Books to Know – Top 10 List – November 2011


November 2, 2011
Miriam Laufer
News Writer
Books: Top 10 List

1.  Elizabeth I

by Margaret George, 2011

2.  Steve Jobs

by Walter Isaacson, 2011

Jobs’ recent death has brought widespread mourning. Simon & Schuster moved up the publication date for Isaacson’s biography on Jobs. The book was written over two years, including interviews with Jobs, his colleagues, family members, and rivals.

3.   The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios

by Eric Rasmussen, 2011

Shakespeare scholar Eric Rasmussen chronicles his mission to track down and catalog every copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, the first edition of Shakespeare’s collected works ever published and one of the most valuable books in the world. While some copies remain elusive, Rasmussen follows a seedy trail to uncover the histories of several of these books, their owners and thieves all over the world. Obsessive Shakespeare fans and crime buffs alike will want to read this book.

4. Domestic Violets

by Matthew Norman, 2011

Baltimore native Matthew Norman’s first novel focuses on aspiring writer Tom Violet, mired in a familiar middle-class tale of quiet desperation. Violet just finished his first novel-and his author father just won a Pulitzer. Norman imbues Tom with a wicked sense of humor and the Violets with plenty of charm to keep readers engaged.

5. The Revisionists

by Thomas Mullen, 2011

The revisionists, or “hags” (historical agitators), go back in time to prevent atrocities from 9/11 to the Holocaust. Zed travels back to present-day Washington DC to prevent them from ruining the future, a perfect utopia. However, as Zed learns more about the event he is trying to protect and the people who will be affected, he has to question whether his future is worth protecting.

6. Divergent

by Veronica Roth, 2011

Beatrice Prior lives in a world where five factions control society; Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. As she approaches her 16th birthday, she may decide to remain in Abnegation with her family, or join a new faction. What she doesn’t consider is that she may be Divergent, a personality that doesn’t fit neatly into one of the categories and for that reason may get her killed.

7. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

by Michael Lewis, 2004

Lewis’ Moneyball has become a baseball classic that recently came out as a film. Read his account of how Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland A’s, pioneered a new strategy in picking recruits that gave a winning chance to the teams without unlimited resources and fan support.

8. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World

by Michael Lewis, 2011

Lewis’ latest book covers the effects of the recent financial crisis, primarily in Europe, although with an eye to the consequences for America. His travels are both amusing and haunting.

9. The School of Night

by Louis Bayard, 2011

Historical thriller writer Bayard’s latest novel follows a down-on-his-luck scholar, Henry Cavendish, in contemporary Washington DC. The secrets of the mysterious School of Night, a group of heretical sixteenth-century scholars that Cavendish studies are also brought to life. Bayard creates a suspenseful thriller with an intellectual premise and historical heft.

10. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

by Stephen Greenblatt, 2011

One ancient Roman poem contains all the dangerous ideas that we like to think of as “modern,” from atoms to atheism. Historian Stephen Greenblatt explains the history and value of this book, On the Nature of Things by Titus Lucretius Carus, and effects on those it influenced, from Shakespeare to Jefferson, that make it important today.


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