There’s a little coffee shop in Waco called Bru. It’s located in an old elevator, all brass and crimson and Deco, just to the side of a marble lobby in the Praetorian building. The setting is amazing, and the coffee is the best I’ve ever had. But, I keep going back because one of the girls who works there is delightful. We talk about books and writing and coffee, and she always asks me what to read. I was reading this book when I realized that World War II seems to be my 2017 theme. I told her I needed to shift topics, and she told not to apologize for reading what I want. So I won’t.
A while back, I read Kilmeade’s book on George Washington’s spy network during the Revolutionary War, and I was fascinated by the view of a forgotten (or overlooked) piece of history. I heard that Kilmeade wrote another book, and knew I had to read it.
The Admirals is a non-fiction book about Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Halsey, Admiral Leahy, and Admiral King. Borneman looks to their families, childhood, and time at the US Naval Academy in an attempt to understand what made these men so remarkable. He then explores their career paths, culminating in their roles in ending World War II.
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 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.
Did you know that Germany placed secret agents in the United States during World War I? And that they carried out terrorist actions on U.S. soil? I certainly did not. But it happened, and it is better than fiction.
Out of the Old Rock is a collection of character studies made by J. Frank Dobie over the course of his writing career. After his death, his widow fulfilled his request that the best be turned into a book.
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 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.