This Sunday is Face the Nation's annual Books and Authors show, with Michael Lewis, author of Boomerang, Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help, Walter Isaacson, who wrote Steve Jobs' authorized biography, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whose new memoir, No Higher Honor, is at the top of the bestsellers list.
Michael Lewis is the bestselling author of Moneyball, The Blind Side and The Big Short, among others. His latest, Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World, "actually makes topics like European sovereign debt, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank not only comprehensible but also fascinating," according to the New York Times.
Lewis's accounts of the debt crises in Iceland, Greece and Ireland, and his examination of a few key bankrupt cities in California, could not be more timely as Washington struggles to cut government spending and Europe's debt crisis grows more worrisome by the day.
Kathryn Stockett is the bestselling author of The Help, which was recently made into a major motion picture. Bob Schieffer calls it a "pitch perfect" account of life in the South in the 1960s. The story focuses on the lives of African American women in the early civil rights era who are working as maids for white families.
"One black woman from Birmingham told me she and her friends used to hide down in a ditch, waiting for the bus to take them to work. They were afraid to stand on a street corner because white men would harass them. Still, all of the black women I spoke to were very proud of the jobs they'd had," Stockett told the online book magazine Book Browse.
Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs is the authorized biography of the storied founder of Apple Computers, who passed away just as the book was being finished. The reclusive and very private Jobs recruited Isaacson for the task and let him have free reign with the book, weighing in only on the book's cover design.
Isaacson described the complex genius that was Steve Jobs: "He could drive himself by magical thinking. By believing something that the rest of us couldn't possibly believe -- and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't."
Condoleezza Rice's No Higher Honor details her role as not only national security adviser and secretary of State to President George W. Bush, but also as a close friend and confidant during Bush's two terms in office.
She covers a wide range of national security topics: from 9/11 to Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian conflict, and North Korea. When it comes to 9/11, she recalls telling the president the news: "'Mr. President, you cannot come back here. Washington, I mean the United States is under attack.' He didn't answer, and the Secret Service lifted my physically and pushed me toward the bunker."
She also recalls her regrettable trip to New York City after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans: "I was the highest-ranking black in the administration and a key advisor to the President. What had I been thinking?"