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"Born Standing Up" by Steve Martin. In the midseventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene, becoming the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. This is his entertaining and insightful biography, taking the reader from his early years working at Disneyland to his transformation to cult status.

"Greasy Rider" by Greg Melville. Imagine driving coast-to-coast without stopping at a single gas pump. Two college buddies take on the challenge, driving from Vermont to California in a beat-up 1985 Mercedes diesel station wagon powered on vegetable oil collected from restaurant grease dumpsters. Part adventure and part investigation into what we’re doing or not doing to preserve the planet, this book is upbeat, funny, and full of surprising revelations.

"Out of Orbit" by Christ Jones. This true narrative is the harrowing behind the scenes story of the beleaguered Mission controls in Houston after the space shuttle Columbia disaster. With the launch program suspended indefinitely, the men at the controls frantically developed plans to rescue the three men still orbiting earth in the space station, three astronauts who have suddenly lost their ride home.

"Another Day in the Frontal Lobe" by Katrina Firlik. Katrina Firlik is a neurosurgeon, one of only two hundred or so women among the alpha males who dominate this high-pressure career. Written with witty and insightful observations, this is her unique memoir of her compelling experiences.

"A Voyage Long and Strange" by Tony Horwitz. The author uncovers the neglected story of America’s founding by Europeans, starting with the Vikings of a thousand years ago to conquistadors and voyageurs who roamed and rampaged across the continent long before the Mayflower landed. Everywhere he researches, Horwitz probes the gap between fact and legend, between what we enshrine and what we forget.

"Private" by James Patterson. The world’s most powerful investigation firm takes on three twisted, almost unsolvable crimes, and the owner of the elite company, former Marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan, finds the investigation coming very close to home when his best friend’s wife is brutally murdered. As he closes in on the killer he must choose between revenge and justice, and must navigate a love affair that threatens to blow the roof off his plans.