1. Eats, Shoots & Leaves
With wit and style Lynne Truss presses the case for correct punctuation and assures people it's more than OK to be a punctuation stickler.
It's surprising that a book about the correct use of punctuation should shoot to the top of the bestseller lists, especially in a day of slap-dash e-mails. Truss fills the book with amusing examples of poor punctuation and meanings changed by carelessly omitted marks.
Caution: She uses British rules for punctuating quotations, and they differ from American.
2. Plan of Attack
Insider account of the Bush administration's planning and motivation for the war in Iraq.
President Bush's critics call him a liar, but Woodward portrays a president who wants to get the facts right and is assured by CIA director Tenet that evidence of WMDs is a "slam dunk." Woodward shows an administration prepared from the beginning to confront foreign threats. Bush comes across as an involved, steady leader, unafraid of policy disagreements within his team.
3. Against All Enemies
A much-disputed account of the Bush administration's attitude and actions toward al-Queda prior to 9/11.
Clarke's anger over the war in Iraq motivated him to write this exposé, published in time for his appearance before the 9/11 commission. In trying to absolve the Clinton administration of fault in fighting terrorism, he makes President Clinton seem weak. Clarke claims that Clinton wanted to fight, but the military wouldn't listen, and that when Clinton wanted to retaliate, nasty right-wingers charged "wag the dog."
4. The Purpose Driven Life
Warren, pastor of Saddleback Community Church in Southern California, takes his useful and well-known advice to churches and targets it to individuals.
In 40 short chapters, meant to be read one a day, Warren guides readers to discover how God's five ordained purposes-worship, community, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism-apply to them. His advice is often practical. Readers may disagree with him on this or that, but he encourages all to ask, "What on earth am I here for?"
5. Three Weeks with My Brother
Nicholas Sparks, author of The Notebook and Message in a Bottle, writes a cross between a memoir and a travelogue of a three-week around-the-world trip with his brother.
This book works best as a memoir, not a travelogue. But Sparks's detailed memories of his childhood make this book interesting. While his parents worked, the two brothers and their sister were left to fend for themselves, often dangerously. His novels are often sappy but his life has been anything but.