The Art of Betrayal: The Secret History of MI6: Life and Death in the British Secret Serviceby Gordon Corera. "One of the more riveting spy histories I've read in a while. It actually lives up to the cliche about being a true story so exciting it reads like fiction."
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown. “What I love about Brene Brown is her sense of humor. No, I love her insight. Wait, maybe what I love is how she tells a story. Gah! I guess I love all of it! In this book, Brown uses her research into vulnerability and shame to help people move beyond fear toward authentic and purposeful action. It’s inspiring, and hopeful yet eminently doable. A great book." Another contributor writes: “I belong to the holy church of all things Brene. Her books should be required for all parents, teachers and employers. Only Brene could make shame research riveting. Trust me, read this book. I pass it out like potato chips.”
The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundlandby Jim DeFede. On 9/11, when the United States shut down its airspace, many planes were forced to land in Canada, including in Gander. The town is tiny – only about 10,000 people – but the airport is massive, a vestige of WWII when it was a refueling site for transatlantic flights. The story of the hospitality the quirky people of Gander showed their nearly 7,000 displaced visitors makes for wonderful, heartwarming reading. Because the book is a series of stories about various passengers, it is also evocative of the reactions on that horrible day.
Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz. "A very different and much richer Julia Child biography than the Julie and Julia Project of several years ago. Dearie presents Julia as the complex, intelligent, energetic woman she was but also delves into the relationships and personal challenges that strongly influenced her choices throughout her life. In addition, it is an interesting case study of an incredibly successful business born out of a passion, but striking all the right notes in skill, luck and timing."
Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by AJ Jacobs. "If you've read any of AJ Jacobs' books, this follows the same formula: pick a topic and live it to the letter for a year. The difference is that the health topic seems more universally appealing. Drop Dead Healthy is, if nothing else, amusing. It is also quite certainly a reminder that it's easy to get carried away with so many different and conflicting health messages, but in the end (as perhaps mom always said), 'balance is the key to life.'"
Fierce Attachments: A Memoirby Vivian Gornick. "In this deeply etched and haunting memoir, Gornick tells the story of her lifelong battle with her mother for independence. There have been numerous books about mothers and daughters, but none has dealt with this closest of filial relationships as directly or as ruthlessly." (Barnard Book Club).
Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayersby Anne Lamott. “It's Anne Lamott,'nuf said! Also, the title says it all.”
Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Timeby Rick Hanson. "Neurological research is fascinating, and in this book Rick Hanson gives one daily practice you can institute to achieve a healthier brain and a less-stressed you."