10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

As always, Top Ten Tuesday meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: “10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads (Or Ten Of The Best Books I’ve Read Recently if you don’t 5 star stuff…or you could do 5 of my latest five star reads & five of my most disappointing or 1 star reads) “.

I’m doing this post in a bit different way including only the best nonfiction I’ve read. It seems like I don’t review enough of that here.

ZeroZeroZero1. ZeroZeroZero by Roberto Saviano

“Zero zero zero” flour is the finest, whitest available. “Zero zero zero” is also the nickname among narcotraffickers for the purest, highest quality cocaine on the market.” Saviano’s newest is heartbreaking report on cocaine market.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants2. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

For the first book I’ve ever read by Malcom Gladwell, I’m very impressed! I have read a lot of great nonfiction, however I think few books can really teach you something that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Gladwell grabs your attention with quotes in the beginning of each chapter:  “You wouldn’t wish dyslexia on your child. Or would you?”

3. Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped by Garry Kasparov

“Communism is like an autoimmune disorder; it doesn’t do the killing itself, but it weakens the system so much that the victim is left helpless and unable to fight off anything else. It destroys the human spirit on an individual level, perverting the values of a successful free society. “

4. The Spy With 29 Names by Jason Webster

“He fought on both sides in the Spanish Civil War. He was awarded the Iron Cross by Hitler and an MBE by Britain. To MI5 he was known as Garbo. To the Abwehr, he was Alaric. He also went by Rags the Indian Poet, Mrs Gerbers, Stanley the Welsh Nationalist – and 24 other names. He tricked Hitler over D-Day. He was the greatest double agent in history.”

5. Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder

“After Khodorkovsky was found guilty, most of Russia’s oligarchs went one by one to Putin and said, ‘Vladimir Vladimirovich, what can I do to make sure I won’t end up sitting in a cage?’ I wasn’t there, so I’m only speculating, but I imagine Putin’s response was something like this: ‘Fifty per cent.”

Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life: A Former CIA Officer Reveals Safety and Survival Techniques to Keep You and Your Family Protected6. Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life: A Former CIA Officer Reveals Safety and Survival Techniques to Keep You and Your Family Protected by Jason Hanson

Great book! Everyone should read this, especially women. Hanson teaches us about situational awareness: maybe you should stop using your smart phone in public, especially in shopping malls and concentrate on what’s happening around you. Also, what are the pre-incident indicators, signs that someone will be attempting to hurt you. How to avoid dangerous situations, what to carry in your bag, how to escape duct tape, social engineering… Some of these advices might seem too much but there’s a lot you can learn. You’ll do yourself a great favor by reading ‘Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life’ (because they will save your life).

7. Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World by Nicholas Shaxson

“One is that the offshore system is perhaps the strongest determinant of how political and economic power works in this world. It helps rich people, companies and countries stay on top, for no good economic or political reason. It’s the battleground of the rich versus the poor, you versus the corporations, the havens against the democracies – and in each battle, unless you’re very rich, you are losing.”

8. The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind by Michio Kaku

“We have learned more about the brain in the last fifteen years than in all prior human history, and the mind, once considered out of reach, is finally assuming center stage.”

Reasons to Stay Alive9. Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

“The wound is the place where Light enters you.” – Rumi

Everyone and especially everyone who has been depressed or is depressed should read Haig’s book. There are few rare books that teach you about yourself as much and that describe depression and anxiety with such intensity. Simply a great book.

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History10.The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel

“At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: “degenerate” works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Momuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture.”  Very fascinating! I highly admire these men and women who risked their lives to save the culture and through that also the history in World War II. I have read quite much history, however this book had so many interesting details I didn’t know of before.

25 thoughts on “10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

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  1. So glad to see that you liked The Monuments Men! I actually bought it for my Dad about a year ago and he struggled to get through it but I’ve been passively curious to pick it up and have read of it myself. I absolutely adored the movie (have you seen it?) and I thought it was such an interesting side of the War to learn about! I love books that surprise you like that :) Great list!

    1. Glad you liked it! :D I always kind of do the same, if my dad reads something or if I buy him a book, I want to read it too haha. I haven’t seen the movie! So many great movies to watch … -_- Exactly, I’ve read so much about WW2 and this was something I didn’t know…it blew my mind!

  2. Definitely not the sort of books that I read but I always like stopping by and checking out new blogs and hopefully coming across some recommendations. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hope you get a chance to read them! If you like hmm historical nonfiction, here’s one more great book to your list: The Liberator: One World War II Soldier’s 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau by Alex Kershaw

  3. ‘The Spy With 29 Names’ sounds amazing! I love that kind of stuff. I loved the film, ‘Monuments Men’ – is that book at number 10 kind of loosely related?

  4. I am so happy I came across this blog post! I am a big non-fiction fan and I have added “ZeroZeroZero” to my TBR list. I recently read a really enthralling memoir about prison life by author Don Alfredano called “Real Men Wear Beige” (http://realmenwearbeige.com/). This book gives you a fascinating real life look at the criminal justice system as well as what life is like in state prison. The author manages to inject humor, insight, and deep emotions throughout his memoir. I couldn’t put it down. I am a big fan of Orange is the New Black and this reminded me of it but gave me a whole new perspective of what it’s like as a man. Hope you will check it out! Perhaps it will make it on a future list of yours

    1. Hi Leslie, I’m glad you found new book to add on your TBR. ‘Real Men Wear Beige’ sounds fascinating! I haven’t read Orange is the New Black yet, however I adore tv adaptation. I will definitely check it out. Thank you for the recommendation.

  5. There are many interesting titles on this list, I’ll definitely check out at some point.

    Number ten however had exceptionally interesting summary, so I couldn’t resist myself and grab it right away from Amazon sale. The point of view is really interesting and I’ve been enjoying the reading so far. The efforts that this books tries to describe, I would describe as the effort to preserve some of the humanity in midst of all the war.

    I shall return for this list for more someday. Thanks!

  6. I’m very happy to hear that you like it so far! :)
    Your description nails it. It seems unimaginable how amidst of all that chaos and suffering these brave people rose above it. Without them we would have lost pieces of our humanity.

    I guess if you’re planning to return to this list one day, I’ll have to recommend one more book for you: The Liberator: One World War II Soldier’s 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau by Alex Kershaw. Tough topic but it reads like a thriller. I think it’s interesting to learn not just about the war but the people in it.

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