Motoring Con Brio recommends..

[Not car related content within]

Took the recent winter holiday to knock off a couple of volumes of nonfiction— thought they were worthy enough to pass on here.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

It doesn’t take a history buff to tell you that the Pacific side of the Second World War had been woefully amiss from the public consciousness and dialogue for much of the twentieth century. Actually, it might, since a good percentage of the American public (our guess, anyway) will well not even know or remember that that side of the war had even been fought. It just doesn’t occupy the public’s imagination in the way that the European front does. Unbroken attempts to help remedy that unfortunate reality by bringing history to life in rich, exquisite detail. But above all, it’s a human story (and a thoroughly and unexpectedly modern one at that) as much as it is a war story, one that is by turns heartbreaking, uplifting, gripping, and humorous— and an effortless page turner. (The other title to the author’s name is Seabiscuit. We have not seen the movie, nor do we have any immediate plans to, but we’ll probably pick up the book on the basis of Unbroken alone.)

Media types have come up with some cutesy made-for-television name for men who served and came of age in the crucible of this war: the Greatest Generation. We simply prefer to think of them as Real Men (albeit men displaying superhuman courage and perseverence amidst the grave and incomprehensibly cruel circumstances produced by the hell that is war). And in doing so we probably could not be paying that illustrious group a higher compliment.

Life by Keith Richards

If you love the Stones, if you love the Chicago Blues on which they cut their musical teeth— heck, if you have even a passing interest in the music, counterculture movement, or monumental societal changes incubated and brought to a head in the 1960s and ’70s, then by all means, read this book. Richards is a born storyteller with a spare and infectious prose, an astute observer of all that was happening around him, and a surprisingly lucid and insightful social commentator. His recollections and vignettes – intra-Stones as well as far beyond – are fascinating to read, particularly the years immediately before and immediately after they became, y’know, the Rolling f——g Stones. If James Brown was the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, then the Stones – in their formative years – might have been the Hardest Working Band. An entertaining read on one of our absolute favorite bands ever.

~ by velofinds on January 9, 2011.

2 Responses to “Motoring Con Brio recommends..”

  1. I would also recommend the newly released Colonel Roosevelt – the third part of a biographical trilogy of (my favorite and in my opinion our best) president Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris. Naturally check out the first two first.

    MCB relevance: “Once or twice a week [TR] was driven into Manhattan to attend meetings at the Outlook [magazine] offices, traveling in a new automobile, a Haynes-Apperson Model 19. He quickly learned to drive himself, and became, in [wife] Edith’s word, “addicted” to it.”

  2. thanks! i had heard that teddy roosevelt was a motoring enthusiast. good on him.

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