I was remiss when I posted my books in discussing the "why" aspect. For the Rinker Buck and Oliver Sacks books, they both manage to recapture the childhood state, which is simultaneously magical, mythical, and vividly, directly "real". I think it is extremely important for adults, as cliché as it may be to say it, to see the world through child's eyes.
The "Pre-Astronauts" books not only documents some amazing men and achievements, it also provides a profound warning about the "not invented here" syndrome that affects so many institutions. It can literally be fatal to ignore what others fought so hard to discover.
For Bright Earth, there is nothing life-changing. It is simply a fascinating book, and anyone interested in art, language, and literature (which describes our membership, I think), it should prove an enjoyable read.