5-Star Books                          

Title

Author

Rating

Description

Atlas Shrugged

Ayn Rand

*****

A classic tale of the goodness of capitalism and how, once success is achieved, everyone wants a piece of it. Named as one of the most influential books by many CEO's, it is a good read, though a little long and preachy in places.

Crashing Through

Robert Kurson

*****

An amazing true story of a man who list his vision at age 3 in a chemical explosion. For the next 43 years, he lived as a blind person - and a very successful one, setting speed records for skiing, being a somewhat successful enterpreneur, even driving his sister's car! Then, a new procedure, using stem cells, restores his sight. Amazingly, that's where the story really starts. Both inspirational and educational, I highly recommend this book to anyone. I selected it because I so thoroughly enjoyed the author's previous book, Shadow Divers, which also earned 5 stars from me! Please don't ask me to choose between the two! Bradley adds: One of the most motivation and inspirational books I have ever read. What holds you back from reaching your full potential, will definitely be weakened after reading this book. This is a must read book in life.

Dear Hermit

B. McClenon Clark

*****

A collection of correspondence between my mother (the author) and her long term pen-pal, a self-described hermit who lived in the hills of North Carolina. The two never met, but through their letters they get to know each other in special and uniwue ways

Diary of a Reluctant Political Candidate

B. McClenon Clark

*****

Any book written by my mother is going to get 5 stars! Actually this is an excellent semi-biographical book about the author's experience running for political office. The book takes the reader through the diffult decision to run for office, then a day by

Guns, Germs, and Steel

Jared Diamond

*****

One the best books I've read. It explains how the white European people ended up conquering the world. A very easy to read and understand history of why people in the "fertile Crescent" area were able to get a head start on farming and domesticating animals and therefore develop their civilization more quickly. Bradley's comment - 5 stars. This book should be required reading for high school seniors as it offers an important perspective regarding race, timing, place and luck in the outcome of history.

Hope and Honor

Major Gen. Sidney Shachnow & Jann RobbinsSid

*****

(From Bradley) This is a must read book, especially for anyone who has been in the military or who parents served while they grew up.  It is an incredible story of Major Gen. Shachnow's experiences from the notorious concentration camp Kovno in Lithuania from age 7 until 10.  He and his whole family not only lived through the experience, but escaped just before the German command ordered the complete destruction of the camp and those in it.  However there problems were far from over, as they were now back home, but behind what was to become the Iron Curtain.  Again his family escaped to West Germany where they struggled to survive, before immigrating to the US.  For anyone who does not understand the price the free societies must pay for the freedoms we enjoy, there is no better example, than that of Major. Gen. Shachnow's life.

Lonesome Dove

Larry McMurtry

*****

One of my all time favorites. I read it years ago, but have rarely found a book I enjoyed as much. It's a novel about two former Texas rangers who decide to drive a herd of cattle to Montana. Great story and fascinating characters. And the TV mini-series was great too!

Miracle in the Andes

Nando Parado

*****

Fantastic personal account written by a survivor of the famous plane crash in the Andes in 1972. There were 19 members of a rugby team who survived for 72 days before two made an incredible trek across a 17000 ft peak to obtain help. A previous book, called Alive! provided a factual account of the ordeal. This book, written more than 30 years after the event, is a wonderful, gripping, amazing, and well told story that I highly recommend. One caution - there are some graphic descriptions of injuries and what they did to survive, so be prepared for a vivid and emotional ride!

Night

Elie Weisel

*****

A new translation of this classic book first published in 1958 that gives a first hand look at the horrors of the Jews who endured Nazi camps. The author and his family were transported from Transylvania and the author is the only survivor. A short, but graphic and poignant story that should be required reading for all.

Pillars of the Earth

Ken Follett

*****

The story of an architect and builder in the 13th century in England. A fascinating story which I really enjoyed.

Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea

Gary Kinder

*****

The first part of the book re-creates the shipwreck of the USS Central America during the California gold rush. The boat sinks off the coast of North Carolina in a hurricane. The second part of the book deals with the efforts to locate the wreck and to salvage the treasure. The boat sank in 8000 feet of water. It wasn't easy! You won't be able to put this book down. Bradley's Comments: 4;.5 Stars Agree with Kathy, a wonderfully engrossing book to read. It offers great insights into the complexity of deap diving. It also offers some discuss, that could have been expanded regarding the issue of whether treasure should be recovered and who owns it.

Space

James Michener

*****

This was the first Michener book I read and I was hooked. It tells the story of the US space program and the stories of many of the scientists involved.

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

*****

I first read this book in high school and its just as good the second and third time! Bradley's Comments: 5 Stars

The Old Man and the Sea

Ernest Hemingway

*****

A beautifully written story of an old fisherman's struggle to catch a huge fish and get it back to shore while a shark tries to snack on it.

The Source

James Michener

*****

A must read book detailing the history of Israel. Gives a wonderful understanding of the history of the region, the establishment of Israel as a nation, and the underlying causes of the tensions that continue to exist.

Troublesome Young Men

Lynne Olson

*****

(Bradley) This is the incredible true story of how a group of brave young men, over a period of 14 months challenged the stodgy back room politics of British parliament, ultimately bringing Neville Chamberlainís government down and installing Winston Churchill as the War Prime Minister.  What is so revealing is to see in great detail how close the world came to losing England as a democracy, which would have clearly changed the course of history.  What is truly amazing is how loyalty and fear were used so successfully by Chamberlain and his Whips to keep the Tory MPís in line, while Chamberlian tried to appease Hitler for four long years.  Lynne does an excellent job of presenting back room politics, where the outcome is already know as a great mystery thriller.   For anyone who is a fan of Churchill or who enjoys history and politics this is a must read.  Maybe we should make every politician running for office in the US read Troublesome Young Men, so they may play a little less politics and starting making the best decisions for this country as a whole.   England came so close to being lost, that your heart is in your throat.  Enjoy

Wild Swans

Jung Chang

*****

Fabulous book about the cultural revolution in China and the effect it had one one family. A great combination of history and storytelling, I highly recommend it

 

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