Assassination Vacation, by Sarah Vowell
fabulous! this is the first book i have truly enjoyed in a long while. whether you are a history buff or not (i am not!), sarah vowell makes it all extremely interesting. she is witty and sarcastic and political, and while you may not agree with all her views, she will definitely make you think. further, she will also make you laugh. basically, she took herself on a little tour of the people and places associated, even very loosely, with the assassinations of presidents lincoln, mckinley, and garfield. she went everywhere and wrote about everything. as much of the book is about her experiences in all these historical locations as is about the history itself. i was amused the whole time, and i learned a TON about these presidents and their assassins. any writer who can pull THAT off is, in my opinion, a great one. i can't wait to check out her other books! bottom line: HIGHLY recommended.
note: sarah vowell is also a contributing editor on this american life, a frequent contributor to salon.com and mcsweeny's, and the voice of violet parr in the pixar movie, the incredibles.