October 29, 2010
Adam Arnold
Staff Writer
Books: Top 10 List

From Every End of This Earth: 13 Families and the New Lives They Made in America – Steven V. Roberts  Harper, 2009

Writer, Analyst, and George Washington Professor Steven V. Roberts turns his focus, which he fixed on his own family’s immigration story in “My Father’s Houses,” towards immigrant families today.  He describes their journeys from Asia, Africa, and elsewhere to the United States, and explains the important roles they fill in their new homeland.




1.  Let’s Talk About Race: A Workbook for Safe, Honest, and Productive Group Discussions – Angela Dion, Inc., 2009

Julius Lester produced a book called “Let’s Talk About Race” a few years back, but that book was geared to grade-schoolers.  Maryland’s Angela Dion – a black woman married to a white man – takes this important topic to an adult audience.


2.  My Mommy Hung the Moon: A Love Story – Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell  HarperCollins, 2010

Actress & author Jamie Lee Curtis and illustrator Laura Cornell have collaborated on their ninth children’s book, which celebrates the love between mother and child.

3.  Freedom – Jonathan Franzen  Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010

Though published nine years later, “Freedom” is very much the follow-up to Franzen’s previous novel, “The Corrections” – which itself has been garnering praise since its 2001 release.  “Freedom” involves some similar and some new themes, but, once again, is more driven by its fascinating characters than its situations.

4.  The Grand Design – Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow  Bantam, 2010

“A Brief History of Time” raised enough questions and contemplated enough answers to maintain interest for over 20 years.  In “The Grand Design,” Physicist Hawking (with Caltech’s Leonard Mlodinow) attempts to one-up himself with an exploration that takes the reader even deeper into the scientific attempts to grasp what we mean when we talk about The Universe.

5.  Safe Haven – Nicholas Sparks  Grand Central, 2010

Sparks’ newest novel unravels the mysterious past that haunts Katie, a young woman who turns up in a small North Carolina town and reluctantly begins to make connections and form relationships with her neighbors.


6.  The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (the Book): A Visitor’s Guide – Jon Stewart, et al Grand Central, 2010

Stewart and co.’s follow-up to “America (The Book)” takes a look – full of satire, of course – at our planet; a guide to the Earth for those who, should it come to an end, will have a lot of questions about humanity.

7.  Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election That Changed Everything for American Women – Rebecca Traister  Free Press, 2010 writer Rebecca Traister offers a multi-angled feminist dissection of the 2008 presidential election.  Her conclusion?  It was a benchmark election for women in US politics.

8.  Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast – Natasha Trethewey  University of Georgia Press, 2010

A Pulitzer Prize winner for her poetry, Trethewey’s prose emotes with moving placidity about her hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi, citing Hurricane Katrina as one of many milestones in the troubled history of a simple place.

9.  Join Us at the Embassy – Summer Whitford  Palari Publishing, 2009

This look inside dining and entertainment at ten embassies on 4 continents is presented by DC’s “Food and Wine Diva,” Summer Whitford.

10.  Obama’s Wars – Bob Woodward  Simon & Schuster, 2010

Reporter Bob Woodward examines President Obama’s efforts to avoid continuing the war in Afghanistan, the choices he has faced, and the decisions he has made to maximize US security while minimizing the US footprint in that long-troubled country.



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