Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Steve Sheinkin

Steve Sheinkin is the award-winning author of several fascinating books on American history, including The Notorious Benedict Arnold, which won the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for nonfiction. His book Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—The World's Most Dangerous Weapon was a Newbery Honor Book, National Book Award finalist, and winner of the Sibert Award as well as the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. He lives in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Sheinkin's new book is The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. His reply:
As usual, a lot of what I’m reading is related to the subject I’m trying to research for my next book, these days the Vietnam era. I’ve been working through the massive RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, and, no kidding, it’s pretty good, far better than LBJ’s memoir. Of course it’s not a complete picture of the man, but Nixon doesn’t shy away from describing moments of defeat and embarrassment, and even shows flashes of insight into his own troubled character.

At night or while traveling, when I pick up books for fun, they’re often somehow related to what I’m writing; usually fiction that helps me capture the mood I’m going for in my nonfiction. I’ve been loving The Man Who Went Up in Smoke, the second in the groundbreaking Martin Beck series of crime novels from Swedish wife-and-husband team Maj Sjowal and Per Wahloo.

I’m also halfway through The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb. It’s a YA adaptation of his adult nonfiction book, Hunting Eichmann, about the badass Israeli spies who tracked down the notorious Nazi in Buenos Aires and, well, in case you haven’t read it, I won’t tell you what happened. The Nazi Hunters does a great job of making the story accessible to younger readers, without dumbing anything down. Nonfiction that reads like a thriller, exactly my kind of thing.
Visit Steve Sheinkin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue