"Every Day by the Sun" by Dean Faulkner Wells
Happily for us, her affectionate, unblinking memoir gives us a vivid snapshot of what once was: in vivid detail, none of it airbrushed.
"Big Sex Little Death: A Memoir" by Susie Bright
In her introduction, Bright says that for a woman to write a serious memoir is an act of chutzpah. So many women's memoirs are about struggles with food, body image or addiction. This one is an honest look at a life dedicated to social justice, to hilarity, to living somewhere outside the mainstream, to sexual adventure. Read it, and then grab your squeeze for a celebratory roll in the hay. Susie would be proud.
"A Covert Affair: The Adventures of Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS" by Jennet Conant
Conant, a terrific writer, conducted voluminous research and crafted a fascinating story that reads as though she was actually there.
"Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India" by Joseph Lelyveld
Lelyveld is especially qualified to write about Gandhi's career on both sides of the Indian Ocean: he covered South Africa for The New York Times (winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for his book about apartheid, "Move Your Shadow"), and spent several years in the late 1960s reporting from India. He brings to his subject a reporter's healthy skepticism and an old India hand's stubborn fascination with the subcontinent and its people.
"Boys Over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango)" by Yoko Kamio
In 2010, Princess Aiko, the only daughter of the Crowned Prince, made headlines when she refused to attend school due to harassment. In Hana Yori Dango, Kamio was making a statement about the impact of wealth on the young. But in Tsukushi, she was also appealing directly to what she knew had made Japan so great: kindness toward others, a belief in justice and fairness, and the ability to regenerate, as wild weeds always do.
"The Eichmann Trial" by Deborah E. Lipstadt
The Eichmann trial affected people across the world, but Lipstadt says it may have had the greatest impact on the younger generation of Israelis. She says it showed them the importance of the existence of the state of Israel.