Currently working through "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt". 700+ pages. Gonna' take a while.
I'm about half way through and am starting to get concerned about his complete disinterest in his infant daughter. He's basically given his child to his sister (the mother died in shild birth) and spends his time running around New York, Montana, and Europe.
One of my favorite books is "Gates of Fire", an historical novel about the 300 Spartans at Thermopoli.
John Glenn's autobiography is really good as well.
Most interesting thing for me while reading the book is the perspective of what kids were dong back when he was young and what kids are doing today. Today's teens would last about 2 hours back in the 30's. Despite the 10-fold increase of information access today, kids back in the day were a lot more intelligent and resourceful.
Most of what I read is non-fiction and related to U.S. history, particularly the mid-19th century. The last nonfiction book I read however was "The Art of Manliness" from this website which I ordered recently. One of the best non-fiction books I've read is "The Story of Reconstruction" by Robert Selph Henry. It was so thorough, well cited and yet readable. Many newer non-fiction books seem to just repeat themselves in order to turn a few facts fit for a long essay or masters thesis into a book.
Recent good non-fiction books I've read include "The Whiskey Rebellion" by Hogeland and "America's Wars" by Axelrod "Ploughshares into Swords: Josiah Gorgas and the Confederate Ordnance" by Vandiver, "The Sea Shall Embrace Them" by Shaw and "Destruction and Reconstruction" by Taylor.
In the vein of non-fiction fiction, the books by Jeff Shaara are excellent. They are basically narratives of history, very detailed that let historical figures interact in fictionalized dialog based on what they wrote in letters and diaries so that the humanity of historical events is better portrayed than simply cited quotations. I know, that's technically fiction, but it is very close to a combined memoir.
Currently reading Hellhound On His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin by Hampton Sides. Kind of a cross between fiction and non. The title is pretty self explanatory
"Purify and Destroy: The Political Uses of Massacre and Genocide" by Jacques Semelin. It's about the psychological and sociological roots of said practices, and how they coalesce and are used by governments to trigger mass atrocities. Rwanda, Serbia, and the Holocaust are used as case studies throughout the book to illustrate the author's points. Dense in wording, but a fascinating read so far.
I recently finished reading "Chasing the Flame: Sergio Viera De Mello and the Fight to Save the World" by Samantha Powers. Outstanding book about an interesting man and a look at the inner workings of the UN.
[Non-fiction] Books I'll admit to having read in the last 6 months, or am presently reading:
1928 Book of Common Prayer,
Anglican Missal (People's Edition),
Dispelling the Myths of Abortion History (Dellapenna, 969 pages),
Introduction to Christianity (Ratzinger),
Boy Meets Girl (Harris),
California Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives (not for work)
Of those, for non-Anglicans, non-Attorneys, without training in philosophy and Catholic theology, I can only recommend Boy Meets Girl.
"Except we know that when most of us make split-second decisions, or even considered decisions but with little data, race, background, etc. are big factors. And "how well you cooperate" is a mostly a matter of perception. If…"
"It wasn't why the Syrians were bugging out. It was where. It looked like here - brown rolling hills. Judging by how clean they were, some of them didn't look like they'd come far. Others appeared to have had a…"
"If crap goes down, I think (at the risk of sounding super cliché and unimaginative) that The Walking Dead nails it as far as how people will gather and be conflicted. It makes sense that people will find someone they like, and form a cluster.…"
"I just mean all our know-how survives, even if our infrastructure isn't there. And even if no one living literally knows how to do what needs to be done, as in, has done it before. Explode all the printers and presses tomorrow, put…"