The Life of a Book Addict discussion

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Non-Fiction > Non-Fiction!

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message 1: by Mary (Marbear), Founder (new)

Mary (Marbear) (mbeth45) | 11974 comments Mod
Hi all. I'm not a big non-fiction reader but I know alot of you are. I thought it would be good to start this section. How many of you read non-fiction and what kind of books do you read? We might even start a monthly read for this category if enough people are interested.

marbear


message 2: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) | 3835 comments I LOVE non-fiction!! Mostly history & biographies of historical people (as opposed to celebrities although I do read them occasionally). I'm currently reading The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements & enjoying it very much. Probably the first science book I've read for many, many years, but it also has quite a bit of history.


message 3: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (betsy78) | 268 comments I like to mix in a bit of non-fiction. I love everything by Malcolm Gladwell. I also have enjoyed audiobooks written by comedians. I liked The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman and Too Fat to Fish by Artie Lange.

I am just started The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates and am going to read Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time next.

I guess I like to either laugh or read books that challenge they way I view social issues.


message 4: by Kaliki (new)

Kaliki Although there's a lot of fiction I enjoy, I prefer non-fiction, mostly memoirs and bios, but also psychology, spirituality, metaphysics, and anything on nutrition & fitness.


message 5: by Jill (new)

Jill (Jillybeans) | 4467 comments One of our selections for December is non-fiction. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks!


message 6: by DJ (new)

DJ  (DJDivaofJava) | 2985 comments I read a mixture so this would be a great section... :-)


message 7: by Maggie (last edited Nov 17, 2010 02:28PM) (new)

Maggie | 1085 comments I'm a fan of non-fiction and, though this year my reading of non-fiction is down from my usual, I generally read one fiction to one non-fiction, usually simultaneously. Currently I'm reading The Places In Between and The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter's Journey to the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as a fiction book.

My non-fiction reading tends to be history (especially WWII and the Vietnam War--but beginning to add more Korean War and WWI), memoirs, biographies, books about travel, and a little science. On very rare occasions I will read politics.

I believe I was the one who initially recommended we read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.


message 8: by Jill (new)

Jill (Jillybeans) | 4467 comments good recommendation Maggie. Lots of members seem interested in reading it!


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan | 272 comments Maggie wrote: "I'm a fan of non-fiction and, though this year my reading of non-fiction is down from my usual, I generally read one fiction to one non-fiction, usually simultaneously. Currently I'm reading [book..."

I've been wanting to read this for a while now, so I'm glad your pick got voted for group read.


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan | 272 comments Betsy wrote: "I like to mix in a bit of non-fiction. I love everything by Malcolm Gladwell. I also have enjoyed audiobooks written by comedians. I liked [book:The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, ..."

I loved Three Cups of Tea. I think Greg Mortenson is so inspirational, and I was lucky enough to see him in person recently and hear about his experiences.


message 11: by Jill (new)

Jill (Jillybeans) | 4467 comments Susan, I would so like to hear Greg speak!


message 12: by Marialyce (new)

Marialyce | 1242 comments Me too! He is such a wonderful role model who should have won the Nobel.


message 13: by Moon (new)

Moon | 214 comments I like to read non-fiction as well. Although it's mostly history and nature books. And I have a certain fascination with books regarding criminal profiling and abnormal psychology.


message 14: by Christa (new)

Christa (fictionaldarkness) I like to read books about different time periods and cultures in history. I just finished up the The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century and I'm going to start A History of the Vikings soon.


message 15: by Kristine (new)

Kristine (KristineKae) | 620 comments Moony wrote: "I like to read non-fiction as well. Although it's mostly history and nature books. And I have a certain fascination with books regarding criminal profiling and abnormal psychology."

Have you read The Alienist? good mystery with the introduction of early criminal profiling.


message 16: by AmandaLil (new)

AmandaLil (dandado86) | 48 comments I love non-fiction! My goal for next year is to read a non-fiction book for every two fiction books I read.


message 17: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (TessaBookConcierge) Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives by Tanya Biank
4****

I don’t watch TV so never saw the show “Army Wives.” I was searching for a book to fulfill a reading challenge on another group, and this popped up. It’s not what I expected … it’s MUCH better.

This is a nonfiction account of four women married to men stationed at Fort Bragg NC. It covers two years beginning in Dec 2000 in the lives of these families. But what happens has ramifications for the military and for the entire American populace. The Sept 11 terrorist attacks occur during this period, and as a result, men and women in uniform are being deployed overseas. There’s uncertainty and chaos, especially for the military families. They are under increasing stress; the kind of stress that exacerbates the problems that affect some of their already strained relationships. Biank is, herself, the daughter of a career Army officer, and the wife of an officer as well. She was already covering the military beat for the Fayetteville Observer when these events unfolded. Her background gave her insight into the military, as well as access. She personally knew some of the soldiers and their families. She treats the women with respect, and yet casts a brutally honest eye on their stories, revealing strengths and flaws equally.


message 18: by Moon (new)

Moon | 214 comments Kristine, I haven't read that book yet but thank you for recommending it to me.

I just finished Cleopatra: A Life and really enjoyed it.


message 19: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (gardenJess) | 12 comments I love non-fiction! One of the most enjoyable reads that I've come across recently was Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen - highly recommend!


message 20: by Pat (last edited Dec 03, 2010 08:32AM) (new)

Pat (PatB37) Moony wrote: "I just finished Cleopatra: A Life and really enjoyed it."

I saw this author on the Daily Show. John Stewart was falling all over himself saying how much he liked this book. I added it to my TBR list.


message 21: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (TessaBookConcierge) A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
5***** and a favorite

This autobiographical story is based on Capote’s own childhood, living with relatives in Alabama. It’s a memory of the innocence of childhood and the anticipation of something special. It is also a story of love and respect, as well as of loneliness and want.

One crisp November morning 7-year-old Buddy hears his cousin Sook (whom he calls Friend) declare, “It’s fruitcake weather!” With that pronouncement, the two set off on their annual campaign to bake dozens of fruitcakes for “friends.” Sook is an elderly woman with a child’s mind, and she and Buddy are constant companions (and each other’s only friend). It is during the Great Depression and times are hard. It takes them all year to save the pennies, nickels, dimes for their Fruitcake Fund, and the other relatives in their household look upon them with derision. Still, nothing can dampen their spirits as they bake and mail the fruitcakes, hunt deep into the woods for the perfect Christmas tree, make the ornaments and decorations that will make it look “good enough to eat!”

Capote was a gloriously talented writer and he is at his best here. The reader feels the anticipation of a child, smells the piney woods, shivers in the crisp morning, and is comforted in the warmth of love.

I leave you with one quote from the story. Sook and Buddy are enjoying the outdoors and she has a revelation …
“You know what I’ve always thought?” she asks in a tone of discovery, and not smiling at me but a point beyond. “I’ve always thought a body would have to be sick and dying before they saw the Lord. And I imagined that when He came it would be like looking at the Baptist window: pretty as colored glass with the sun pouring through, such a shine you don’t know it’s getting dark. And it’s been a comfort: to think of that shine taking away all the spooky feeling. But I’ll wager it never happens. I’ll wager at the very end a body realizes the Lord has already shown Himself. That things as they are” – her hand circles in a gesture that gathers clouds and kites and grass and Queenie pawing earth over her bone – “just what they’ve always seen, was seeing Him. As for me, I could leave the world with today in my eyes.”


message 23: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 15 comments Betsy wrote: "I like to mix in a bit of non-fiction. I love everything by Malcolm Gladwell. I also have enjoyed audiobooks written by comedians. I liked [book:The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, ..."

The Other Wes Moore was a book I heard about in a magazine and am very interested in reading. Let me know if you read it, how it is!


message 24: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (betsy78) | 268 comments Lindsay wrote: "Betsy wrote: "I like to mix in a bit of non-fiction. I love everything by Malcolm Gladwell. I also have enjoyed audiobooks written by comedians. I liked [book:The Bedwetter: Storie..."

I enjoyed The Other Wes Moore. It was a quick read, only a little over 200 pages. I liked the way the author told the story of each men but didn't try to lead you to any conclusions. It was an eye opener of what every child is capable of as long as they have someone who believes in them. I don't want to give any spoilers, but there were parts of that book that will stick with me for a long time.


message 25: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 1085 comments Given MarBear's note above -- are we interested in a Non-Fiction monthly read? How about every two months or quarterly?

I often read my non-fiction more slowly than the fiction (both because of content and because they tend to be my 'at home' books and don't get as much reading done), so I'd be more inclined to one every two months or quarterly.


message 26: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (gardenJess) | 12 comments I'd be up for it Maggie. :) I agree that quarterly or every few months could work best.


message 27: by Glenda (new)

Glenda | 230 comments I think it is a good idea as well. I want to read at least 6 non-fiction books this year, because I generally avoid them.


message 28: by Jill (new)

Jill (Jillybeans) | 4467 comments If you would like a poll set up to select non-fiction reads quarterly, let me know and I would be happy to do this for you. thanks Jill


message 29: by Diane (new)

Diane I enjoy non-fiction, but I do read more fiction than non-fiction. Two that I enjoyed this year are:

A Ticket to the Circus: A Memoir; I had not known anything about Norman Mailer or his wife, and it was really a fun read.

Also: Half Broke Horses -- anyone that enjoyed The Glass Castle may want to read this one by Jeannette Walls about her maternal grandmother.


message 30: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 1085 comments Jill, a non-fiction group read would be great. I assume we need a leader, would it be you or MarBear or can it be any of us? Should we set up a new thread for votes for the quarterly book?


message 31: by Jill (new)

Jill (Jillybeans) | 4467 comments I will start a thread for it and nomination threads and polls. If you guys wouldn't mind taking turns leading the discussions.


message 32: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 1085 comments I'm sure we could work that out. Leading a discussion once a quarter isn't onerous.

Thanks so much for the help.


message 33: by Sera (new)

Sera I love non-fiction! I'm looking forward to adding these books to our reading lists.


message 34: by Jill (new)

Jill (Jillybeans) | 4467 comments Wow. we certainly have a lot of voting going on in the first quarter poll. Hopefully, we will get as much discussion participation. :)


message 35: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 1085 comments Jill wrote: "Wow. we certainly have a lot of voting going on in the first quarter poll. Hopefully, we will get as much discussion participation. :)"

I hope so, too.


message 36: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson42353) Just finished Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang which was a look into China over three generations, the author who was born in the early 50s, her mother and her grandmother. It was disturbing in places as the intricate details of the Communist Revolution and post WWII China were revealed. Family life was to be set aside for the Communist Party which was disturbing to me, but it was most informative and very well done. It was also a testament to what can be achieved in spite of odds against that success.


message 38: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) | 3835 comments Currently reading Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West for a challenge & listening to Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour. Will get back to Truman once I've finished B&T. All 3 are excellent books.


message 39: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (Pezski) | 288 comments i read a fair bit of popular science - physics, biology, cosmology, sociology and psychology. Anything by Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Steve Jones or John Gribbin, as well as history and philosophy. I very much enjoyed Packing for Mars. oh, and i'm also a huge Bill Bryson fan.


message 41: by Darlene (new)

Darlene | 204 comments I just finished Washington:A Life by Ron Chernow. What a fantastic book! It's huge.. over 800 pages but if you love all things (and people) political, you will love this book!! I finished it with a sense of who George Washington was as a person and not just the old folklore I was told.


message 42: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson42353) I read two NF in January that were definitely 5 star reads for me - Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand.
In February I read another really good NF - probably a 4 star for me - American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic by Joseph J. Ellis.
I think my NF for next month will be Decision Points by George W. Bush.
I am trying to read at least 1 NF each month to diversify my reading somewhat.


message 43: by Kaliki (new)

Kaliki LemonLinda wrote: "I read two NF in January that were definitely 5 star reads for me - Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang and [book:Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival..."

I think I'm going to listen to Decision Points on audio in March, Linda. I get another free credit from audible.com then, so that's what I thought I'd order. Looking forward to discussing it with you.


message 44: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) | 3835 comments Darlene wrote: "I just finished Washington:A Life by Ron Chernow. What a fantastic book! It's huge.. over 800 pages but if you love all things (and people) political, you will love this book!! I finished it with ..."

Darlene, I listened to Alexander Hamilton by Chernow. It also was very good & very informative about that time & our founding fathers. There's much info about Washington in this one as you can imagine.


message 45: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson42353) Kaliki wrote: "LemonLinda wrote: "I read two NF in January that were definitely 5 star reads for me - Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang and [book:Unbroken: A World War I..."

Sounds good!


message 46: by Darlene (new)

Darlene | 204 comments Thanks for the information, Martha. This book was obviously well researched. Chernow wrote in such a way that Washington came to life as a real flesh and blood person to me. I realized that I knew some things about the Presidents in my lifetime but virtually nothing about earlier Presidents. Chernow also talked a lot about Hamilton in this book so if you're interested in Hamilton, you may want to give this book a try. I will definitely check out the Hamilton book. Chernow is a fabulous writer.


message 47: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle (Awaken80) | 278 comments Hello ladies! I love non-fiction books too, so I thought I would join in on your discussion. I mostly read biographies, memoirs, psychological, and spiritual books when I'm reading non-fiction, although there are some sciency books out there that I have on my TBR list.

I really like the idea of creating a non-fiction reading list, and would love to participate in that. I think a poll's been started now? I'll check that out.

Have a good night everyone!


message 48: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle (Awaken80) | 278 comments Ah, I see you've chosen a book for this quarter already, and it seems very interesting! I'll try to get to it so I can participate in the discussion :-)


message 49: by Karen (new)

Karen | 258 comments I'm hoping to get a copy of Cleopatra before the end of the month but I was wondering when you start picking a book for next quarter? I have a whole bunch of non-fiction on my tbr list and didn't really notice til now that you have a quarterly read...doh!

should have it listed on the 'currently reading' section for non observant folks like me...lol


message 50: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 1085 comments Karen wrote: "but I was wondering when you start picking a book for next quarter? "

I've sent a note to Jill to ask her to put a thread up for us to start suggestions. Keep an eye out for it.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (other topics)
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time (other topics)
The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee (other topics)
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates (other topics)
Too Fat to Fish (other topics)
More...

Authors mentioned in this topic

Malcolm Gladwell (other topics)
Sarah Silverman (other topics)
Artie Lange (other topics)
Simon Winchester (other topics)
Sheila Jones (other topics)
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