Holiday Book Bonanza ’09:
It has become a holiday tradition on the OUPblog to ask our favorite people about their favorite books. This year we asked authors to participate (OUP authors and non-OUP authors). For the next two weeks we will be posting their responses which reflect a wide variety of tastes and interests, in fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. Check back daily for new books to add to your 2010 reading lists. If that isn’t enough to keep you busy next year check out all the great books we have discovered during past holiday seasons: 2006, 2007, 2008 (US), and 2008 (UK).
David L. Bosco is an Assistant Professor in the School of International Service at American University. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a former Senior Editor at Foreign Policy and has been a political analyst and journalist in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a deputy director of a joint United Nations – NATO project in Sarajevo. His most recent book, Five To Rule Them All: The UN Security Council and the Making of The Modern World, tells the inside story of this remarkable diplomatic creation, illuminating the role of the Security Council in the postwar world, and making a compelling case for its enduring importance. Read Bosco’s previous OUPblog posts here.
For those who love history and politics, it’s tough to do much better than Edmund Morris‘s The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. It helps of course that TR was a compelling, larger-than-life character, but the book is one of the best I’ve read. I particularly remember Morris’s description of TR as police commissioner, skulking around the city trying to catch snoozing cops unaware. The narrative ends as Roosevelt–who was hiking a mountain–learns that McKinley has died and that he will become president. I still go back to the book from time to time just to enjoy the writing.
There are two children’s books that I adored as a kid (and, come to think of it, I need to get them both for our seven-month old son). One is Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Written in the 1930s, it’s a wonderful tale about man and machine struggling together against obsolescence. The other is One Morning in Maine, by Robert McCloskey. My family used to spend summers in Maine and this one really resonated.