By David McCullough
I think David McCullough is one of our national treasures. I've tried to branch out and read other historians' work, but nothing sticks with me or gets the pages turned as quickly as his books. John Adams is incredibly, meticulously researched; you feel as if McCullough has gone back and felt the fabric of their clothes, smelled the paper that they wrote to each other on. What he writes has heft, because it's not only facts—you get a real sense of his subjects' lives. I'm in Boston right now, and I see Braintree on the map, where Adams lived. I drive by it and think, "Oh my gosh, that was a day's travel for him? That's ten minutes from here!" There's nothing like reading history about your own country and walking where they walked. Nobody does a better job than McCullough.