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Best of 2011: Adult Nonfiction

These books have been recognized by either winning awards (such as Caldecott or Newberry Honor) or have multiple starred reviews from leading literature journals (such as Horn Book, Book List, School Library Journal, and Library Journal) in the year 2011.


Daytripper by Gabriel Ba

Tolstoy:  A Russian Life by Rosamund Bartlett

The Memory Place by Mira Bartok

Jerusalem, Jerusalem:  How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World by James Carroll

Chinaberry Sidewalks by Rodney Crowell

Blue Nights by Joan Didion

Townie:  A Memoir by Andre Dubus III

Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller

The Influencing Machine:  Brooke Gladstone on the Media by Brooke Gladstone

America Aflame:  How the Civil War Transformed America by David Goldfield

The Swerve:  How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

Hemingway’s Boat:  Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961 by Paul Hendrickson

Moby-Duck:  The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them by Donovan Hahn

Rome:  A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History by Robert Hughes

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Pauline Kael:  A Life in the Dark by Brian Kellow

The End:  The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1944-45 by Ian Kershaw

Death in the City of Light:  The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris by David King

Unprotected Texts:  The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire by Jennifer Wright Knust

In the Garden of Beasts:  Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson

The Greater Journey:  Americans in Paris by David McCullough

Jerusalem:  The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Rin Tin Tin:  The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean

The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke

The Storm of War:  A New History of the Second World War by Andrew Roberts

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit:  The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter by Mark Seal

J. D. Salinger:  A Life by Kenneth Slawenski

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt by Toby Wilkinson

Lost in Shangri-la:  A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff


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