Non-Fiction Book Recommendations

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.
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Baareman2003
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Re: Non-Fiction Book Recommendations

Post by Baareman2003 » 18 Jan 2015, 23:27

When Book Went to War. It was as well written and interesting and informative.
Non Fic is not minors, but I so very glad I picked that book up!

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Post by bookowlie » 18 Jan 2015, 23:43

mkshorten wrote:The Influencing Machine, by Brooke Gladstone from NPR. It's actually graphic nonfiction, and a really fascinating explanation of the history of media, how it works and how it affects us.

-- 12 Jan 2015, 12:07 --

Some of my favorite biographies/memoirs:

Bossypants, by Tina Fey. You should listen to the audio, because she narrates it herself.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed
Julie & Julia, by Julie Powell. Pretty different from the movie, and while I did like the movie, the book (as usual) was better.
How to Be a Woman, by Caitlin Moran. Hilarious and topical.
Love, Nina: A Nanny Writes Home, by Nina Stibbe. Was on the Library Reads list a year or two ago.

-- 12 Jan 2015, 12:16 --

Other excellent nonfiction:

The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. The first section is much like Fast Food Nation, but I liked this one better.
Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich. A journalist in the 90s decides to live on minimum wage jobs for a month each in three different states.
Eats, Shoots and Leaves, by Lynne Truss. A book on grammar, and somehow one of the funniest books you'll ever read, particularly if you like British humor.
Cheaper by the Dozen, by Frank Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. Basically nothing like the Steve Martin movie.
Waiter Rant, by Steve Duplanica. The memoirs of a professional server, alternately fascinating and funny and horrifying.
The Rights of the People, by David K. Shipler. A book about the tension between safety and freedom, and how easily we give away our freedoms for the hope of safety.
The Astronaut Wives Club, by Lily Koppel. More than you ever knew about the moon landing, the first astronauts, and the beginning of the space program.
I agree, Julie and Julia was an excellent book, much better than the movie.
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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Post by mmccartylhs14 » 30 Jan 2015, 11:37

Nonfiction books can be just as story driven and exciting as a novel. I would recommend the following nonfiction works as a great way to gain an understanding of History and Current Affairs;

1. A Peoples History-Howard Zinn. This is the quintessential work of American History from the "peoples" perspective.
2. The Civil War: A Narrative-Shelby Foot. The classic work on America's Bloodiest Conflict.
3. The Souls of Black Folk-W.E.B. Dubois. A classic text which is still relevant over a hundred years later.
4. A History of the American People-Paul Johnson. An excellent narrative.
5. The World is Flat-Thomas Friedman. An accurate portrayal of the changing world that we inhabit.

Feel free to add to this list your favorites. I know some will agree with my list and some will suggest others.

Matthew

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Post by Stefan Malan » 04 Feb 2015, 03:59

I have recently finished reading "Entertaining Judgment - The Afterlife in Popular Imagination" by author Greg Garrett. He deals with the relevant topic of 'What happens after all of this?' and highlights the fact that - being religious or not - all people are confronted by this question at some point or another. What we think and believe about what is to follow this life, depends on what we feed on. Is it life after death (some kind of Paradise) - upheld by most religions as reward for living a good life? Or is it Nirvana - upheld by Buddhism as escape from a senseless existence? Or is it mere nothingness? Garrett goes on to show how heaven and hell still feature as relevant categories of informing our thinking about the afterlife, even if more and more people are standing outside a religious paradigm. Angels, demons, devils and purgatory are popularized through a vast array of media - movies, novels, graphic novels and games. I think Garrett's research on the topic of the afterlife is well-informed by modern Western media and indeed reflects a thorough understanding of how more and more Westerners approach this topic.

-- 04 Feb 2015, 04:07 --

Granger Korff, an ex-conscript in the former SADF (South African Defence Force) during the apartheid regime in South Africa, breaks the silence on the often illusive theme of the personal experiences of young, white men who served as troops on the border between the former South West Africa (Namibia) and Angola with his book "Nineteen With a Bullet." As a South African, my personal experience is that most men who were conscripted into war during the 1970's and 1980's are not eager to reflect on their experiences. Korff, however, gives us an insight into the social, emotional and psychological world of many troops who fought a war with no clearly defined objective. A must read for anyone who is interested in that part of South African history!

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Post by StarLight365 » 11 Feb 2015, 07:48

Eckhart Tolle's 'Power of Now' is a very good book. This is a spiritual book which i have read many times and I have greatly benefited because of it. It is a book which clearly explains to us the great benefits of being in the present moment.
Another good book is a trilogy 'Conversations with God; written by Neale Donald Walsh. This is a very interesting trilogy . These three books are bestsellers and many people have said that their lives have been transformed because of these books.

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Post by talkwithtaylor » 28 Feb 2015, 11:52

The Book Thief was wonderful (for those who haven't read it yet). I also really loved The Secret History by Donna Tartt- it's one of my favorites!

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Post by Khushi » 08 Mar 2015, 07:26

This is a fantastic read ! As its catch phrase says ' Detox for the self-help junkie' :) I am not a fan of self help books a a rule and therefore found this book very interesting. Picked it up at random and found its small size, the brilliant bright green and silver cover which said 'happiness for those who can't stand positive thinking', appealing enough to buy it ! In this case I did 'judge the book by its cover' and no regrets there ! Its a very intuitive read. The author adapts a common sensical approach, breaks the myths and fallacies of the positive assertion process when used alone. It doesn't recommend a way to be happy, which would be simplifying the process of attaining something that is ever so elusive. But it helps you see that you don't commit a crime when you sometimes cannot go along with thinking positively all the time, every second of the day ! It gives some useful pointers as to how you can try and control your reactions, and maintain a degree of equanimity in the face of both good and bad times. Its a refreshing, approachable and simple take on modern day Stoicism which makes immediate sense :) Highly recommended !

-- 09 Mar 2015, 14:18 --

Sorry I thought I was replying in the discussion thread of a specific book. 'The antidote' by Oliver Brukemqan was the book I was referring to
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Post by Gravy » 17 Mar 2015, 20:20

Hungry by Crystal Renn is very entertaining...as well as painful :(
But also uplifting.
If we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.

We've all got light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.

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Post by Jretting » 23 Mar 2015, 17:28

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is one of the best non-fiction books I've read in awhile. Good in depth view of Jobs and it doesn't worship the ground he walked on; the book is full of stories of ex-employees who couldn't get along with Jobs.

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Post by spalisoul » 26 Mar 2015, 19:11

"The Bielski Brothers" by Peter Duffy is a great non-fiction read! I originally had to read it for a college course, but remembered having liked it, so I read it again recently. It reads like a novel, and is such an extraordinary story that sometimes it's hard to believe that this actually happened. It's the kind of book that when you are finished, you just want to learn as much as you can about the topic!
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Post by euppington1212 » 09 Apr 2015, 18:00

Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie chronicles the life of Catherine II of Russia formerly Princess Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst from the time she was first invited to Russia by Empress Elizabeth with the intention of securing a marriage to the her nephew Peter to her death in 1796. Catherine reigned for 34 years. Despite her German heritage she was able to win the hearts of the Russian people, bring the ideas of enlightenment to the country and implement their principles, and expand the country's territory. But her tenure was not without struggle. Massie is an expert on Russian history and the Romanov dynasty. Catherine the Great was masterfully written allowing the reader to wander through the palaces of St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Tsarskoe Selo; feel the stress of wartime decisions; the struggle to implement progressive policies to better the lives of the poor but meeting resistance at every level; and fearing revolt at every corner. This book was extremely interesting and truly shows how the events throughout Europe directly effected each country and the immediate steps that needed to be taken as a result. Anyone with the slightest interest in Russian history should give this a read!

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Post by bookowlie » 12 Apr 2015, 12:32

I love this thread! I enjoy seeing the variety of everyone's reading choices. I admit I have a weakness for books about popular current events. After the O.J. Simpson trial, I read Lawrence Schiller's book American Tragedy. When the JonBenet Ramsey trial was a hot topic, I read Perfect Murder Perfect Town, also by Lawrence Schiller. I read Too Close to Call by Jeffrey Toobin (about the 2000 Presidential Election) and Game Change (about the 2008 election). The list goes on and on.
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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Post by Bernhardt » 21 Apr 2015, 19:34

:eusa-think:
nycsunshine wrote:A good friend of mine loved Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom, so I decided to read it the other day and I fell in love as well. This book is about a man named Eddie who dies and encounters five people he knew in his lifetime before he is sent off to heaven. He learns things about these people, people who he thought were insignificant to him, but turned out to have a greater impact on his life than he could ever imagine. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a short, quick read, that's sentimental and inspirational.

Other Mitch Albom books I would recommend are: For One More Day, and Tuesdays With Morrie. He also has a new book coming out in some time September this year, Have A Little Faith, about a rabbi and pastor and their devotion to their faith. He gives a preview of this book in this YouTube video I came across the other day, which truly moved me, and I hope you will be able to enjoy it as well. You can find it on Mitch Albom's official YouTube page.

Another book I would recommend if you enjoy Mitch Albom, would be Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth. I hope this review helped!
This sounds very intriguing, I will put this on my list, thank you! :eusa-think:

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Post by cnadams29 » 11 May 2015, 16:33

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

I loved this book. It is the type of non-fiction that reads more like a novel, in that there is character background and development for many of the key characters. I am not typically looking for a feel-good type of read; (I like to be challenged and read something thought-provoking) however, this book was inspiring and hopeful even for a cynic like me.

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Post by Dogpilot » 20 May 2015, 19:04

Skeletons on the Zahara is a great book.

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