This was a crazy week, so I wasn't able to fit in a midweek post. While I was too busy to get myself in front of the computer long enough to crank out a coherent piece of writing, I did see on Twitter that Time Magazine put out a list of the top 100 nonfiction books. Now that's something I can wrap my head around. I've been thinking about my favorite nonfiction for the past couple of days, and as of right now, here are my top five nonfiction books.
5) Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand: I'm not a huge horse racing fan, but this book isn't just about a horse. Hillenbrand manages to tell the story of the US during the Depression, when an underdog nation cheered for an underdog horse.
4) We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, Philip Gourevitch: This is a book about the genocide in Rwanda. I didn't know anything about Rwanda, about Hutus and Tutsis, and I remember feeling shocked and angered as Gourevitch explained how the world essentially turned a blind eye as hundreds of thousands of people were slaughtered. This was were I first learned of Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager who risked his life to save hundreds of others, whose story later became the film Hotel Rwanda.
3) Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich: Ehrenrich took a series of low wage jobs to highlight the struggle of working class people in modern America. With the economy in its current state, this book may be even more relevant now than when it was first published ten years ago.
2) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers: This is a memoir, and while Eggers certainly takes his share of creative liberties to tell his story, the honesty and power of this book floored me.
1) Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns: This is history that reads like fiction. Kearns details how Abraham Lincoln managed to put political differences aside, inviting three men who ran against him to join his cabinet. Lincoln successfully navigated complicated personal and professional relationships on the path to abolition and victory in the Civil War. A lot of people think Obama took a similar approach with his cabinet.
I'm always on the look-out for a good nonfiction read. What are some of your favorites?