Some people have a "Top 5" list of hot celebs — I have a "Top 5" list of presidential historians, and Sarah Vowell is right up there. You might recognize her voice from her work as "Violet" in The Incredibles, but I think her crafty, cranky historical narratives are the real superhero.
You have to intimately and compulsively know and love your subject matter to make it sing like Vowell does. If I were stuck with only two books to read for the rest of my life, it would be her The Partly Cloudy Patriot and Assassination Vacation. As a post-President's Day treat, here's Vowell and others on Studio 360 talking about the Lincoln Memorial. Give it a listen, it's almost as good as that Gettysburg thing.