17 dezembro 2013

Listas: Livros Não Ficção 2013

Aqui a lista dos 100 livros mais notáveis em 2013 redigida pelos editores do jornal The New York Times. De todas as retrospectivas, balanços e listas dos mais mais de um ano, esta é a minha preferida.

Os de não ficção são:

AFTER THE MUSIC STOPPED: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead. By Alan S. Blinder. (Penguin Press, $29.95.) The former Fed vice chairman says confidence would have returned faster with better government communication about policy.

THE AMERICAN WAY OF POVERTY: How the Other Half Still Lives. By Sasha Abramsky. (Nation Books, $26.99.) This ambitious study, based on Abramsky’s travels around the country meeting the poor, both describes and prescribes.

THE BARBAROUS YEARS. The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675. By Bernard Bailyn. (Knopf, $35.) A noted Harvard historian looks at the chaotic decades between Jamestown and King Philip’s War.

THE BILLIONAIRE’S APPRENTICE: The Rise of the Indian-American Elite and the Fall of the Galleon Hedge Fund. By Anita Raghavan. (Business Plus, $29.)Indian-Americans populate every aspect of this meticulously reported true-life business thriller.

THE BLOOD TELEGRAM: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide. By Gary J. Bass. (Knopf, $30.) Bass reveals the sordid White House diplomacy that attended the birth of Bangladesh in 1971.

BOOK OF AGES: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin. By Jill Lepore. (Knopf, $27.95.) Ben Franklin’s sister bore 12 children and mostly led a life of hardship, but the two corresponded constantly.

THE BOY DETECTIVE: A New York Childhood. By Roger Rosenblatt. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $19.99.) In his memoir, Rosenblatt recalls being a boy learning to see, and to live, in the city he scrutinizes.

THE BULLY PULPIT: Theodore Roose­velt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. By Doris Kearns Goodwin. (Simon & Schuster, $40.)Historical parallels in Goodwin’s latest time machine implicitly ask us to look at our own age.

THE CANCER CHRONICLES: Unlocking Medicine’s Deepest Mystery. By George Johnson. (Knopf, $27.95.) Johnson’s fascinating look at cancer reveals certain profound truths about life itself.

CATASTROPHE 1914: Europe Goes to War. By Max Hastings. (Knopf, $35.) This excellent chronicle of World War I’s first months by a British military historian dispels some popular myths.

COMMAND AND CONTROL: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety. By Eric Schlosser. (Penguin Press, $36.) A disquieting but riveting examination of nuclear risk.

COUNTRY GIRL: A Memoir. By Edna O’Brien. (Little, Brown, $27.99.) O’Brien reflects on a fraught and distinguished life, from the restraints of her Irish childhood to literary stardom.

DAYS OF FIRE: Bush and Cheney in the White House. By Peter Baker. (Doubleday, $35.) Baker’s treatment of the George W. Bush administration is haunted by the question of who was in charge.

ECSTATIC NATION: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877. By Brenda Wine­apple. (Harper, $35.) A masterly Civil War-era history, full of foiled schemes, misfired plans and less-than-happy ­endings.

EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China. By Jung Chang. (Knopf, $30.) Chang portrays Cixi as a proto-feminist and reformer in this authoritative account.

THE FARAWAY NEARBY. By Rebecca Solnit. (Viking, $25.95.) Digressive essays, loosely about storytelling, reflect a difficult year in Solnit’s life.

FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. By Sheri Fink. (Crown, $27.) The case of a surgeon suspected of euthanizing patients during the Katrina disaster.

GOING CLEAR: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. By Lawrence Wright. (Knopf, $28.95.) The author of “The Looming Tower” takes a calm and neutral stance toward Scientology, but makes clear it’s like no other church on earth.

THE GUNS AT LAST LIGHT: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945. By Rick Atkinson. (Holt, $40.) The final volume of Atkinson’s monumental war trilogy shows that the road to Berlin was far from smooth.

THE HEIR APPARENT: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince. By Jane Ridley. (Random House, $35.) He was vain, gluttonous, promiscuous and none too bright, but “Bertie” emerges as an appealing character in Ridley’s superb book.

A HOUSE IN THE SKY. By Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett. (Scribner, $27.) A searing memoir of a young woman’s brutal kidnapping in Somalia.

JONATHAN SWIFT: His Life and His World. By Leo Damrosch. (Yale University, $35.) A commanding biography by a Harvard professor.

KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR: The Path to a Better Way of Death. By Katy Butler. (Scribner, $25.) Butler’s study of the flaws in end-of-life care mixes personal narrative and tough reporting.

LAWRENCE IN ARABIA: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East. By Scott Anderson. (Doubleday, $28.95.) By contextualizing T. E. Lawrence, Anderson is able to address modern themes like oil, jihad and the Arab-Jewish conflict.

LEAN IN: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. By Sheryl Sandberg with Nell Scovell. (Knopf, $24.95.) The lesson conveyed loud and clear by the Facebook executive is that women should step forward and not doubt their ability to combine work and family.

LOST GIRLS: An Unsolved American Mystery. By Robert Kolker. (Harper, $25.99.) Cases of troubled young Internet prostitutes murdered on Long Island add up to a nuanced look at prostitution today.

MADNESS, RACK, AND HONEY: Collected Lectures. By Mary Ruefle. (Wave Books, paper, $25.) The poet muses knowingly and merrily on language, writing and speaking sentences that last lifetimes.

MANSON: The Life and Times of Charles Manson. By Jeff Guinn. (Simon & Schuster, $27.50.) Guinn’s tour de force examines Manson’s rise and fall, the 1960s music industry and the decade’s bizarre ambience.

MARGARET FULLER: A New American Life. By Megan Marshall. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30.) Fuller’s extensive intellectual accomplishments are set in contrast with her romantic disappointments.

MEN WE REAPED: A Memoir. By Jesmyn Ward. (Bloomsbury, $26.) A raw, beautiful elegy for Ward’s brother and four male friends, who died young in Mississippi between 2000 and 2004.

MISS ANNE IN HARLEM: The White Women of the Black Renaissance. By Carla Kaplan. (Harper, $28.99.) A remarkable look at the white women who sought a place in the Harlem Renaissance.

MY BELOVED WORLD. By Sonia Sotomayor.(Knopf, $27.95.) Mostly skirting her legal views, the Supreme Court justice’s memoir reveals much about her family, school and years at Princeton.

MY PROMISED LAND: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. By Ari Shavit. (Spiegel & Grau, $28.) Shavit, a columnist for Haaretz, expresses both solidarity with and criticism of his countrymen in this important and powerful book.

PATRICK LEIGH FERMOR: An Adventure. By Artemis Cooper. (New York Review Books, $30.) The British wayfarer and travel writer is the subject of Cooper’s affectionate, informed biography.

THE RIDDLE OF THE LABYRINTH: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code. By Margalit Fox. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $27.99.)Focusing on an unheralded but heroic Brooklyn classics professor, Fox turns the decipherment of Linear B into a detective story.

THE SKIES BELONG TO US: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking.By Brendan I. Koer­ner. (Crown, $26.) Refusing to make ’60s avatars of the unlikely couple behind a 1972 skyjacking, Koerner finds a deeper truth about the nature of extremism.

THE SLEEPWALKERS: How Europe Went to War in 1914. By Christopher Clark. (Harper, $29.99.) A Cambridge professor offers a thoroughly comprehensible account of the polarization of a continent, without fixing guilt on one leader or nation.

THE SMARTEST KIDS IN THE WORLD: And How They Got That Way. By Amanda Ripley. (Simon & Schuster, $28.) A look at countries that are outeducating us — Finland, South Korea, Poland — through the eyes of American high school students abroad. 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. By David Finkel. (Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) Finkel tracks soldiers struggling to navigate postwar life, especially the psychologically wounded.

THE THIRD COAST: When Chicago Built the American Dream. By Thomas Dyja. (Penguin Press, $29.95.) This robust cultural history weaves together the stories of the artists, styles and ideas that developed in Chicago before and after World War II.

THIS TOWN: Two Parties and a Funeral — Plus Plenty of Valet Parking! — in America’s Gilded Capital. By Mark Leibovich. (Blue Rider, $27.95.) An entertaining and deeply troubling view of Washington.

THOSE ANGRY DAYS: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941. By Lynne Olson. (Random House, $30.) The savage political dispute between Roosevelt and the isolationist movement, presented in spellbinding detail.

TO SAVE EVERYTHING, CLICK HERE: The Folly of Technological Solutionism. By Evgeny Morozov. (PublicAffairs, $28.99.) Digital-age transparency may threaten the spirit of democracy, Morozov warns.

TO THE END OF JUNE: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care. By Cris Beam. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26.) Beam’s wrenching study is a triumph of narrative reporting and storytelling.

UNTHINKABLE: Iran, the Bomb, and American Strategy. By Kenneth M. Pollack. (Simon & Schuster, $30.) The Mideast expert makes the case for living with a nuclear Iran and trying to contain it.

THE UNWINDING: An Inner History of the New America. By George Packer. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.) With a nod to John Dos Passos, Packer offers a gripping narrative survey of today’s hard times; the 2013 National Book Award winner for nonfiction.

THE WAR THAT ENDED PEACE: The Road to 1914. By Margaret Mac­Millan. (Random House, $35.) Why did the peace fail, a Canadian historian asks, and she offers superb portraits of the men who took Europe to war in the summer of 1914.

WAVE. By Sonali Deraniyagala. (Knopf, $24.) Deraniyagala’s unforgettable account of her struggle to carry on living after her husband, sons and parents were killed in the 2004 tsunami isn’t only as unsparing as they come, but also defiantly imbued with light.

WILD ONES: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America. By Jon Mooallem. (Penguin Press, $27.95.) Mooallem explores the haphazard nature of our efforts to protect endangered ­species.

YEAR ZERO: A History of 1945. By Ian Buruma. (Penguin Press, $29.95.) This lively history shows how the Good War turned out badly for many people and splendidly for others less deserving.

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