Tag Archives: nonfiction books

The Tao of Bill Murray Book Review

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I have a list of celebrities I cannot bear the thought of losing: Jeff Goldblum, Michael Keaton, Tom Hanks, Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, Jeff Bridges, Jack Nicholson, the list goes on and on. I grew up with a lot of these actors…I mean I’ve seen so many movies with Julie Andrews and Tom Hanks that I feel like I know them on some level. But I honestly feel nothing will hurt like the pain of losing Bill Murray.

Here’s the thing about Bill Murray. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy at least one of his movies. From Ghostbusters to Zombieland, and several before and since, Murray had racked up fans of all ages, sizes, genders, and walks of life. But why? What is it about this young kid from Illinois that appeals to movie-goers the world over?

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In The Tao of Bill Murray, bestselling author Gavin Edwards tries to find out. By traveling to the places where Murray has lived, worked and partied, Edwards goes in search of the most outrageous and hilarious Bill Murray stories from the past four decades, many of which have never been reported.

But this isn’t just a collection of wacky anecdotes…The Tao of Bill Murray puts the actor’s public clowning into a larger context, analyzing the 10 guiding principles of living the Murray way of life.

Sprinkled with personal stories from fans, co-workers, and Murray himself, The Tao of Bill Murray is an intimate look into the man no one can quite pin down. It’s an attempt to find out what makes him tick, what keeps him happy, and how we, as the general public, can embrace the lifestyle that is Bill Murray.

Throughout the book, several actors, directors, fans and friends attempt to break down the formula that gave birth to this amazing actor. Jon Favreau, who directed Bill in The Jungle Book, said Bill is “…completely available when you’re in direct contact. He’s an incredibly authentic, generous person who understands who he is, what he represents to everybody. He embraces it.” I don’t think it gets truer than that.

Also covering the wide range of Murray’s filmography, The Tao of Bill Murray also entertains with behind-the-scenes stories about his work on everything up to The Jungle Book (2016). Learn about the movies he disliked (Garfield, The Life Aquatic), the movies he loved (Lost in Translation, Broken Flowers) and all the mishaps and golden opportunities that got him to where he is today.

Though we may never really understand what it is that makes Bill Murray who he is, we can all take comfort in knowing he’s out there…showing up at parties, throwing people in pools, and kissing people randomly in restaurants. Is he an Oscar-worthy actor? Perhaps not…but he’s the man Hollywood needs. As Favreau says, he’s authentic and generous…and never fails to deliver, no matter what the project. And regardless of whether you loved Murray in Rushmore, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, or The Life Aquatic, this book is a must-read for anyone who calls themselves a Bill Murray fan – which is to say, everyone.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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18 Creepy AF True Crime Books

When it comes to guilty pleasures of the literary kind, there’s nothing I like better than a good true-crime thriller.

Be it murder, mayhem, corruption or conspiracy, I’m all about those haunting stories that keep us up at night.

If you’re in the mood for something similar, check out this list of amazing true-crime books that will leave you itching for more…

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18 Creepy AF True Crime Books

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My Story, Elizabeth Smart

On June 5, 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was taken from her home in the middle of the night by a religious fanatic. Elizabeth was chained up, raped and hidden from view until her rescue nearly one year later. This book recounts her amazing story of survival in her own words.

The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy: The Shocking Inside Story, Ann Rule

Ann Rule was a writer working on the biggest story of her life, tracking down a brutal mass-murderer. Little did she know that Ted Bundy, one of her closest friends, was the savage slayer she was hunting.

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed, Michelle Knight

For more than a decade, Knight was kept hostage in a basement in Cleveland, Ohio. Kept in captivity with two other women, Knight and her fellow captors endured horrible torture and pain. Their escape in 2013 made headlines around the world and Knight’s account will leave you shook.

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In Cold Blood, Truman Capote

In November of 1959 in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by a shotgun to the face. There was no motive and there were no clues. As Capote tries to reconstruct the murder and the investigation that led to finding the killers, he generates great suspense and astonishing empathy, making this book a true classic.

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, Vincent Bugliosi

Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial, Vincent Bugliosi, held a unique insider’s position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the 20th century: the murders carried out by Charles Manson and his followers. This book recounts the story of these famous and haunting crimes.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, Erik Larson

In this engrossing book, Larson intertwines the true tale of the Chicago World’s Fair with the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure victims to their death. A true must-read, especially if you’re from the Chicago area!

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Columbine, Dave Cullen

What really happened on April 20, 1999, the day two troubled teens decided to bring a whole arson of weapons into their school? Cullen, who was a reporter on the Columbine shooting for years, puts together an amazing account by combining first-hand interviews, insights from psychologists and the killers’ own words and drawings into a book that you’ll want to finish in one nail-biting sitting.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, Michelle McNamara

Written at the time of her sudden death, this book offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history that sent chills down the spines of the entire west coast. A book that may have helped lead to the capture of “the Golden State Killer”, this page-turner is made all the more bittersweet in that McNamara couldn’t see the subject of her study captured.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt

Filled with sublime and seductive language, this book is an engaging portrait of a Southern city torn. On the morning of May 2, 1981, shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion. Was it murder or self-defense? Berendt journeys to find out…

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Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, Robert Kolker

Award-winning investigative reporter Robert Kolker delivers a humanizing account of the true-life search for a serial killer still at large on Long Island and presents the first detailed look at the shadow world of online escorts, where making a living is easier than ever, and the dangers remain all too real.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective, Kate Summerscale

In June of 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found at the bottom of an outdoor privy with his throat slit. The crime horrified all England and led to a national obsession with detection, ironically destroying, in the process, the career of perhaps the greatest detective in the land. This is the dramatic story of the real-life murder that inspired the birth of modern detective fiction.

People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo-and the Evil that Swallowed Her Up, Richard Lloyd Parry

Lucie Blackman – tall, blonde, and 21 years old – stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000, then disappeared forever. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave. With a little something for everyone, this book is a non-fiction thriller, a courtroom drama and the biography of both a victim and a killer.

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American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land, Monica Hesse

The arsons started on a cold November midnight and didn’t stop for months. Night after night, the people of Accomack County waited to see which building would burn down next, regarding each other at first with compassion, and later suspicion. The culprit, and the path that led to these crimes, is a story of twenty-first century America.

The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple, Jeff Guinn

This is the story of preacher Jim Jones, the man responsible for the Jonestown Massacre – the largest murder-suicide in American history. Through FBI files, research and interviews, Guinn tries to piece together what led Jones to this tragedy at Jonestown.

My Dark Places, James Ellroy

In 1958 Jean Ellroy was murdered, her body dumped on a roadway in a seedy L.A. suburb.  Her killer was never found, and the police dismissed her as a casualty of a cheap Saturday night. James Ellroy was ten when his mother died, and he spent the next thirty-six years running from her ghost and attempting to exorcize it through crime fiction. In 1994, Ellroy quit running.  He went back to L.A., to find out the truth about his mother–and himself.

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The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America’s First Serial Killer, Skip Hollandsworth

In the late 1800s, the city of Austin, Texas was on the cusp of emerging from an isolated western outpost into a truly cosmopolitan metropolis. But beginning in December 1884, Austin was terrorized by someone equally as vicious and, in some ways, far more diabolical than London’s infamous Jack the Ripper. For almost exactly one year, the Midnight Assassin crisscrossed the entire city, striking on moonlit nights, using axes, knives, and long steel rods to rip apart women from every race and class. With vivid historical detail, Hollandsworth brings this terrifying saga to life.

The Road Out of Hell: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders, Anthony Flacco

From 1926 to 1928, Gordon Stewart Northcott committed at least 20 murders on a chicken ranch outside of Los Angeles. His nephew, Sanford Clark, was held captive there from the age of 13 to 15, and was the sole surviving victim of the killing spree. Here, acclaimed crime writer Anthony Flacco―using never-before-heard information from Sanford’s son, Jerry Clark―tells the real story behind the case that riveted the nation. This book was also the inspiration for Clint Eastwood’s movie, The Changling.

The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder, Charles Graeber

When nurse Charlie Cullen was arrested in 2003, journalists were quick to dub him “The Angel of Death.” But Cullen was neither a mercy killer nor a simple monster. He was a son, a husband, a father, a best friend, and a valued caregiver. He was also implicated in the deaths of as many as 400 people, and may be the most prolific serial killer in American history.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs Book Review

A few years ago I bravely, perhaps stupidly, re-read some of my middle school and high school diaries. Among pages and pages of late night ramblings, these journals brought me back to a better time, an easier time. The topics may have been total fluff, but the writing was honest. I poured my heart into those journal entries and some poems and stories I found even brought me to tears. Let’s just say there was a lot of wine involved.

Some days I wrote about what happened that week on Dawson’s Creek or my torrid crush on David Gallagher, but other days saw a more sensitive side, filled with four-letter words I wouldn’t even come to understand until years later.

While these journals held some of my most private thoughts, there were days I couldn’t help but wonder if these spiral-bound notebooks and Lisa Frank diaries with those little key locks would be discovered by “the right person”. The person who would read them and have a life-changing epiphany…a moment when they realized I was the voice of my generation!!

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Alas, earwax.

Queue sad trombone

Did I turn out to be the next Bob Dylan? The next Arlo Guthrie? The next J.D. Salinger? Not by a longshot…but those late-night ramblings and after-school thoughts still hold a place in my heart…because they capture who I was in that moment in time. Countless writers have done this and pushed their work to the public eye. They’ve opened their hearts and souls and poured out their deepest, darkest feelings just to be relatable or trustworthy…and no one has done that quite like Chuck Klosterman.

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In his weird and winding book through the world of pop culture, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, Klosterman attacks the entire spectrum of postmodern America, covering everything from reality TV to the legacy of Billy Joel.

Compiled of various essays, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs will make you think, laugh, and will probably even piss you off at some points. It’s simultaneously a book about everything and nothing…covering the major moments in pop culture history that defined our era, then at the same time proving how pointless they all really are, in the grand scheme of things…

Shows like Saved by the Bell and movies like The Empire Strikes Back and When Harry Met Sally all have symbolic importance, whether you agree or not. Reality TV, Internet porn, the music of Billy Joel and The Dixie Chicks…it’s all made us into who we are today. But at what cost? Do these shows and movies give young America unrealistic views on love, friendship, and life in general that leave us all feeling, well, disappointed?

Klosterman himself says Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is really a collection of late-night ramblings, much like the diaries I found myself reading wine in hand. Are they meant to change the world? To teach us something about life and culture? To open our eyes to a greater understanding? No, not really. These essays are just about a moment in time…they’re about us…all of us…and our connection to those infantile things that unite us as a species. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs pulls the curtain back on those conversations we all fall back on when things get awkward: sports, politics, entertainment, music, movies…they all are so drastically important and miniscule at the same time.

For me, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs was like taking a walk through someone’s brain. It moved quickly, filled with moments that literally had me laughing out loud…as well as moments that left me wanting to throw the book across the room. Much like the reality shows he dissects, Klosterman offered the perfect guilty pleasure, a little bit of romance, a little bit of drama, and a whole lot of opinions.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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16 Books about Coping with Loss and Death

Death…it freaking sucks, ami right?

It’s inevitable. It’s unknown. It’s scary and dark and real and it’s the final ending for the entire human population…maybe the one thing that we all have in common.

For years books and movies have tried to make death more…comfortable. They’ve tried discussing topics like the afterlife, reincarnation, heaven and hell, and so on to help make death not seem so final. Now I’m not here to start a big debate on my views of life and death, but I think we can all agree that coping with death, whether that be the death of a loved one or the acceptance of death of self, is certainly a hard road to go down…

Ranging from loss of self to loss of hope, these 16 books about coping with loss and death have really opened my eyes to acceptance and understanding. Some made me mad enough to talk about my feelings, others made me cry so much that I had trouble even finishing the book, but they all helped me cope with my situation in some way, shape, or form.

I personally never really thought about death until my dad died. He was the first person who was close to me that I lost. When he died, I had no choice but to turn to books because that’s what comforted me…and I hope these books comfort you as well.

16 Books about Coping with Loss and Death

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Being Mortal

In Being Mortal, author and doctor Atul Gawande tackles maybe the hardest question about aging and death: how medicine can improve life and dying with dignity. An eye-opening look at elder care and end-of-life decisions, this book is so important for anyone and everyone to read.

The Girl with Glass Feet

On the remote and snowbound archipelago of St. Hauda’s Land, Ida Maclaird is slowly turning into glass. While searching the forest for a cure, she meets a man who ends up falling in love with her. What results is a beautiful and heartbreaking story about what we will do, no matter what the circumstance, for those we love.

Tuesdays with Morrie

What would you say to a dying mentor? Many of us don’t have that chance, but Mitch Albom did. In Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch visits his mentor and old college professor, Morrie Schwartz, every Tuesday, just as they did back when he was in school. Their visits end up becoming one final lesson on how to really live.

Life of Pi

Though Life of Pi isn’t a book about death in the most straight-forward way, I still find it a beautiful work of fiction that explores the issues of spirituality, survival, and acceptance of fate. The ending left me questioning a lot about my own spirituality and I loved the internal struggles that made Pi Patel such a relatable character.

Big Fish

In his prime, Edward Bloom was an extraordinary man. He could outrun anybody. He never missed a day of school. He saved lives and tamed giants. Animals loved him, people loved him, women loved him. He knew more jokes than any man alive. At least that’s what he told his son, William. But now Edward Bloom is dying, and William wants desperately to know the truth about his elusive father—this indefatigable teller of tall tales—before it’s too late. The story that is all of our grandfathers, Big Fish is tender, bittersweet, and a tale bigger than life itself.

The Book Thief

Set during World War II in Germany, The Book Thief is told from the perspective of the Devil and tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. An unforgettable story about death and the afterlife, The Book Thief is maybe the best piece of Holocaust literature I’ve ever read.

The Year of Magical Thinking

Several days before Christmas 2003, author Joan Didion and her husband John Gregory Dunne saw their one and only daughter come down with a life-threatening disease that left her on life support. Days later, John Gregory suffered a massive and fatal coronary. Struck with such loss in such rapid succession, Didion attempts to make sense of those few weeks and months before, during, and after that fateful winter in her book, The Year of Magical Thinking. A beautiful testament to a family that was completely shattered, but somehow found the strength to pull through, this book will definitely touch your heart.

A Blessing on the Moon

Death is merely the beginning of Chaim’s troubles. In the opening pages of A Blessing on the Moon, Chaim is shot along with the other Jews of his small Polish village. But instead of resting peacefully in the World to Come, Chaim, for reasons unclear to him, is left to wander the earth, accompanied by his rabbi, who has taken the form of a talking crow. Chaim’s afterlife journey is filled with extraordinary encounters whose consequences are far greater than he realizes.

The Last Lecture

Based on the extraordinary final lecture by Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch, given after he discovered he had pancreatic cancer, this moving book will inspire readers to live each day with purpose and joy.

Red Hook Road

When a newly married couple dies on the way to their wedding reception, it’s up to their newly joined families to come together and now plan the couple’s funeral. A haunting book that you will power through in no time, Red Hook Road is up there with Ayelet Waldman’s finest stories about loss and grief.

The Lovely Bones

A haunting tale of loss and understanding, The Lovely Bones is a beautiful story of a girl not ready to let go of her hold on life and the people she loves. Told from her perspective after her brutal rape and murder, The Lovely Bones is an interesting exploration on heaven and the afterlife.

The Painted Drum

When Faye Travers is called to appraise a collection of artifacts, she stumbles upon a haunting drum that seems to call out to her. Compelling and unforgettable, The Painted Drum explores the often fraught relationship between mothers and daughters, the strength of family, and the intricate rhythms of grief we all seem to feel at certain points of our lives.

The Little Prince

The Little Prince is one of my favorite books, and is actually the first book I read that made me cry. A touching story about an adventurer who stumbles upon a little prince who inhabits a tiny planet, this book is an exploration into acceptance, love, and making peace with letting go.

A Monster Calls

A haunting and darkly funny novel about loss and death, A Monster Calls is about a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected visitor that helps him question everything. Phew, this one is rough guys.

Lincoln in the Bardo

A story that intertwines history, death, and spirituality, Lincoln in the Bardo is told from the perspective of several characters – both historical and invented – to answer the question we’ve all asked ourselves at one point: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end? A book unlike anything I’ve ever read before, Lincoln in the Bardo is a visual story that will magically come to life in your mind.

Bridge to Terabithia

A story about pure friendship, Bridge to Terabithia is a story that will tug at your heartstrings. A story about a boy and a girl and the imaginative world they live in, this story is up there with Where the Red Fern Grows as a book that teaches kids that death, loss, and maybe most importantly, friendship, are all very, very real.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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17 Books with Serious Girl Power

I could write every day for the rest of my life about empowering books for women and STILL not touch on everything out there on the market. However, I have read a handful of books that have inspired me and motivated me to make changes in my own life, and I’m here to share them with you today!

Here are 17 books with serious girl power that will give you all the feels!

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17 Books with Serious Girl Power

Why Not Me?
Mindy Kaling

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Mindy’s just a girl who loves eating McDonald’s and is just trying to figure it all out like the rest of us. In the sequel to her first best-selling book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy explores the challenges of her adult life as only she can…with literal laugh-out-loud humor and wit that makes her our #1 BFF.

Yes Please
Amy Poehler

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Get to know the woman behind some of our favorite SNL characters and my personal soul mate, Leslie Knope, in this scrapbook-style autobiography filled with hilarious stories and full-color photos and illustrations.

How to be a Bawse
Lilly Singh

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Get the lowdown on how YouTube star Lilly Singh conquers it all, from exuding confidence to kicking out the haters.

I Am Malala
Malala Yousafzai

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If you read only one book on this list, make it this one. Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for pursuing an education, tells her story and discusses her dreams for making the world a better place. This woman…she’s everything.

Wildflower
Drew Barrymore

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Get to know Drew on a personal level with this collection of stories told by the woman herself. From her unbelievable childhood to her challenges growing up in Hollywood, this book is sure to shock and inspire.

Becoming Unbecoming
Una

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A woman tries to come to grips with her abusive past in a collection of illustrations that will break your heart.

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress
Susan Jane Gilman

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This is the collection of short stories you’ve been looking for…a coming of age tale that, for once, isn’t about finding the perfect man.

It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War
Lynsey Addario

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How has photographing war shaped Lynsey Addario’s life? In this visual essay of her time spent overseas, Addario explores what it takes to find courage and passion amidst a war-torn country.

The Opposite of Loneliness
Marina Keegan

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Published after her tragic death five days after graduating from Yale, The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan is a collection of short stories that showcase a talent lost too soon.

Unbearable Lightness
Portia De Rossi

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Actress Portia De Rossi talks about her years of struggling with weight loss and gain, and how simple life changes ended up changing her life completely. This one’s a tear-jerker.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou

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Maya Angelou’s brilliant autobiography will certainly make you thankful for all the good things in your life. Through all of her struggles and hardships, Angelou somehow still finds the magic within, and this book is a true testament to her inspiration.

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Tina Fey

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With an iron fist and a great sense of humor, Tina Fey has conquered the small screen, the big screen, and every theater in between. Her struggles were real and her challenges were real, but she’s no stranger to strapping up those big girl pants and getting shit done.

Solar Storms
Linda Hogan

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This coming-of-age story about a Native American family of strong and powerful women is on my list of books that changed my life. It is filled with such brilliant and underrated wisdom.

The Nazi Officer’s Wife
Edith Hahn Beer

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A Jewish woman hides her religion from her husband, who happens to be a Nazi officer. A true story of utter heroism and survival, The Nazi Officer’s Wife is up there as one of the best Holocaust books I’ve ever read.

How to Make Love Like a Porn Star
Jenna Jameson

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You certainly know Jenna Jameson, but chances are you don’t know the strong woman behind the star. In her candid autobiography, Jameson talks about her quick rise to fame and how she maintains her image and reputation in a world constantly trying to bring her down.

My Life in France
Julia Child

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Learn about Julia Child’s travels and excursions in France in her adorable tell-all book, My Life in France. A love letter to France and the art of French cooking, this book is best read with a big cup of coffee and a delicious croissant.

A Little Bit Wicked
Kristin Chenoweth

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The little star with the huge voice dishes about life on Broadway and her rise to fame as one of the most powerful singers of our generation. Talking about everything from her start in opera to her somewhat recent run as Glinda in Wicked: The Musical, Chenoweth talks about her life in stages.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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41 Books about Our Nation’s Presidents

As any history lover will tell you…there is an ABUNDANCE of books written about America’s past presidents. Some 15,000 books have been written about Abe Lincoln ALONE! Powering through these biographies is a daunting task for even the most die-hard history fans…but if you want to read the best of the best about our nation’s leaders, stay tuned!

Here lies some of the best biographies about our nation’s presidents. From Washington to Obama (as of 2017, there has not been an official biography written about Donald Trump), this list basically makes up our nation’s history.

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Granted I have not read ALL of these, so I can’t personally vouch for most of them…however, I did my best to gather books with the best reviews, comments, and recommendations from other readers and historians. To add a personal note, I have read Lincoln, which was outstanding, as well as an excerpt from The Accidental President, which was also really interesting…so I can at least vouch for those!

41 Books about Our Nation’s Presidents

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George Washington
His Excellency
Joseph J. Ellis

John Adams
John Adams
David McCullough

Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
Jon Meacham

James Madison
James Madison
Ralph Ketcham

James Monroe
The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness
Harlow Giles Unger

John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams
Harlow Giles Unger

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Andrew Jackson
American Lion
John Meacham

Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren and the Political System
Donald B. Cole

William Harrison
Old Tippecanoe
Freeman Cleaves

John Tyler
John Tyler
Gary May

James Polk
Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America
Walter R. Borneman

Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor
Jack Bauer

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Millard Fillmore
Millard Fillmore: Biography of a President
Robert J. Rayback

Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire’s Favorite Son
Peter A. Wallner

James Buchanan
President James Buchanan: A Biography
Philip S. Klein

Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln
David Herbert Donald

Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson: A Biography
Hans L. Trefousse

Ulysses S. Grant
Grant
Ron Chernow

Rutherford Hayes
Rutherford B. Hayes: Warrior & President
Ari Hoogenboom

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James Garfield
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of the President
Candice Millard

Chester Arthur
Gentleman Boss: The Life and Times of Chester Alan Arthur
Thomas C. Reeves

Grover Cleveland
An Honest President
Paul Jeffers

Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison
Charles W. Calhoun

William McKinley
In the Days of McKinley
Margaret Leech

Theodore Roosevelt
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt
Edmund Morris

William Taft
Our Chief Magistrate and His Powers
Jefferson Powell

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Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson: A Biography
John Milton Cooper, Jr.

Warren Harding
Warren G. Harding
John W. Dean

Calvin Coolidge
Coolidge
Amity Shlaes

Herbert Hoover
Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times
Kenneth Whyte

Franklin Roosevelt
Man of Destiny: FDR and the Making of the American Century
Alonzo L. Hamby

Harry Truman
The Accidental President
A.J. Baime

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Dwight Eisenhower
Eisenhower in War and Peace
Jean Edward Smith

John Kennedy
An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy
Robert Dallek

Lyndon Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President
Robert Dallek

Richard Nixon
A Life in Full: Richard M. Nixon
Conrad Black

Gerald Ford
Gerald R. Ford
Douglas Brinkley

Jimmy Carter
The Unfinished Presidency
Douglas Brinkley

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Ronald Reagan
Reagan: The Life
H. W. Brands

George H. W. Bush
Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush
Jon Meacham

William Clinton
The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House
John F. Harris

George W. Bush
Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House
Peter Baker

Barack Obama
The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama
David Remnick

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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The Best Books to Give to Everyone on Your List

We all have so many different kinds of people in our lives…and it’s near impossible to find books that best suit every type of friend…BUT, I’m here to offer some help!

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Outside of the usual fiction lovers or top 100 lovers, there are people out there who just want to laugh at their sadness…or read about f*cking amazing food.  There are people who need advice on raising their kids and people who are just kids at heart.  With this list, you’ll be able to find amazing books that you can buy for your single friend, your friend who loves to travel, your friend who secretly loves a good YA novel and even your friend who is there for you during your most embarrassing times.

The Best Books to Give to Everyone on Your List

The Single Friend
Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, Jenni Ferrari-Adler
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A collection of hilarious short stories about cooking for one, this book is a MUST even if you sometimes cook for two or five.

The Traveler
A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
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No one can tell a travel tale like Bill Bryson. With hilarious antidotes about hiking the Appalachian Trail, A Walk in the Woods will make you want to pack a backpack (and maybe some toenail clippers) and hit the open road.

For the SAHM
Sh*tty Mom, Laurie Kilmartin, Karen Moline, Alicia Ybarbo, Mary Ann Zoellner
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Written by four moms who have seen it all, this book is the ultimate parenting guide. Each chapter presents a common parenting scenario with advice on how to get through it in the easiest way possible (like, “How to Sleep Until 9 AM Every Weekend”, for example).

For the Foodie
F*UCK, that’s Delicious, Action Bronson
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This ain’t no cookbook. This ain’t no memoir. This is a devotional book about the overwhelming power of delicious – no, f*cking amazing – food.

The Working Girl
#GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso
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The founder, creative director and CEO of Nasty Gal fills her memoir with advice on how to get hired, stay employed, and how to take care of your own business…all while keeping true to yourself.

For Music Lovers
Your Song Changed My Life, Bob Boilen
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NPR’s music guru asks dozens of artists (Jimmy Page, St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson) about the songs that inspired them.

For Film Buffs
Pictures at a Revolution, Mark Harris
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A look at five films, including The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, that were made during the 1970s. Studios were taking chances and making daring, thought-provoking, original movies that had nothing to do with sequels. By some, it’s thought to have been the true golden age of Hollywood.

The DIY Enthusiast
Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People, Amy Sedaris
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Filled with actual great ideas for cheap ways to make gifts and decorate you rhome, Simple Times is bound to be a favorite with crafters and creative minds alike.

The YA Lover
One of Us is Lying, Karen M. McManus
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It’s The Breakfast Club meets Gossip Girl.  Five teens walk into detention, but only four walk out alive.  A threat to release juicy gossip about classmates finds one teen belly up in a classroom.

For Those Who Love a Twist
My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult
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I know it’s an old book, but I LOVED the twist at the end! When Kate is born with a horrible illness, her parents decide to give birth to Anna, a child who was medically altered to be able to be Kate’s sole blood and organ donor. But when Anna fights her family for rights to her body, things start to spiral out of control.

For the Book Lover
My Ideal Bookshelf, Jane Mount
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A large assortment of writers, actors, musicians, and popular leaders in the country share what books would populate their ideal bookshelves.  This book also features amazing illustrations of what those shelves might look like. A coffee table-style book that’s a must for any bibliophile!

For the Fashionista
Women in Clothes, Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton
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The three women behind this book survey more than 600 women about their feelings and perspectives on fashion.

The History Buff
Grant, Ron Chernov
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Often misunderstood and under-appreciated, General Ulysses S. Grant is all too often caricatured as a chronic loser and inept businessman…but Chernov gives readers a new view of the General, bringing to light how one simple Midwesterner could at once be so ordinary and so extraordinary.

For the Soon-to-Be Grown-Up
Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, Kelly Williams Brown
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Based on Brown’s blog, ADULTING, this book makes the scary, confusing “real world” approachable, manageable…and even conquerable.

For the Quirky One
Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse, Alida Nugent
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They say misery loves company…and this book is like that weird friend you just need in your life sometimes…to help pick you up, dust you off, and give you a story so bizarre if not just to make you feel better about wearing your shirt inside out all day.

For the Visual Reader
The Lego Architect, Tom Alphin
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If you’re looking for a book for someone who just loves looking at pictures, take a gander at this book of amazing Lego creations.  There are even instructions on how you can build your own replicas of the models featured in the book.

For Animal Lovers
The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein
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This book is about a man and his dog, narrated from the dog’s point of view. Enzo, the dog in the book, is the kind of pet that we all imagine we own…wise, genuine, loving, kind and comical.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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