Feature

Robert Kurson

Esquire contributing editor Robert Kurson is the author of the 2004 best–seller Shadow Divers. His new book, Crashing Through, is the true story of a blind man who regains his sight in adulthood.

Patrimony by Philip Roth (Vintage, $13). A brave and loving and beautifully honest farewell by the author to his dying father. It is impossible to read Roth’s true account without realizing how we say goodbye to our aging parents every day—and that we say goodbye to ourselves just as often.Buy Patrimony at Amazon

The Napoleon of Crime by Ben Macintyre (out of print). The astonishing true story of 19th–century master thief Adam Worth, whose genius and daring purportedly made him the model for Sherlock Holmes’ archnemesis, Professor Moriarty. Author Macintyre is a gorgeous writer—as good as they come in narrative nonfiction—and he makes Worth’s world and obsessions as real as if we’d joined the master on his grandest heist.Buy it at Amazon

The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker (Free Press, $15). The single book that truly changed my life. Becker’s idea—that man’s inescapable fear of death is at the root of human motivation, psychology, culture, and good and evil—explains so much about why people do what they do that you’ll never look at the world in the same way again.Buy it at Amazon

The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence S. Ritter (HarperCollins, $15). To my mind, the greatest sports book ever written. On the surface, it’s a collection of interviews with turn–of–the–century baseball players, great and ordinary. At its heart, it is the voice of America, with an optimism and toughness and love of the simple that reminds us why we love baseball and our country so dearly.Buy it at Amazon

Conversations With Kafka by Gustav Janouch (New Directions, $11). A man’s remembrances of his boyhood friendship with the great writer and philosopher Franz Kafka. Janouch’s memories open up a part of Kafka that is at once warm and profound, kind and brilliant, and always unforgettable.Buy it at Amazon

Narcissus Leaves the Pool

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