Best Nonfiction 2013

These biographies and true-life stories are among the favorites reviewed in 2013. Included on many “best books” lists, they are available to borrow from the Lititz Public Library

The Heir Apparent : A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy PrinceThe Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince by Jane Ridley
Queen Victoria’s firstborn was the black sheep of Buckingham Palace who matured into a wise and effective monarch.

Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore
A revelatory portrait of Benjamin Franklin’s youngest sister presents a different account of the founding of the United States.

A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett
Lindhout, a journalist, was taken hostage by Somali bandits who treated her brutally for fifteen months, demanding outrageous ransoms from her family.

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking : A Memoir of Food and LongingMastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Love and Longing by Anya von Bremzen
The author came to the U.S. in 1974 and although she embraced the culinary world she found here, she yearned for some of the great Russian dishes of her childhood.

Five Days at Memorial : Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged HospitalFive Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
The author investigates allegations that several health professionals deliberately injected patients with drugs to hasten their deaths during the days after Katrina struck New Orleans.

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn
Based on new interviews, this account of one of the most notorious criminals in American history reveals a rock star wannabe whose killings were directly related to his musical ambitions.

The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel
Personal portraits show how the wives of astronauts adjusted to dramatic life changes from Project Mercury in1959 through the end of the U.S. moon program in 1972.

The Telling Room : A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of CheeseThe Telling Room: A Story of Love, Betrayal, Revenge and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese by Michael Paterniti
For centuries villagers in the picturesque Spanish village of Guzman have gathered in a cave on the edge of town to share their stories.

Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari by Paul Theroux
Acclaimed travel writer avoids safe and well-trodden routes as he journeys through western Africa from Cape Town to the Congo.

Lawrence in Arabia : War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle EastLawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson
A chronicle of World War I’s Arab Revolt explores the pivotal roles of a small group of adventurers and low-level officers who orchestrated a secret effort to control the Middle East.

Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields by Wendy Lower
Long excluded from histories of the Holocaust, German wives, nurses, guards and clerical workers took on brutal roles as plunderers and executioners in Nazi-occupied territories.

One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson
During the summer of 1927, events such as Lindberg’s flight across the Atlantic, Babe Ruth’s homerun record and Al Jolson’s appearance in the first talking movie illustrated America’s optimism and energy.

The Girls of Atomic City : The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War IIThe Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
During WWII young women from across the South were recruited to work in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a town created in 1942 to support the enrichment of uranium for the atomic bomb.

Originally published on February 21, 2014 in the Lititz Record Express.