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Old 06-11-2011, 07:39 AM   #16
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Thanks for your recommendations , arkivaren! I see that you have many and varied interests. I like that in a fellow nonfiction reader
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:57 AM   #17
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:15 PM   #18
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Haven't updated this in a while. Here is a " Best Nonfiction All-Time List" by the editorial board of the Modern Library, of Random House, Inc.

THE EDUCATION OF HENRY ADAMS by Henry Adams
THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE by William James
UP FROM SLAVERY by Booker T. Washington
A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN by Virginia Woolf
SILENT SPRING by Rachel Carson
SELECTED ESSAYS, 1917-1932 by T. S. Eliot
THE DOUBLE HELIX by James D. Watson
SPEAK, MEMORY by Vladimir Nabokov
THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE by H. L. Mencken
THE GENERAL THEORY OF EMPLOYMENT, INTEREST, AND MONEY by John Maynard Keynes
THE LIVES OF A CELL by Lewis Thomas
THE FRONTIER IN AMERICAN HISTORY by Frederick Jackson Turner
BLACK BOY by Richard Wright
ASPECTS OF THE NOVEL by E. M. Forster
THE CIVIL WAR by Shelby Foote
THE GUNS OF AUGUST by Barbara Tuchman
THE PROPER STUDY OF MANKIND by Isaiah Berlin
THE NATURE AND DESTINY OF MAN by Reinhold Niebuhr
NOTES OF A NATIVE SON by James Baldwin
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALICE B. TOKLAS by Gertrude Stein
THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE by William Strunk and E. B. White
AN AMERICAN DILEMMA by Gunnar Myrdal
PRINCIPIA MATHEMATICA by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell
THE MISMEASURE OF MAN by Stephen Jay Gould
THE MIRROR AND THE LAMP by Meyer Howard Abrams
THE ART OF THE SOLUBLE by Peter B. Medawar
THE ANTS by Bert Hoelldobler and Edward O. Wilson
A THEORY OF JUSTICE by John Rawls
ART AND ILLUSION by Ernest H. Gombrich
THE MAKING OF THE ENGLISH WORKING CLASS by E. P. Thompson
THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK by W.E.B. Du Bois
PRINCIPIA ETHICA by G. E. Moore
PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION by John Dewey
ON GROWTH AND FORM by D’Arcy Thompson
IDEAS AND OPINIONS by Albert Einstein
THE AGE OF JACKSON, Arthur Schlesinger by Jr.
THE MAKING OF THE ATOMIC BOMB by Richard Rhodes
BLACK LAMB AND GREY FALCON by Rebecca West
AUTOBIOGRAPHIES by W. B. Yeats
SCIENCE AND CIVILIZATION IN CHINA by Joseph Needham
GOODBYE TO ALL THAT by Robert Graves
HOMAGE TO CATALONIA by George Orwell
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN by Mark Twain
CHILDREN OF CRISIS by Robert Coles
A STUDY OF HISTORY by Arnold J. Toynbee
THE AFFLUENT SOCIETY by John Kenneth Galbraith
PRESENT AT THE CREATION by Dean Acheson
THE GREAT BRIDGE by David McCullough
PATRIOTIC GORE by Edmund Wilson
SAMUEL JOHNSON by Walter Jackson Bate
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X
THE RIGHT STUFF by Tom Wolfe
EMINENT VICTORIANS by Lytton Strachey
WORKING by Studs Terkel
DARKNESS VISIBLE by William Styron
THE LIBERAL IMAGINATION by Lionel Trilling
THE SECOND WORLD WAR by Winston Churchill
OUT OF AFRICA by Isak Dinesen
JEFFERSON AND HIS TIME by Dumas Malone
IN THE AMERICAN GRAIN by William Carlos Williams
CADILLAC DESERT by Marc Reisner
THE HOUSE OF MORGAN by Ron Chernow
THE SWEET SCIENCE by A. J. Liebling
THE OPEN SOCIETY AND ITS ENEMIES by Karl Popper
THE ART OF MEMORY by Frances A. Yates
RELIGION AND THE RISE OF CAPITALISM by R. H. Tawney
A PREFACE TO MORALS by Walter Lippmann
THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE by Jonathan D. Spence
THE STRUCTURE OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS by Thomas S. Kuhn
THE STRANGE CAREER OF JIM CROW by C. Vann Woodward
THE RISE OF THE WEST by William H. McNeill
THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS by Elaine Pagels
JAMES JOYCE by Richard Ellmann
FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE by Cecil Woodham-Smith
THE GREAT WAR AND MODERN MEMORY by Paul Fussell
THE CITY IN HISTORY by Lewis Mumford
BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM by James M. McPherson
WHY WE CAN’T WAIT by Martin Luther King by Jr.
THE RISE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT by Edmund Morris
STUDIES IN ICONOLOGY by Erwin Panofsky
THE FACE OF BATTLE by John Keegan
THE STRANGE DEATH OF LIBERAL ENGLAND by George Dangerfield
VERMEER by Lawrence Gowing
A BRIGHT SHINING LIE by Neil Sheehan
WEST WITH THE NIGHT by Beryl Markham
THIS BOY’S LIFE by Tobias Wolff
A MATHEMATICIAN’S APOLOGY by G. H. Hardy
SIX EASY PIECES by Richard P. Feynman
PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK by Annie Dillard
THE GOLDEN BOUGH by James George Frazer
SHADOW AND ACT by Ralph Ellison
THE POWER BROKER by Robert A. Caro
THE AMERICAN POLITICAL TRADITION by Richard Hofstadter
THE CONTOURS OF AMERICAN HISTORY by William Appleman Williams
THE PROMISE OF AMERICAN LIFE by Herbert Croly
IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote
THE JOURNALIST AND THE MURDERER by Janet Malcolm
THE TAMING OF CHANCE by Ian Hacking
OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS by Anne Lamott
MELBOURNE by Lord David Cecil


The List plus an alternative list by readers HERE

Can personally recommend Tuchman, Neihbur, McPherson , Pagels, Strunk & White, and Fussell

Last edited by stonetools; 06-29-2011 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:36 PM   #19
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For something that's fresher here is a list from The Atlantic Magazine of the 100 best pieces of journalism for 2010:

nearly-100-fantastic-pieces-of-journalism

You can use either Read It Later or Instapaper to save these articles from the Web to your reading devices, and read them later in a more reader-friendly format.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:52 AM   #20
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I can recommend just about anything by Bill Bryson especially The Mother Tongue which is a history of the English language. Also A Short History of Nearly Everything and At Home which is a history of private life (mostly homes) and how they got to be the way they are today.

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Old 07-04-2011, 07:58 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by cassidym View Post
I can recommend just about anything by Bill Bryson especially The Mother Tongue which is a history of the English language. Also A Short History of Nearly Everything and At Home which is a history of private life (mostly homes) and how they got to be the way they are today.
And anything by Mary Roach, writing much along the same lines a Bill.
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:23 PM   #22
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Well, if it has to be a novel, I'd vote for Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. Not usually thought of in this genre, but it does fit and it is a book that continues to reverberate across the literary world.

However, why go the novel route when there are so many real-life crime and mystery events that have been written about. How about, for example, these three:

Honor Killing by David Stannard, which is about the killing of a native Hawaiian in the 1930s by the people who framed the boy for rape (needless to say, whites). Story involves the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Congress, Hawaiian royalty and more. Clarence Darrow to the defense.
Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgement of Mankind by Bruce Watson. Sacco and Vanzetti were anarchists but did they really do the crime for which they were executed.
The Trial of The Scottsboro Boys by David Aretha. Framed for rape and convicted. A tragedy of justice.
Hat tip to the poster rhadin, who provided these recommendations on another thread and graciously permitted me to post these selections on this thread.
The best crime nonfiction book that I have read is :

Homicide, David Simon
It chronicles a year in the life of some homicide detectives in Baltimore City in the year 1988. If you want the gritty , "hard boiled " reality of how big city homicide detectives do their work, then this is the book for you. I was in Baltimore at the time and had some contact with that milieu, and he was spot on.
This was the same David Simon who went on to create several award winning TV series, including one based on the book.
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:11 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonetools View Post
Haven't updated this in a while. Here is a " Best Nonfiction All-Time List" by the editorial board of the Modern Library, of Random House, Inc.

THE EDUCATION OF HENRY ADAMS by Henry Adams
THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE by William James
UP FROM SLAVERY by Booker T. Washington
A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN by Virginia Woolf
SILENT SPRING by Rachel Carson
SELECTED ESSAYS, 1917-1932 by T. S. Eliot
THE DOUBLE HELIX by James D. Watson
SPEAK, MEMORY by Vladimir Nabokov
THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE by H. L. Mencken
THE GENERAL THEORY OF EMPLOYMENT, INTEREST, AND MONEY by John Maynard Keynes
THE LIVES OF A CELL by Lewis Thomas
THE FRONTIER IN AMERICAN HISTORY by Frederick Jackson Turner
BLACK BOY by Richard Wright
ASPECTS OF THE NOVEL by E. M. Forster
THE CIVIL WAR by Shelby Foote
THE GUNS OF AUGUST by Barbara Tuchman
THE PROPER STUDY OF MANKIND by Isaiah Berlin
THE NATURE AND DESTINY OF MAN by Reinhold Niebuhr
NOTES OF A NATIVE SON by James Baldwin
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALICE B. TOKLAS by Gertrude Stein
THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE by William Strunk and E. B. White
AN AMERICAN DILEMMA by Gunnar Myrdal
PRINCIPIA MATHEMATICA by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell
THE MISMEASURE OF MAN by Stephen Jay Gould
THE MIRROR AND THE LAMP by Meyer Howard Abrams
THE ART OF THE SOLUBLE by Peter B. Medawar
THE ANTS by Bert Hoelldobler and Edward O. Wilson
A THEORY OF JUSTICE by John Rawls
ART AND ILLUSION by Ernest H. Gombrich
THE MAKING OF THE ENGLISH WORKING CLASS by E. P. Thompson
THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK by W.E.B. Du Bois
PRINCIPIA ETHICA by G. E. Moore
PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION by John Dewey
ON GROWTH AND FORM by D’Arcy Thompson
IDEAS AND OPINIONS by Albert Einstein
THE AGE OF JACKSON, Arthur Schlesinger by Jr.
THE MAKING OF THE ATOMIC BOMB by Richard Rhodes
BLACK LAMB AND GREY FALCON by Rebecca West
AUTOBIOGRAPHIES by W. B. Yeats
SCIENCE AND CIVILIZATION IN CHINA by Joseph Needham
GOODBYE TO ALL THAT by Robert Graves
HOMAGE TO CATALONIA by George Orwell
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN by Mark Twain
CHILDREN OF CRISIS by Robert Coles
A STUDY OF HISTORY by Arnold J. Toynbee
THE AFFLUENT SOCIETY by John Kenneth Galbraith
PRESENT AT THE CREATION by Dean Acheson
THE GREAT BRIDGE by David McCullough
PATRIOTIC GORE by Edmund Wilson
SAMUEL JOHNSON by Walter Jackson Bate
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X by Alex Haley and Malcolm X
THE RIGHT STUFF by Tom Wolfe
EMINENT VICTORIANS by Lytton Strachey
WORKING by Studs Terkel
DARKNESS VISIBLE by William Styron
THE LIBERAL IMAGINATION by Lionel Trilling
THE SECOND WORLD WAR by Winston Churchill
OUT OF AFRICA by Isak Dinesen
JEFFERSON AND HIS TIME by Dumas Malone
IN THE AMERICAN GRAIN by William Carlos Williams
CADILLAC DESERT by Marc Reisner
THE HOUSE OF MORGAN by Ron Chernow
THE SWEET SCIENCE by A. J. Liebling
THE OPEN SOCIETY AND ITS ENEMIES by Karl Popper
THE ART OF MEMORY by Frances A. Yates
RELIGION AND THE RISE OF CAPITALISM by R. H. Tawney
A PREFACE TO MORALS by Walter Lippmann
THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE by Jonathan D. Spence
THE STRUCTURE OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS by Thomas S. Kuhn
THE STRANGE CAREER OF JIM CROW by C. Vann Woodward
THE RISE OF THE WEST by William H. McNeill
THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS by Elaine Pagels
JAMES JOYCE by Richard Ellmann
FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE by Cecil Woodham-Smith
THE GREAT WAR AND MODERN MEMORY by Paul Fussell
THE CITY IN HISTORY by Lewis Mumford
BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM by James M. McPherson
WHY WE CAN’T WAIT by Martin Luther King by Jr.
THE RISE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT by Edmund Morris
STUDIES IN ICONOLOGY by Erwin Panofsky
THE FACE OF BATTLE by John Keegan
THE STRANGE DEATH OF LIBERAL ENGLAND by George Dangerfield
VERMEER by Lawrence Gowing
A BRIGHT SHINING LIE by Neil Sheehan
WEST WITH THE NIGHT by Beryl Markham
THIS BOY’S LIFE by Tobias Wolff
A MATHEMATICIAN’S APOLOGY by G. H. Hardy
SIX EASY PIECES by Richard P. Feynman
PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK by Annie Dillard
THE GOLDEN BOUGH by James George Frazer
SHADOW AND ACT by Ralph Ellison
THE POWER BROKER by Robert A. Caro
THE AMERICAN POLITICAL TRADITION by Richard Hofstadter
THE CONTOURS OF AMERICAN HISTORY by William Appleman Williams
THE PROMISE OF AMERICAN LIFE by Herbert Croly
IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote
THE JOURNALIST AND THE MURDERER by Janet Malcolm
THE TAMING OF CHANCE by Ian Hacking
OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS by Anne Lamott
MELBOURNE by Lord David Cecil


The List plus an alternative list by readers HERE

Can personally recommend Tuchman, Neihbur, McPherson , Pagels, Strunk & White, and Fussell
I am more or less familiar with the titles in bold.

And I notice wide differences among those. Two giant opus like A THEORY OF JUSTICE by John Rawls and THE ART OF MEMORY by Dame Frances A. Yates should not be in the same list as the others. Yes, the Cambridge lectures by Forster are deliciously witty, Out of Africa is a literary masterpiece, Goodbye to all that is a touching and poetic autobiography. But to me they look like dwarfs compared to the other two. I am ready to bet that there are no more than 6 living people that have read and understood The Art of Memory, certainly not me that I am struggling with it since more than XX years.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:02 PM   #24
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Pulitzer Prize Nonfiction Winners for past two years:

2010: The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman
The Evolution of God by Robert Wright
How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities by John Cassidy


2011: Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas G. Carr
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne

The complete list since 1962:

LINK
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:13 PM   #25
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Of those I am afraid that I read only
Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter

very funny.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:13 PM   #26
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Recently read (in no particular order):
1. Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
2. Hunting Eichmann - Neil Bascomb
3. Shock Doctrine: Disaster Capitalism - Naomi Klein (should be required reading for every American, IMHO)
4. Killer Politics - Ed Schultz
5. Right is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe - Arianna Huffington
6. Trainwreck: The End of the Conservative Revolution (and Not a Moment Too Soon) - Bill Press
7. The Assault On Reason - Al Gore
8. Holy Blood, Holy Grail - Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh & Henry Lincoln

To Be Read (in no particular order):
1. Hostile Takeover - David Sirota
2. Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now—Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything - David Sirota
3. Talking To Girls About Duran Duran - Rob Sheffield
4. Love Is A Mix Tape - Rob Sheffield
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:30 PM   #27
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Just finished The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger. It was well written, but showed its origins as based on a long magazine article. I got it for a deal on Amazon.
The book makes clear that fishing is a tough, dirty, and dangerous profession. Things are worse now, because they have to go out further and stay longer to find ever scarcer fish. It was precisely because of this that one boat owner stayed out as long as he could to get as big a catch as possible, despite being alertyed to bad weather. He tried his luck-and he and his crew paid the ultimate price. My next nonfiction will be
Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food, which discusses the attempt to supply humanity's needs for seafood in the face of the collapse of the world's fisheries.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:53 PM   #28
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Can one read too much?
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Originally Posted by cassidym View Post
I can recommend just about anything by Bill Bryson especially The Mother Tongue which is a history of the English language. Also A Short History of Nearly Everything and At Home which is a history of private life (mostly homes) and how they got to be the way they are today.
As the pages clicked by, I came to dread that At Home was coming towards an end. I have Short History on my TBR pile.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:04 AM   #29
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I read a book about bicycling called Bike Snob. It was actually pretty good, but I like riding bicycles so your mileage may vary.

At the moment (not this exact one??) I'm reading Digital Barbarism, it's a kind of diatribe about the virtues of an almost perpetual copyright. I'm not sure if I'll finish it though since the author just seems to insult everyone he mentions who opposes his viewpoints.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:07 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giggleton View Post
I read a book about bicycling called Bike Snob. It was actually pretty good, but I like riding bicycles so your mileage may vary.

...
Is this it:

http://www.amazon.com/Bike-Snob-Syst.../dp/0811869989

I'm a casual (for simple pleasure, not commute), if constant, "hybrid" bike, bike-path cyclist, riding about 90-100km a week. Do you think I might enjoy it or is it more for the lycranaut set?

Cheers,
Marc
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