Best Nonfiction Books of 2013


SHOUTING WON'T HELP by Katherine Bouton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 19, 2013

"A well-written, powerful book."
A former New York Times senior editor's poignant, enlightening memoir of hearing loss. Read full book review >
YEAR ZERO by Ian Buruma
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 30, 2013

"An authoritative, illuminating history/memoir."
Insightful meditation on the world's emergence from the wreckage of World War II. Read full book review >

MONTE CASSINO by Peter Caddick-Adams
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2013

"There is no shortage of histories of the agonizingly drawn-out debacle at Monte Cassino, but this is certainly one of the best."
A superb account of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. Read full book review >
THE UNDIVIDED PAST by David Cannadine
HISTORY
Released: April 12, 2013

"A generally persuasive, impassioned book-length essay. While his conclusions (and language) sometimes grow repetitive, they nonetheless serve to underscore at every turn an incisive argument buttressed by millennia of evidence."
Historian and editor Cannadine (History/Princeton Univ.; Mellon, 2006, etc.) constructs a stirring critique of history that questions conventional approaches to narrating the human chronicle. Read full book review >
THE SLEEPWALKERS by Christopher  Clark
HISTORY
Released: April 2, 2012

"For readers who seek a quick overview of one of the most convoluted periods in history, look elsewhere. For those who enjoy excellent scholarship joined with logical composition and an easy style of writing, save a (wide) spot on your bookshelf for Clark's work."
A massive, wide-ranging chronicle of the events, personalities and failures of the run-up to World War I. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"This detailed, mostly worshipful account will not convince everyone, but few will put it down."
Prolific popular historian Clarke (The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days that Inspired America, 2008, etc.) argues that the charismatic president, whose achievements are generally low-rated by scholars, in his final months revealed himself as a great statesman. Read full book review >
ON THE FRONT LINE by Marie Colvin
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 15, 2013

"More than just a war story; a harrowing examination of the tolls of the world's conflicts."
A small but crucial sampling of war reporting by one of the finest journalists of her generation. Read full book review >
WRAPPED IN THE FLAG by Claire Conner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 2, 2013

"An invaluable contribution to understanding the mentality of extremist conservatism and its supporters."
Prompted by the rise of the modern-day tea party, Conner writes of her experiences as the child of leaders in the radical right-wing John Birch Society. Read full book review >