Lessons in geography, politics and history are among this week’s Newsmax Rising Bestsellers, from how Korea divided into two polar opposites, what it was like to be a rider on the legendary pony express, how that “special teacher” affected the lives of celebrities to this day, and what sports — even at the professional level — can teach us. In fiction, the novel of the week is expected to kick off an exciting new series.
“The 9th Man,” by Steve Berry and Grant Blackwood (Grand Central Publishing)
Steve Berry, best known for his popular Cotton Malone series, has teamed with Grant Blackwood to create an intriguing tale featuring intelligence agent Luke Daniels. When Jillian Stein is targeted for death after disclosing a cryptic message from her grandfather, a retired Army officer, she reaches out to her friend and former lover Daniels for help. The mystery is centered on something called “Kronos” and an event the occurred more than a half of a century earlier. “As I have come to expect from author Berry, The “9th Man” is a quick moving, action-packed thriller, with plot twists aplenty,” said reviewer Carole A. Barker. “If you like your mystery with a dose of history, this will appeal as well, especially if you’ve ever wondered what really happened on November 22, 1963, in Dallas TX.” [Fiction]
“Korea: A New History of South and North,” by Victor Cha and Ramon Pacheco Pardo (Yale University Press)
The two Koreas could not be more unalike, although they share a unique common history and are situated on the same peninsula, roughly separated at the 38th parallel.
Reflecting on the visual difference between the two countries on a helicopter ride from North Korea to South — one bleak and empty, the other bustling and vibrant — Victor Cha wondered, “What circumstances led the same people to live in such starkly different conditions?” So, he sought to find out, with the assistance of his co-author and decades of research. “Cha and Pacheco Pardo sought to create an accessible primer on modern Korean history, and after reading this book, I feel they’ve succeeded,” said Jasmine Gonzalez, reviewing for Porchlight Books. “In just 232 pages, Korea offers readers a solid foundation on the histories of North and South Korea that will add much-needed context to any conversation on Korean politics and culture.” [Nonfiction]
“The Last Ride of the Pony Express: My 2,000-mile Horseback Journey into the Old West,” by Will Grant (Little, Brown and Company)
Part cowboy, part journalist, Will Grant takes the reader on the journey of their life as he recreates the 19th century version of an “instant message” in this “spellbinding” ride on horseback, over the route used by the riders of the legendary Pony Express. The Pony Express was only in service for 18 months, and ran from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California. Operated by the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company, it reduced the time for messages between the east and west coast to a blistering 10 days. “A remarkable tale of a trek through the west that is equal parts historic and entertaining,” said reviewer Owen Wosleger. “Author Will Grant is an incredible storyteller who takes you through his ride on the pony express route in 1860. Will’s descriptions of the landscape and the people he meets along the way made it difficult to put this book down.” [Nonfiction]
“Lessons Learned and Cherished: The Teacher Who Changed My Life,” by Deborah Roberts (Andscape Books)
We’ve all had that special teacher — the one who went out of his or her way to make sure each student felt special and assured they understood the subject matter. This book is a celebration of and tribute to those teachers. It’s made up of a collection of essays written by celebrities describing that one teacher that affected them the most, and may even have turned their life around. The contributors include Oprah Winfrey, Jenna Bush Hager, Robin Roberts, Brooke Shields, Octavia Spencer, Rachael Ray, and Misty Copeland. “I am a fan of Deborah Roberts, and I am a former teacher,” said one verified purchaser. “I love it that she interviewed lots of people and asked them about the teacher that changed their lives. Made me tear up since we all care about our students and devote so much time to our careers and students when we have them in class and afterwards, as well.” [Nonfiction]
“The Right Call: What Sports Teach Us About Work and Life,” by Sally Jenkins (Gallery Books)
Sports isn’t just about chasing balls and working off steam. It teaches us how to work together toward a common goal and gives us drive to strive to do our best. It also teaches us to be gracious winners and good losers. These are all qualities that will help us throughout life. That carries over beyond amateur athletics. The author demonstrates that we can also learn from the great coaches and sports icons, and from her interviews she derived what she calls the seven principles behind success: conditioning, practice, discipline, candor; culture; resilience; and intention. “Favorite book I’ve read in a long time,” said Robert Montgomery, reviewing for GoodReads. “I think any sports fan would enjoy this book tremendously, and I can’t recommend it enough.” [Nonfiction]
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