Books For Holiday Gift Giving
In addition to the usual clothing items for holiday gifts, books for the men in your life can offer that personal touch and something they may not buy for themselves. Here is an eclectic assortment of excellent choices that cover topics like sports, music, history and more.
The Great Nowitzki: Basketball and the Meaning of Life by Thomas Pletzinger
The seven-foot Dirk Nowitzki is one of the greatest players in basketball history. The Dallas Maverick’s legend revolutionized the sport, redefining the role of the big man in the modern game. Dirk moved differently: flexible and fast, confident and in control. He thought differently, too. On the court, his shots were masterful—none more venerated than his signature one-legged flamingo fadeaway, a move that lives on in the repertoire of today’s most skilled NBA players.
How did this lanky kid from the German suburbs become an all-time top ten scorer and NBA champion? How can a superstar stay so humble? Award-winning novelist and sportswriter Thomas Pletzinger spent over seven years traveling with Nowitzki. He witnessed Dirk’s summer workouts, involving fingertip pushups and the study of the physics, and spent days discussing literature and philosophy with Holger Geschwindner, Dirk’s enigmatic mentor and coach. Watching Nowitzki in empty gyms and in packed arenas with 30,000 fans, Pletzinger began to understand how Dirk and Holger’s philosophical insights on performance, creativity, and freedom enabled his success and longevity.
The Great Nowitzki tells Dirk’s dramatic story like never before. Pletzinger describes Dirk’s youth in small-town Germany, follows the steep learning curve of Dirk’s early seasons, the devastating Finals loss to the Miami Heat, and the triumphant championship five years later. Traveling with Dirk in his final seasons, Pletzinger immerses himself in the community of people impacted by Nowitzki’s game, interviewing everyone from average fans in Dallas and security guards at the arena to front office executives and Hall of Fame teammates, who reflect on what Dirk’s career means to the next generation of ballplayers. And to the game itself.
A masterpiece of sports writing that reads like a novel, The Great Nowitzki brims with a fan’s passion. Pletzinger shows how strongly basketball influences our imagination and the extraordinary journey an icon like Dirk Nowitzki must take to reach the pinnacle of the game.
The League: How Five Rivals Created the NFL and Launched a Sports Empire by John Eisenberg
The epic tale of the five owners who shepherded the NFL through its tumultuous early decades and built the most popular sport in America
The National Football League is a towering, distinctly American colossus spewing out $13 billion in annual revenue. Yet its current dominance has obscured how professional football got its start.
In The League, John Eisenberg reveals that Art Rooney, George Halas, Tim Mara, George Preston Marshall, and Bert Bell took an immense risk by investing in the professional game. At that time the sport barely registered on the national scene, where college football, baseball, boxing, and horseracing dominated. The five owners succeeded only because at critical junctures in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s each sacrificed the short-term success of his team for the longer-term good of the League.
At once a history of a sport and a remarkable story of business ingenuity, The League is an essential read for any fan of our true national pastime.
A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carre
An archive of letters written by the late John le Carré, giving readers access to the intimate thoughts of one of the greatest writers of our time.
The never-before-seen correspondance of John le Carré, one of the most important novelists of our generation, are collected in this beautiful volume. During his lifetime, le Carré wrote numerous letters to writers, spies, politicians, artists, actors and public figures. This collection is a treasure trove, revealing the late author’s humour, generosity, and wit–a side of him many readers have not previously seen.
The West Wing and Beyond by Pete Souza
Go behind the scenes of the West Wing–into the Oval Office and Situation Room, aboard Air Force One, and beyond–with #1 bestselling author and former presidential photographer Pete Souza.
Pete Souza has spent more time in the Oval Office than almost any person in history. During the Obama administration alone, Souza was inside the presidential bubble for more than 25,000 hours and made nearly 2 million photographs. The result is an unprecedented view of how our democracy really works.
Now Souza invites you into the inner sanctum of the American presidency, sharing rarely seen photographs and untold stories of life and work in the White House and traveling with the President around the world.
The West Wing and Beyond takes you behind the scenes of consequential moments and traditions with the people who define our nation’s highest office–from the senior White House staff to the Oval Office valets. It delivers new insights into the role of the Secret Service, the seriousness of decisive meetings in the West Wing, and even some fun moments aboard Air Force One.
Brimming with gorgeous photographs paired with fascinating storytelling, The West Wing and Beyond offers a one-of-a-kind look into the personalities, intrigues, and fascinating details that comprise the modern presidency. It is an essential book for every citizen who believes in American democracy.
The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man by Paul Newman
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER – The raw, candid, unvarnished memoir of an American icon. The greatest movie star of the past 75 years covers everything: his traumatic childhood, his career, his drinking, his thoughts on Marlon Brando, James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, John Huston, his greatest roles, acting, his intimate life with Joanne Woodward, his innermost fears and passions and joys. With thoughts/comments throughout from Joanne Woodward, George Roy Hill, Tom Cruise, Elia Kazan and many others.
A TIME BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
“Newman at his best…with his self-aware persona, storied marriage and generous charitable activities…this rich book somehow imbues his characters’ pain and joy with fresh technicolor.” —The Wall Street Journal
In 1986, Paul Newman and his closest friend, screenwriter Stewart Stern, began an extraordinary project. Stuart was to compile an oral history, to have Newman’s family and friends and those who worked closely with him, talk about the actor’s life. And then Newman would work with Stewart and give his side of the story. The only stipulation was that anyone who spoke on the record had to be completely honest. That same stipulation applied to Newman himself. The project lasted five years.
The result is an extraordinary memoir, culled from thousands of pages of transcripts. The book is insightful, revealing, surprising. Newman’s voice is powerful, sometimes funny, sometimes painful, always meeting that high standard of searing honesty. The additional voices–from childhood friends and Navy buddies, from family members and film and theater collaborators such as Tom Cruise, George Roy Hill, Martin Ritt, and John Huston–that run throughout add richness and color and context to the story Newman is telling.
Newman’s often traumatic childhood is brilliantly detailed. He talks about his teenage insecurities, his early failures with women, his rise to stardom, his early rivals (Marlon Brando and James Dean), his first marriage, his drinking, his philanthropy, the death of his son Scott, his strong desire for his daughters to know and understand the truth about their father. Perhaps the most moving material in the book centers around his relationship with Joanne Woodward–their love for each other, his dependence on her, the way she shaped him intellectually, emotionally and sexually.
The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man is revelatory and introspective, personal and analytical, loving and tender in some places, always complex and profound.
The Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Book by Jerry Seinfeld
A celebration of and behind-the-scenes look at Jerry Seinfeld’s groundbreaking streaming series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
In his streaming show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld has engaged with some of the funniest people in history in classic cars, coffee shops, and diners. He has reminisced with Larry David; bantered with legends Steve Martin, Tina Fey, and Eddie Murphy; reunited with the cast of Seinfeld; and even paid a visit to President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. These and dozens of other guests talked about the intricacies of stand-up, the evolution of their careers and personal lives, and whatever else popped into their brilliant minds. Seinfeld’s carefully crafted episodes have reimagined the talk show format, each one a unique, hilarious, and yet intimate conversation—a rare opportunity for viewers to witness their favorite performers unscripted and unvarnished. But in producing eighty-four episodes over eleven seasons, he has also created arguably the most important historical archive about the art of comedy ever amassed, with episodes featuring Garry Shandling, Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Carl Reiner, and Norm McDonald already serving as permanent shrines for legendary comedians.
Timed to the 10th anniversary of the show’s debut and with an introduction from Jerry Seinfeld, this book isn’t just a record of the show but instead an inventive tribute full of behind-the-scenes photos and anecdotes. The book dives into the inspiration and creation of segments, the most unforgettable lines from guests, an index of the cars, and some of the most memorable moments from crew members. Originally conceived as an “anti-talk show,” Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee earned multiple Emmy nominations and helped lead the streaming revolution.
The Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Book is a beautifully designed book with iconic, never-before-seen production photos.
And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle by Jon Meacham
Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and #1 New York Timesbest-selling author Jon Meacham chronicles the life and moral evolution of Abraham Lincoln and explores why and how Lincoln confronted secession, threats to democracy, and the tragedy of slavery in order to expand the possibilities of America
A president who governed a divided country has much to teach us in a twenty-first-century moment of polarization and political crisis. Abraham Lincoln was president when implacable secessionists gave no quarter in a clash of visions inextricably bound up with money, power, race, identity, and faith. He was hated and hailed, excoriated and revered. In Lincoln we can see the possibilities of the presidency as well as its limitations.
At once familiar and elusive, Lincoln tends to be seen in popular minds as the greatest of American presidents—a remote icon—or as a politician driven more by calculation than by conviction. This illuminating new portrait gives us a very human Lincoln—an imperfect man whose moral antislavery commitment was essential to the story of justice in America. Here is the Lincoln who, as a boy, was steeped in the sermons of emancipation by Baptist preachers; who insisted that slavery was a moral evil; and who sought, as he put it, to do right as God gave him light to see the right.
This book tells the story of Lincoln from his birth on the Kentucky frontier in 1809 to his leadership during the Civil War to his tragic assassination at Ford’s Theater on Good Friday 1865: his rise, his self-education through reading, his loves, his bouts of depression, his political failures, his deepening faith, and his persistent conviction that slavery must end. In a nation shaped by the courage of the enslaved of the era and by the brave witness of Black Americans of the nineteenth century, Lincoln’s story illuminates the ways and means of politics, the marshaling of power in a belligerent democracy, the durability of white supremacy in America, and the capacity of conscience to shape the maelstrom of events.
Lincoln was not all he might have been—few human beings ever are—but he was more than many men have ever been. We could have done worse. And we have. And, as Lincoln himself would readily acknowledge, we can always do better. But we will do so only if we see Abraham Lincoln—and ourselves—whole.
G-Man J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century by Beverly Cage
“[A] crisply written, prodigiously researched, and frequently astonishing new biography”–The New Yorker
“Masterful…This book is an enduring, formidable accomplishment, a monument to the power of biography [that] now becomes the definitive work”–The Washington Post
“Revelatory…an acknowledgment of the complexities that made Hoover who he was, while charging the turbulent currents that eventually swept him aside.” —The New York Times
NEW YORK TIMES TOP 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2022
The Washington Post “Top Ten Books of 2022”
Publishers Weekly * “Top Ten Books of 2022”
Smithsonian Magazine “The Ten Best History Books of 2022”
A major new biography of J Edgar Hoover that draws from never-before-seen sources to create a groundbreaking portrait of a colossus who dominated half a century of American history and planted the seeds for much of today’s conservative political landscape.
We remember him as a bulldog–squat frame, bulging wide-set eyes, fearsome jowls–but in 1924, when he became director of the FBI, he had been the trim, dazzling wunderkind of the administrative state, buzzing with energy and big ideas for reform. He transformed a failing law-enforcement backwater, riddled with scandal, into a modern machine. He believed in the power of the federal government to do great things for the nation and its citizens. He also believed that certain people–many of them communists or racial minorities or both– did not deserve to be included in that American project. Hoover rose to power and then stayed there, decade after decade, using the tools of state to create a personal fiefdom unrivaled in U.S. history.
Beverly Gage’s monumental work explores the full sweep of Hoover’s life and career, from his birth in 1895 to a modest Washington civil-service family through his death in 1972. In her nuanced and definitive portrait, Gage shows how Hoover was more than a one-dimensional tyrant and schemer who strong-armed the rest of the country into submission. As FBI director from 1924 through his death in 1972, he was a confidant, counselor, and adversary to eight U.S. presidents, four Republicans and four Democrats. Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson did the most to empower him, yet his closest friend among the eight was fellow anticommunist warrior Richard Nixon. Hoover was not above blackmail and intimidation, but he also embodied conservative values ranging from anticommunism to white supremacy to a crusading and politicized interpretation of Christianity. This garnered him the admiration of millions of Americans. He stayed in office for so long because many people, from the highest reaches of government down to the grassroots, wanted him there and supported what he was doing, thus creating the template that the political right has followed to transform its party.
G-Man places Hoover back where he once stood in American political history–not at the fringes, but at the center–and uses his story to explain the trajectories of governance, policing, race, ideology, political culture, and federal power as they evolved over the course of the 20th century.
Rolling Stone The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
From Rolling Stone, the definitive and beautiful companion book to one of the most popular and hotly debated lists in the music world.
In partnership with Abrams, Rolling Stone has created an oversized companion book to celebrate the all-new 2020 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, telling the stories behind every album through incredible Rolling Stone photography, original album art, Rolling Stone’s unique critical commentary, breakout pieces on the making of key albums, and archival interviews.
This brand new anthology is based on Rolling Stone’s 2020 reboot of the original 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, launched in 2003 and last updated in 2012, polling the industry’s most celebrated artists, producers, executives, and journalists to create the ranking. The voters include both classic and contemporary artists, including Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Billie Eilish; rising artists like H.E.R., Tierra Whack, and Lindsey Jordan of Snail Mail; as well as veteran musicians, such as Adam Clayton and the Edge of U2, Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan, Gene Simmons, and Stevie Nicks. The book is boldly designed, includes hundreds of images, and is packed with surprises and insights for music fans of all ages.
How to Survive a Freakin Bear Attack and 12 Other Survival Hacks You’ll Hopefully Never Need by Bill ONeill
Would you know what to do if a bear charged at you?
What about if you were out driving and an earthquake struck? Or a tornado?
What about if you were bitten by a snake in the middle of nowhere, or caught in an avalanche while out skiing or hiking? What if you found yourself the sole survivor of some awful incident, and had to make a new home for yourself stranded on a desert island? Would you know how to spear a fish, or how to distill pure water using only a plastic bottle? Could you make your own rope, your own torch, or tell which of the unfamiliar plants and animals around you may or may not be edible?
How To Survive A Freakin’ Bear Attack… And 127 Other Survival Hacks You’ll Hopefully Never Need has all the answers you could ever need!
- Packed with step-by-step survival guides to some of the most remarkable scenarios imaginable.
- Real life advice for some of life’s challenges and unpredictable situations.
- Chapters covering everything from first aid and CPR to climbing trees, building rope bridges, and lighting a campfire using only your phone.
- Fun and fascinating, yet bursting with real-world knowledge, tips, and advice!
Who knows if, when, or indeed how you might need to know any of the 128 extraordinary survival skills included in this book. But life is anything but predictable.
Hopefully, you’ll never need to know how to flee a sinking ship or a burning building, or be in any kind of situation where you might need to safely package up a severed body part or perform abdominal surgery on yourself…
But given that we never quite know what’s around the corner the hints and tips included here may one day – hopefully! –come in useful.
The Last Campaign: Sherman, Geronimo and the War for America by H.W. Brands
Bestselling historian and Pulitzer-prize finalist H. W. Brands follows the lives and battles of General William Tecumseh Sherman and Apache warrior Geronimo to tell the story of the Indian Wars and the final fight for control of the American continent.
William Tecumseh Sherman and Geronimo were keen strategists and bold soldiers, ruthless with their enemies. Over the course of the 1870s and 1880s these two war chiefs would confront each other in the final battle for what the American West would be: a sparsely settled, wild home where Indian tribes could thrive, or a densely populated extension of the America to the east of the Mississippi.
Sherman was a privileged son of Ohio who attended West Point and rose to prominence through his scorched earth campaigns in the Civil War. Geronimo grew up in the Apache tribe, hunting wild game for survival and roaming freely on the land. After the brutal killing of his wife, children, and mother, however, he became a relentless avenger, raiding Mexican settlements across the American border. When Sherman rose to General of the U.S. Army, he was tasked with bringing Geronimo and his tribe into an agreement with the U.S. government pledging that the Apache would live as farmers and ranchers and roam no more. But Geronimo preferred to fight.
The Last Campaign is a powerful retelling of a turning point in the making of our nation and a searing elegy for a way of life that is gone.
Apollo Remastered by Andy Saunders
Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the last steps taken on the moon, this unique, definitive book about the Apollo missions reveals hundreds of extraordinary, newly-restored, and all-new images from the NASA archives that provide a never-before-seen perspective on the Apollo endeavors.
In Houston, Texas, there is a frozen vault that preserves the original NASA photographic film of the Apollo missions. For half a century, almost every image of the Moon landings publicly available was produced from a lower-quality copy of these frozen originals. Over the last few years, NASA image restorer Andy Saunders has been working hard. Taking newly available digital scans and applying pain-staking care and cutting-edge enhancement techniques, he has created the highest quality Apollo photographs ever produced. Never-before-seen spacewalks and crystal-clear portraits of astronauts in their spacecraft, along with startling new visions of the Earth and the Moon, offer astounding new insight into one of our greatest endeavors.
This is the definitive record of all Apollo missions and a mesmerizing, high-definition journey into the unknown.
Odd Man In: Hockey’s Emergency Goalies and the Wildest One-Day Job in Sports by Stephen Whyno
An entertaining look at one of hockey’s most unique traditions: the emergency backup goaltender.
Tom Fenton was in a barber’s chair when he got the call. Nathan Schoenfeld was giving his 5-week-old twin boys a bath. Eric Semborski was teaching kids to play hockey at a suburban rink.
Within hours, each was wearing a mask, pads, and an NHL uniform as an emergency goalie, perhaps the most unusual position in all of sports.
Odd Man In shares the stories of these unlikely masked heroes, tracing the origins of this quirk of the game while profiling those who have experienced the chaotic thrill of suiting up on short notice for an NHL team.
David Ayres, a Zamboni driver, became an overnight sensation with the Carolina Hurricanes after beating his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs. Accountant Scott Foster signed on the dotted line then played an unforgettable 14 minutes for the Chicago Blackhawks, finishing his one-day career with a perfect 1.000 save percentage.
Their stories and more are celebrated in this fascinating volume for all hockey fans.
Alive at the End of the World by Saeed Jones
Pierced by grief and charged with history, this new poetry collection from the award-winning author of Prelude to Bruise and How We Fight for Our Lives confronts our everyday apocalypses.
In haunted poems glinting with laughter, Saeed Jones explores the public and private betrayals of life as we know it. With verve, wit, and elegant craft, Jones strips away American artifice in order to reveal the intimate grief of a mourning son and the collective grief bearing down on all of us.
Drawing from memoir, fiction, and persona, Jones confronts the everyday perils of white supremacy with a finely tuned poetic ear, identifying moments that seem routine even as they open chasms of hurt. Viewing himself as an unreliable narrator, Jones looks outward to understand what’s within, bringing forth cultural icons like Little Richard, Paul Mooney, Aretha Franklin and Diahann Carroll to illuminate how long and how perilously we’ve been living on top of fault lines. As these poems seek ways to love and survive through America’s existential threats, Jones ushers his readers toward the realization that the end of the world is already here—and the apocalypse is a state of being.
Sidetracks: 40 True Stories of hunting and Fishing on Paths Less Traveled by Gary Oberg
Discover Some of the Best Hunting and Fishing Spots in North America! Avid outdoorsman and successful entrepreneur Gary Oberg shares a lifetime of hunting and fishing adventures, and some misadventures, in a series of 40 entertaining true stories. His book “Sidetracks” reveals locations where the finest game and the feistiest fish live including: ▪ Minnesota Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness▪ Lake Wenasaga, Ontario, Canada▪ Arctic Lodges, Reindeer Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada▪ Rice Lake, Ontario, Canada▪Skyline Guest Ranch, Cooke City, Montana▪ Fishing Charters in Seward, Alaska▪ Eagle’s Nest Resort, Alaska▪ Sawtooth Mountain, Craig, Colorado▪ Sioux Lake, Meeker County, Minnesota▪ Spirit Lake, Iowa▪ Rochester, Minnesota▪ Lake of the Woods, Minnesota & Canada▪ Rowleys Bay, Door County, Wisconsin▪ Bear Lake Lodge, Alaska▪ Floating Lodges of Sioux Narrows, Ontario, Canada
Interesting Facts for Curious Minds: 1572 Random but Mind-Blowing Facts About history, Science, Pop Culture… by Jordan Moore
Want to impress your friends and family with both useful, worthless but undeniably interesting facts?
Then Interesting Facts For Curious Minds: 1572 Random But Mind Blowing Facts About History, Science, Pop Culture and Everything in Between is the book for you!
In this book you’ll find the answers to questions such as:
- When did zero become a number?
- Who was the inventor of Bitcoin?
- What did the Big Bang sound like?
- How have sports changed around the world?
- What’s a malapropism?
Interesting Facts For Curious Minds gives you the answer to all these and many, many more questions that I know have crossed your mind from time to time. This book is divided into 63 chapters by topic for your convenience, bringing you a nice mix of science, history, pop culture, and all sorts of stuff in between. Each chapter contains 25 concise yet engaging factoids that are sure to make you think and at times laugh.
How you read this book is entirely up to you. I’m sure most of you will read it cover to cover at some point, but when you’re with friends and family you can pick the chapters out that most appeal to all of you.
However you read this book, I guarantee you’ll find it one of the best tools to pass some time, relax alone, or connect with others. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn some truly interesting facts!
50 States, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do by Joe Yogerst
This richly illustrated book from the travel experts at National Geographic showcases the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. Sites include national parks, beaches, hotels, Civil War battlefields, dude ranches, out-of-the-way museums, and more. You’ll discover the world’s longest yard sale in Tennessee, swamp tours in Louisiana, dinosaur trails in Colorado, America’s oldest street in NYC, and the best spot to watch for sea otters on the central California coast. Each entry provides detailed travel information as well as fascinating facts about each state that will help fuel your wanderlust and ensure the best vacation possible. In addition to 50 states in the U.S., the book includes a section on the Canadian provinces and territories.
The Power of Discipline: How to Use Self Control and Mental Toughness to Achieve Your Goals by Daniel Walter
Have you spent weeks, months, or even years trying to achieve your goals but keep failing?
Have you given up on becoming successful because your futile efforts have led you to believe that success is only for the select few?
If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions—don’t worry, there is still hope for you!
Before you can achieve anything in life, you need a solid foundation of self-discipline. Talent, intelligence, and skill are only a part of the equation. Positive thinking, affirmations, and vision boards are only a part of the equation. If you want to turn your dreams into reality, you need self-discipline.
Self-discipline is what will keep you focused when all hell is breaking loose and it looks like you are one step away from failure. It will give you the mental toughness required to dismantle the limitations you have placed on yourself and break through all obstacles standing in the way of your goals.
How would you feel if I told you that your inability to achieve your goals does not arise because you are lazy or lack drive, but rather it’s a problem because you have never been taught how to practice self-discipline?
People are not born with self-discipline. Like driving or playing tennis, it’s a skill that you learn. In The Power of Discipline you will gain access to easy-to-read, scientific explanations about self-discipline including:
How to master self-discipline by targeting certain areas of the brain
The Navy SEALs’ secrets to self-discipline
The Zen Buddhists’ secrets to self-discipline
How to make hard-work exciting
How to ditch your bad habits and adopt the habits of successful people
Strategies to keep going when your motivation runs out
And much, much more
By applying the principles in this book, you will develop your self-discipline, bulldoze through toward your goals, become an unstoppable force of nature, and start living the life you know you deserve!
It’s impossible to buy back the time you have lost, but you can take control of your future.
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