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Favorite non-fiction books


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Killing Kennedy & Killing Lincoln by OReily

Brainstorm by Daniel J Siegel

The Noticer books by Andy Andrews

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Crisis in the Red Zone by Richard Preston

Endurance by Alfred Lansing

Into Thin Air by John Krakauer

Never Get Angry Again by Daniel Lieberman

 

Happy Birthday!

 

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Common Ground

The Puritan Dilemma

Growing a Business

Business By The Book

The Warmth of Other Suns

Revolution From Within

Faith That Engages The Culture

The Feminine Mystique

Thinner This Year (not  diet book.  More of a healthy exercise and diet book, very compelling, deep without being dry, weirdly helpful to me with repeated reading despite the fact that I have read quite a few books about this topic.)

How Much is a Little Girl Worth?

Ones that meant a lot to me but I'm not sure they would now:

Fire with Fire

Passages

Mitten Strings For God 

 

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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Some that I read or reread recently:

Breaking Bread with the Dead by Alan Jacobs
Rethinking School by Susan Wise Bauer
Know and Tell : The Art of Narration by Karen Glass
The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher
How Then Shall We Live? by Francis Schaeffer
A History of the Jews by Paul Johnson
 

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Non-fiction I've enjoyed:

Bill Bryson's  The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way 

Classic Feynman: All the Adventures of a Curious Character which is a compilation of two of Richard Feynman's earlier books -- "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" and "What Do You Care What Other People Think?".  The edition I've linked is wonderful because it includes a CD of Richard Feynman telling some great stories of his time at Los Alamos.

Quirkology: How We Discover the Big Truths in Small Things by Richard Wiseman ~ this generated some interesting dinner table conversation.

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard; this was a fascinating and gory story about a lesser known American president.

Regards,

Kareni

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Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
1491 by Charles Mann
Lost to the West by Lars Brownworth
Romantic Outlaws by Charlotte Gordon
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (get the audio!!)
Caste and The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
Evicted by Matthew Desmond
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker
King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild
Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright (this is a misleading title - the book is not about Buddhism so much as modern brain science and theory of mind)
 

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Into Thin Air by John Krakauer, and then it's fun to read the 'competing' books 

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (remembered bc Matryoshka has it on her list, lol) 

Education-related: How Children Learn, The Well-Trained Mind, There Are No Shortcuts, Top of the Class, Summerhill (all for different reasons)

The Silent Twins 

I read an appalling amount of true crime. The Anatomy of Motive, and other John Douglas books, bring up some of the whys of crime and let you feel superior for momentarily not reading trashy true crime written by non-former-FBI-agents. A Case for Solomon (Mcthenia and Cutright) is on the longer side, but is really an astounding story. There's the alleged crime itself, and then everything that happens related to it really shows, well, I don't want to put spoilers, so let's just say it shows many facets of human nature. 

Hail to the Chiefs by Barbara Holland, I love this book so much! Tales your teacher never told you about the presidents, goes through Reagan. 

Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey; I couldn't find my book so I'm not 100% that this is the same title, but basically letters and diaries of the women headed west. Fascinating and appalling and makes me love modern conveniences fervently. 

 The Power of Habit

Switch 

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, doesn't have a ton of new information, but does put everything together and makes RK's level of struggle from the first clearer, and also the level of work that went into hiding it 

Radium Girls is an amazing book about the female factory workers who painted watches with glowing paint, way before OSHA existed. It's history, it's biography, it's psychology, it's amazing, go read it. 

I went through my initial list and bolded my extra-extra favorites. 

8 hours ago, AmandaVT said:

Isaac's Storm is a good one if you like weather disasters! 

 

Just downloaded from the library, thanks for the interesting rec! 

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It's Not Fair :Learning to love the life you didn't chose by Melanie Dale.  This book helped me get through my last few years after my now ex husband was arrested.

It's Not Fair

What Is a Girl Worth about the Larry Nassar abuse case.....she shows just how good abusers can be at hiding what they are doing.

Braving the Wilderness by Been Brown one of my latest reads.   I don't agree with her on everything, but some good things to chew on 

 

 

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Brother Gardeners and others by Andrea Wulf

Pretty much anything by John McPhee - he can make any topic interesting. Rising from the Plains is a recently-read favorite. 

A Crack in the Edge of the World and others by Simon Winchester

Someone mentioned The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - read that many years ago, worth a reread

The Hive by Bee Wilson - fun book about bees and beekeeping. She is a food writer and I like her writing in general though I have not read any of her other books yet.

Years ago I read Family Life by Elisabeth Luard, and have been wanting to reread. I got rid of the book at some point, to my regret. 

 

 

 

Edited by marbel
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I love The Reindeer People by Piers Vitebsky. Fifth Sun is a more recent book that was absolutely fascinating. 

Some other good ones are Destiny Disrupted, Hidden Valley Road, Unworthy Republic, A House Full of Females (and anything else by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich), Living in Historic Cairo, Vesper Flights, Caste, Apples of Uncommon Character, Jerusalem: The Biography, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, First Stop in the New World, The People’s Guide to Mexico, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Nothing to Envy, Logavina Street, An Everlasting Meal, The Corpse Walker, Still Alice, Confederates in the Attic, Country Driving (and anything else by Peter Hessler), Factory Girls, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Red Odyssey, Garlic and Sapphires (and anything else by Ruth Reichl), Half the Sky, Little Pink House, In an Antique Land, Left to Tell, When  Everything Changed, Invisible China, China Road, Reading Lolita in Tehran, Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper, The Road from Coorain, Foreign Correspondence (and anything else by Geraldine Brooks), Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years (and anything else by Elizabeth Wayland Barber), Forbidden Journey (and anything else by Ella Maillart), Guests of the Sheik, Veiled Empire, From Heaven Lake, The Year of Magical Thinking, Bury Me Standing, Volcano Cowboys, Longitude, and A Fish Caught in Time.

I hadn’t gone through my book lists in a while. Thanks for bringing this up.

 

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I prefer nonfiction to fiction.  Here are some recent books I've read that I thought were good:

 

Remember:  The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting by Lisa Genova (one of my favorite authors)

The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector's Story

A Beginner's Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption Before Roe V. Wade

Run, Don't Walk: The Curious and Chaotic Life of a Physical Therapist Inside Walter Reed Army Medical Center

 

 

 


 

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I am trying to read Rene Girard's book Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World. It's a difficult read for me but a few pages per day and I should be done . . . eventually. A summary that has helped is David Cayley's The Ideas of Rene Girard.

I am also reading Thomas Aquinas: Spiritual Master by Bishop Robert Barron.

 

Other nonfiction books I've liked:

Benjamin Bikman's Why We Get Sick

Eat to Beat Disase by William Li. I use it more as a reference.

Richard Davidson's The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live - and How You Can Change Them

Dan Goleman -- Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence

Bessel van der Kolk's The Body Keeps the Score

Edited by BeachGal
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Everything by Bill Bryson

Everything by Colin Woodard—especially American Nations (North American history) and the Lobster Coast (Maine history)

Untamed, by Glennon Doyle

Shortest Way Home and Trust, by Pete Buttigieg

 

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1 hour ago, BeachGal said:

 

Benjamin Bikman's Why We Get Sick

 

Richard Davidson's The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live - and How You Can Change Them

 

Bessel van der Kolk's The Body Keeps the Score

I have the first one at home to be read soon (borrowed from the library), second one is on my to-read list, and the third one I've read and thought was excellent.  🙂

 

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I've read and agree with a lot of the suggestions. In addition I'll add:

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. I always recommend this one. It's an important conversation for anyone who's dealing with an aging parent or anyone who hopes to grow old. Basically, it's for everyone.

If you like chunky biographies try David McCullough or Ron Chernow.

If you have any interest in the Romanovs, try Robert K Massie's Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, or all three.

If you have any interest in Jane Austen's life there's Lucy Worsley's Jane Austen at Home.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of The FBI - a story most of us haven't heard but should know about

 

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7 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

Oh, if you are interested, even vaguely, in spies, then I recommend Ben Macintyre highly.  I've read most of his, but Double Cross may be my favourite.

The only book of his I read is The Spy and the Traitor. It was very good. I then recommended it to dh, who also loved it. I'll have to look at his other works.

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I thought of a few more.  🙂

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

There is no me without you by Melissa Faye Greene

Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Tom Myers

Gratitude in Motion by Colleen Kelly Alexander (memoir of a cyclist run over by a distracted driver and her against-all-odds survival)

Thanks for asking the question!  I've added a lot of books to my reading list.

 

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1 hour ago, Random said:

I thought of a few more.  🙂

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

There is no me without you by Melissa Faye Greene

Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Tom Myers

Gratitude in Motion by Colleen Kelly Alexander (memoir of a cyclist run over by a distracted driver and her against-all-odds survival)

Thanks for asking the question!  I've added a lot of books to my reading list.

 

Over the Edge got passed through our entire family when we did a cross country road trip and visited. So tragic but you couldn’t put it down once you started. 

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3 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

I've read and agree with a lot of the suggestions. In addition I'll add:

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. I always recommend this one. It's an important conversation for anyone who's dealing with an aging parent or anyone who hopes to grow old. Basically, it's for everyone.

Yes to this.  Hard topic but important one.

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11 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

 

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. I always recommend this one. It's an important conversation for anyone who's dealing with an aging parent or anyone who hopes to grow old. Basically, it's for everyone.

 

 

Great book and definitely an important one.

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