Best Books of the Year--Nonfiction
‘Tis the season for many things–joy, cheer, singing, shopping, and end-of-the-year lists. You might find yourself watching the top sports plays or the craziest reality television moments of the year. Radio stations will broadcast countdowns of the top songs of 2012. Many publications and websites, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Amazon, compile lists of the best books of the year. Whether you’re shopping for a book lover or need a break from the holiday hustle and bustle, take a look at the titles below. Each book in this small sampling has been identified as a best book by more than one source and is held by the Pollard Memorial Library.
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
by Katherine Boo
Pollard Library Call Number: 305.569 BOO
This winner of the National Book Award chronicles the lives of the poor living in the Mumbai slum of Annawadi.
- The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
by Tom Reiss
Pollard Library Call Number: B Dumas
The subject of this book, Thomas Alexandre Dumas, inspired The Count of Monte Cristo.
- Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child
by Bob Spitz
Pollard Library Call Number: B Child, J
Readers will learn about more than cooking from this biography of one of the first celebrity chefs.
- House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East
by Anthony Shadid
Pollard Library Call Number: 306.0956 SHA
The late Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist writes of the Middle East he finds as he rebuilds his family’s ancestral home in Lebanon.
- Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956
by Anne Applebaum
Pollard Library Call Number: 947.0009 APP
Focusing on Poland, East Germany, and Hungary, the author presents a history of the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe.
by Christopher Hitchens
Pollard Library Call Number: 155.937 HIT
The late cultural critic and Vanity Fair columnist writes about illness, life, and death as he battles cancer.
- The Passage of Power
by Robert A. Caro
Pollard Library Call Number: B Johnson, LB v. 4
The fourth volume in the highly-acclaimed The Years of Lyndon Johnson covers the years 1960-1964.
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking
by Susan Cain
Pollard Library Call Number: 155.232 CAI
This book discusses the differences between introverts and extroverts and the ways in which introverts are misunderstood, and undervalued and overlooked.
- The Social Conquest of Earth
by Edward O. Wilson
Pollard Library Call Number: 599.938 WIL
A Harvard scientist explores evolution and the development of advanced social life.
- Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
by Jon Meacham
Pollard Library Call Number: LP B Jefferson, T (large print)
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer adds to the literature about this Founding Father.
- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Cheryl Strayed
Pollard Library Call Number: B Strayed C
This Oprah pick chronicles the author’s life-changing 2,663-mile trek from the Mexican border to the Canadian border.
- Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald
by Errol Morris
Pollard Library Call Number: 364.1523 MOR
Unsettling yet compelling story from an acclaimed filmmaker about the fallibility of the American Justice system especially as it relates to the sensational Jeffery MacDonald trial of 1979. Click here to read a book review written by our community planning librarian, Sean Thibodeau and published by Howl in Lowell, December 2012
- Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death
by Jill Lepore
Pollard Library Call Number: 973 LEP
Harvard historian and staff writer at the New Yorker strings together a collection of historical vignettes each exploring the various stages of life as they have come to be known by American society.
Watch for a list of best fiction books within the next couple of weeks.