Titanic. Enough said.
Guh. I don't even know where to start with this one. For someone who early on did not seem destined for greatness, to see him rise and become one of the most powerful men in England almost defies logic. Time and again he was called on by the king (or almost-king in the case of Henry II's oldest son, Henry the Young King) he served and performed his duties admirably. Yet he is largely a footnote at best and altogether forgotten at worst. I could not put this one down and it was so wonderful to see him get the recognition he deserves.
102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers
So it is kind of cheating, but the topics are incredibly entwined that I feel they belong together instead of separate entries. This terrible day is forever burned into my brain and I will never forget it as long as I live. I was a freshman in college, having just started school mere weeks before the attack. I was already in a time of upheaval and chaos, in a manner of speaking, being far enough of way from home that I couldn't just hop in the car and run home to my mom. I feel like both accounts paint a very clear and honest picture with what happened both in NYC and Shanksville. They are both difficult o read, in that we know the outcome for so many. But they are still worthwhile, and important to our nation's history.
Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond
I secretly still want to be an astronaut, and I am now a grown adult with a career that is most definitely not related to the space program in any way. I love reading anything I can find about the space program, and the Apollo missions in particular. And, because Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors of all time, I will always have a special place in my heart for Apollo 13.
10. Why Buffy Matters: The Art of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
So many awesome books about this show. If you don't know why this show still matters, 10+ years after it went off the air, then please turn on Netflix and start watching from the beginning. Greatest show of all time. Do not be fooled by the 'silly' name. That was intentional. Watch it, understand it, thank me later.