48. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
A story of various women and race relations in early 1960s Mississippi. I found the story and characters compelling; both the privileged white women, the white women aware of the injustice of their privilege and the black hired help. All were pretty much treated with respect and interest by the author. After I got into the book awhile I could not put it down, although at the end I felt the author missed the mark a little in some way, and could have gone deeper or told us something more radical. Still, a very good book worth reading.
49. Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer
I love a lot of Krakauer's writing. This seems to be a very thoroughly researched book about Pat Tillman, the NFL player who gave up a $$$ contract to join the military. In the end, he was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan and there was a big cover up about it. This book is very disturbing when it talks about the extent of the cover up, and also the extent of friendly fire deaths in the military and the way in which soldiers are sent into dangerous situations that could be avoided. You can read this if you want to be angry and disturbed about failures of the command structure of the military, and the extent that some will go to to keep people supporting the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Aside from the indignation this inspired, I liked learning about Tillman, about the life of a pro-athlete and about the life of a soldier, all of which I knew nothing about before.