Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin (Harper, $28). Reading this brought me back to covering the incredible 2008 presidential election—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Heilemann and Halperin confirm many stories we all knew about, but also reveal how raw and gut-wrenching the political process can be. It will leave readers with a new respect for some of this country’s political leaders and disgust for others.
The Last Best Hope by Joe Scarborough (Crown, $26). Here, Scarborough lays out exactly what his political philosophy is. This book should be read by anyone who believes that conservatism and Republicanism should be one and the same.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner, $15). Jeannette is an amazing woman. Full disclosure: I worked with her when she was a gossip reporter at MSNBC and I love her! Yet when I first read this best-selling 2006 memoir, I was stunned. Jeannette grew up in a rootless family; her parents were homeless on New York’s streets when her journalism career was taking off. But the challenges and beauty of her background make for a riveting book.
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (Dover, $3). I read Edith Wharton to go back in time—to when I was studying at Williams as an English major. That was a period in my life when there wasn’t so much noise around me.
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (Penguin, $15). First of all, this book is a reminder of just how hard it is to eat well in America. Present-day supermarkets are filled with processed foods. We need to have an honest conversation about food and our health. Pollan’s 2008 best-seller is a good place to start.
America and the World by Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft (Basic, $17). In a 2008 dialogue moderated by The Washington Post’s David Ignatius, two former national security advisors—my father and Brent Scowcroft—tell you what you need to know about America and its place in the world. Any administration should study this book.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Bush vs. Clinton in 2016 is the perfect way to make millennials hate politics even more
- The latent sexism of the male marriage proposal
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- This judge is the reason we're still fighting over net neutrality
- 10 things you need to know today: November 28, 2014
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
Subscribe to the Week