November 28, 2012 - 14:35 — SarahVessalo

We've got 4 1/2 weeks yet before we say good-bye to 2012, but who gets much work done between now and then anyway?  I think it's high time we start our "Best Of" lists for the year - assuming most authors are feeling as much like hibernating as the rest of us.  And while we're feeling spontaneous, why don't we start with the unexpected?  The Washington Post gives us a great look back at the year in non-fiction.  Immerse yourself in memoirs, history and social commentary with some of these titles (synopses from our catalog):

  1. Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz
    Draws on the iconic culinary figure's personal diaries and letters to present a one-hundredth birthday commemoration that offers insight into her role in shaping women's views and influencing American approaches to cooking. 

  2. Elsewhere by Richard RussoElsewhere
    Pulitzer Prize-winning author Russo brings the same clear-eyed humanism that marks his fiction to this by turns funny and moving portrait of his high-strung mother and her never-ending quest to escape the provincial confines of their hometown of Gloversville, New York.
  3. Enemies: A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner
    EnemiesPresents the history of the FBI's secret intelligence operations, detailing how the bureau has been used to conduct political warfare, and how it became the most powerful intelligence service in the United States.

     

  4. The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat: Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance by Thomas McNamee The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat
    From the bestselling author of Alice Waters and Chez Panisse comes the first biography of the father of the American food revolution, whointroduced the world to the likes of Julia Child, Wolfgang Puck, and Alice Waters.

     

  5. The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz
    InequalityExamines how the wealthy classes have contributed to growing inequality in society and explains how the quest to increase wealth has hindered the country's economic growth as well as its efforts to solve its most pressing economic problems.

     

  6. The Richer Sex: How the New Majority of Female Breadwinners is Transforming Sex, Love, and Family by Liza MundyRicher Sex
    A revolution is under way. Within a generation, more households will be supported by women than by men. Journalist Liza Mundy takes us to the frontier of this new economic order: she shows us why this flip is inevitable, what painful adjustments will have to be made along the way, and how both men and women will feel surprisingly liberated in the end.
  7. Swim: Why We Love the Water by Lynn Sherr
    SwimThe renowned broadcast journalist and author explores the culture, history, challenges, and pleasures of her favorite recreational sport in this deliciously illustrated book.

     

  8. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon MeachamThomas Jefferson
    Executive editor of Random House, former editor of Newsweek, and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning American Lion, plus other best sellers, Meacham has the wherewithal to write a big biography of our third President, especially with the subtitle The Art of Power. He aims not to be critical/revisionist but instead to paint a full, birth-to-death portrait of Jefferson's political and intellectual accomplishments.