Friday, December 24, 2010

Top 5 best nonfiction books of 2010 according to the NY Times (OR 'More titles to bribe all y'all into our libraries')

List by Tosca

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
- Dr Seuss

Before I get to the reason for this post I have to point out 1 thing and confess to 2 things: this is the last '12 days of Christmas Top 5s' post (it has been mucho fun, people), I won't be wrapigami-ing anything (because I'm too lazy by now) and no Tosca-made pavlovas (Countdown all the way, baby). I'm getting ribbed about the #fail by the youngest sibling who told me, 'But it was your top 5 goal! You said you'd do it! You *have* to do it!' *blows raspberry*

Weirdly, for the first time in years, I'm not feeling so terribly cynical about Christmas. Last night Markhiem (13 year old nephew) said to me, 'This is nice. All of us together. It's the best Christmas present ever.' I kinda had to agree. My top 5 list is, once again, cheating a little. Earlier this week I posted the 'Top 5 best fiction books of 2010 according to the NY Times (that may just make for good Christmas break reading).' Just to round out the week, and this time of year's leisure reading, tonight's post lists the Top 5 best nonfiction books of 2010 according to the NY Times (OR 'More titles to bribe all y'all into our libraries') :) Hey, don't ever say I'm not honest LOL

One last note: the past 12 days have been a blast and you've been a wonderful (not to mention patient) audience. From next week on it's back to our strange and unusual posts (mixed in with a smidgeon of 'normal'). I'd like to wish you all a very merry Christmas OR (for the non-Christmas minded) wish you a safe and happy break :)

The warmth of other suns : the epic story of America’s great migration by Isabel Wilkerson
In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.

Finishing the hat : collected lyrics (1954-1981) with attendant comments, principles, heresies, grudges, whines and anecdotes / Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim has won seven Tonys, an Academy Award, seven Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize and the Kennedy Center Honors. His lyrics have become synonymous with musical theater and popular culture, and here Sondheim has not only collected his lyrics for the first time, he is giving readers a rare personal look into his life as well as his remarkable productions. Along with the lyrics for all of his musicals from 1954 to 1981--including West Side Story, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd--Sondheim treats us to never-before-published songs cut or discarded from each show. He discusses his relationship with his mentor, Oscar Hammerstein II, and his collaborations with extraordinary talents from Leonard Bernstein to Angela Lansbury. The anecdotes--filled with pointed observations and intimate details--transport us back to a time when theater was a major pillar of American culture. Best of all, Sondheim offers unparalleled insights into songwriting. -- From publisher description.

The emperor of all maladies : a biography of cancer / Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Emperor of All Maladiesis a magnificently written "biography" of cancer--from its origins to the epic battle to cure, control, and conquer it. Cancer today is widely regarded as the worst of all the diseases from which one might suffer -- if only because it is fast becoming the most common. Dr. Mukherjee explains how this perception came about, how cancer has been regarded across the years and what is now being done to treat its protean forms.

Cleopatra : a life / Stacy Schiff
The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. Though her life spanned fewer than 40 years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world.

Apollo's angels : a history of ballet / Jennifer Homans
Presents a history of classical ballet which takes us from its origins in 18th century France through the Italian influence in the 19th century, the dominance of Russia in the late 19th and early 20th century, up to the present and ballet's uncertain future.

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