I’m taking the summer off from blogging and hope to get in some quality reading time. I generally read books that make history come alive. I would appreciate any recommendations for mystery or suspense authors. I am left cold by today’s leading suspense writers including, David Baldacci, and John Grisham.
Thanks for any suggestions and here is my baker’s dozen of books I highly recommend:

Pete Hamill’s “Forever” is about an Irishman who arrives in New York City in 1740 and stays forever. I generally don’t like fantasy, but Hamill transports you through Tammany Hall, race riots and everything else that happened in NYC over the past 300 years.

“Destiny of the Republic” – Candice Millard’s riveting story of the assassination of President James Garfield provides penetrating insight into 19th century America and the tragic ignorance of 19th century medical practitioners

“The President and the Assassin”- Similar to Millard’s masterpiece, Scott Miller weaves a compelling story about William McKinley who, like, Garfield was an Ohio war hero who became President and fell victim to an assassin. The similarities between yesterday’s anarchists and today’s terrorists are striking.

“The River of Doubt” – Candice Millard’s harrowing account of Theodore Roosevelt’s post-presidential journey to the deepest jungles of South America to find a lost river. What could possibly go wrong?

“Seabiscuit” – If you loved the movie you must read this incredible book by Laura Hildebrand. She provides fascinating perspective into the courageous but sad lives of jockeys as well as the psychology of horses.

“Undaunted Courage” – Growing up I thought Lewis and Clark were a pair of pansies when compared to heroes like George Washington and Davy Crockett. Then I read this compelling book by Stephen Ambrose.

“The Great Upheaval” – Jay Winik’s fast moving book compares The United States, France and Catherine the Great’s Russia at the end of the 18th century. His account of the terror that accompanied the French Revolution is hair-raising.

“Playing the Enemy”- John Carlin’s story about how a rugby game united a torn nation is a living testament to the grace and greatness of Nelson Mandela.

“Mayflower”- Nathaniel Philbrick chronicles how 150 Pilgrims endured a long trip from England only to disembark in a hostile land with no Holiday Inns, McDonald’s drive-throughs or Amazon Prime.

“Steve Jobs” – Walter Isaacson’s pens a masterful biography particularly concerning Job’s maniacal attention to detail that ensured the success of the IPHONE and the Apple Stores.

“The Passage of Power”- Robert Caro distinguishes himself as the most unique of biographers by producing one volume of his Lyndon Johnson series every ten years. Volume IV of the series which was published in 2012 details Johnson’s ascendency to the Vice Presidency and Presidency, providing vivid accounts of Johnson’s feud with the Kennedys and JFK’s assassination.

“The Looming Tower”- Pulitzer Prize winning author, Lawrence Wright details the five decade rise of Islamic fundamentalism, the emergence of Al-Qauda, and the intelligence failures that led to the 9/11 attacks.

“Last Call”- Daniel Okrent’s story about the rise and fall of prohibition. What most astounded me is the temperance movement’s strong arming of the school-book publishing industry in order to brainwash the nation’s children.  The result was a doomed-to-fail ban, rampant lawlessness and incalculable human suffering.

 “1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March on Moscow”- Adam Zamoyski’s riveting tale of Napoleon’s famous disaster and the incredible hardships endured by the unfortunate souls who comprised his army.

Oldies but Goodies

“A Tale of Two Cities” – The older I get the smarter my long-deceased father gets. So, I finally decided to read a book by his favorite author, Charles Dickens. A frightening account of the French Revolution that might make you reconsider voting for Bernie.

“Germinal” – Considered one of the 100 greatest books of all-time, “Germinal” is Emile Zola’s heart-wrenching story of the lives of coal miners in 1860s France.

“The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant” – The general who saved the Union retired from the presidency penniless and riddled with cancer. He was able to compile and publish his insightful diary entrees in order to provide income for his soon- to- be widow.
Have a great summer. If you are looking for top-notch marketing support, contact ted@blackdotmessaging.com