Recommend me some non-fiction

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Andrew Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Class is one of the best non-fiction books I've read in the last few years - its bif though, and the subject matter might not be to everyone's taste.

Sven Linquist, A History of Bombing is much shorter, and an interesting read - for its subject matter, as well as the way the book is structured.

Paul M, Wednesday, 23 March 2005 22:20 (fourteen years ago) link

I agree with Casuistry that John McPhee is an excellent choice, 'Annals of the Former World' was the best book i read last year. Barbra Tuchman is also a good choice; her history of the opening days of the great war is a classic of the genre. If you like math (who doesn't really) Fermat's Enigma, by Simon Singh is great, and Barry Mazur's Imagining Numbers uses metaphor to help the non-mathematically inclined get a hold on imaginary numbers. Happy reading.

Docpacey (docpacey), Wednesday, 23 March 2005 22:49 (fourteen years ago) link

Some other non fiction works that I have read and recommend includes:

Robert Massie - both Dreadnought (about the lead up to WW1) and Peter the Great were excellent
Daniel Yergin's - The Prize. Who would have thought that the history of the oil industry could be fascinating
Jared Diamond - Guns Germs and Steel, a geographers explanation of history, which I found very convincing
Peter Robb - noticed someone mentioned Midnight in Sicily, also try M the enigma of Carrevagio
Paul Kennedy's - Rise and Fall of Great Powers
John Julius Norwich - his histories of Byzantium and Venice, and Shakespeares Kings about the lead up to and outcome of the war of the roses.


oblomov, Thursday, 24 March 2005 05:41 (fourteen years ago) link

I saw Peter Robb read from his Brazil book, which I want to read but haven't. The reading was a hip event of sorts- it was at a bookstore owned by the art gallery owner Paula Cooper, Paul Auster and his wife were there, as was some big Brazilian diplomat, as was Andy Schwartz, he of New York Rocker fame. Robb read well.

Ken L (Ken L), Thursday, 24 March 2005 15:45 (fourteen years ago) link

Recommending non-fiction is tough. I think people tend to be very personal with subject matters they choose to read (or maybe it's just me...). Still, if you're asking, here's some non-fiction I've enjoyed:

John Steinbeck - A Russian Journal
Ryszard Kapuscinski - Imperium
Steven Pinker - The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language
John McWhorter - The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language
Paul Theroux's travel writing

zan, Thursday, 24 March 2005 22:07 (fourteen years ago) link

If you're aiming for something breezy, yet literary, I'd suggest Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris and Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

Arjun S, Saturday, 26 March 2005 12:35 (fourteen years ago) link

I've read Ex Libris. I grabbed it on a whim from the library. It was pleasant enough, but I don't really remember anything about it beyond "it was pleasant enough".

Casuistry (Chris P), Saturday, 26 March 2005 12:57 (fourteen years ago) link

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes. Best NF book I've ever read.

Timmy

Timothy Bushnell, Tuesday, 29 March 2005 15:52 (fourteen years ago) link

yay!

W i l l (common_person), Tuesday, 29 March 2005 16:31 (fourteen years ago) link

"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman", by Mr. Feynman.

Casuistry (Chris P), Tuesday, 29 March 2005 19:04 (fourteen years ago) link

Travels With Mr Death Ron Rosenbaum
Crypto Steven Levy
Curahee! A Screaming Eagle At Normandy by Donald Burgett
Friday Night Lights Buzz Bissinger

VegemiteGrrl (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 30 March 2005 03:52 (fourteen years ago) link

In line with all of the World War II books being recommended, I would suggest reading E. B. Sledge's "With the Old Breed." It's the memoir of a young man from Alabama who enlisted in the Marines and served in the Pacific theater; many regard it as the best memoir of the war ever written.

Mark Klobas, Sunday, 3 April 2005 16:56 (fourteen years ago) link

Search for the title Wine And War, a great history of WWII from the winegrower's point of view. Very original.

Orbit (Orbit), Wednesday, 6 April 2005 22:41 (fourteen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

I am looking for a recommendation for a non-fiction book for a gift. Preferably history, social science, biography, or political science and slight preference to American subject matter.

Warmth of Other Suns was my first choice, but giftee has already read it.

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Monday, 9 December 2019 15:47 (two months ago) link

Just discovering Tristan Gooley who writes about being able to read significance of various parts of nature/geology /meteorology and related for walkers etc.
Not sure if he's more UK based or what but pretty informative.

Stevolende, Monday, 9 December 2019 16:46 (two months ago) link

i wanna read something gnarly & factual abt surviving harsh winters before the advent of modern living, electricity etc; thinking more pioneer ish times rather than earlier ~ recs?

johnny crunch, Monday, 23 December 2019 15:57 (two months ago) link


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