Reading Increases General Knowledge
Not only does reading improve concentration and the ability to focus, (two things the men in your life may have room for improvement), it also a great way to gain general knowledge. Thrillers, suspense and mystery along with books about Nazis, Waco, Jazz musician Sunny Rollins and more round out the recommended titles your man is sure to enjoy.
The Nazi Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill by Brad Meltzer and John Mensch
From the New York Times bestselling authors of The First Conspiracy and The Lincoln Conspiracy comes the little-known true story of a Nazi plot to kill FDR, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill at the height of World War II.
In 1943, as the war against Nazi Germany raged abroad, President Franklin Roosevelt had a critical goal: a face-to-face sit-down with his allies Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill. This first-ever meeting of the Big Three in Tehran, Iran, would decide some of the most crucial strategic details of the war. Yet when the Nazis found out about the meeting, their own secret plan took shape—an assassination plot that would’ve changed history.
A true story filled with daring rescues, body doubles, and political intrigue, The Nazi Conspiracy details FDR’s pivotal meeting in Tehran and the deadly Nazi plot against the heads of state of the three major Allied powers who attended it.
With all the hallmarks of a Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch page-turner, The Nazi Conspiracy explores the great political minds of the twentieth century, investigating the pivotal years of the war in gripping detail. This meeting of the Big Three changed the course of World War II. Here’s the inside story of how it almost led to a world-shattering disaster.
A news-making account of the war between David Koresh’s Branch Davidians and the FBI, and how their standoff launched today’s militias
In 1993, David Koresh and a band of heavily armed evangelical Christians took on the might of the US government. A two-month siege of their compound in Waco, Texas, ended in a firefight that killed seventy-six, including twenty-five children. America is still picking up the pieces, and we still haven’t heard the full story.
Kevin Cook, who revealed the truth behind a mythic, misunderstood murder in his 2014 Kitty Genovese, finally provides the full story of what happened at Waco. He gives readers a taste of Koresh’s deadly charisma and takes us behind the scenes at the Branch Davidians’ compound, where “the new Christ” turned his followers into servants and sired seventeen children by a dozen “wives.” In vivid accounts packed with human drama, Cook harnesses never-reported material to reconstruct the FBI’s fifty-one-day siege of the Waco compound in minute-to-minute detail. He sheds new light on the Clinton administration’s approval of a lethal governmental assault in a new, definitive account of the firefight that ended so many lives and triggered the rise of today’s militia movement. Waco drew the battle lines for American extremists—in Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh’s words, “Waco started this war.” With help from sources as diverse as Branch Davidian survivors and the FBI’s lead negotiator during the siege, Cook draws a straight line from Waco’s ashes to the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol and insurrections yet to come.
Unmissable reading for anyone interested in the truth of what happened in Texas three decades ago, Waco Rising is chillingly relevant today. Here is the spark that ignited today’s antigovernment militias.
Saxophone Colossus: The Life and Music of Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins has long been considered an enigma. Known as the “Saxophone Colossus,” he is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest jazz improvisers of all time, winning Grammys, the Austrian Cross of Honor, Sweden’s Polar Music Prize and a National Medal of Arts. A bridge from bebop to the avant-garde, he is a lasting link to the golden age of jazz, pictured in the iconic “Great Day in Harlem” portrait. His seven-decade career has been well documented, but the backstage life of the man once called “the only jazz recluse” has gone largely untold—until now.
Based on more than 200 interviews with Rollins himself, family members, friends, and collaborators, as well as Rollins’ extensive personal archive, Saxophone Colossus is the comprehensive portrait of this legendary saxophonist and composer, civil rights activist and environmentalist. A child of the Harlem Renaissance, Rollins’ precocious talent landed him on the bandstand and in the recording studio with Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, or playing opposite Billie Holiday. An icon in his own right, he recorded Tenor Madness, featuring John Coltrane; Way Out West; Freedom Suite, the first civil rights-themed album of the hard bop era; A Night at the Village Vanguard; and the 1956 classic Saxophone Colossus.
Yet his meteoric rise to fame was not without its challenges. He served two sentences on Rikers Island and won his battle with heroin addiction. In 1959, Rollins took a two-year sabbatical from recording and performing, practicing up to 16 hours a day on the Williamsburg Bridge. In 1968, he left again to study at an ashram in India. He returned to performing from 1971 until his retirement in 2012.
The story of Sonny Rollins—innovative, unpredictable, larger than life—is the story of jazz itself, and Sonny’s own narrative is as timeless and timely as the art form he represents. Part jazz oral history told in the musicians’ own words, part chronicle of one man’s quest for social justice and spiritual enlightenment, this is the definitive biography of one of the most enduring and influential artists in jazz and American history.
Picture in the Sand by Peter Blauner
“On rare occasions I read a book that reminds me of why I fell in love with storytelling in the first place. This is such a book.” —Stephen King
Peter Blauner’s epic Picture in the Sand is a sweeping intergenerational saga told through a grandfather’s passionate letters to his grandson, passing on the story of his political rebellion in 1950s Egypt in order to save his grandson’s life in a post-9/11 world.
Ali Hassan, an Egyptian-American businessman in Brooklyn, reveals a secret past of activism and heartbreak in an attempt to keep his hot-headed teen-aged grandson from making the greatest mistake of his life. In a journey that begins amid the high-wattage glamour of the sets of Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments and leads to the deserts of Cairo and beyond, Ali describes how he landed a dream job as DeMille’s personal assistant, and then found himself enmeshed in events that changed the course of history.
It’s a tale that Ali has kept hidden most of his life. But now there’s an urgent reason to share it: his beloved American grandson, Alex, has run off to Syria become a holy warrior. Alex says this journey is his destiny; Ali understands better than Alex believes, and knows that rescuing Alex is up to him, because Ali knows how this movie can end.
With equal parts suspense, history, and family drama, Picture in the Sand is a mesmerizing story about faith, family, and the enduring power of storytelling.
The Last Orphan: An Orphan X Novel by Gregg Hurwitz
Evan Smoak returns in The Last Orphan, the latest New York Times bestselling Orphan X thriller–when everything changes and everything is at risk.
As a child, Evan Smoak was plucked out of a group home, raised and trained as an off-the-books assassin for the government as part of the Orphan program. When he broke with the program and went deep underground, he left with a lot of secrets in his head that the government would do anything to make sure never got out.
When he remade himself as The Nowhere Man, dedicated to helping the most desperate in their times of trouble, Evan found himself slowly back on the government’s radar. Having eliminated most of the Orphans in the program, the government will stop at nothing to eliminate the threat they see in Evan. But Orphan X has always been several steps ahead of his pursuers.
Until he makes one little mistake…
Now the President has him in her control and offers Evan a deal – eliminate a rich, powerful man she says is too dangerous to live and, in turn, she’ll let Evan survive. But when Evan left the Program he swore to only use his skills against those who really deserve it. Now he has to decide what’s more important – his principles or his life.
The Syrian Sunset by Howard Kaplan
A sweeping novel of international intrigue about the Syrian civil war, the failure of the west to save the Syrian people, and how that inaction against the Russian incursion in Syria emboldened Vladimir Putin to attack Ukraine.
In 2012, President Obama declared that if Assad used chemical weapons in Syria, that would cross a red line. A year later, Assad murdered a thousand people in east Damascus with Sarin, and the west did not respond. Soon after, the Russians vastly augmented their presence in Syria, built a huge air base to add to their warm water port on the Syrian Mediterranean and from those runways bombed the free Syrian army across the breath of Syria.
Based around these true events, THE SYRIAN SUNSET tells the tale of a fictional Syrian Military Intelligence general who wants a better Syria, and the events that led to the death of 500,000 civilians, 5 million people fleeing Syria, another 15 million being displaced internally.
Master, Minion by Paul Podolsky
Nick is an ex-Army translator whose facility for language allowed him to escape a difficult childhood in rural Connecticut. His mother is a former addict, now dying and requires expensive care. Desperate for money though ambivalent about finance, Nick is employed as a researcher at a Boston hedge fund. The head of the fund, the Boss, is a financial genius who believes US financial collapse is imminent, in part due to past inequities, including slavery. Looking for a catalyst, the Boss focuses on the recent assassination of a Russian central bank official and sends Nick to investigate. Nick uncovers a plot tied to the Russian FSB, the Chinese Ministry of State Security and the US Treasury but not the one his boss imagines. To solve the case, Nick needs to unravel intricate evidence and evade secret police from three different countries and liberate his love who gets ensnared in his mission.
The House at the End of the World by Dean Koontz
Soon no one on Earth will have a place to hide in this novel about fears known and unknown by #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense Dean Koontz.
In retreat from a devastating loss and crushing injustice, Katie lives alone in a fortresslike stone house on Jacob’s Ladder island. Once a rising star in the art world, she finds refuge in her painting.
The neighboring island of Ringrock houses a secret: a government research facility. And now two agents have arrived on Jacob’s Ladder in search of someone—or something—they refuse to identify. Although an air of menace hangs over these men, an infinitely greater threat has arrived, one so strange even the island animals are in a state of high alarm.
Katie soon finds herself in an epic and terrifying battle with a mysterious enemy. But Katie’s not alone after all: a brave young girl appears out of the violent squall. As Katie and her companion struggle across a dark and eerie landscape, against them is an omnipresent terror that could bring about the end of the world.
The House of Wolves by James Patterson and Mike Lucia
The murder of a billionaire patriarch triggers a bloody battle for control of his empire. For fans of Succession, Yellowstone—and #1 bestselling duo James Patterson and Mike Lupica.
Joe Wolf applies a cutthroat determination to his life’s work, from to building a California business empire to parenting three sons and a daughter. Kill or be killed. So when the patriarch takes a deadly cruise on San Francisco Bay, Joe Wolf’s bloodline becomes SFPD’s lifeline.
Detective Ben Cantor trails the “pack of wolves” as the siblings vie for control of their legacy of power and assets. All four have the means and the motive to commit murder, but only one of them is most like Joe Wolf. Only one of them earned their father’s love.
Lurking in the shadows is the real alpha wolf. That creature survives on instinct. And desire. To kill all the wolves dead.
A Guest at the Feast by Colm Toibin
From one of the most engaging and brilliant writers of our time comes a collection of essays about growing up in Ireland during radical change; about cancer, priests, popes, homosexuality, and literature.
“IT ALL STARTED WITH MY BALLS.” So begins Colm Tóibín’s fabulously compelling essay, laced with humor, about his diagnosis and treatment for cancer. Tóibín survives, but he has entered, as he says, “the age of one ball.” The second essay in this seductive collection is a memoir about growing up in the 1950s and ’60s in the small town of Enniscorthy in County Wexford, the setting for many of Tóibín’s novels and stories, including Brooklyn, The Blackwater Lightship and Nora Webster. Tóibín describes his education by priests, several of whom were condemned years later for abuse. He writes about Irish history and literature, and about the long, tragic journey toward legal and social acceptance of homosexuality.
In Part Two, Tóibín profiles three complex and vexing popes—John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. And in Part Three, he writes about a trio of authors who reckon with religion in their fiction. The final essay, “Alone in Venice,” is a gorgeous account of Toibin’s journey, at the height of the pandemic, to the beloved city where he has set some of his most dazzling scenes. The streets, canals, churches and museums were empty. He had them to himself, an experience both haunting and exhilarating.
A Guest at the Feast is both an intimate encounter with a supremely creative artist and a glorious celebration of writing.
Legendary Giants coach Tom Coughlin takes readers inside his coaching masterpiece: Super Bowl XLII when Eli Manning and the underdog Giants beat the undefeated, 18-0 Patriots of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Super Bowl XLII was the greatest upset in NFL history. In A GIANT WIN, Coach Tom Coughlin recounts the strategies and people that made it possible.
Coach Coughlin reveals the intricacies of the game, revealing details only a coach would know. He also details, more than ever before, his relationships with some of the greatest, most iconic players of those Giants teams, like Eli Manning and Michael Strahan.
A GIANT WIN also provides a frame for Coach Coughlin to discuss his life in football—including his years with the Giants as an assistant coach in the late 1980s and 1990, when he helped win a Super Bowl working under Hall of Fame Head Coach Bill Parcells and alongside the coach he’d oppose in Super Bowl XLII: Bill Belichick.
A GIANT WIN is a self-portrait of one of football history’s most successful coaches during his signature game.
The McCartney Legacy by Allan Kozinn and Adrian Sinclair
Set against the backdrop of the Beatles splintering over both business and creative issues, The McCartney Legacy, Volume 1: 1969-1973 covers a period in which Paul McCartney recreated himself, both as a man and as a musician. This is an in-depth and revealing exploration of his creative life beyond the Beatles–featuring hundreds of interviews with fellow musicians, tour managers, recording engineers, producers, filmmakers, and more.
Your Table is Ready by Michael Cecchi-Azzolina
A front-of-the-house Kitchen Confidential from a career maître d’hotel who manned the front of the room in New York City’s hottest and most in-demand restaurants.
From the glamorous to the entitled, from royalty to the financially ruined, everyone who wanted to be seen—or just to gawk—at the hottest restaurants in New York City came to places Michael Cecchi-Azzolina helped run. His phone number was passed around among those who wanted to curry favor, during the decades when restaurants replaced clubs and theater as, well, theater in the most visible, vibrant city in the world.
Besides dropping us back into a vanished time, Your Table Is Ready takes us places we’d never be able to get into on our own: Raoul’s in Soho with its louche club vibe; Buzzy O’Keefe’s casually elegant River Café (the only outer-borough establishment desirable enough to be included in this roster), from Keith McNally’s Minetta Tavern to Nolita’s Le Coucou, possibly the most beautiful room in New York City in 2018, with its French Country Auberge-meets-winery look and the most exquisite and enormous stands of flowers, changed every three days.
From his early career serving theater stars like Tennessee Williams and Dustin Hoffman at La Rousse right through to the last pre-pandemic-shutdown full houses at Le Coucou, Cecchi-Azzolina has seen it all. In Your Table Is Ready, he breaks down how restaurants really run (and don’t), and how the economics work for owners and overworked staff alike. The professionals who gravitate to the business are a special, tougher breed, practiced in dealing with the demanding patrons and with each other, in a very distinctive ecosystem that’s somewhere between a George Orwell “down and out in….” dungeon and a sleek showman’s smoke-and-mirrors palace.
Your Table Is Ready is a rollicking, raunchy, revelatory memoir.
The world’s most renowned art forger reveals the secrets behind his decades of painting like the masters—exposing an art world that is far more corrupt than we ever knew while providing an art history lesson wrapped in sex, drugs, and Caravaggio.
The art world is a much dirtier, nastier business than you might expect. Tony Tetro, one of the most renowned art forgers in history, will make you question every masterpiece you’ve ever seen in a museum, gallery, or private collection. Tetro’s “Rembrandts,” “Caravaggios,” “Miros,” and hundreds of other works now hang on walls around the globe. In 2019, it was revealed that Prince Charles received into his collection a Picasso, Dali, Monet, and Chagall, insuring them for over 200 million pounds, only to later discover that they’re actually “Tetros.” And the kicker? In Tony’s words: “Even if some tycoon finds out his Rembrandt is a fake, what’s he going to do, turn it in? Now his Rembrandt just became motel art. Better to keep quiet and pass it on to the next guy. It’s the way things work for guys like me.” The Prince Charles scandal is the subject of a forthcoming feature documentary with Academy Award nominee Kief Davidson and coauthor Giampiero Ambrosi, in cooperation with Tetro.
Throughout Tetro’s career, his inimitable talent has been coupled with a reckless penchant for drugs, fast cars, and sleeping with other con artists. He was busted in 1989 and spent four years in court and one in prison. His voice—rough, wry, deeply authentic—is nothing like the high society he swanned around in, driving his Lamborghini or Ferrari, hobnobbing with aristocrats by day, and diving into debauchery when the lights went out. He’s a former furniture store clerk who can walk around in Caravaggio’s shoes, become Picasso or Monet, with an encyclopedic understanding of their paint, their canvases, their vision. For years, he hid it all in an unassuming California townhouse with a secret art room behind a full-length mirror. (Press #* on his phone and the mirror pops open.) Pairing up with coauthor Ambrosi, one of the investigative journalists who uncovered the 2019 scandal, Tetro unveils the art world in an epic, alluring, at times unbelievable, but all-true narrative.
The Lego Story by Jens Andersen
The extraordinary inside story of LEGO, based on unprecedented access to the company’s archives and rare interviews with the founding family that still owns the company
This book tells the story of how my family built the LEGO brand. –Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, former President/CEO of the LEGO Group and 3rd generation owner
It’s estimated that each year between eighty and ninety million children around the globe are given a box of LEGO, while up to ten million adults buy sets for themselves. Yet LEGO is much more than a dizzying number of plastic bricks that can be put together and combined in countless ways. LEGO is also a vision of the significance of what play can mean for humanity.
This book tells the extraordinary story of a global company and a Danish family who for ninety years have defended children’s right to play–and who believe grown-ups, too, should make the time to nurture their inner child. The LEGO Story is built on Jens Andersen’s unique access to LEGO’s own archives, as well as on Andersen’s extensive conversations with Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, former president and CEO of the LEGO group and grandson of its founder, Ole Kirk Christiansen.
A riveting cultural history of changing generations’ views of childhood and the importance of play, The LEGO Story also a fascinating case study of how innovation and creativity helped leaders transform LEGO from a small carpentry business into the world’s largest producer of play materials and one of the most beloved brands in the world. Richly illustrated with never-before-seen photos from the family’s private archive, this is the ultimate book for fans of LEGO, revealing everything you ever wanted to know about the brand.
Dickens and Prince by Nick Hornby
From the bestselling author of Just Like You, High Fidelity, and Fever Pitch, a short, warm, and entertaining book about art, creativity, and the unlikely similarities between Victorian novelist Charles Dickens and modern American rock star Prince
Every so often, a pairing comes along that seems completely unlikely–until it’s not. Peanut butter and jelly, Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong Un, ducks and puppies, and now: Dickens and Prince.
Equipped with a fan’s admiration and his trademark humor and wit, Nick Hornby invites us into his latest obsession: the cosmic link between two unlikely artists, geniuses in their own rights, spanning race, class, and centuries–each of whom electrified their different disciplines and whose legacy resounded far beyond their own time.
When Prince’s 1987 record Sign o’ the Times was rereleased in 2020, the iconic album now came with dozens of songs that weren’t on the original– Prince was endlessly prolific, recording 102 songs in 1986 alone. In awe, Hornby began to wonder, Who else ever produced this much? Who else ever worked that way? He soon found his answer in Victorian novelist and social critic Charles Dickens, who died more than a hundred years before Prince began making music.
Examining the two artists’ personal tragedies, social statuses, boundless productivity, and other parallels, both humorous and haunting, Hornby shows how these two unlikely men from different centuries “lit up the world.” In the process, he creates a lively, stimulating rumination on the creativity, flamboyance, discipline, and soul it takes to produce great art.