First, Iron Curtain by Anne Applebaum. This is a very good history of how the Soviet Union took over Eastern Europe in the years 1944 to 1956. It really only covers East Germany, Poland, and Hungary in any detail. The other countries get just brief mentions. The steady imposition of a police state, destruction of any alternative civil society, and transition to a totalitarian state is detailed. The public reactions and adaptations are covered. It's not a catalog of dates and events. It's a catalog of techniques and results. It's a depressing book because the historical result is depressing. It's also a good history of material that is often not covered.
Second, The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, by Caitlyn Kiernan. This is a Nebula 2012 nominee, and in my opinion should be the winner. It's hard to categorize this book. It could be called a horror/fantasy ghost story. It could be called a character study. It's not for someone who wants a story with a plot and several interesting characters that moves from a straightforward start to a finish.
The Drowning Girl is a memoir by a schizophrenic author, told first person. Something happened, perhaps involving a ghost or perhaps a siren, or perhaps it was all delusions. The author struggles with the events, writing, rewriting, exploring, getting distracted, and even at the end of the book the conclusion is
"You know now that you'll never be sure what happened?"
"Yeah, I know now. I know that."
The viewpoint of insanity is well presented and human. The few characters are complex and real. The events and how people reacted unfolds piecemeal as it's told, retold, gaps filled, lies corrected, lies added, and eventually you guess at possible explanations. Perhaps there was a ghost. I think not. Perhaps there was a siren. That mythology fits better for me. Perhaps it was the insanity. That's possibly the case. The goal of the book is not to resolve that mystery.
Insanity is not a happy story, and this is not a happy story. But there is a character exposition and a character arc, and the telling is very well done.
I suggest watching the video short (its just a couple minutes). If your reaction is "that was odd, I would like to know more." it's a book to read. If your reaction is "that was wierd, what a waste of time." don't read the book.