I don't read much nonfiction but Erik Larson can hold my attention tightly. I was surprised how much I like Dead Wake, and now I am so proud I read The Splendid and the Vile in just a few days. This is the saga of the Churchill family in 1940; the first year of his office as British PM and the first year of WWII. Through diaries and proven papers, Larson specializes in bringing these historical characters to life, featuring their personalities, and enabling me to absorb the historical facts. I cannot do nonfiction without characters.