Recommended Nonfiction?

Discussion in 'Community' started by irmongoose, Jun 29, 2005.

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  1. irmongoose macrumors 68030

    irmongoose

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    #1
    So it's been a while since the last book-thread, and I have the whole summer ahead of me to read all I want...

    But instead of the usual novels, I would like to read something unique and informative... George Orwell's essays, perhaps. Sounds like non-fiction.

    So here is the question: What non-fiction book do you recommend?

    For my part, Countdown to Crisis by Kenneth Timmerman was thoughtful and interesting... and yes, I did first see it on The Daily Show.




    irmongoose
     
  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #2
    i love personal essays, they are an intruiguing way to look into someone else's life

    in that genre i would recommend David Sederis' Naked or Chuck Paluniuk's Stranger than Fiction.
     
  3. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #3
    eric schlosser's fast food nation and reefer madness are both good

    affluenza is amazing

    toxic deception

    voluntary simplicity
     
  4. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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  5. Josh macrumors 68000

    Josh

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    #5
    Can't go wrong with Henry David Thoreau.

    Walden is a classic.
     
  6. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #7
    If you want amusing non-fiction, try some of Bill Bryson's language-based books rather than his travel books. 'Made in America' and 'Mother Tongue' are fascinating if you're interested in the English language.

    I enjoyed Dava Sobel's Longitude.

    I also find it fun to read good travel-writing about people's experiences traversing interesting places by interesting means. 'Round Ireland with a Fridge' was highly amusing... tho not particularly highbrow!
     
  7. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #8
    I'm a big fan a psuedo-intellectual reading--stuff that's on economics or linguistics or cultural anthropology but is written in a fun and entertaining way. I often find I'm just not up to the real thing. I tried reading Hegel's "Philosophy of Right" a couple years ago and gave up after 150 pages when I accepted that I had absolutely no idea what I was reading other than that it had something to do with 'will.' I find that things like Bill Bryson's books like "A Short History of Nearly Everything", "Made in America, and "The Mother Tongue" are more my speed, and I'd recommend those books highly. Currently I'm reading "Freakonomics" by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, which is a lot more fun than the international trade and finance class I'm taking.
     
  8. irmongoose thread starter macrumors 68030

    irmongoose

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    #9
    Haha, I knew iCon would be coming... and from iGary, too. How appropriate :D

    Some of these look really interesting.

    Like Walden... I had never even heard of it, and now I know it is a classic with thousands of devout followers. Wow. Keep 'em coming!

    Ah, also... I had spotted A Short History of Nearly Everything at my local bookstore... got to go back and grab it!



    irmongoose
     
  9. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #10
    Well. Then that's official. Bryson's on the list. Longitude was a good read as well, although I have to admit that down the stretch I felt like I'd gotten the idea already, but the first hundred or so pages were really interesting.
     
  10. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #11
  11. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

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    #12
    biographies? autobiographies? not sure if you're interested in that stuff or not...
     
  12. DigitalVideo macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Some recommendations from my shelf:

    Jared Diamonds, 'Guns, Germs and Steel'
    Carl Zimmer's, 'Evolution'
    James Monaco's, 'How to Read A Film'
     
  13. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #14
    Not sure exactly what kinds of non-fiction you're interested in, but you might like Malcolm Gladwell's recent books The Tipping Point and Blink. Also Lynne Truss' excellent Eats, Shoots and Leaves.
     
  14. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #15
    Anything by Stephen Jay Gould.
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...0058488/sr=5-2/ref=sr_5_2/102-7627215-2696167


    I'm currently reading

    Shake Hands with the Devil - Romeo Dallaire - inside account of the genocide in Rwanda and how the UN and developed countries allowed it to happen by neglect and political inaction.

    A History of God - Karen Armstrong - The search for the meaning of One God over the past 4000 years in three monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

    Immortality Merchants - Stephen S Hall - a "biographical" tracking of the companies, scientists and politics behind stem cell research and the 'promise' of life extension through microbiological modification.

    - I like case histories and science-related topics. The classic in the 'behind the scenes' genre (for computer geeks, anyway) is "The Soul of a New Machine" by Tracy Kidder, chronicling the development of a new computer at Data General.
    Others I have read are
    House - Tracy Kidder (the minute details of building a custom house)
    Toy Wars - Gwynne Miller (behind the scenes battle between giants in the toy industry and the costs of poor corporate leadership)
    The Force - (a year with a sales force at Xerox)
     
  15. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    #16
    Oprah's Book Club. I just try to avoid the touchy feely selections.
     
  16. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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  17. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    #18
    Hmm I don't know about you DevilOT. Between this book and a picture with Nina Hartley, I have my doubts about you. ;)
     
  18. Deefuzz macrumors 6502a

    Deefuzz

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    #19

    ???

    You mean Kevin Mitnick?
     
  19. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

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    #20
    Why else is it called The Art of Deception?
     
  20. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

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    #21
    LOL! :D Lacero, you made my day with this post.

    Back on point, Bill Bryson's A Brief History of Nearly Everything is a great read. I also enjoyed The Age of Spiritual Machines, by Ray Kurzweil.
     
  21. Sirus The Virus macrumors 6502a

    Sirus The Virus

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    #22
    I like The Second Coming of Steve Jobs. I haven't purchased iCon yet.
     
  22. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

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    #23
    I recently completed "Art of Intrusion" which is Mitnicks second book about hacking. It was only "ok" - it is basically a lot of hacking war stories, a couple are very clever (such as the way these guys beat a slot machine), but a lot are pretty tedious.

    Also finished iCon which was not as good as Second Coming of Steve Jobs. If you want a book about SJ, get Second Coming.

    Currently reading "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman which gives you a framework for understanding Globalisation and how it may/will effect your life. I am only half way through, but would recommend it based on what I've read so far.
     
  23. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    #24
    I'm about 2/3 of the way through that and enjoying it immensely. Although I kind of feel that its running out of steam towards the end, but that might also be because I am so much more interested in the physical sciences than the life sciences.
     
  24. irmongoose thread starter macrumors 68030

    irmongoose

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    #25
    Yes, anything engaging and fun to read.



    wordmunger, you have an excellent site there, and those books sound brilliant as well.

    DigitalVideo, Evolution seems interesting, and broken_keyboard, I had also seen Thomas Friedman on The Daily Show talk about his book so it was on my list.

    devilot76, too funny :D

    Also, on the note of Steve Jobs biographies, although it is more of an Apple-history book, West of Eden is an excellent account of Apple's rise and fall, all the way from the Steves' college days up to Job's departure from Apple to NeXt.



    irmongoose
     
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