Here are some of the hottest, most buzzed-about books this week. Download them on your Kindle, read them on your iPad, or go to a bookstore if you like to keep things old-school.
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard
This historical narrative takes a look at the dramatic life of James A. Garfield, who was nominated for President against his own will after coming from a background of severe poverty, only to be the subject of a failed assassination attempt a mere four months after his inauguration. What happened after the bullet entered, but didn’t kill, Garfield held the real drama. After the struggles of a civil war, America was left with a wounded President and behind-the-scenes struggles over power and Garfield’s own medical care. The book investigates the shocking twists and turns that surrounded Garfield’s Presidency and illness.
While the original version of the book came out years ago, we imagine that many of you will want to pick up a copy now that the Brad Pitt-led film is making headlines. The New York Times Bestseller sees Michael Lewis chronicle the Oakland Athletics, a Major League Baseball team that has managed to have a stellar record despite having one of the lowest payrolls. In a sport where money usually wins, this California team has figured out how to create a successful, low-budget team with General Manager Billy Beane at the helm. This book will be of interest to baseball enthusiasts, the business-saavy, and those who just want a fascinating non-fiction read.
Longtime followers of the Design*Sponge blog will be delighted with the coffee-table style book of the same namesake. The blog, started by Bonney, is a haven for design lovers and DIY fiends, with posts from before-and-after projects to kitchen recipes. The book includes 700 color photographs, inspirational home tours of 70 designers and artists, 50 DIY projects, 50 before-and-after projects, and step-by-step tutorials on things like putting up wallpaper, stripping paint, and working with upholstery. If you’re the type who likes to put a little work into making your home feel like you, look no further. The upscale craft designs in this book will have you smiling and your home sparkling.
If you’re looking to add to your movie collection, we’ve selected a few of the best titles coming out this week on DVD and Blu-ray.
While most people agreed that the second film in the Transformers series failed miserably, not in profit but in content, the franchise bounces back on its third try with the best film yet. Shia LaBeouf returns to the series with stunning Brit Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at his side as he must protect the planet from huge outer-space robots when the Decepticons attack. This film isn’t winning any awards, but as far as destructive, action-filled moneymakers go, Michael Bay didn’t get it all wrong.
This long-running comedy continues with the release of its 6th season, which is full of hilarious one-liners and character-driven plot twists. If you’re not a fan of the show, we can only describe it as something similar to (but not quite as good as) this generation’s Friends. Typical sitcom characteristics are at play here, but the combination of laugh-out-loud moments with sincere character development makes the show successful. This season sees Ted find a new lady, Lily and Marshall consider becoming parents, and Barney try to find his real father.
Set in Ancient Rome, this AFI Top 10 movie set the standard for epic filmmaking and took home 11 Academy Awards in 1959. The four-hour-long film stars Charlton Heston as Prince Judah Ben-Hur, a noble Palestine Jew who is enslaved by the Romans and engages in an arena Chariot race to seek vengeance. The classic film has been remastered in beautiful 1080p HD for the ultimate in epic movie-watching greatness.