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A Non-Fiction Night-Table Need-to-Read List

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified May 08, 2012 09:13 PM
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by James Glave last modified May 07, 2012

Recently, I reached out to my network seeking suggestions for interesting non-fiction titles. Within a half-hour, here's what came back -- after pruning out one or two vanity suggestions, and books I'd already read. Some of these are brand-new, others have been around for a while, including one title that is almost 70!



I reached out to my network the other day, seeking suggestions for interesting non-fiction. The results appear below, with some minor curating from me. The ink is still drying on some of these titles, while others have been around for some time. (One book is almost 70!)

It looks like a solid list of interesting and eclectic stuff, so I thought I’d share it here. Thanks for all the recos, friends, and feel free to leave a comment below if you’ve read something lately that isn’t here, but that you feel needs to be.

Elizabeth I, Margaret George

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, Stephen Greenblatt

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Charles C. Mann

Civilization: The West and the Rest, Niall Ferguson

Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, Barack Obama

The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, Norman Doidge

Testimony for Earth, Bob and Linda Harrington

Making Good: Finding Meaning, Money & Community in a Changing World, Dev Aujla and Billy Parish

Imagine: The Science of Creativity, Jonah Lehrer

The Beekeepers Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America, Hannah Nordhaus

The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress, Chris Hedges

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, Jill Bolte Taylor

Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, by Sharon Salzberg

The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Search for His Disabled Son, by Ian Brown

The History of Western Philosophy, Bertrand Russell

Blood Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, Gabrielle Hamilton

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, Tim Wu

The Good Rain: Across Time & Terrain in the Pacific Northwest, by Tim Egan

The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles, Bruce Lipton

Design in Nature: How the Constructal Law Governs Evolution in Biology, Physics, Technology, and Social Organization, Adrian Bejan and J. Peder Zane

In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives, Steven Levy

Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Chris Hedges

At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Bill Bryson

How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, Sarah Bakewell

This Book Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking, John Brockman

Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work, Paul Babiak

The Little Prince, Antoine Saint-Exupery

Something Fierce, Carmen Aguirre

Trauma Farm, Brian Brett

The Wave, or The Devils Teeth, Susan Casey

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity & Hope, William Kamkwamba

The Unsettling Of America: Culture and Agriculture, Wendell Berry

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, Azar Nafisi

The Next Upsurge: Labor and the New Social Movements, Dan Clawson

The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Post-War New York, Suleiman Osman

The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table, Tracie McMillan

Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class, Jefferson Cowie

Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture, Gregory Sholette




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