Walking the Amazon by Ed Stafford

9780452298262Walking the Amazon
by Ed Stafford
(pub. 7/12)

If you are looking for an adventure, look no further. Readers can walk every step of the Amazon River with Ed Stafford in his skillful account of his two and a half year, Guinness World Record winning hike down the entire length of the Amazon River. Stafford brings neglected issues to attention, such as the deforestation of the Amazon and the resulting pressures of survival for indigenous peoples. Through Stafford’s excellent travel narrative, readers too can experience these tribulations as well as the grueling demands of raw, untouched nature. Stafford leaves readers with an undeniable sense of how much of the world there really is left to see.

Recommended by:
Lauren – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville


I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

MalalaI Am Malala
by Malala Yousafzai
(pub. 9/13)

Upon finishing this humbling autobiography, I felt honored that Malala shared her story with me. Malala wisely relates every chilling detail of growing up during Talibanization in Pakistan. It is remarkable how such a sweet, young girl can have such a brave, powerful voice and maintain this voice despite oppression by the Taliban. Her passion for girls’ and women’s education is infectious; this book has only fueled my growing support for female literacy. I hope that men and women alike will dive into this eye-opening story. Malala sends a message that we all can, and should, receive.

Sue B. – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville

Living With a Wild God by Barbara Ehrenreich

9781455501762Living With a Wild God
by Barbara Ehrenreich
(pub. 3/14)

This memoir is the author’s distillation of her almost lifelong quest to answer the BIG QUESTION, what is the point of our brief existence?  When I say lifelong, I mean she has notes from as far back as her teens when she began to tackle/be obsessed by the subject.  What I’ll mention is that this book may have a record number of dog-earred pages and highlighted passages which means I consider her comments profound and they resonated highly with me.  I’d say we’ve asked a lot of the same questions, and that’s exactly why you might want to open these pages . . . most people have wrestled with the unanswerables and it’s always nice to have someone you respect (as I do Ehrenreich, because her writing tells me she’s brilliant) so skillfully put into words the thoughts that may have flitted through your mind.

Sue B.
– Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville

Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson

Lawrence in Arabia by Scott AndersonLawrence in Arabia
by Scott Anderson
(pub. 8/13)

The title with the underscored In is telling because is this book is more about the events in the Middle East during World War I than an addition to the bulging shelf of T. E. Lawrence biographies.  Although that near-mythical figure plays a central role, the book focuses on the complex political and military maneuvers among then European Great Powers.  In addition to Lawrence, German diplomat/spy Curt Prurer,  Zionist Aaron Aaronsohn and William Yale, an American who simultaneously acted on behalf of his American oil company employer while advising governments.   As the history moves to its ultimately disastrous conclusion, the author speculates on how a much more positive outcome might have evolved had Lawrence’s vision of an independent Arab state been realized.  This is a penetrating new look at an era that continues to influence today’s news.

Recommended by:
Joe – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville

Dam Busters by James Holland

Dam Busters by James HollandDam Busters
by James Holland
(pub. 11/13)

This fascinating history describes the destruction of two key hydroelectric dams in Germany’s industrial heartland during World War II. The reader meets the courageous British airmen who carried out the raid, using weapons developed specifically for this purpose by a group of brilliant scientists and military planners.  The author brings the era to life with lucid descriptions of the technical challenges, as well as the rich portraits of  the people involved.  Although the attack was extremely important contributor to the Allied victory, the dam raid has not received the attention it deserves until this detailed account.  Complete with maps, illustrations and a postscript that tells what happened to the principal participants during the reminder of the war and beyond.

Recommended by:
Joe – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville

The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown

9780312675417The Boy in the Moon
by Ian Brown

An emotionally honest look at raising a child with an extremely rare genetic disease.  A beautifully written memoir portraying the incredible journey one father experiences in order to understand, accept, and help his son find his place in society.  This book brings up many issues about our healthcare system, caregiving, and compassion.

Recommended by:
Kathy – Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville