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Newsmax Rising Bestsellers – Week of Dec. 23, 2019

Newsmax Rising Bestsellers – Week of Dec. 23, 2019
(Igor Aronov/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 23 December 2019 12:04 PM

The Newsmax Rising Bestsellers list will do more than stimulate your mind. These reads may challenge your beliefs, broaden your perspectives, excite your curiosities or widen your imagination.

These books may not necessarily appear on the official New York Times list of bestsellers, but they’re the ones the Newsmax audience is reading, talking about, sharing with friends and even buying.

Here are the Newsmax Rising Bestsellers for the week of Dec. 23, 2019:

  1. Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greeley Polar Expedition,’’ by Buddy Levy (St. Martin’s Press) There’s nothing like a good armchair book, one where you’re curled up in your favorite La-Z-Boy with a comforter and a brandy, counting your blessings you’re not facing with the nightmare scenario the characters your reading about are. “Labyrinth of Ice” is a prime example – an intense, thrill-a-minute recounting of the ill-fated Lady Franklin Bay Expedition from 1881–1884 and one that will convince you that the polar expeditions of the late 19th century were more like suicide missions. The journey starts off well enough as 24 members of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, led by Lt. Adolphus W. Greeley, headed towards the Canadian Arctic in a bid to set out to reach the highest northern latitude on Earth. They did break the record at great peril, fighting off ravenous wolves, and enduring sub-zero temperatures and months of total darkness. But the fame-seeking adventurers found themselves in dire straits when a ship headed to shore up their provisions got stuck in a wall of ice some 250 miles south. That’s when Greeley made the decision to push off into treacherous waters in five small boats to seek help, a decision that delivered new perils:  threats of mutiny, insanity, starvation – even cannibalism. Levy pulls no punches in his description of the dangers and non-stop tension these men faced – and how a few lucky souls made it out alive. A rollicking read. (Non-fiction)
  2. This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Medical Resident,’’ by Adam Kay (Little, Brown Spark) This scrappy bestseller about a former doctor’s adventures in the British health system is finally out in the U.S. -- and not a moment too soon as Americans debate the future of our healthcare. Adam Kelly, who quit the medical grind to become a comedian, combines humor and horror as he shares his detailed diaries on life as a first-year physician in an English hospital ward. There are endless supplies of blood and bodily fluids in Kelly’s descriptions, but he moves it all along with a cheerful patter that’s fun to read. He tells about interviewing a 70-year-old lady who’s poisoning herself with booze: “Me: ‘And how much wine do you drink per day, would you say?’ Patient: ‘About three bottles on a good day.’ Me: And how about on a bad day? Patient: ‘On a bad day I manage only one.”’ On babies Kelly muses: “For me, the true miracle of childbirth is that smart, rational people with jobs and the ability to vote look at these half-melted fleshy blobs, their heads misshapen from being squeezed through a pelvis, covered in five types of horrendous gunk, looking like they’ve spent a good two hours rolling on top of a deep-pan pizza, and honestly believe they look beautiful. It’s Darwinism in action, an irrational love for your progeny.” Some readers may think Kelly jests much too much, but after what he’s seen, it’s really the only way to talk about it without crying. (Non-fiction)
  3. How the Dead Speak,’’ by Val McDermid (Atlantic Monthly Press) If you haven’t discovered the sheer pleasure of reading this superb Scottish crime writer, here’s the perfect place to dig in, as the redevelopment of a long-shuttered, nun-run orphanage uncovers dozens of skeletons buried on the property. Psychological profiler Tony Hill and ex-detective chief inspector team up to investigate a mysterious skeleton that turns up on the grounds of an old orphanage that had been run by nuns. Things get stickier when it turns out one of the male skeletons is that of a killer who’s supposedly alive and behind bars. Investigating are psychological profiler Tony Hill and former detective chief inspector Carol Jordan, both returning for their 11th go-round in McDermid’s acclaimed series. One of her strengths is the ability to ramp up the suspense early on and keep it going to the last page. McDermid’s mysteries are habit-forming – read one and you’re hooked. (Fiction)
  4. The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians,’’ by David M. Rubenstein (Simon & Schuster) If you want the straight dope on the most influential Americans over the past 243 years, Rubenstein’s lively chats with these top historians is a great place to start. There’s David McCullough on John Adams, Jon Meacham on Thomas Jefferson, Ron Chernow on Alexander Hamilton, Walter Isaacson on Benjamin Franklin, Doris Kearns Goodwin on Abraham Lincoln, A. Scott Berg on Charles Lindbergh, Taylor Branch on Martin Luther King, Robert Caro on Lyndon B. Johnson, Bob Woodward on Richard Nixon and many others, including a special conversation with Chief Justice John Roberts and a foreword by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, the first woman and first African American to lead America’s national library. Rubenstein, a philanthropist and co-founder of The Carlyle Group knows his stuff and his conversations with the experts are lively – and timely – as they review U.S. history from the Founding Era to the late 20th century. (Non-fiction)
  5. Exhalation,” by Ted Chiang. (Knopf Doubleday) Short stories are not everyone’s tea – some readers like a long and winding novel instead of short, unconnected bursts of literature. But Chiang – whose previous book “Stories of Your Life and Others” was the basis for the acclaimed sci-fi movie “Arrival’’ is so good, you’ll be captivated from the first page and forget all about how brief his latest nine tales are. In the title story “Exhalation,” an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications that are literally universal. In “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate,” a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and second chances. And in “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom,” the ability to glimpse into alternate universes forces a radically new look into the concepts of choice and free will. It’s all highly original, thought-provoking stuff and will have you seeking out his earlier works. (Fiction)

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The Newsmax Rising Bestsellers list will do more than stimulate your mind. These reads may challenge your beliefs, broaden your perspectives, excite your curiosities or widen your imagination.
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Monday, 23 December 2019 12:04 PM
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