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.
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.
Duckworth argues that talent is not the defining indicator of success that we believe. She breaks down significant research and long running studies into digestible chunks. I, for one, don’t care to read pages of statistics. I’m not a scientist. What I want to read is what the reams of data tell us. I don’t think that makes me silly or shallow.
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.