Engaging Nonfiction

quietThe Quiet Season / Jerold Apps

Jerry Apps recalls winters growing up on a farm in central Wisconsin during the latter years of the Depression and through World War II.


blackBlack Hawk Down / Mark Bowden

A group of elite U.S. soldiers is sent into Mogadishu in 1993 on a U.N. peacekeeping operation, and for eighteen harrowing hours they are trapped, facing overwhelming odds in hostile territory.


smokeSmoke Gets in Your Eyes / Caitlin Doughty

Part memoir, part exposé of the death industry, and part instruction manual for aspiring morticians. First-time author Doughty has written an attention-grabbing book that is sure to start some provocative discussions. Fans of Mary Roach’s Stiff and anyone who enjoys an honest, well-written autobiography will appreciate this quirky story.

outliersOutliers / Malcolm Gladwell

Identifies the qualities of successful people, posing theories about the cultural, family, and idiosyncratic factors that shape high achievers, in a resource that covers such topics as the secrets of software billionaires and why the Beatles earned their fame.


tiffanySummer at Tiffany / Marjorie Hart

A memoir of the summer of 1954, during which the author and her best friend became the first women to work on the sales floor at Tiffany & Co.


seabiscuitSeabiscuit / Laura Hillenbrand

To look at Seabiscuit one would never know that he had the potential to become the most popular racehorse of the 20th century. But, thanks to the efforts of his owner, his dedicated trainer, and his jockeys, Seabiscuit made racing history despite his stunted legs and knobby knees. The team’s road to unimaginable fame and success (even President Roosevelt halted work to listen to the race between Seabiscuit and his foe, War Admiral) is the subject of this wildly popular and hugely compelling bestseller.

unbrokenUnbroken / Laura Hillenbrand

Relates the story of a U.S. airman who survived when his bomber crashed into the sea during World War II, spent forty-seven days adrift in the ocean before being rescued by the Japanese Navy, and was held as a prisoner until the end of the war.


deadDead Wake / Eric Larson

In cinematic terms, this dramatic page-turner is Das Boot meets Titanic. Larson has a wonderful way of creating a very readable, accessible story of a time, place, and event. We get three sides of the global story–the U-boat commander, British Admiralty and President Wilson–but what really elevates this book are the affecting stories of individual crew and passengers.

houseA House in the Sky / Amanda Lindhout

Absolutely gripping, harrowing and unforgettable! This well-written memoir is a true testament to the strength of one woman’s spirit and her will to survive in unimaginable circumstances. The family issues that led Amanda Lindhout from her home in Canada to a life of world travel and a career in journalism are as richly detailed and compelling as the brutal account of her fifteen month-long captivity by Somali Islamist rebels in 2008.

loneLone Survivor / Marcus Luttrell

The leader, and only survivor, of a team of U.S. Navy SEALs sent to northern Afghanistan to capture a well-known al Qaeda leader chronicles the events of the battle that killed his teammates and offers insight into the training of this elite group of warriors.


untilUntil Tuesday / Luis Carlos Montalvan

Captain Luis Montalvan returned home from his second tour of duty in Iraq, having survived stab wounds, a traumatic brain injury, and three broken vertebrae. But the pressures of civilian life and his injuries proved too much to bear. Physical disabilities, agoraphobia, and crippling PTSD drove him to the edge of suicide. That’swhen he met Tuesday – his best friend forever.

captainA Captain’s Duty / Richard Phillips

Tells the dramatic life-and-death tale of the Vermont native who, in April of 2009, was held captive on a tiny lifeboat off Somalia’s anarchic, gun-plagued shores.


shadows vineyardShadows in the Vineyard / Maximillian Potter

In this real-life mystery, a reporter, on assignment in Burgundy for Vanity Fair, uncovers a villainous plot to destroy the vines of France’s most expensive and exquisite wine by poison, which threatens to destroy the fiercely traditional culture surrounding the world’s greatest wine.


seeking allahSeeking Allah, Finding Jesus / Nabeel Qureshi

Nabeel Qureshi describes his dramatic journey from Islam to Christianity, complete with friendships, investigations, and supernatural dreams along the way.