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Newsmax Rising Bestsellers — Week of Dec. 16, 2019

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Tuesday, 17 December 2019 02:20 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 our Newsmax audience is reading, talking about, sharing with friends and even buying.

Here are the Newsmax Rising Bestsellers for the week of Dec. 16, 2019:

  1. "Mary Ball Washington: The Untold Story of George Washington's Mother," by Craig Shirley (Harper). The saying goes that behind every great man is a great mother — and that age-old adage fits Shirley's fascinating new biography about the Father of Our Country's headstrong, somewhat overbearing mom, Mary Ball. The historian says while Mary has been portrayed as everything from Mother Teresa to "Mommy Dearest,'' the truth is somewhere in between. While she helped shape the man who would play a critical role in the Revolutionary War and go on to become the nation's first president, Mary was hardly the doting matriarch, remaining a staunch British loyalist, even as her son led the successful rebellion against the crown. She even refused to attend his inauguration. Shirley's expert rendering of the lifelong push and pull between mother and son reveals new insights into how America was founded and is a must for history buffs. (Non-fiction)
  2. "Genius & Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World, 1847-1947,'' by Norman Lebrecht (Scribner). This impeccably researched, highly readable book chronicles the Jewish intellectuals, writers, scientists, and thinkers whose genius shaped the world as we know it today. Lebrecht, an award-winning British journalist, starts with the Communist Manifesto in 1847 and ends in 1947, when Israel was founded — digging into the backgrounds of such larger-than-life figures as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Marcel Proust, Albert Einstein, and Franz Kafka. He also looks at those who are long forgotten, such as Karl Landsteiner, who helped pioneer major surgery and blood transfusions; Paul Ehrlich, who was on the forefront of chemotherapy; and Rosalind Franklin, who spearheaded the field of genetic science. These pioneers ultimately expected their ideas to be rejected, thus allowing them to think the unthinkable and push their theories to the max, argues Lebrecht, who writes, "Among Jews, anxiety is a primary motivating factor, the engine of fresh thinking.'' (Non-fiction)
  3. "Curious Toys," by Elizabeth Hand (Mulholland Books). A crackling-good period thriller likely to give you goosebumps. It's the summer of 1915 and Pin, the 14-year-old daughter of a carnival fortune-teller, dresses as a boy and joins a teenage gang that roams the Riverview amusement park in Chicago, looking for trouble. And they find it. A ruthless killer is using the shadows of the dark carnival attractions to carry out his crimes. And when Pin sees a man enter the terrifying Hell Gate ride with a young girl — and then emerge alone — she knows something horrific has occurred and begins to investigate. Pea-soup thick atmosphere, fascinating characters, and a twisty plot will keep you reading long into the night. (Fiction)
  4. "Night Boat to Tangier," by Kevin Barry (Doubleday). This acclaimed novel by Irish writer Kevin Barry is being compared to Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" for its dark and philosophical underpinnings. It's the story of Maurice Hearne and Charlie Redmond, two aging Irish drug smugglers cooling their heels at a ferry terminal in the sketchy Spanish port of Algeciras as they await the arrival of Maurice's estranged daughter Dilly. In those dim hours, the scoundrels reminisce about their dark and troubled pasts. The book was just named one of the top five novels of the 2019 by The New York Times, which lauded its "scabrously amusing tale-telling." (Fiction)
  5. "Disney's Land: Walt Disney and the Invention of the Amusement Park That Changed the World,'' by Richard Snow (Scribner). It may be hard to believe, but when Disneyland opened in 1955, its first day was a disaster, turning its creator Walt Disney "nearly suicidal with grief,'' according to Snow, who delivers a fascinating history of the revolutionary 240-acre theme park in Anaheim, California. But the crowds then grew over time to make it one of the most enduring family attractions in the world. How Disney pulled together a talented team of engineers, architects, artists, animators, and landscapers to build his dream — giving them just one year and a day to make it happen — makes this a riveting tale of American ingenuity, even as it was originally pooh-poohed by some as a guaranteed financial flop. Snow takes us on a wild ride as Disney launches his quest to the build the "happiest place on Earth'' with "the desperate, high-hearted recklessness of a riverboat gambler." (Non-fiction)

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Tuesday, 17 December 2019 02:20 PM
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