Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Reading List

Lately I have been on a non-fiction kick. I discovered Mary Roach and promptly fell in love with her brilliant wit and quirky content. Bonk was laugh out loud funny and Stiff was amusingly cringeworthy. I also read and fell in love with Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. This summer I hope to continue this love affair with quality non-fiction with these three titles:

Thunderstruck by Eric Larsen
In Thunderstruck, Erik Larson tells the interwoven stories of two men—Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of a seemingly supernatural means of communication—whose lives intersect during one of the greatest criminal chases of all time.

Priscilla Gilman had the greatest expectations for the birth of her first child. Growing up in New York City amongst writers, artists, and actors, Gilman experienced childhood as a whirlwind of imagination, creativity, and spontaneity. As a Wordsworth scholar, she celebrated and embraced the poet's romantic view of children—and eagerly anticipated her son's birth, certain that he, too, would come "trailing clouds of glory." But her romantic vision would not be fulfilled in the ways she dreamed. Though Benjamin was an extraordinary child, the signs of his precocity—dazzling displays of memory and intelligence—were also manifestations of a developmental disorder that would require intensive therapies and special schooling, and would dramatically alter the course Priscilla had imagined for her family.

SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin

Less than half a year after sniper school, he was fighting for his life. The mission: capture or kill Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. From rooftops, helicopters and alleys, Wasdin hunted Aidid and killed his men whenever possible. But everything went quickly to hell when his small band of soldiers found themselves fighting for their lives, cut off from help, and desperately trying to rescue downed comrades during a routine mission. The Battle of Mogadishu, as it become known, left 18 American soldiers dead and 73 wounded. Howard Wasdin had both of his legs nearly blown off while engaging the enemy. His dramatic combat tales combined with inside details of becoming one of the world’s deadliest snipers make this one of the most explosive military memoirs in years.

Any other books you think I might like?


  1. The Forever War (Filkins). Amazing.

    And thank you for reminding me about Henrietta Lacks. Skloot is such a great writer -- love her sci articles.

  2. Better World Books is having a Summer Sale- I've added The Forever Wars to my order! Thank you :)

  3. Favorite non-fiction titles:

    "The Island At the Center of the World", "Genome", "The Alphabet vs. THe Goddess", "Unthinkable" (which you should read because I love you and don't want you to die), "The Great Deluge", and in case you ever need to be talked out of spending time in Italy: "The Monster of Florence".

    And Jake really liked "The Secret Life of Lobsters." Which I am suggesting because he is also a huge Mary Roach fan.

  4. Thanks, Mike (and Jake)! I don't want to die, so I'll read that book!