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November 16, 2010

Reality Check

Posted by Dana

While we often love to lose ourselves in made up worlds, alternate histories and fantastical love stories, sometimes we just need a little dose of reality.  So, if your book club is looking to dive into some great non-fiction in the next couple of months, here are some great new (and new-ish) books to consider:

unbroken.jpgUnbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
The NY Times bestselling author of Seabiscuit is back with the story of a 1930s Olympic track star whose plane crash during World War II led to an amazing journey.  From all the reviews it sounds like an absolute page turner.

The Emperor of Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Author Siddhartha Mukherjee who is both a doctor and a researcher gives us the "story" of cancer - from its origins to modern treatments to preventative care and a century's worth of research, trials, and small, essential breakthroughs. The Emperor of All Maladies is not only about the science and history relating to cancer, it is also a deeper look at the meaning of the the diseasse and how it effects the lives of doctors and patients.

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Shakespeare and Shaw put words in her mouth. Michelangelo, Tiepolo, and Elizabeth Taylor put a face to her name. Along the way, Cleopatra's supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff here boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order. Rich in detail, epic in scope, Schiff 's is a luminous, deeply original reconstruction of a dazzling life.

I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections by Nora Ephron
More wonderful essays about memory and ageing from novelist, screenwriter-directpr and humorist Nora Ephron.  This could make for a really fun meeting!

You know - every time I do the research to make one of these lists, my own list gets longer and longer!

-- Dana Barrett, Contributing Editor