When Witold Pilecki got himself sent to Auschwitz in 1940, he did so partly to find friends who’d been sent there, partly to help the anti-Nazi underground, and partly to “discover … what the camp meant for Poland and the world.” In 1940, Poles (as opposed to Polish Jews) made up most of the prisoners in Auschwitz, and they would wind up the third-most-killed demographic at the camp. Pilecki later escaped and wrote this extensive report in 1945—it was suppressed in Poland until only recently. This is an unreal story. Find this book at Goodreads.
Haddon’s famous novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, was loved by everyone in the world, it seemed, except me. (Not unlike Wes Anderson movies.) So if you are not me, you might be interested in Haddon’s new novel, about an estranged brother and sister who decide to spend a week’s vacation with each other, families in tow. Ron Charles can’t say enough good things about it. Find this book at Goodreads.
This is just Dave Eggers’s second actual novel—all of his other book-length narratives have been either based on true events or entirely nonfiction. In Hologram, a salesman on the brink of bankruptcy embarks on a last-ditch deal-making trip, to meet with the King of Saudi Arabia. Sounds like it moves a bit slowly, but Kellogg says it’s every bit as good as his nonfiction. Find this book at Goodreads.
I’ve had my eye on Zimmerman’s debut historical thriller for a while now, but I haven’t been convinced to take the plunge. Finch’s deftly written review might just be the final straw that gets me to actually read it. He calls Zimmerman’s thorough research “exhilarating,” and says that, despite the few hiccups that should be expected from a first-time author, The Orphanmaster succeeds at both the thriller side of things, and the historical fiction side. Find this book at Goodreads.