2010 was a great year for books, true confessions, ultimate betrayals, corporate intrigue, a thrilling journey to the bottom of the earth and an even more thrilling ride into the near abyss as the global economy teetered on the verge of collapse. And those were the hot themes in non-fiction.
Fiction lovers were rewarded with the latest adventure of Lisbeth Salander (that tattooed, bisexual computer hacker with intimate piercings) who took us for another ride into her dark, but oh-so intoxicating world full of psychopathic killers.
Books enjoyed their spot on center stage in 2010, due to the popularity of so many new eReaders. Early on, critics panned the idea of digital books saying that e-books, would never become a mainstream technology.
The Association of American Publishers reported that for the first eight months of the year, e-book sales grew 193 percent. In 2010, two authors each sold more than a million e-books on Amazon’s Kindle. And Barnes & Noble says the consumer book market will grow from $23 billion in 2010, to $27 billion in 2013, with all the growth coming from e-book sales.
So read on! Whether you read an e-book or you prefer your reading old school-style, here are some holiday page-turners for every booklover.
By Gloria McDonough-Taub
Posted 16 Nov 2010
Author: George W. Bush
"It was a simple question, 'Can you remember the last day you didn't have a drink?'" And with that, “Decision Points”’—the memoir of the nation’s 43rd president—begins.
George W. Bush—who left the Oval Office aboard the Marine One helicopter on Jan. 20, 2009, and pretty much secluded himself in the sleepy Dallas suburb of Preston Hollow—is now back out in the open, and opening up, giving his first public account of his tumultuous two-terms in office.
“W” shares in detail some of the most historic moments in our modern history including, what it was like: in the hours after the terrorist attack aboard Air Force One on 9/11; at the head of the table in the Situation Room in the moments before launching the war in Iraq; and behind the Oval Office desk for his historic and controversial decisions on many events including: the financial crisis, Hurricane Katrina, Afghanistan and Iran.
President Bush writes about his flaws and mistakes, and he gives a nod to his accomplishments. He also offers up intimate new details on his decision to quit drinking, his discovery of faith, and his relationship with his family.
For history buffs and/ or the collectors, the publishers are offering a limited deluxe edition of “Decision Points”. Each copy will be hand signed by President Bush and will sell for $350.
Author: Scott Ridley
Publisher: William Morrow
Nearly 20 years before Lewis and Clark set out on their journey, another American explorer had already made a discovery that forever changed our nation, and yet few know of this story.
In 1787, Captain John Kendrick led a fleet of two small ships and 52 men from Boston around the dreaded Cape Horn and up the Pacific Coast to start a fur trade with China, discover the Northwest Passage and establish an American outpost on the West Coast.
The young republic faced fierce competition for commerce and survival: the British maintained a stranglehold on trade in the Atlantic. Joining with the French and Spanish, the Brits were determined to block the economic growth of the young United States. Carrying the fledgling nation’s hopes of economic survival and under orders from Thomas Jefferson, Kendrick set sail on what was the first expedition of discovery and enterprise sanctioned by Congress.
In “Morning of Fire” Scott Ridley delivers a long lost American tale of a seven-year odyssey full of danger and drama on the high seas.
Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Pages: 1,328 total pages in 4 hard covers & Bonus CD
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
“Collected” is a special boxed set edition of four books by Malcolm Gladwell—the author with the best hair since Mark Twain.
The set comprises of Gladwell’s bestsellers—“The Tipping Point”, “Blink”, “Outliers”, and “What the Dog Saw”.
Millions around the world have fallen in love with Gladwell's writing. His fun and engaging books have radically changed how we understand our world—and ourselves. His unique gift of being able to find and then use selective case studies to draw macro-social behavioral theories, and allow us to find the answers to some of the many questions that keep us up at night.
You know, questions like: “Is there truly a self-made man?” or “Why do some people succeed and others, who are of equal talent, don’t?” Gladwell shows us the science behind our snap judgments and how that works for—and against—us.
Included in the box set is a CD with an exclusive interview with the author—a must-gift for his devoted readers.
Author: John James Audubon
Price: $6.2 million and $9.2 million
(Reported to be the most expensive book in the world)
Auction date: December 7
If money is no object, and you’re truly looking for a trophy gift, then consider this. In what’s being billed as "the twin peaks of book collecting,” the most expensive book in the world and the most important book in all of English Literature (shown in the next slide) are both coming up for auction.
Sotheby’s will auction what is purported to be the most expensive book in the world: a rare book by America’s most famous bird artist, John James Audubon.
”Birds of America " is a visual jewel–a collection of 435 hand-colored prints, made from engravings of Audubon's illustrations that measures an astonishing 3 feet by 2 feet because the artist wanted to paint the birds in true life size. The book took Audubon 12 years to complete, as he traveled across America, shooting the birds before carefully hanging them on wire to paint them.
The book is truly one of the most beautiful published works of natural history and rarely comes up for sale. Only 119 copies of "Birds of America" are known to exist, and all but a handful, are in museums, libraries and universities. The last one to come up for auction in 2000 sold for a record $8.8 million by Christie's.
Sotheby’s hopes to sell this copy for between $6.2 million and $9.2 million when it goes on the auction block December 7 in London.
Audubon, who died in 1851, was an influential natural historian. He was quoted three times in Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species" and inspired generations of ornithologists.
Author: William Shakespeare
Price: $1.5 million - $2.3 million
Auction Date: December 7
Also for sale in that same Sotheby’s auction is a book widely regarded as the most important in all English literature—the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays.
"First Folio," dates from 1623 and includes 36 plays among them: "Macbeth," "The Tempest," and "Twelfth Night."
This rare edition is expected to sell for between $1.5 million and $2.3 million.
Both this book and "Birds of America" (shown in the previous slide), come from the collection of a British baron, who died in 1955.
Author: Barbra Streisand
Pages: 288 pages and includes a DVD
Publisher: Viking Adult
This is like “butter” for the true Streisand fan.
For nearly five decades, Barbra Streisand has dominated American entertainment. She is the only artist ever to receive Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Directors Guild of America, Golden Globe, National Endowment for the Arts, and Peabody awards, as well as the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award and the Kennedy Center Honors, and now, she’s written her first book.
In "My Passion for Design" Streisand shares her love of American architecture and design from the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. Readers are treated to many of the star’s own photographs of the rooms she decorated, the furniture she collected, and of her California gardens.
The lavish special deluxe edition is in a limited-print run of 500 copies—each numbered and signed, and bundled with a DVD, directed and narrated by Streisand.
Author: Stieg Larsson
For those who dream of sipping espresso in Gamla Stan, grabbing a frozen pizza from the 7-Eleven at the corner of Gotgatan and Svartensgatan, or wandering in Södermalm, this book collection is for you.
A special boxed set of Stieg Larsson's internationally acclaimed Millennium trilogy is out just in time for the holidays. This is a great gift for both the reader who knows way too much about computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and her unlikely partner, investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist, and the booklover who’s been wondering what all the fuss is about.
The $99 package includes hardcover editions of the three books in the crime series: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”.
The collection also comes with a fourth volume about the dead author, “On Stieg Larsson”. Larsson, a journalist, never saw any of the money or praise garnered from his novels. He died in 2004 at the age of 50 of a heart attack, a year before the first book in the series was published.
Author: Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
Publisher: William Morrow
One of the most fun and most talked about books is back— bigger and better. Inspired by their readers, who wanted to see more data behind the stories featured in "SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance", the authors have put out an oversized edition that takes the original book and “explodes it with hundreds of photos, illustrations, charts, and other tantalizing extras.”
The authors write in the forward, “Why illustrations?” Because, as they say, they wanted to show—and readers wanted to see —“for instance, an actual tracking sheet used to gather data on street prostitution in Chicago...To diagram how easy it was to turn a bunch of altruists into a gang of thieves…or to see what the 'garden-hose-to-the-sky' scheme to fight global warming might look like.”
Author: Bethany McLean & Joe Nocera
"All the Devils Are Here " goes back several decades to share the hidden history of the financial crisis.
As the authors write, “Many devils helped bring hell to the economy.” In this book, they tell the story that almost everyone else has missed—the big picture—and in doing so, you learn the crisis wasn’t about mortgages or derivatives—it was about human nature.
Bethany McLean (co-author of "The Smartest Guys in the Room") and Joe Nocera, famed business columnist for the New York Times, expose new details and shatter many myths including: the “fantastic lie” that destroyed Merrill Lynch, why the housing bubble wasn’t about housing, and how Goldman Sachs became the public face of all things wrong on Wall Street.
A lot of books have been written about the financial crisis, but these two authors truly make sense of the meltdown and its consequences.
Author: Keith Richards
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
One of my favorite quotes about a celebrity is: "If Keith Richards didn't exist, rock ‘n roll would have to invent him." Thank goodness he does exist—can you imagine rock ‘n roll without him?
In “Life”, Keith Richards shares all (well, as much as he can remember) with his fans in this rollicking romp through rock ‘n roll history. Little is held back as he tells in detail—some say too much detail—of his drug use, life on the road, life with Mick Jagger and of the music—that great, great music—they brought us.
This book is just fun. It’s fun to live vicariously through one of rock ‘n roll’s most legendary performers. It’s fun to be brought back in time with them, with their music. Richards, the man behind some of the greatest riffs in music history, riffs on some of the biggest names in pop culture and holds back nothing.
"Life" is total "Satisfaction" for any rock 'n roll fan.
Author: Mark Twain
Editors: Harriet E. Smith, Benjamin Griffin, and Victor Fischer
Publisher: University of California Press
Here’s the book we’ve been waiting for 100 years.
In 1904 Mark Twain wrote a letter to a friend saying, “You will never know how much enjoyment you have lost until you get to dictating your autobiography.” Sorry, Mr. Twain, the enjoyment is all ours.
For the first time ever—the complete and uncensored autobiography of Mark Twain is available. This memoir was kept under wraps by strict instructions from the author himself for 100 years after his death so he would be “dead, and unaware, and indifferent” allowing him to speak freely “with his whole frank mind.”
The book is big and is not in chronological order, and that too was by Twain’s design. His idea was to just put the interesting stuff in and not get caught up in the classic birth-to-grave order. Instead, he wrote it in “no particular time in your life…talk only about the things that interests you for the moment; drop it the moment its interest threatens to pale, and turn your talk upon the new.”
Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1 is essential reading for Twain fans and for history buffs and this is only the first in a three-volume series that will be published over the next five years.
Author: Ron Chernow
Publisher: Penguin Press
Towering high above all of the Founding Fathers—Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Hamilton, and Franklin—is George Washington.
The childless father of our country has been the subject of numerous biographies, studies and homework papers. But this book belongs on every American bookshelf. This is the book that details those life-changing events that molded Washington and helped shape our country.
In “Washington: A Life”, Ron Chernow brings to life Washington, the man who seems "composed of too much marble to be quite human" for us mere mortals.
Seven years in the making, this 900-page book offers readers the motivations that drove Washington: the slights he suffered from his mother and from the British military and merchants, his titanic temper, his inner struggles with slavery, his keen fashion sense and that ego that led men into battles, charmed the ladies and convinced the Founding Fathers, that he was the right man at the right time to be president.
Author: Stacy Schiff
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Cleopatra—the last person to rule Ancient Egypt as an Egyptian pharaoh—is unlike any woman since: A single mother of four, the wealthiest person in her world, a canny political strategist, a brilliant manager, and a tough negotiator; she bedded Caesar and Mark Antony—and even now, some two thousand years after her death—she has us under her spell.
“Cleopatra stood at one of the most dangerous intersections in history: that of women and power,” writes Stacy Schiff in this magnificent biography full of new details of the woman who grows even more interesting the more we separate the truth from the myths.
In “Cleopatra: A Life”, we find this woman to be far more complex and compelling than any fictional Hollywood or Shakespearean creation.
Author: Michael Caine
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Michael Caine is the type of bloke you want in your life, if you know, you were rich and famous and traveled in his circle. Since that’s not most of us—reading this, his second autobiography, is almost as good as being in the pub with him, hearing the stories of his glorious and blessed life.
Born in London’s working class section of Elephant and Castle, Sir Michael Caine thought his glamorous rags-to-riches Hollywood career was over. But it wasn’t, thanks to the nudging of his good friend, Jack Nicholson. Caine says his story is that “of, a man who thou ght it was all over, and found out it wasn’t.”
His second act included a second Oscar, being knighted by the Queen and delivering some of his best performances. Caine knows life has been good to him and he wants readers to enjoy it with him, writing, “This is not a serious tome by a pompous old actor—above all, I’m an entertainer, so please feel free to laugh.”
And laugh you will at this charming and engaging story of a man who truly knows the answer to, “What’s it all about?”
Author: Roger Sterling
Publisher: Grove Press
This is the perfect stocking stuffer or gift for fans of “Mad Men”—AMC’s hit TV show.
Fans of the show know that one of the partners, Roger Sterling, was working on his memoirs in the last season. In one episode, his wife surprised him with his published work, "Sterling’s Gold." Well now you can read it—yes, for real. (I know it sounds confusing—a real book by a fictional character—but it’s the holidays, believe in the magic.)
Writers of the show have showered on Sterling great lines such as, "Being with a client is like being in a marriage. Sometimes you get into it for the wrong reasons, and eventually they hit you in the face," or how’s this goodie, “When God closes a door, he opens a dress.”
It’s that type of worldly wit and observations that you’ll get in the book. Nothing too deep, just nuggets of fun better enjoyed with a glass of something strong.