My two most recently enjoyed ‘reads’* are Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and In the Garden of Beasts by Eric Larson.
Last year, Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese, seemed to be the book most often mentioned by readers of MillersTime. For 2011, Unbroken seems to be the leading contender for the book most enjoyed.
Hillenbrand is the author of the very successful Seabiscuit: An American Legend (2001), and her 2010 Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption is her second non-fiction work.
It is the story of the life of Louis Zamperini, an incorrigible juvenile delinquent who becomes an Olympic runner, and then a WWII bombardier.
I won’t reveal any of the details of the biography as I think the story of Zamperini’s life is best read with total ignorance of what happens to him.
But trust me on this one — it’s a terrific read and an amazing story.
The second recommendation I have is Eric Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts (2011).
I suspect it may become one of the most recommended books by MillersTime readers for 2012.
This non-fiction work is the story of William Dodd, the American ambassador to Germany in 1933, of his daughter Martha, and of their life and times in Berlin prior to the outbreak of WWII. It’s a wonderful portrait of two folks you’ve probably never heard (of) as well as a fascinating account of the rise of Hitler, of his take over of Germany and especially of American’s (shameful) role in that period.
Larson, author of The Devil in the White City, also a book worthy of your time I believe, is a great story teller and in both books has a way of transporting you to a time and place you probably never knew too much about.
(* I say ‘reads’ tho I actually listened to both the Hillenbrand and Larson books during recent long automobile trips. In both cases, I arrived too soon at my destinations and found myself sitting in the parked car listening to the end of a chapter, etc.)
(Also, I have the 11 CD set on In the Garden of the Beast available for loan or exchange for some other CD. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org)