Looking for the perfect holiday gift? I'm here to help.
These are my personal favorites in nonfiction, books that have a richness and depth that work well as gifts because your recipient can really dive into the details and spend the break reading something that is far from fluff. Plus, these books are all brand new from major publishers for fall of 2016. Which one will be on your list?
An ambitious, detailed account of the attack that forced America into World War II, Craig. T. Nelson's latest is filled with emotional, character descriptions, and side-tracks that make you feel like you understand some of the motivations and deeper intents.
An incredibly inventive graphic novel, Tetris tells the true story of one of the most influential games in history. What looks like a cartoon at first is actually a pictorial account filled with finer details about government bureaucracy, video game innovations, and facing personal challenges.
Atlas Obscura is one my my favorite books of the last ten years. It's an "alternative encyclopedia" for people who already know the basics about world leaders and political events. Wondering where to find a castle in Austria that has trick fountains or who has the largest ball of twine in the U.S.? This is your book.
Perfectly timed for the recent election results, this account of the man who established McDonald's as a household name (curiously, right up the road from my hometown) is actually more about his wife Joan and how their relationship first developed. Eventually she became one of the most charitable givers in recent history.
A colleague of mine recently told me the word "disruption" has a negative meaning. (Technically, it is to disturb and create a problem.) Don't mention that to these authors, who explain how ambitious new directions in business, like the first trip to the moon or starting a company no one ever imagined, are required for success.
Another personal favorite of the past few years, this short but impressive book is for people who loves words but perhaps don't always know how to pronounce them perfectly (or want to lord their diction over others). My own surprise? Turns out I've been saying Dr. Seuss wrong my whole life.
This book should be made into a documentary (maybe that's already in the works). Time Travel is exhaustive in how it covers the science and philosophy of time travel in every way possible. H.G. wells, Marcel Proust and Jorge Luis Borges all make an appearance.
8. The Tunnels: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill
Another one for the ages, particularly relevant to me since I was just on vacation near Berlin, this account of the tunnels under the Berlin Wall and the efforts by mainstream media to document and even fund their development (squashed by JFK, no less) is quite riveting.
Rudyard Kipling, Lord Kitchener, and Mohandas Gandhi all factor into this account of Winston Churchill during his early years and his escape as a prisoner during the Boer War in South Africa. What sold me, in the same vein as the book and movie Unbroken, is how you feel part of the story as it unfolds.
I can't recommend this book enough, mostly because it is a seminal account of one of our great leaders from U.S. history. Ulysses S. Grant took a stand for equal rights, even taking on the KKK. A key lesson for me? Learning how to delegate as a leader and not make every decision.