Ouch! Didn't quite make my 52 this year, but definitely got in some great ones! Here's my top 5 plus a few of my favorites: #1 What it is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes: A powerful and candid look at war from the perspective of a combat veteran.
#2 Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: This was an experience to read. It may not be for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!
#3 The Black Banners by Ali Soufon: The story of the rise of Al Quieda as told by a young FBI agent who persued Bin Laden long before the Twin Towers fell. The book provides a detailed look at the terrorist organization from it's beginning and the astounding efforts of the FBI to fight the insurgency.
#4 Steve Jobs Biography by Walter Isaacson: Fascinating look at the extraordinary life former CEO of Apple.
#5 The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville: A complex and dark story about an ex-IRA foot soldier's struggle with guilt following his service to the Fenian gang.
The rest are some of my favorites--tough to really strat them but if you're looking for good books, I really enjoyed these:
The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester: You wouldn't think there'd be so much to the story of the Oxford English Dictionary--until you learn that it was written by a lunatic! Well, around 30% of the original anyway... In fact the whole cast of characters who compiled the definitive lexicography of the English language had quite a story to tell. Very interesting and surprisingly funny, as told by the author.
14 by Peter Clines: If you like pulp fiction, Peter Clines owns the genre! 14 unfolds the story of a strange apartment building as a handful of it's residents dig deeper and deeper into the strange happenings in the building. Deliciously tacky! If you like it, check out the author's "ex" series...
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole: Hands down one of the funniest books I've ever read. Apparently, this an American classic--never let it be said that I avoided the master works of western literature...
Moonwalking With Einstien by Joshua Foer: Interesting look at the potential of human memory. The author chronicles his 1-year shot at the world memory championship, delving into history, techniques, and greats of all-but-lost art of memory.
Empire of the Summer Moon by G.S. Gwyne: A compelling look at the American/Indian wars through the history of Quana Parker,the last Comanche chief and son of kidnapped settler Cynthia Ann Parker--known to history as "the white squaw" . The book takes a hard look at the loss and brutality of both sides and gives an in-depth perspective on the history of violent struggle.
Happy New Year, everyone!