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Old 03-12-2011, 02:33 AM   #1
blu-
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Entertaining nonfiction books that I might learn something from.

I'm trying to alternate between fiction and nonfiction, and I don't have enough in the latter category. So far I've read:

Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics
How to Win Friends and Influence People
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Secrets of Mental Math

Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blu- View Post
I'm trying to alternate between fiction and nonfiction, and I don't have enough in the latter category. So far I've read:

Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics
How to Win Friends and Influence People
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Secrets of Mental Math

Thanks.
One book I recommend is "The Immortal Game" by David Shenk. It is a book about the history of chess, and also covers events and persons related to chess.
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:54 AM   #3
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I suggest:

Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan, in which he examines the influence of highly improbable and unpredictable events that have massive impact.

Reviel Netz & William Noel: The Archimedes Codex

David Quammen: The Song of the Dodo (to be released March 15 for Kindle)
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:01 AM   #4
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I'm about a quarter of the way through At Home by Bill Bryson and, so far, it is very interesting. It's a history of normal things like kitchens, bedrooms and houses in general and much more interesting than you might think. For example, hundreds of years ago, it was customary to eat sitting on a bench rather than in a chair at a table. Consequently, people routinely picked up a wooden board to put their food on then sat on the bench eating off the board. Hence the term, 'room and board'
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:31 PM   #5
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The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

and

The Meme Machine by Susan Blackmore

both explore how ideas and beliefs propagate in society.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:57 PM   #6
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I've already tipped this in the literary fiction section, but it seems an ideal possible for
you :- Blood Knots by Luke Jennings. On Amazon for Kindle, or epub , cetainly from Smiths and Waterstones in the UK , and I think it's in another format too.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:05 PM   #7
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I can honestly recommend EVERYTHING that Bill Bryson's written. He's a fantastic author.

I don't know if biographies interest you at all? If so, an excellent author is Peter Ackroyd. I've read his biographies of Shakespeare and Dickens - both very good indeed.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:58 PM   #8
SeaBookGuy
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I'm going to throw in Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea - I read quite a lot of non-fiction, and this one was easily my "best" for 2010. Stories of six defectors, rotated among the individuals cliff-hanger style regarding the decision to leave and the progress of their escape plans; honest portrayals of exactly what the North Koreans are trying to hide!

(At $9.99, I think they may have underpriced the ebook, but don't tell them that!)
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:57 AM   #9
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I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but I enjoyed Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-terrorist Team by George Jonas. It's the basis for Spielberg's Munich. It's a fascinating story about international intrigue, assassinations, hit-men, and the effects of such. The beginning is a bit slow, but was an interesting read.
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:34 AM   #10
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I recently enjoyed Switch, by Chip Heath. About to read Drive, by Dan Pink. There's a fun video based on one of his TED lectures at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:42 AM   #11
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I really enjoyed "Sailing from Byzantium" by Colin Wells. A very readable account of how much of our culture was preserved in Byzantium,and the effect of this knowledge on so much of Europe, Russia. Not just dry history and full of fascinating characters.
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:16 AM   #12
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You could try "The Ascent of Money" by Niall Ferguson. Its a very well written book, which even a layman to finance can easily comprehend. In it he traces the path and form of money from its origin to the present day. It is full of interesting anecdotes and analysis on how Money has influenced all major historical events.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:40 PM   #13
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To intellectuals I always recommend "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" by Douglas Hofstadter. Not an easy read, probably took me months to finish back when, but very satisfying to me.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:50 PM   #14
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I just finished "Packing for Mars" by Mary Roach. It's a well researched and very down to earth (irony not intended) look into how to get humans into space and keep them healthy there. There is a fair bit of potty humor so if that sort of thing puts you off you may not enjoy it as much.
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:51 PM   #15
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I like history, such as books about the old west mountain men, explorers, etc. Have you considered those?
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