Laura Hillenbrand

 

 

A trio of reading recommendations from the author of Unbroken.

 

 

Biographies of famous animals are rarities—and rarer still are those that become enormous bestsellers. Laura Hillenbrand’s majestic and award-winning Seabiscuit re-created the heyday of thoroughbred racing through the life of one of its most unlikely champions. With her rare ability to recreate scenes from history, the author has now published Unbroken, the inspiring story of one World War Two pilot's experience of survival against the odds. Here, the author recommends three favorite reads.

 

Books by Laura Hillenbrand

 

 


 

Black Like Me

By John Howard Griffin

 

"In the late 1950s, the white southern writer John Howard Griffin was dogged by a question: What is it really like to be black? The question led him to embark on a remarkable experiment. He shaved his head, and, using medication, makeup and a sunlamp, darkened his skin, then spent six weeks traversing the Deep South, living as a black man. Black Like Me, Griffin's wrenching and sometimes terrifying memoir of his journey, captures the experience of being black in 1959 America, from the horror of lynching to the grinding indignity of searching for a bathroom open to blacks. With insight and compassion, Griffin explores the profoundly caustic impact that racism has on the souls of its victims and perpetrators. Griffin paid dearly for his efforts: after his story was publicized, residents of his Texas hometown threatened his life and burned him in effigy. Griffin was forced to flee to Mexico."

 


 

Suite Française

By Irene Nemirovsky

 

"In 1940, as the Nazis descended on her adopted hometown of Paris, the Jewish writer Irene Nemirovsky fled with her family to the French countryside. In a notebook, she began penning a series of five novellas about the Nazi occupation, to be called Suite Française. In 1942, after she had completed two of the novellas, Nemirovsky was arrested, taken to Auschwitz, and murdered. Her children were soon taken into hiding. As she was whisked from her home, Nemirovsky's daughter Denise picked up her mother's suitcase, not knowing that the notebook was inside. For more than half a century, Denise was unable to bring herself to read the manuscript. When she finally did, she discovered a masterpiece. Nemirovsky wrote with exquisite skill and beauty, and her ability to craft believable, vivid, fully realized characters was second to none. The Napoleonic Wars had Tolstoy; France's World War II had Nemirovsky."

 


 

Diary of Anne Frank

By Anne Frank

 

"In the last months of her life, this delightful, radiantly intelligent girl penned a diary that is everything—a chronicle of the yearnings, turbulence and joys of adolescence, a keenly observed work of history, and ultimately, a monumental tragedy. In its pages, Anne wrote of her wish to someday become a great writer. She didn't know that she already was."

 

July 23: Jessica Mitford died on this day in 1996.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.

Landline

What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.