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Old 10-15-2008, 02:38 AM   #1
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What are your favorite non-fiction books?

I love autobiographies in particular. My current reading is:

A Million Little Pieces
Education of a Bodybuilder (Arnold The Governator)
Donny Osmond's
The Supreme's Greatest Hits - 34 landmark Supreme Court cases
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:00 AM   #2
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I don't really have a favourite non-fiction category. I've never been big on history, and so that rarely gets a gander (Robert Graves' historical novels, I Claudius and Claudius, The God aside - I enjoyed them, but they don't count as non-fiction). I'm also not that interested in biographies (though David Marr's Patrick White: A Life was quite interesting). I don't mind popular science, particularly those of a cosmological bent (like Brian Greene'sThe Elegant Universe). If you consider pictorial photographic books to be "non-fiction", then I've a few of them, from some favourite photographers, or just some favourite topic-specific compilations.

Truth is though, I don't read non-fiction too often. Essays compilations are not bad. I enjoyed a George Orwell compilation, and probably one of my favourite non-fiction books (actually, probably one of my favourite books of any kind) is Clive James's Cultural Amnesia. I bought the pbook, and then the (DRM-free) ebook.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:30 AM   #3
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I'm all about the nonfiction. It's a little dorky, but so very true.

I do alot of reading on the train into and out of the city. During these short, 20 minute, sections, I am currently reading René Descartes' "Meditations regarding the first philosophy." (Meditationes de prima philosophia) and have just finished Gottfried Wilhelm Liebnitz' "Theodicy: Essays on the Goodness of God, the Freedom of Man, and the Origin of Evil."

I've also picked up a few old (1810s) Ancient Greek textbooks for junior high students. I've been working through that in the evenings with a glass of wine at hand.

Well, I've just proven how big a nerd I am. Who else will admit their current addictions?
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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Most non-fiction I read is either books on programming, computers or back when I was still active flying and planes. Can't say I really have a favorite.

Although _Foxtales_ was a really good book about the team and development of FoxPro, software I used for quite a large amount of my career.

BOb
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
Most non-fiction I read is either books on programming, computers or back when I was still active flying and planes. Can't say I really have a favorite.

Although _Foxtales_ was a really good book about the team and development of FoxPro, software I used for quite a large amount of my career.

BOb
Ohhh, FoxPro, havent worked with that in ages .... Is that still being used? Think the last time I was involved in a project doing FoxPro was like 10 years ago or so


As for favourite non-fiction books I would have to say Autobiographies, and such. Last ones in that genre was "The Dirt" about Mötley Crye and "Scar Tissue" about Anthony Kiedis
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:43 AM   #6
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Non fiction...
Recently re-read John & Mary Gribbins book on plant collectors.

Stuff I tend to read:
Computing books, mostly for work
Photography techniques
Random books on London's history
Jewellery making techniques (at present a reasonable amount on working with with silver)
I also have several of Ian Stewart's books which I re-read from time to time
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:43 AM   #7
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Ohhh, FoxPro, havent worked with that in ages .... Is that still being used? Think the last time I was involved in a project doing FoxPro was like 10 years ago or so
FoxPro and Visual FoxPro are still around and kicking. It was only about two years ago that VFP 9.0 was released by MS... although they said that is the last major release.

The company I work generates about $1mm a year in support revenue on our FoxPro/VFP HR/Payroll application... and we actually sold it recently too. So, yes it is still being used.

BOb
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:15 PM   #8
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I enjoy books about culture - food, religion, literature, the world.

Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma
Sallie Tisdale's Best Thing I Ever Tasted: The Secret of Food
Benjamin Wallace's The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine
Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran
Resa Aslan's No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam

also, I am really enjoying Michio Kaku's Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration of the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:04 PM   #9
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Not a lot of non-fiction in my pleasure stack, but there are a few standouts that come to mind.

Herbert Kohl's On Teaching
Lauren Bacall: By Myself (I'm a Bogie fan, so hard not to love it...)
Tom Sullivan's If You Could See What I Hear (sometimes listed with Derek Gill as co-author)

Makes me want to go adjust my wish list...

The Bandit
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:14 PM   #10
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I can think of a couple of significant non-fiction fav's.

"Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter

"Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond

"Hell's Angels" by Hunter S Thompson (though you never know about its veracity)

"The Occult" by Colin Wilson

Do these count? -- The Oxford English Dictionary and the The Chicago Manual of Style
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:26 PM   #11
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Non-fiction I'd recommend:
David Attenborough's books based on his TV series.
Russell's 'History of Western Philosophy'
The Barry Paris and Peter Cowie books on Louise Brooks
Richard Dawkins 'Selfish Gene', 'Blind Watchmaker'
Donald R. Morris 'The Washing of the Spears: the rise and fall of the Zulu nation'
E. H. Gombrich 'The Story of Art'
Denis Forman 'The Good Opera Guide'
Marcus Chown 'The Magic Furnace: The quest for the origin of atoms'

Last edited by Sparrow; 10-15-2008 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:12 PM   #12
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I read physics and chemistry books.

Hey! Non fiction! Cool! I read history books. I am reading Truman by McCullough right now, finished his Path Between the Seas last spring, and have John Adams in the queue.
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:47 PM   #13
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Since my husband is an IT guy, most of the nonfiction I'm exposed to is published by O'Reilly...and yes, I've actually read some of it!

I also get a lot of textbook exposure, mostly in the neurology/psychiatry realm.

Other than that, I'm not a huge nonfiction fan. That's why I'm looking forward to March's book club selection!
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:20 PM   #14
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I read very very little non fiction, but this one stuck.

Glenn Beck

An Inconvenient Book: Real Solutions to the World's Biggest Problems
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:46 AM   #15
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I tend to read relatively little non-fiction (that is outside work and purely for pleasure).

It tends to be either photography (mostly to look at the pretty pictures), or popular science. Currently I'm currently reading The Sexual Paradox by Susan Pinker and not that long ago Freakonomics. There are a range that I dip into from time to time, e.g. What's Your Dangerous Idea.

I guess most non-fiction I read is not books: newspapers and magazines (e.g. New Scientist).
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