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Book Recommendations > Favorite non-fiction?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I have some books lined up for my January credits, but I'm curious about your favorite non-fiction and what you liked about it. I'm indiscriminate as to non-fiction genre. Thanks.


message 2: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3724 comments Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime was pretty good; The Battle for America, 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election covers the same events, but from a different perspective.

Shadow of the Silk Road was definitely worth spending a credit. I don't recall the details, in detail, but I recall reading critical reviews afterwards, and not agreeing with their comments. Again, I found I Wouldn't Start From Here: A Misguided Tour of the Early 21st Century a good use of a credit, not recalling the details specifically. Best I can say is it wasn't dry, nor rehash of experiences I'd read about before from others.

The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court likewise, perhaps a bit dated with 2 of the 9 justices changed, but consistently interesting, not dry.

Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife was approachable (rather than overly scholarly, theological, etc.), and well-narrated.

Hope that helps some!


message 3: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 1546 comments The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was wonderful and one of my top 10 favorite audiobooks of 2010.


message 4: by Johnsergeant (new)

Johnsergeant | 36 comments I just finished listening to The Ascent of Money by Neil Ferguson The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
which was very interesting and well narrated by Simon Prebble


message 5: by Stef (new)

Stef (firecat) | 43 comments I thought Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson was pretty good. It's a collection of essays about astrophysics.


message 6: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments I'd have to go with Washington: A Life or Alexander Hamilton both narrated by Scott Brick.


message 8: by Penni (new)

Penni Russon (eglantine) | 26 comments My husband really enjoyed At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson. I haven't listened to it yet (I'm hungry for fiction at the moment), but I will. I find I go through non-fiction phases.


message 9: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3724 comments I'm not fond of Bryson's narration, but am looking forward to reading that one as an ebook.


message 10: by Barbara (new)

Barbara | 168 comments Wow, John, this may be the first narrator we've disagreed on. Bryson may be my favorite author/narrator.


message 11: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 1546 comments Barbara wrote: "Wow, John, this may be the first narrator we've disagreed on. Bryson may be my favorite author/narrator."

I have only listened to A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, but I really enjoyed that audiobook.


message 12: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3724 comments To me, he sounds whiny; ditto David Sedaris, yet folks prefer his stuff on audio, too.


message 13: by Heidi (new)

Heidi | 1546 comments John wrote: "To me, he sounds whiny; ditto David Sedaris, yet folks prefer his stuff on audio, too."

I could see that.


message 14: by Maxine (new)

Maxine (caffeine_chapters) I don't read much non fiction but last year I read Che Guevara - A Revolutionary Life by Jon Lee Anderson. It was an amazing look into the life of an incredible man.


message 15: by Susanne (last edited Jan 18, 2011 07:17PM) (new)

Susanne (heysus74) | 193 comments I enjoyed How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I'm listening to All the President's Men right now -- It's very interesting but after a while it gets a bit redundant (We interviewed someone, they were reluctant to talk, we persisted, we got new information...). The narration on all were very good.

Here are some non-fiction books I have on my to-read list that show my different interests and are available on audible:
1. Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption
2. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
3. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
4. When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
5. Up from Slavery
6. Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions
7. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl,


message 16: by SheriC (PM) (new)

SheriC (PM) (shericpm) I highly recommend Night as narrated by George Guidall. The book is too short to spend a credit on, but I bought it outright and it was $14 well spent.


message 17: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 61 comments Susanne wrote: "I enjoyed How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I'm listening to [book:All the Presiden..."

Hi Susanne, thanks for the recommendation on How I Killed Pluto . . . I heard the author briefly on NPR and thought it might be good; glad for the confirmation.


message 18: by Jure (new)

Jure (hoornet) | 12 comments Stef wrote: "I thought Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson was pretty good. It's a collection of essays about astrophysics."

I second that! And I might add a few:
The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
A History of Western Philosophy
The ABC of Relativity


message 19: by Bxrlover (new)

Bxrlover | 109 comments I am listeing to Outliers right now and it's pretty good


message 20: by Seth (new)

Seth Jones (sayeth) | 19 comments I loved A Walk in the Woods and thought Bryson's narration was great. I'll second The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks. I listened to The Souls of Black Folk recently and was very impressed.


message 23: by ms.petra (new)

ms.petra (mspetra) | 16 comments oh, Joanna, I forgot about that one! The best thing I've listened to in the past few months.


message 24: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3724 comments I'll throw in a strong recommendation for Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - far from dry, more like a soap opera as the author rotates her stories of the six defectors, with whom she had extensive interviews, in a bit of a cliffhanger style.


message 25: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 316 comments Upon checking my book list I find that almost all nonfiction was read on paper even though that is difficult. Biographies I listed in nonfiction but seem fine on audio.
I enjoyed Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods but on all others he sounds snide.
Jack Weatherford's Indian Givers was great.


message 26: by Katherine (last edited Sep 27, 2013 12:39PM) (new)

Katherine (sandrakay) | 8 comments No, it is definitely fiction! I missed the title of the thread when making the post. I have deleted it. Thank you.


message 27: by Kristie (last edited Sep 27, 2013 12:54PM) (new)

Kristie | 2212 comments I know this conversation seems to be revived after a couple year hiatus, but I'll chime in anyway.

Another vote for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. Fantastic books.

I'd also humbly add...
Seabiscuit: An American Legend
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Bossypants
Travels with Charley: In Search of America
And anything by Malcolm Gladwell or David Sedaris. :)


message 29: by Bobby (new)

Bobby Bermea (beirutwedding) | 86 comments Kristie wrote: "And anything by Malcolm Gladwell or David Sedaris. :)"

Oh ho! No kidding. Me Talk Pretty One Day had me cracking up.


message 30: by Kristie (new)

Kristie | 2212 comments Bobby wrote: "Kristie wrote: "And anything by Malcolm Gladwell or David Sedaris. :)"

Oh ho! No kidding. Me Talk Pretty One Day had me cracking up."


It's hard for me to pick a favorite Sedaris book, but it's probably that one. Hilarious.


message 31: by Bobby (last edited Sep 27, 2013 07:05PM) (new)

Bobby Bermea (beirutwedding) | 86 comments Kristie wrote: "It's hard for me to pick a favorite Sedaris book, but it's probably that one. Hilarious."

I mean, like laugh-out-loud-don't-care-who's-looking hilarious. Have you ever seen The Santaland Diaries? It's been turned into a one-man show. I think the script is just the essay. That line about Santa having to be careful when you ask a kid with no nose what they want for Christmas" or whatever -- it's making me laugh right now.


message 32: by Kristie (new)

Kristie | 2212 comments Bobby wrote: "Kristie wrote: "It's hard for me to pick a favorite Sedaris book, but it's probably that one. Hilarious."

I mean, like laugh-out-loud-don't-care-who's-looking hilarious. Have you ever seen The Sa..."


I've heard about it, maybe through This American Life. I'll need to check that out. He's a shining example of why you sometimes really do want the author narrating their own books.


message 33: by Bobby (new)

Bobby Bermea (beirutwedding) | 86 comments I have not listened to it! But now, I will on your recommendation.


message 34: by Kristie (new)

Kristie | 2212 comments Bobby wrote: "I have not listened to it! But now, I will on your recommendation."

Enjoy!


message 35: by Jack (new)

Jack Dermody (jack_dermody) | 10 comments Professionally funny people produce recreational listening. I loved Billy Crystal's Still Foolin' 'Em. and Silverman's Bedwetter.


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