All Stars 2003: Nonfiction

Nonfiction titles which received three or more starred reviews (indicating a work of unusual merit) from the following review sources: Booklist (BL), Publisher's Weekly (PW), Kirkus, and Library Journal (LJ).

Annotated lists of books receiving at least one starred review from one of four major review sources: Booklist, Kirkus, LJ and PW. The review source assigns the star.
  • Gulag: A History
    Author: Applebaum, Anne
    Publisher: Doubleday $ 35.00 ISBN: 0767900561
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist star LJ
    The Gulag entered the world's historical consciousness in 1972, with the publication of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's epic history of the Soviet camps, The Gulag Archipelago. Applebaum has undertaken a fully documented history of the Soviet camp system, from its origins in the Russian Revolution to its collapse in the era of glasnost.
    Updated 3.31.03
  • In the Presence of Mine Enemies: War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863
    Author: Ayers, Edward L.
    Publisher: Norton $ 27.95 ISBN: 0393057860
    star Kirkus star PW star LJ star Booklist
    Through a gripping narrative based on massive new research, a leading historian tells a reassuring story of the triumph, in an inevitable conflict, of the dynamic, free-labor North over the traditional, slave-based South, vindicating the freedom principles built into the nation's foundations.
    Updated 7.17.03
  • The Emperor of Scent: A Story of Obsession, Perfume, and the Last Mystery of the Senses
    Author: Burr, Chandler
    Publisher: Random $ 24.95 ISBN: 0375507973
    star Kirkus star Booklist star Library Journal
    This true story profiles a scientific genius with eerie powers of smell who uses his gifts to solve one of the body's last secrets: how the nose works.
    Suggested Reading: Nature
    Updated 12.23.02
  • Where I Was From
    Author: Didion, Joan
    Publisher: Knopf $ 23 ISBN: 0679433325
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    In this moving and unexpected work, Didion reassesses her life, her work, and both her own and America's history, locating the contradictions in the stories people tell themselves about their past and their present.
    Updated 7.18.03
  • Invisible Eden: A True Story of Love and Murder on Cape Cod
    Author: Flook, Maria
    Publisher: Broadway $ 24.95 ISBN: 0767913744
    star Kirkus star LJ star Booklist
    A literary investigation of a story that riveted the nation: how a globe-trotting fashion writer who had retreated to a simpler life as a single mother on Cape Cod became the victim of a brutal, still unsolved murder.
    Updated 6.30.03
  • A Million Little Pieces
    Author: Frey, James
    Publisher: Nan A. Talese $ 22.95 ISBN: 0385507755
    star Kirkus star Booklist star LJ
    Intense, unpredictable, and instantly engaging, A Million Little Pieces is a story of drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation as it has never been told before. Recounted in visceral, kinetic prose, and crafted with a forthrightness that rejects self-pity, it brings readers face-to-face with a provocative understanding of the nature of addiction and the meaning of recovery.
    Updated 4.29.03
  • City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center
    Author: Glanz, James
    Publisher: Times $ 26 ISBN: 0805074287
    star Booklist star Kirkkus star PW
    Like David McCullough's The Great Bridge, City in the Sky is a riveting story of New York City itself, of architectural daring, human frailty, and a lost American icon.
    Updated 11.25.03
  • Merchants of Immortality: Chasing the Dream of Human Life Extension
    Author: Hall, Stephen S.
    Publisher: Houghton $ 25 ISBN: 0618095241
    star PW star LJ star Kirkus
    Aging, cancer, stem cells, cloning--this book's themes are the stuff of headlines and of humankind's greatest fears and hopes. An award-winning writer delves behind the headlines to reveal just how close scientists are to fulfilling these hopes and fears.
    Updated 6.5.03
  • In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr.
    Author: Haygood, Wil
    Publisher: Knopf $ 26.95 ISBN: 037540354x
    star Booklist star Kirkus star LJ star PW
    In this superb work of biography, Haygood brings Sammy Davis, Jr., to life against the backdrop of 20th-century race relations. Trapped between the worlds of blacks and whites, Davis forged an uncharted path as a consummate entertainer.
    Updated 11.25.03
  • Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories from a Decade Gone Mad
    Author: Holman, Virginia
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster $ 23 ISBN: 0743222857
    star Kirkus star PW star LJ
    In a dexterous portrait of madness and shadows, Pushcart Prize winner Holman recounts the dark days her family was held hostage by her mother's delusions and her country was beset with the folly of the Watergate era.
    Updated 1.3.03
  • Art: A New History
    Author: Johnson, Paul
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 39.95 ISBN: 0060530758
    star Booklist star Kirkus star LJ
    A provocative, personal view of the history of art, from the earliest cave paintings to the present day, is delivered by the bestselling author of Modern Times. 300 color illustrations.
    Updated 10.8.03
  • In Search of Zarathrustra: The First Prophet and the Ideas That Changed the World
    Author: Kriwaczek, Paul
    Publisher: Knopf $ 25 ISBN: 0375415289
    star Kirkus star LJ star PW
    Not only an enthralling travel book, In Search of Zarathustra is also a revelation of the importance of the prophet, and a brilliantly conceived and lucid explication of the belief systems that helped shape the European Enlightenment, the Middle Ages, the Dark Ages, and the beginning of the Christian era.
    Updated 11.25.03
  • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
    Author: Larson, Erik
    Publisher: Crown $ 25.95 ISBN: 0609608444
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and its devious creators. A blend of Ragtime and Silence of the Lambs, The Devil in the White City is Larson at his best.
    Suggested Reading: Holmes: Scarlet Mansions by Allen Eckert (novel) and Depraved: The Shocking True Story of America's First Serial Killer by Harold Schechter.
    Links: Chicago World's Fair - Hypertext | Interactive Guide
    Web Book | Holmes Article
    Updated 2.28.02
  • They Marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace Vietnam and America October 1967
    Author: Maraniss, David
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster $ 29.95 ISBN: 0743217802
    star Kirkus star LJ star PW
    From the author of When Pride Still Mattered ("Near perfect . . . May be the best sports biography ever published."--Sports Illustrated) comes a new book on the Vietnam war.
    Updated 8.18.03
  • Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg
    Author: McPherson, James M.
    Publisher: $ ISBN: 0609610236
    star Booklist star Kirkus star LJ
    McPherson takes us on one of his Gettysburg tours, with stops at important spots. He reflects on the meaning of the battle in the hearts and minds of Americans, describes the key events of those terrible three days in July 1863, and places the struggle in the greater contexts of American and world history.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 3.13.03
  • Gellhorn: A Twentieth Century Life
    Author: Moorehead, Caroline
    Publisher: Holt $ 27.50 ISBN: 0805065539
    star PW star Kirkus star Booklist
    Martha Gellhorn's career as a reporter brought her to the front lines of every significant international conflict between the Spanish Civil War and the Cold War. This seminal work spans half the globe and an entire century to offer an exhilarating, intimate portrait of one of the defining women of our times.
    Updated 10.2.03
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
    Author: Nafisi, Azar
    Publisher: Random $ 23.95 ISBN: 0375504907
    star Kirkus star PW star LJ
    Reading Lolita in Tehran is the astonishing true story of young women who met in secret each week to read and talk about forbidden Western classics--and their lives and loves--in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
    Updated 3.21.03
  • The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping
    Author: Nasdijj
    Publisher: Ballantine $ 22.95ISBN: 0345453891
    star Booklist star LJ star PW
    When the author decided to adopt a ten-year-old Navajo boy named Awee, who was born with AIDS and endured a difficult and abusive childhood, Nasdijj, Awee, and the Awee's dog, Navajo, formed a new, tightly knit family. Nasdijj reveals his untraditional family was filled with love but also with great pain.
    Updated 11.25.03
  • And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank
    Author: Oney, Steve
    Publisher: Pantheon $ 35 ISBN: 0679421475
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist star LJ
    In 1913, 13-year-old Mary Phagan was found brutally murdered in the basement of the Atlanta pencil factory where she worked. The factory manager, a college-educated Jew named Leo Frank, was arrested, tried, and convicted in a trial that seized national headlines. When the governor commuted his death sentence, Frank was kidnapped and lynched by a group of prominent local citizens.
    Steve Oney's acclaimed account re-creates the entire story for the first time, from the police investigations to the gripping trial to the brutal lynching and its aftermath. Oney vividly renders Atlanta, a city enjoying newfound prosperity a half-century after the Civil War, but still rife with barely hidden prejudices and resentments. He introduces a Dickensian pageant of characters, including zealous policemen, intrepid reporters, Frank's martyred wife, and a fiery populist who manipulated local anger at Northern newspapers that pushed for Frank's exoneration. Combining investigative journalism and sweeping social history, this is the definitive account of one of American history's most repellent and most fascinating moments.
    - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.2.03
  • Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas
    Author: Pagel, Elaine
    Publisher: Random $ 24.95 ISBN: 0375501568
    star Booklist star LJ star PW
    During the last 25 years, award-winning author Pagels has been on a personal and intellectual quest to understand the origins of Christianity. In this exciting new book, she traces the source to the Gospel of Thomas.
    Updated 11.25.03
  • Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predators in the Jungles of History and the Mind
    Author: Quammen, David
    Publisher: Norton $ 25.95 ISBN: 0393051404
    star PW star Booklist star LJ
    Casting his expert eye over the rapidly diminishing areas of wilderness where predators still reign, the award-winning author of The Song of the Dodo examines the fate of lions, saltwater crocodiles, brown bears and others that are disappearing.
    Suggested Reading: Nature
    Updated 8.14.03
  • Nature Via Nurture: Genes, Experience, and What Makes Us Human
    Author: Ridley, Matt
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 25.95 ISBN: 0060006781
    star Library Journal star Booklist star PW
    Armed with extraordinary new discoveries about genes, acclaimed science writer Matt Ridley turns his attention to the nature versus nurture debate to bring readers a stunning book about the roots of human behavior.
    Updated 4.29.03
  • Stolen Figs, and Other Adventures in Calabria
    Author: Rotella, Mark
    Publisher: North Point $ 25 ISBN: 0865476276
    star PW star Kirkus star LJ
    Rotella's Stolen Figs is a marvelous evocation of Calabria and Calabrians, whose way of life is largely untouched by the commerce that has made Tuscany and Umbria into tourist redoubts. This is a model travelogue--at once charming and wise, and full of the earthy sense of life that characterizes Calabria and its people.
    Suggested Reading: Travel Tales
    Updated 6.5.03
  • The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic
    Author: Salisbury, Gay
    Publisher: Norton $ 24.95 ISBN: 0393019624
    star Kirkus star PW star LJ
    Alaska, 1925: the diphtheria serum is 674 miles away. Without it, the people of Nome will not survive. The never-before-told tale of the dogs and men who braved blizzard conditions to save Nome, Alaska from diphtheria.
    Updated 6.5.03
  • Lightning Man: The Accursed Life of Samuel F.B. Morse
    Author: Silverman, Kenneth
    Publisher: Random $ 35 ISBN: 0375401288
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist star LJ
    Lightning Man is the first biography of Samuel F. B. Morse in sixty years. It is a revelation of the life of a fascinating and profoundly troubled American genius. - Publisher Marketing
    Updated 10.30.03
  • Khrushchev: The Man and His Era
    Author: Taubman, William
    Publisher: Norton $ 35 ISBN: 0393051447
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW
    Brimming with the life and excitement of Nikita Khrushchev, a man whose story personified his era, this biography reflects the full range of sources that have become available since the Soviet Union collapsed.
    Updated 11.25.03
  • DNA: The Secret of Life
    Author: Watson, James D. with Andrew Berry
    Publisher: Knopf $ 39.95 ISBN: 0375415467
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    From a renowned scientist comes the first single volume to chart the entire genetic revolution--published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the DNA breakthrough. From genetically modified food to genetically modified babies, Watson reveals a future of choices and implications of which readers dare not remain uninformed.
    Updated 3.13.03
  • The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary
    Author: Winchester, Simon
    Publisher: Oxford $ 25 ISBN: 0198607024
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist star LJ
    Updated 10.30.03
  • Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded August 27, 1883
    Author: Winchester, Simon
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 25.95 ISBN: 0066212855
    star Kirkus star Booklist star PW star LJ
    From the bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World comes an examination of the enduring and world-changing effects of the catastrophic eruption off the coast of Java of the world's most dangerous volcano--Krakatoa.
    Updated 3.31.03

Starred Review Lists

Books that received at least one starred review from Booklist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW.

2013 Crime Fiction: Jan-June | Fiction: Jan-June | Speculative Fiction

2012 Crime Fiction: July-Dec | Fiction: July-Dec | Speculative Fiction

Hotlists@ Google Docs

Crime Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

(lists of new and notable books - lists are sortable and can be downloaded)

more stars lists...

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