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Year 2007 Top Nonfiction Picks

Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre: In 1941, after training as a German spy in occupied France, Chapman parachuted into Britain with a revolver, a wireless and a cyanide pill, with orders from the Abwehr to blow up an airplane factory. Instead, he contacted MI5, the British Secret Service. For the next four years, Chapman worked as a double agent, a lone British spy at the heart of the German Secret Service.

A Charmed Life: Growing Up in MacBeth's Castle by Liza Campbell: The daughter of a titled Scottish father recounts the horrors of her childhood in spite of popular beliefs about her fairy-tale lifestyle, describing her father's struggles with alcoholism that resulted in numerous brushes with death and the loss of his family's legacy.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert: A celebrated writer pens an irresistible, candid and eloquent account of her pursuit of worldly pleasure, spiritual devotion and what she really wanted out of life.

How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard; translated from the French by Jeffrey Mehlman: A lighthearted and provocative French bestseller argues that it is more important to understand a book's relevance than to be familiar with its details, drawing on examples from key modern works while offering specific advice on how to speak knowledgeably in a variety of social occasions.

Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner: Here is the hidden history of the CIA: why 11 presidents and three generations of CIA officers have been unable to understand the world, why nearly every CIA director has left the agency in worse shape than he found it, and how these failures have profoundly jeopardized our national security.

Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu by Laurence Bergreen: An insightful portrait of the 13th-century explorer, adventurer and global traveler follows Marco Polo from his youth in Venice as the scion of a wealthy merchant family, to his journey to Asia and role in the court of Kublai Khan, to his return to Europe, his introduction of such Chinese innovations as gunpowder and pasta, and his influence on the history of his era.

Surgeons: Life and Death in a Top Heart Center by Charles R. Morris: Over the course of a year, Morris gained unprecedented access to the operating room, the patients, and even the closed-door meetings where the surgeons criticize their own performance. With each new patient and each new procedure Morris shows us how doctors think, how they judge one another, and what really drives health care costs in America today.