The Vanquished

I started reading this book last month, and it was the sort of non-fiction book that made me want to read a pulpy fiction book at the same time.  I took a trip to Barnes & Noble to get book number 2 in Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase series and walked out $100 lighter.  Always a hazard in my world.  This book was so very dry that I actually started reading three other books since I started it.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

Dead Wake tells the story of the Lusitania, a civilian luxury liner that a German U-boat sank in 1915.  The story follows not just the ship and select passengers, but also the story of the German U-boat and its crew.  Larson also adds a global perspective to the incident with his reading of its impact on President Wilson and the eventual entry of the United States into World War I.

Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis

Elizabeth Letts is the Marguerite Henry of today, and for grown-ups.  Much like Henry, she writes books about horses that are so very much more.  I had the book release date marked on my calendar, and it was even more exciting to get it because I was finally travelling to Vienna, and my date with the Lipizzaners, a few months later.  I was not disappointed.

Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice

Devotion is the kind of book that makes you rethink your impression of nonfiction.  Makos crafts his incredible story in a way that builds tension and suspension. I found myself inspired and humbled throughout every single page.  The story of Tom Hudner and Jesse Brown is incredible in itself, but Makos is as good as Laura Hillenbrand (Seabiscuit, Unbroken) at writing something that seems resonant, unbelievable, and inspiring all at the same time.