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Non-Fiction > Interesting Non-Fiction

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message 1: by Lisa (last edited Jul 06, 2009 08:21AM) (new)

Lisa | 617 comments For a long time I avoided the non fiction section of the book store and library. However, last year I read Reading Lolita in Tehran A Memoir in Books and absolutely loved it; great insight into another culture interwoven into the world of literature.

Just wondering if anyone had recommendations for other intriguing non-fiction works that I had been missing out on. :)


message 2: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 188 comments I just read The Ice Man by Philip Carlo about Richard Kuklinski probably the most prolific hitman ever.


message 3: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Stiff The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. This is a GREAT non-fiction talking about what "science" does with donated bodies. The author is very funny and it reads like a good friend telling you a story.

If you are interested in the real life body farm Death's Acre Inside the Legendary Forensic Lab the Body Farm Where the Dead Do Tell Tales and Beyond the Body Farm A Legendary Bone Detective Explores Murders, Mysteries, and the Revolution in Forensic Science are good reads, too. This is the place that put forensic anthropolgy on the map. It's the place that Patricia Cornwell did research at and used in her Kay Scarpetta books.


Michelle (In Libris Veritas) (shadowrose) I'm currently reading and almost finished with, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsessionby Allison Hoover Bartlett. It's a true-crime novel and at first I must admit I thought it was going to be something that I would forget about but it is actually very good. Anyone who loves reading about books would love this novel. It's about a man who steals a great number of collectable books and the detective who kept watch of his movements. The writing style is magnificent, it keeps it from getting stale and with the information I'm learning I found out that I actually own a 1925 first edtion copy of The Great Gatsby. Everyone should check it out when it is offically released in September


message 5: by Debra (new)

Debra | 9 comments Definitely Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson. I loaned it to my sister-in-law and she passed it around to her friends, 8 people besides her so far have read it. I'll probably never see it back, but that's ok. I love that other people loved it as much as I did.


message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 617 comments One, thank you for the suggestions I have added several to my 'to read list' :).
Two, I know I started the topic, but I wanted to throw out one that I remembered from high school in case anyone was interested, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious Character.

I had to read it for physics class in high school because I needed the extra credit because I was awful at science class. I didn't expect to like it in the least, but it was actually a very enjoyable read. I think books like this are a great way to give an insight into science for those of us who will never delve much past the required high school courses.


message 7: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz Bill Bryson's The Mother Tongue, English and How it Got that Way is not only hilarious but it's also informative.

Lance Armstrong's autobiography It's Not about the Bike was surprisingly very good and you don't have to be a bike enthousiast either.

I Before E Except After C by Judy Parkinson is quite good too.


Lisa Anne: I read "Reading Lolita in Tehran" and I just hated it :( I was so disappointed too. It felt like dense literary theory at times and just took forever to get through for me.

I Before E (Except After C) Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff by Judy Parkinson It's Not About the Bike My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong The Mother Tongue English and How It Got That Way by Bill Bryson


message 8: by new_user (new)

new_user LOL, East, I have I Before E too. It is pretty interesting. Some of the info readers will already know, of course, but there's some cool stuff in there too. I actually got it for my bro for his grammar, LOL. Mnemonics help. :)


message 9: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz NU it is a cool little book eh ;) Mnemonics can usually help with a lot of those grammar points that are easily messed up. I have a few non-fiction grammar books that I still have to get to...


message 10: by Rita (new)

Rita Lisa Anne wrote: "For a long time I avoided the non fiction section of the book store and library. However, last year I read Reading Lolita in Tehran A Memoir in Books and absolutely loved it; great in..."

Lisa, I loved that book. I realized how fortunate we are that we can get whatever book we feel like reading and discuss it. It's those kinds of simple freedoms I often take for granted.




Unapologetic_Bookaholic I don't read much non-fiction but a couple summers ago I got the urge to want to study the World Wars. I read The First World War by John Keegan andThe Second World War by John Keegan. His understanding of knowing how to simply the difficulty of war and war politics is what helped me through TWO non-fiction books no less =D.


message 12: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 617 comments Rita wrote



Reading Lolita in Tehran A Memoir in Books is definitely one of my favorite books. Not only did it make me grateful for the simple freedoms we have, but it also opened my eyes to books I didn't think I would want to read. It made me want to reread The Great Gatsby and try Lolita. It also made me take notice of and want to fight against censorship over here, especially concerning school reading lists.


message 13: by Athira (new)

Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day) (readingonarainyday) I've found non-fiction more appealing that fiction, though I've read very little non-fiction. They touch me in ways fiction can never, simply because they tend to be more realistic. I've just placed an order for Band of Brothers E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest, D-Day June 6, 1944 and A Night to Remember. Waiting to dig into those books.


message 14: by Kristina (new)

Kristina | 778 comments Aths, since you seem to be into WWII era, check out Diana Mosley : Mitford Beauty, British Fascist, Hitler's Angel by Anne de Courcy. It's the only biography I've read and I really enjoyed it. She had a fascinating life.


message 15: by Athira (new)

Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day) (readingonarainyday) Kristina

you are right, I am so much into war books for the moment. Started when I began watching Band of Brothers series. I'm only 7 episodes in, but the 7th one got me solidly crying for about a good half hour. I'll check out Diana Mosley's biography. Thanks for suggesting! :-)


message 16: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 188 comments i am reading the Strage Case of Dr. Kappler by Keith Ablow about a pyshcotic doctor who killed or tried to kill people because of voices.


message 17: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 1184 comments The Making of the Atomic Bomb - Richard Rhodes

This is one of my favorite books. I reread it from time to time, because I remain fascinated by the story of how, in a few short years, physicists went from theory to practical application. Rhodes does a great job of capturing the personalities involved, and the urgency and secrecy of the Manhattan Project.


message 18: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (mascarabearah) | 5 comments I dont read much nonfiction but I am in the middle of one right now that Im really enjoying. Its called Born On A Blue Day by Daniel Tammet. Its an autobiography about an autistic savant. I also found Lance Armstrongs autobiography It's Not About the Bike very inspirational.


message 19: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 1184 comments The Devil in the White City Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America - Erik Larson

This is one of those really incredible books. It juxtaposes two very unlike things, the construction of the Chicago World's Fair and the workings of a 19th Century serial killer. The author makes both halves of the story equally fascinating.

I also really like the book because of what amounts to a two-line mention of the property where I work today.


message 20: by Shelley (new)

Shelley (shelleylynn) | 13 comments Sarah wrote: "I dont read much nonfiction but I am in the middle of one right now that Im really enjoying. Its called Born On A Blue Day by Daniel Tammet. Its an autobiography about an autistic savant. I also fo..."

Sarah- that is a great book... I love reading posts on this sites and then being reminded of truly awesome reads that I have forgotten about in my daily grind. Glad to hear that you are enjoying it.


message 21: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 617 comments stormhawk wrote: "The Devil in the White City Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America - Erik Larson

This is one of those really incredible books. It juxtaposes two very unlike thin..."



I have that one and Erik Larson's other book Thunderstruck on my own to read bookshelf at home. And being from Chicago I'm very excited to read "The Devil in the White City."


message 22: by stormhawk (last edited Feb 26, 2010 08:19AM) (new)

stormhawk | 1184 comments I recently finished Thunderstruck. It was good, but didn't capture my interest and imagination like Devil in the White City. (I'm also from Chicago-land, or at least was raised there, in DuPage County. I am a native Pennsylvanian, and the property where I work is mentioned, very briefly, in Devil in the White City, which was very, very cool).


message 23: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) I've shun non-fiction for the longest time, but thanks to GR I've seen my error. I belong to a book chain and someone picked a non-fiction book. To tell you the truth, I wouldn't have known it was non-fiction the way it read. It's called My Place. I highly recommend it if you like insight to a different culture.


message 24: by Shelli (new)

Shelli I highly recommend Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption which I am currently reading...it's amazing.


message 25: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 2233 comments The Innocent Man by John Grishman


message 26: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 2233 comments Starvation Heights by Gregg Olsen


message 27: by Janet (last edited Jun 26, 2011 11:21AM) (new)

Janet | 45 comments West with the Night by Beryl Markham, a gorgeously written biography of one of the first female bush pilots in Africa

Cod and other books by Mark Kurlansky, a fun, quick, but sweeping look at history through food


Cate (The Professional Fangirl) (chaostheory08) | 199 comments Melissa wrote: "Melissa Stiff The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. This is a GREAT non-fiction talking about what "science" does with donated bodies. The author is very funny and it reads like a good friend telling you a story."

This is the first book I read this year! :)

My non-fic favorites are Generation Kill by Evan Wright and One Bullet Away The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick .


message 29: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabeth8921) | 2233 comments On Gold Mountain by Lisa See. Wonderful nonfiction about immigration of the Chinese to California.


message 30: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 47 comments Wild Swans is an amazing book about three generations of women in a Chinese family. It's one of my favorite books of all time.

Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck is one of the best memoirs I've ever read.


message 31: by Cary (last edited Aug 14, 2011 09:40AM) (new)

Cary (vortigern) | 344 comments When it comes to non fiction. I like the history of various wars. Despatches by Michael Herr best Vietnam book. SOGs Secret Wars By American Comandos by Colonel John Plaster, and The Ravens by Christophr Robbins about air controlers in Laos secret war, Vietnam Above the Treetops by John Flanagan(killer) are other interesting Vietnam Books. My War Gone by I Miss It So by Anthony Loyd about the Bosnian war is a five star. For older conflicts Winston Churchills The River War about the 1899 reconquest of Anglo Egytian Sudan is supurb. My all time favorite. The Bella de Gallia or The Galllic Wars by Julius Ceasar. Really just facinating reading.


Cate (The Professional Fangirl) (chaostheory08) | 199 comments I'm looking for books about Spartacus and/or the Third Serville War. Either non-fic or fictionalized history.


message 33: by Cary (new)

Cary (vortigern) | 344 comments You know Spartacus has a real good desricption of his life in the Wikipedia. His second in command was Crixxus. They were in rebellion from their base on Mount Vesuvius for three years before they were defeated and killed. I always thuoght Spartacus rebellion lasted a short time. But I was wrong.


message 34: by Karen M (last edited Aug 14, 2011 03:08PM) (new)

Karen M Janet wrote: "West with the Night by Beryl Markham, a gorgeously written biography of one of the first female bush pilots in Africa

Cod and other books by Mark Kurlansky, a fun, quick, ..."


If you read this one, you might also enjoy Out of Africa. I have West with the Night on my wish list because of Karen Blixen's book.


message 35: by Terrence (new)

Terrence | 7 comments Very few books are able to write about Antiquity and keep me interested by not getting into dry pointless academic details, this one's a really solid take on the battle at Marathon:

The First Clash The Miraculous Greek Victory at Marathon and Its Impact on Western Civilization by Jim Lacey


message 36: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Thibeault (thebookreporter) | 109 comments Hello. Every second week I read a brand new popular non-fiction book at the intersection of science and the humanities and write an article wherein I summarize the main argument of the book and offer up some of the juicier details and anecdotes to be found therein (at newbooksinbrief.wordpress.com). Some of the books I've covered recently include 'The Social Conquest of Earth' by E.O. Wilson; 'The Power of Habit' by Charles Duhigg; and 'Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think' by Peter Diamandis. Feel free to drop by the site to check out my work (again, newbooksinbrief.wordpress.com)

Cheers,
Aaron,
The Book Reporter


message 37: by Lyn (new)

Lyn Horner | 24 comments If anyone enjoys memoirs not of the celebrity variety, but about real people, I invite you to try Six Cats in My Kitchen It's not the usual cute kitty book.


message 38: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) Undoubtedly my fave non-fiction book in a long time is Unbroken by Laura Hilderbrand. I would also suggest any of Jon Krakauers books especially Into Thin Air, the tale of a disastrous climb in the Himalayas.


message 39: by Priti (new)

Priti I would recommend books written by Bill Bryson. His books are intelligent, informative and immensely enjoyable. He has written wonderful books including A Walk In The Woods Made in America A Short History Of Nearly Everything and I would totally recommend his books for a non fiction TBR list


message 40: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) I read a memoir of Bill Bryson's growing up days in the 50's and howled with laughter. I really shoild read more by him soon.


message 41: by Priti (new)

Priti Bill Bryson's memoirs are really hilarious..I recently completed his book Made in America, which is a kind of historical study yet still manages to tickle your funny bone.. :)


message 42: by Mirvan. (new)

Mirvan. Ereon (mirvanereon) | 71 comments thanks


message 43: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Thibeault (thebookreporter) | 109 comments Just finished reading 'The Social Conquest of Earth' by legendary biologist E.O. Wilson. The book charts the biological and cultural evolution of our species from the time we branched off from the chimps to the dawn of civilization. It was really excellent. I've published a full and comprehensive summary of the book at newbooksinbrief.wordpress.com if you are interested in this topic.

Cheers,
Aaron


message 44: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Thibeault (thebookreporter) | 109 comments Just finished reading `Imagine: How Creativity Works` by Jonah Lehrer. The book explores creativity in individuals, groups, businesses & organizations, cities and societies. The work is heavy on anecdotes (as books by journalists tend to be) but also does a good job of covering the science of creativity that is emerging out of experiments and studies in neuroscience and social psychology. There is much to be learned about creativity here, and how we can get more of it in our personal lives and in the groups, organizations, cities and societies of which we are a part. I`ve written an executive-style summary of the book available at newbooksinbrief.wordpress.com

Cheers,
Aaron


message 45: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Thibeault (thebookreporter) | 109 comments Just finished reading the blockbuster 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' by Susan Cain. The book explores the psychology of the introvert, and makes the case that introversion has plenty of benefits and advantages--despite the fact that our society has a deeply entrenched bias towards extroversion (which often makes introverts feel like second-class citizens--if not outright defective or diseased). I've written an executive-style summary of the book at newbooksinbrief.wordpress.com

Cheers,
Aaron


message 46: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 1184 comments I am really enjoying The Invention of Air, which is an investigation not only of the discovery of Oxygen and other gasses, but delves into political and religious issues of the time.


message 47: by April (new)

April A few weeks ago I finished Desperate Passage: The Donner Party's Perilous Journey West and couldn't put it down.
As a native Californian, the Donner party is always mentioned in history, but the full story is always raced through. Plus every Californian 6th grader has to play the "Oregon Trail" game as part of history, where you break up into teams and role play heading west and try to make it alive with your supplies etc. Well this book sheds a whole new light on how hard and brutal that really was.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective was also very interesting if you've ever wondered where the whole detective (Sherlock Holmes) genre really got started. It can be a bit dry, but worth plugging through.


message 48: by Jaye (new)

Jaye Aaron wrote: "Just finished reading the blockbuster 'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' by Susan Cain. The book explores the psychology of the introvert, and makes the case that i..."
I took this book out of the library for myself, but my daughter got to it first. I'll have to get back on the waiting list for myself this time.
Recently read and enjoyed:

Why Birds Do That: 40 Distinctive Bird Behaviors Explained & Photographed Why Birds Do That 40 Distinctive Bird Behaviors Explained & Photographed by Michael Furtman
and
Killer Stuff and Tons of Money Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America by Maureen Stanton Killer Stuff and Tons of Money: Seeking History and Hidden Gems in Flea-Market America


message 49: by Buffy (new)

Buffy (buffybarber) I'm currently reading Monsters and I'm really enjoying it. I love reading about history. This book covers 100 or so of history's villains. Each person only gets a page or two, but it's an interesting, if superficial, look at different baddies throughout history. Some I've heard of and some I haven't. It's made me want to read more about certain ones.


message 50: by Tracy (last edited Sep 13, 2012 02:50PM) (new)

Tracy (tjohn33791) I'm reading back to back books with Wyatt Earp as the central figure. I finished The Last Gunfight by Jeff Guinn and I am now reading Wyatt Earp The Life Behind the Legend by Casey Tefertiller


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