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Old 07-21-2011, 03:30 PM   #31
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I recently stumbled upon () this one:
Alive in the Killing Fields: Surviving the Khmer Rouge Genocide
which looks interesting…with all the nice recommendations in this thread
I'll have to bump it down to no. 10 on my to-read-list though
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:48 AM   #32
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On Amazon's Big Deal, they are offering LONGTITUDE by Sobel for 2.99. It was highly regarded when it first came out.

LINK

Blurb:

Quote:
Amazon.com Review
The thorniest scientific problem of the eighteenth century was how to determine longitude. Many thousands of lives had been lost at sea over the centuries due to the inability to determine an east-west position. This is the engrossing story of the clockmaker, John "Longitude" Harrison, who solved the problem that Newton and Galileo had failed to conquer, yet claimed only half the promised rich reward.
From Publishers Weekly
This look at the scientific quest to find a way for ships at sea to determine their longitude was a PW bestseller for eight weeks.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:57 AM   #33
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Oh, yeah, I remember seriously considering buying that when it came out.... hmmm...
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:30 PM   #34
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I'm currently reading Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light -- I could've used a bit less detail on the harvesting of oil from slaughtered whales, but the overall discussion of oil and candle properties was interesting, with the "pressing" making a difference, similar to olive oil!

(It's an Overdrive library ebook, by the way)
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:46 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by stonetools View Post
This thread is intended to discuss recommendations and resources for general nonfiction buffs, with a focus on history and biography. We'll leave out science, since there is a separate active science thread. I'll be making recommendations based on the stuff I have read, plus the stuff thought ogff as good. I'll be asking for recommendations as the stuff I want to read. Finally, Ill be pointing to various Internet resources for the history/non-fiction buffs among us. I hope you'll join in with your recs and reading.

WHAT I HAVE BEEN READING

THe first nonfiction ebook I read was :
"The Warmth of Other Suns ,
AMAZON ,
BN

Really outstanding study of the "Great Migration" of blacks out of the South in the 20th century, told through the eyes of three migrants-a sharecropper, a doctor, and a railway worker. They emigrated from three places, to three different cities and had three very different experiences.
I put "Great Migration" in quotes because they didn't think they were a part of anything "Great"- they were just getting out of Dodge, trying to get to somewhere where they could live like a human being.

"Freedom Summer"

From the publishers blurb:
In the summer of 1964, with the civil rights movement stalled, seven hundred college students descended on Mississippi to register black voters, teach in Freedom Schools, and live in sharecroppers' shacks. But by the time their first night in the state had ended, three volunteers were dead, black churches had burned, and America had a new definition of freedom.

Great narrative of the "Mississippi Burning" summer, which continued to discuss the same themes raised by the Great Migration and explored what some Americans did to help some of those who DIDN'T get out of Dodge.

BN


"Game Change"

A nice narrative history of the 2008 presidential election, in which Barack Obama achieved what the Great Migrants believed would never happen: the election of an African American to the Presidency of the United States.
It was a fitting end to an arc of American history that spanned the last 100 years.

BN

"Rebels at the Gates"

A decent but not great history of a little known campaign of the Civil War- the western Virginia campaign of 1861. Its notable for two things- it led to the creation of the state of West Virginia AND it was the first contest between Lee and McClellan .

AMAZON

I got it on sale for $1.20, and it was worth that-I would say.

WHAT I AM READING NOW

"Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance"

Well written book by Atul Gawande about science and art of modern medicine. Been a pleasure reading so far.

WHAT I WANT TO READ

I'm looking at

"Cod", Mark Kurlansky
"Four Fish" , Paul Greenberg
"Salt", Mark Kurlansky
"Moonwalking with Einstein", Joshua Foer
"A History of the World in 6 Glasses" Tom Stanndage.

Has anyone read any of those, and you can give me a review/rec? tia.
I have read both "Cod" and "Salt", and they are both excellent. Kurlansky has written other books, including "The Food of a Younger Land" - related to work by the WPA Federal Writers Project, and a book about New York City - "The Big Oyster" which are also excellent. Enjoy.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:45 AM   #36
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Haven't upated in a while, so:

Recently read "Four Fish" AMZ, BN

Very good read on an important topic.The issue is : The wild fish population can't sustain the growing human ap[petite for fish. The best answer is : aquaculture ( fish farming). How do we do that , and which fish do we pick? Meanwhile, the clock is ticking as the wild populations of the fishes we like are collapsing due to overfishing.

PUBLISHERS BLURB:

Quote:
Our relationship with the ocean is undergoing a profound transformation. Just three decades ago nearly everything we ate from the sea was wild. Today rampant overfishing and an unprecedented biotech revolution have brought us to a point where wild and farmed fish occupy equal parts of a complex and confusing marketplace. We stand at the edge of a cataclysm; there is a distinct possibility that our children’s children will never eat a wild fish that has swum freely in the sea.
In Four Fish, award-winning writer and lifelong fisherman Paul Greenberg takes us on a culinary journey, exploring the history of the fish that dominate our menus—salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna—and investigating where each stands at this critical moment in time.
I also read "Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World" by Dan Koreppel . Very good history of the humble fruit that we take for granted, but whichj isnowbeing threated by an intractible disease that might wipe out the banana as we know it. That's not hyperbole: the same disease wiped out an earlier variety of banana, which was replaced by the current variety, which was initially resistant to the disease.Now its not resistant any more. This, and much else in the istory of the banna is covered in this entertaining short history.
PUBLISHERS BLURB:

Quote:
The world's most humble fruit has caused inordinate damage to nature and man, and Popular Science journalist Koeppel (To See Every Bird on Earth) embarks on an intelligent, chock-a-block sifting through the havoc. Seedless, sexless bananas evolved from a wild inedible fruit first cultivated in Southeast Asia, and was probably the apple that got Adam and Eve in trouble in the Garden of Eden. From there the fruit traveled to Africa and across the Pacific, arriving on U.S. shores probably with the Europeans in the 15th century. However, the history of the banana turned sinister as American businessmen caught on to the marketability of this popular, highly perishable fruit then grown in Jamaica. Thanks to the building of the railroad through Costa Rica by the turn of the century, the United Fruit company flourished in Central America, its tentacles extending into all facets of government and industry, toppling banana republics and igniting labor wars. Meanwhile, the Gros Michel variety was annihilated by a fungus called Panama disease (Sigatoka), which today threatens the favored Cavendish, as Koeppel sounds the alarm, shuttling to genetics-engineering labs from Honduras to Belgium. His sage, informative study poses the question fairly whether it's time for consumers to reverse a century of strife and exploitation epitomized by the purchase of one banana.
AMZ

In keeping with my interest in food related history, I will most likely move on to "A history ofthe World in 6 glasses Next". I did take a break from obsessing about food to read
" Copperheads : The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the North", by Jennifer L. Weber. AMZ

Interesting account of a little-known corner of Civil War History- the domestic political opposition to Lincoln in the North. Itb really suprised me that even as late as summer 1864, they could have contemplated defeating Lincoln in the presidential election that year.

Quote:
Product Description
If Civil War battlefields saw vast carnage, the Northern home-front was itself far from tranquil. Fierce political debates set communities on edge, spurred secret plots against the Union, and triggered widespread violence, such as the New York City draft riots. And at the heart of all this turmoil stood Northern anti-war Democrats, nicknamed "Copperheads."
Now, Jennifer L. Weber offers the first full-length portrait of this powerful faction to appear in almost half a century. Weber reveals how the Copperheads came perilously close to defeating Lincoln and ending the war in the South's favor. Indeed, by the summer of 1864, they had grown so strong that Lincoln himself thought his defeat was "exceedingly likely." Passionate defenders of civil liberties and states' rights--and often virulent racists--the Copperheads deplored Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, his liberal interpretation of the Constitution, and, most vehemently, his moves toward emancipation. Weber reveals how the battle over these issues grew so heated, particularly in the Midwest, that Northerners feared their neighbors would destroy their livestock, burn their homes, even kill them. Indeed, some Copperheads went so far as to conspire with Confederate forces and plan armed insurrections, including an attempt to launch an uprising during the Democratic convention in Chicago. Finally, Weber illuminates the role of Union soldiers, who, furious at Copperhead attacks on the war effort, moved firmly behind Lincoln. The soldiers' support for the embattled president kept him alive politically in his darkest times, and their victories on the battlefield secured his re-election.
Disgraced after the war, the Copperheads melted into the shadows of history. Here, Jennifer L. Weber illuminates their dramatic story. Packed with sharp observation and fresh interpretations, Copperheads is a gripping account of the fierce dissent that Lincoln called "the fire in the rear."
Anyway, that's the update. I'll try to check in more often. Anybody read any other good nonfiction lately?

Last edited by stonetools; 11-03-2011 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:39 AM   #37
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I've been reading "Best American Essays 2011" some excellent work this time -- I mentioned this in the general "what are we reading thread" and credit the editor with the great selections. Also it is available this year (for the first time I think) as an ebook.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-American-...0410282&sr=8-1


(Damn! The price dropped since I bought it at 9.99! now 8.52)
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:51 AM   #38
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Thanks, Kenny. Added to the TBR. I noticed I'd read at least one of them. Heart-breaking piece about a an aging father suffering from severe dementia (and whose life is prolonged via pacemaker).
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:54 AM   #39
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Thanks, Kenny. Added to the TBR. I noticed I'd read at least one of them. Heart-breaking piece about a an aging father suffering from severe dementia (and whose life is prolonged via pacemaker).
Yes, that one was one of the strongest I've read in it so far. Quite an indictment of the medical/insurance complex.

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Old 11-05-2011, 08:01 AM   #40
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Anyone read this new Tom Brokaw book?

The Times of Our Lives.

Looks interesting.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Tim...EBOOK-_-a2dser
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:57 AM   #41
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Growing up female in Naze Germany.

No B.S. no propagandizing etc. simply a well written and documented account. I liked it because it is written from a very neutral but by no mean neutered point of view.


Free pdf download from the University of Michigan


press.umich.edu/pdf/0472099388-fm.pdf
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:33 PM   #42
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I'm really enjoying reading An Account of Egypt written by Herodotus, who is considered the first historian. Written around 500BC, it's a really fascinating eye-witness account of Egypt at the time. This is one book in a series focusing on different regions. Free!
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:55 AM   #43
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I'm really enjoying reading An Account of Egypt written by Herodotus, who is considered the first historian. Written around 500BC, it's a really fascinating eye-witness account of Egypt at the time. This is one book in a series focusing on different regions. Free!

What is the series called and where is it located?

Thanks
Rich L


Disregard. Slow morning so it took me a bit to figure out you were talking about Herodotus's "Histories" not some e-book series. :-(

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Old 11-15-2011, 01:47 PM   #44
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What is the series called and where is it located?

Thanks
Rich L


Disregard. Slow morning so it took me a bit to figure out you were talking about Herodotus's "Histories" not some e-book series. :-(

Yeah, sorry if I misled you. It's the original stories, not a related series.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:22 PM   #45
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I am a lover of long-form journalism-that is, articles that are longer than newspaper articles but shorter than books. Once thought endangered, it seems to be getting a renewed lease on the websites , in apps, and in short ebooks.

This is discussed in detail in this article, " The Long Form Resurection" .

LINK

Quote:
Brave new online publishing houses such as Byliner.com and Atavist.net are looking to plug that gap. While Byliner also offers a source to discover new writers and reads (it launched with an archive of 3,000 articles), half of the business is concentrated on commissioning original, in-depth reads from world-class writers. Atavist does similar but with the full gamut of multimedia elements embedded in its titles. Both are selling their grand, ambitious epics (averaging at 35,000 words) at between $0.99 to $2.99 a pop via their own sites, iTunes, and Kindle Singles. The latter is Amazon's newly launched US storefront, dedicated solely to new, original, long-form pieces – further proof, if it were needed, that the market is booming.

Established online outlets have also clambered on the bandwagon: New York blog Gothamist put a call out last month for long-form writers to pitch ideas; Slate, meanwhile, has entered the second year of its "Fresca" series: an initiative which offers editorial staff 4-6 week semi-sabbaticals to turn around original pieces of long-form. Last week even the Grey Lady herself, The New York Times, announced its own in-house long-form curation area for non-subscribers (see box).

The real surprise, of course, is that it's all working
Another article reviewing LFJ sites can be found HERE

For me, the best site is the BYLINER site. I've found lots of really good articles there. I haven't tried their Originals yet , which they charge for, but I expect to try one soon.
I've tried (and liked) both Longreads.org and Longform.org . Are there other long-form journalism sites that anyone else can recommend?

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