Check Out – Check In

Elaine Kushmaul, retired librarian

November is a good time to mention non-fiction for those who like their “stories” to be true. In the RR Library we have sections labeled for Cooking, Humor, Sports, Biography, History, Texas, Health, Business and more. Here are a few notable non-fiction reads from the last year, with review excerpts.

My Lunches with Orson: Conversations between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles by Peter Biskind – June 16, 2013 (Biography section)

Based on long-lost recordings, a set of riveting and revealing conversations: Here is Welles talking intimately, disclosing personal secrets and reflecting on the highs and lows of his astonishing career and the many disappointments of his last years. This is the great director unplugged, free to be irreverent and worse. Ranging from politics to literature to the shortcomings of his friends and the many films he was still eager to launch, Welles is at once cynical and romantic, sentimental and raunchy, but never boring and always wickedly funny. Amazon review

No Greatness without Goodness: How a Father’s Love Changed a Company and Sparked a Movement by Randy Lewis – March 21, 2014 (Business section)

Randy Lewis bet his career that he could create an inclusive workplace at one of America’s biggest corporations where people with disabilities could not just succeed, but thrive. This book offers a firsthand account of what it takes to lead with courage in order to change people’s lives for the better.” Amazon review

Hack Attack: The Inside Story of How the Truth Caught Up with Rupert Murdoch, by Nick Davies – August 12, 2014 (Non-fiction section)

This is the mesmerizing story of how Davies and a small group of lawyers and politicians took on one of the most powerful men in the world—and beat him. It exposes the inner workings of the ruthless machine that was the News of the World, the definitive record of one of the major scandals of our time, written by the journalist who was there every step of the way. Amazon review

Voices of the Pacific: Untold Stories from the Marine Heroes of World War II, by Adam Makos and Marcus Brotherton – January 7, 2014 ( History/War section)

Following 15 Marines from the Pearl Harbor attack through battles with the Japanese, to their return home after V-J Day, the authors have compiled an oral history of the Pacific War in the words of the men who fought on the front lines. With unflinching honesty, these Marines reveal harrowing accounts of combat with an implacable enemy, the friendships and camaraderie they found—and lost and the aftermath of the war’s impact on their lives. Amazon review

This book may inspire a visit to the National Museum of the Pacific War Fredericksburg, TX.

Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General, by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard – September 23, 2014 (History section)

Readers around the world have thrilled to Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, and Killing Jesus, riveting works that journey into the heart of the most famous murders in history. Now comes the most epic book of all in this series: Killing Patton.

General George S. Patton, Jr. died under mysterious circumstances in the months following the end of World War II. For almost 70 years there has been suspicion that his death was not an accident and may very well have been an act of assassination. Killing Patton takes readers inside the final year of the war and recounts the events surrounding Patton’s tragic demise. Amazon review

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster, by Jon Krakauer – October 19, 1999 (Non-fiction section)

For those who have seen the movie Everest there might be an interest in a written version of the event, though “Into Thin Air is a riveting, on-the-mountain account of the calamitous disaster that claimed eight lives on Mt. Everest in 1996. Though the event it depicts is the same, that book was not credited as the source material for the new movie Everest; it is considered an original screenplay, based on cumulative research done by the writers and filmmakers.” Entertainment Weekly

“By now the story has been told so many times and by so many different people that it is hard to remember that Krakauer’s original account is the one that made it famous to begin with. Krakauer’s highly readable prose makes the book read like fiction. He signed on for the Everest climb intending to write a standard mountaineering magazine article. That he chose the fateful May 1996 climb is simply a rare case of someone being at the wrong place at precisely the right time.” Amazon reader review