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Books Worth Reading

These were my favorite books of of the past several years. Each is a masterpiece in its own way. My sincere respect and Kudos to their authors.

Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety: In his fascinating new book, Eric Schlosser uncovers previously classified documents that show us how close the world has come to nuclear war in the past, bringing us up to the present where thousands of weapons are on a hair trigger, worldwide.

Michael Pollan's new book is about so much more than mere food -- it's about life, our culture and the way we became humans. One of the best books I read in 2014, and I got to meet the author and he signed my copy!

Beautiful Ruins (2012) by Jess Walter: Loved this book. Epic fiction spans decades and blends in real-world characters like Richard Burton. It's clever, well-written and thought-provoking.

11/22/63 by Stephen King: fascinating story. Putting together time travel and JFK was a masterstroke of an idea, and it works with spectacular success. It's a satisfying -- albeit long -- read.

Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News by Dan Rather: War stories by a pro who cares about the truth. My hero.

This is one of those rare books that can change the way you think about things. It confirmed some opinions I already had, and introduced me to concepts I had never considered. Do yourself a favor and read it, a masterpiece that deserves its 2012 Pultizer Prize.

The Grass Harp: Truman Capote was a spectacular writer, and this book will show you why. Every sentence is a work of art in this perfect example of the eccentric author's work. A classic.

Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer, by Steven Millhauser

Astonishing tale that's as mysterious as it is intriguing -- what the heck happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z? It was "the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century," attempting to conquer the Amazon, the longest river in the world. Loved this exciting book.

The guy was a macho man, and this book shows you why. It'll also give you insights into the Civil War as it began to brew decades earlier. Long book, but a riveting read.

For crying out loud, read the book first, people, then see the Swedish version of the film, subtitles and all. Only then have you earned the right to wallow in the Americanized remake.

Loved this book, taking us to a world where right and wrong are all a relative thing. Hannah Tinti has the chops to make this one of those books you can't put down.

Egan takes home the Pulitzer for this groundbreaking novel, deserving the big prize for her inventive characters, powerpoint storytelling and just plain fun writing.

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President -- medical care ain't what it used to be, and thank goodness!

Things aren't as violent today as they were in the past, and Steven Pinker can prove it. This book changed the way I thought about a lot of things -- for one, what a sheltered existence we have in the 21st century.

E. L. Doctorow nails a Civil-War slog through the south with Sherman and a cast of exquisitely real characters