When considering a good read, not everyone reaches for a work of fiction. True stories can be equally riveting, and often just as difficult to put down.
With this in mind, our friends at the New York Public Library helped us put together a list of the five best nonfiction books that will have you at the edge of your seat. All the books on this list were finalists for the New York Public Library’s 2014 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism.
“The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster” by Jonathan Katz
A former Associated Press reporter, Katz was living and working as the only full-time American news correspondent in Haiti when the 2010 earthquake took out his home, along with thousands of others.
Heartfelt and political, “The Big Truck That Went By” is his firsthand account of what he considers an unfulfilled relief effort from the deadliest quake to ever hit the Western hemisphere.
“Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital” by Sheri Fink
Fink’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book details some of the first five days immediately after Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans.
Fink’s background as both a reporter and physician fuels her narrative as we witness the death and devastation through her eyes.
“The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War” by Fred Kaplan
Kaplan writes the thrilling true story of how former CIA Director David Petraeus led a small group of soldier-scholars to revolutionise one of the oldest American institutions — the military — in the middle of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Kaplan gives us access to emails, confidential files and documents to piece together the retired Army general’s influence in the way the U.S. military looks today.
“Thank You for Your Service” by David Finkel
A MacArthur fellow and Washington Post journalist, Finkel takes an in-depth look at some of the psychological issues, including PTSD, that plagued many of his fellow battalion members after returning from service in the Iraq war.
A sequel, if you will, to his book “The Good Soldiers,” “Thank You for Your Service,” Finkel presents snapshots of his battalion mates post-service, their day-to-day lives, and how their service has affected their lives and loved ones.
“Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation” by Dan Fagin
Winner of the 2014 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, “Toms River” is a detective story of decades of industrial pollution in a Jersey Shore town.
With vivid descriptions of time, place, and the people involved, Fagin sheds light on the legal settlement that resulted from the disregard for what years of negligence has on an urban ecosystem.
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