with enormous power to influence the lives of others even though he is gone.
NY Times

When Breath Becomes Air

by Paul Kalanithi

The Name of God Is Mercy
The ease with which the pope speaks to the concerns of ordinary people, as well as his humble lifestyle (living not in the Apostolic Palace, but in a modest Vatican guesthouse, and traveling in a tiny Fiat car), is rooted in a heartfelt sense of humility.
NY Times

The Name of God Is Mercy

by Pope Francis

Between the World and Me
...eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life.
Kirkus


Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Alexander Hamilton
Literate and full of engaging historical asides. By far the best of the many lives of Hamilton now in print, and a model of the biographer’s art.
Kirkus

Alexander Hamilton

by Ron Chernow

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War That Changed American History
The authors handle the ridiculous elements of the tale with a light touch, and do an outstanding job of explaining the ultimate exploits of Presley O’Bannon and Stephen Decatur, the eventual heroes of the war...If there’s a drawback to the book, it’s that it’s all too often a catalog of things that were fouled up.
Book Reporter

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

by Brian Kilmeade

The Devil In The White City
Gripping drama, captured with a reporter’s nose for a good story and a novelist’s flair for telling it. The result is a synthetic blend that doesn't do justice to either.
Kirkus


The Devil In The White City

by Erik Larson

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Overall, I am Malala was extremely interesting and has definitely made me look at the education system in the UK with respect and gratitude.
Guardian


I Am Malala

by Malala Yousafzai

Modern Romance
Ansari’s eminently readable book is successful, in part, because it not only lays out the history, evolution, and pitfalls of dating, it also offers sound advice on how to actually win today's constantly shifting game of love. Often hilarious, consistently informative, and unusually helpful.
Kirkus


Modern Romance

by Aziz Ansari

Yes Please CD

No Critic Review

Yes Please CD

by Amy Poehler

The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady Margaret Douglas
Excerpts from Margaret’s letters show her to be politically savvy, manipulative, and fierce. An abundantly detailed history from an author steeped in England’s past.
Kirkus

The Lost Tudor Princess

by Alison Weir

13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi
Benghazi has furnished a storm of outrages over two years, some of them real and some phony. “13 Hours” may only add to the list of real ones...
The Washington Post

13 Hours

by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House
While journalist Brower moves by theme in presenting the memories of select long-running staff at the White House...there is an irresistible, charmingly pell-mell quality to the arrangement of these dishy stories...A work of great historical interest that is also quite entertaining.
Kirkus

The Residence

by Kate Andersen Brower

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
Writing in faintly Tom Wolfe-ian prose, Mr. Lewis does a colorful job of introducing the lay reader to the Darwinian world of the bond market...
NY Times

The Big Short

by Michael Lewis

Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency
But what is most disappointing in this book is that the authors fail to understand the mettle and substance of Reagan or give little credit, or even acknowledge, his historic victory over a truly evil empire without even firing a shot.
Washington Times

Killing Reagan

by Bill O'Reilly

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
...the Berlin Olympics were carefully orchestrated by propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and filmed by Leni Riefenstahl to show the world the terrifying images of Aryan “purity” and Nazi supremacy. Yet for these American boys, it was an amazing dream. A touching, fairly uncomplicated portrayal of rowing legends.
Kirkus

The Boys in the Boat

by Daniel James Brown

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
By confronting the reality rather than pretending it can be beaten...the medical establishment can offer the kind of compassion that allows for more humane ways to die. As Gawande reminds readers, “endings matter.” A sensitive, intelligent and heartfelt examination of the processes of aging and dying.
Kirkus


Being Mortal

by Atul Gawande

My Life on the Road
Illuminating and inspiring, this book presents a distinguished woman's exhilarating vision of what it means to live with openness, honesty, and a willingness to grow beyond the apparent confinement of seemingly irreconcilable polarities.
Kirkus


My Life on the Road

by Gloria Steinem

A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance

No Critic Review

A Thousand Days in Venice

by Marlena de Blasi

The Wright Brothers (The Diaries)
McCullough marvels at their success despite a lack of college education, technical training, “friends in high places” or “financial backers”—they were just boys obsessed by a dream and determined to make it reality. An educational and inspiring biography of seminal American innovators.
Kirkus


The Wright Brothers

by David McCullough

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Larson...once again demonstrates his expert researching skills and writing abilities, this time shedding light on nagging questions about the sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915...An intriguing, entirely engrossing investigation into a legendary disaster.
Kirkus

Dead Wake

by Erik Larson