The Oath: A Surgeon Under Fire
Baiev once conducted 67 amputations in 48 hours. This memoir from a doctor who worked on the front lines of the bloodbath in Chechnya will be an eye-opener for Americans unfamiliar with the crisis. In The Oath, he provides a horrifying glimpse at the destructions of war.
At the end of World War II, Gelb began work at the New York Times as a copyboy. He retired 45 years later as managing editor. City Room tells the extraordinary story of his time at the paper. In the process, the book gives a remarkable historical account of American newspapers in the second half of the 20th century.
Winner of the National Book Award: A Novel of Fame, Honor and Really Bad Weather
No, Willett's novel didn't actually win the National Book Award, but this black comedy about a bizarre relationship between a pair of twins deserves your respect anyway. Advance readers have called it a sharp, literary page-turner.
You might not think a novel about a leper colony would make a very good read. Brennert's books, though, about a young Hawaiian lass shipped to the quarantined island of Moloka'i is both true to history and fueled by an empathetic cast of characters.