Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
In this highly acclaimed biography, Goodwin brings the story of a prairie lawyer, who becomes president of the United States, in a time of unprecedented crisis, to life. Both the movie “Lincoln,” based on Goodwin’s book, and the book itself give the audience a detailed look at the political maneuvering, at which Lincoln was masterful, to get the 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
This is a spiritual fantasy adventure of young Pi, son of a zookeeper. When his family decides, because of a land dispute, to sell the zoo, they pack up the animals and embark on a freighter for Canada. A few days out of port, there’s a storm, their boat sinks, and his family dies. Pi escapes death in a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and, unbeknownst to him, a Bengal tiger with the unlikely name of Richard Parker. Amazing story, amazing movie.
Jaws by Peter Benchley
Cannot have a movie/book pick here on the Vineyard without Including the book and movie of the same name. When a shark attacks and kills a young tourist taking a nighttime swim in the seaside town of Amity, the chief of police wants to close the beaches, but the mayor is afraid, with July Fourth approaching, that the news will damage summer tourism.
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
A British school teacher visits Colonial India. She accuses Indian Dr. Aziz of assaulting her on a trip they take. At his trial, racial tensions and often hidden prejudices between the ruling British colonists and the indigenous Indians reveal themselves. Older, but still worth reading and watching.
The Treasure of The Sierra Madre by B. Traven
When three impoverished Americans meet by chance in Mexico, they make a plan to overcome their problems by digging for gold. When gold is found, greed enters the picture. This is a story of bandits, gun fights, loyalty and revenge — a truly grand adventure story.