Author Topic: Non fiction books that have stuck with you  (Read 2009 times)  

Offline RJLawrence

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Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« on: March 24, 2017, 10:43:10 PM »
Mine's Sam Harris, "Waking Up." Made me rethink a few things. Also "Stumbling on Happiness" by Dan Gilbert. What nonfiction has haunted your thoughts weeks or months or years laters?
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Offline lmroth12

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2017, 11:15:43 AM »
Helter-Skelter. Terrifying. This chronicle of the Manson Family murders written by the attorney who prosecuted them is hands down the most frightening book I have ever read.

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2017, 02:21:59 PM »
1776 by David McCullough. I had it in my head the American Revolution was a relatively small war in the sense of percentage of the population affected, casualties relative to population, etc. Not only was I wrong, I learned a lot of other things that gave me a whole new perspective. I've read it several times.

Offline Stevie Collier

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2017, 11:32:53 AM »
No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover was life changing for me.


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Offline NogDog

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2017, 05:22:14 PM »
A couple come to mind. American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson's autobiography, has a great balance of humor and poignancy as he overcomes substance abuse while living an "interesting" life; and it's nicely written. Leon Lederman's The God Particle is an immensely entertaining look into both the history of particle physics as well as the people who do "big science" these days.

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Offline MarkdownFanatic

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2017, 11:19:34 PM »
Erich Fromm's The Anatomy Of Human Destructiveness. Not an easy read, but well worth anyone's time. Fromm provides a very persuasive description of how both good and evil are responses to the same basic existential challenge. His investigation does not make you loathe evil and destructive people any less (he provides stunning analyses of Hitler and Stalin), but it makes you understand why and how evil and destructive people become who they are. It also helps you understand a lot about what makes heroes and villains tick, both in the real world and in fiction, and what we look for in our heroes and protagonists.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 11:30:50 PM by MarkdownFanatic »

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Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2017, 07:55:11 AM »
Levels of Knowing and Existence (1959) by Harry Weinberg has stuck with me over the years. It's a relatively non-technical book on the nature and limitations of language.

I've read it four or five times since discovering it in the mid-sixties, getting something new from it each time. I keep hoping it will surface as a Kindle book. I've even considered having it scanned and converted.


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Offline anguabell

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2017, 08:50:41 AM »
1776 by David McCullough. I had it in my head the American Revolution was a relatively small war in the sense of percentage of the population affected, casualties relative to population, etc. Not only was I wrong, I learned a lot of other things that gave me a whole new perspective. I've read it several times.
I really need to get this one!

Quite a few history books helped me to gain broader perspective on one-sided version of events I was taught in school.  One of the most notable ones is Max Hastings Armageddon. He is such a good writer.



I also think David McCullough's Truman is a remarkable book. Not easy to read, due to the level of detail and complicated family histories, but worth the effort.


Offline WHDean

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2017, 10:12:44 AM »
I can only give the name, Plato. He fundamentally changed how I think about everything. If I had to pick one of his books, it would be Republic (Bloom's or Grube's translation, not Jowett's). Laws is a must-read too.

 




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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2017, 11:47:51 AM »
I also think David McCullough's Truman is a remarkable book. Not easy to read, due to the level of detail and complicated family histories, but worth the effort.

That's also true of his John Adams. I enjoyed it, and parts of it stuck with me, but it hasn't been a re-read like 1776.

Offline William Peter Grasso

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2017, 06:36:08 AM »
With a little more time, I could probably break KB with the volume of my reply, but here's the short take:

Fatal Vision by Joe McGuiness

The March of Folly by Barbara Tuchman

A Bright Shining Lie by John Paul Vann

The Invasion of Japan by John Ray Skates.

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Offline TWErvin2

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2017, 06:29:21 AM »
Citizen Soldier: The U. S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany  by Stephen E. Ambrose

The content and description, from the common soldier up to the generals, their struggles and plights, motivations and dedication, made it a memorable read.

Offline Norman Steele Taylor

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2017, 04:52:44 PM »
The one book that truly shaped my attitude: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Here's a quick breakdown animation from Youtube (not my content)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktlTxC4QG8g


Offline Rena Arun

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2017, 07:08:50 AM »
As far as contemporary non-fiction goes, Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization has really stuck with me since I read it many years ago when it first came out. Fascinating that the work of Irish monks was so instrumental. And Cahill writes almost lyrically, which is rare among historians.

Offline EthelindaW

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2017, 08:58:37 PM »
(My recommendations will always lean heavily in the history direction, just as a heads-up. :D)

The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt by William Nothdurft and Josh Smith - I've been crazy about dinosaurs since I was little, so I've generally read anything I could get my hands on about them. I found this one many years ago browsing my local library shelves, and it really fascinated me. Gets you thinking about finding fossils in places other than the well-known areas (western US and Canada, Mongolia, China), and also about how human conflicts affect what knowledge we are able to retain over time.

A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940 by William Trotter - Really well researched, fascinating history of the Winter War. I knew a little bit about this conflict before reading this book, but Trotter really dives into it, and the sheer scale of it (of how few Finns with so little equipment went up against the behemoth of the Soviet Union) was mind-boggling. It was quite hard to read in some places, and I did not get through it without a few tears, but it was well worth it.

Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin - A family member gave me this for Christmas a couple of years ago, and I just loved it! The author explains his work as being "half paleontology and half genetics," and he presents a really clear, interesting (and entertaining) explanation of how evolution works. He gives some really interesting examples (such as explaining why we get hiccups), and it just really clarified my thinking in an area where I already knew the basics, but had plenty of room to learn more. Highly recommended if you like science non-fiction, it was well-written and very accessible.

Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather by Mike Smith - This was another book that blew my mind a little with all of the interesting information and stories in it. The author is a long-time meteorologist, and tells the story of how the severe storm warning system in the United States developed in the 1950s-60s trying to deal with tornadoes in the Midwest, and then details some of the major later achievements in severe weather prediction and tracking (hurricanes, microbursts, etc.). Another tear-jerker at times, but very good. As friends who read it later pointed out, the writing itself is not always technically the best, but to be honest I didn't even notice that the first time I read it because I was so caught up in the story!

That's probably enough for now, but I might think of a few more later.
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Offline Rena Arun

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2017, 09:37:48 AM »
(My recommendations will always lean heavily in the history direction, just as a heads-up. :D)

The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt by William Nothdurft and Josh Smith - I've been crazy about dinosaurs since I was little, so I've generally read anything I could get my hands on about them. I found this one many years ago browsing my local library shelves, and it really fascinated me. Gets you thinking about finding fossils in places other than the well-known areas (western US and Canada, Mongolia, China), and also about how human conflicts affect what knowledge we are able to retain over time.

A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940 by William Trotter - Really well researched, fascinating history of the Winter War. I knew a little bit about this conflict before reading this book, but Trotter really dives into it, and the sheer scale of it (of how few Finns with so little equipment went up against the behemoth of the Soviet Union) was mind-boggling. It was quite hard to read in some places, and I did not get through it without a few tears, but it was well worth it.


These first two sound fascinating! Since I hail from tropical climes, reading anything about survival in the Nordic environment is a draw, and the historical angle is a plus. Dinosaurs, well, who can resist, right?  :)

Offline NogDog

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2017, 10:45:47 AM »
These first two sound fascinating! Since I hail from tropical climes, reading anything about survival in the Nordic environment is a draw, and the historical angle is a plus. Dinosaurs, well, who can resist, right?  :)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cwreace/albums/72157646142162201 :)

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Offline Rena Arun

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2017, 02:19:38 PM »
https://www.flickr.com/photos/cwreace/albums/72157646142162201 :)

Looks like a great place for a walk; just don't forget your hat, lol  :) My husband's been to the Badlands in S. Dakota fossil-hunting and this landscape looked very familiar to him.  Btw, were those before & after shots of a dinosaur horn? Or rib?

Offline NogDog

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2017, 02:36:19 PM »
Looks like a great place for a walk; just don't forget your hat, lol  :) My husband's been to the Badlands in S. Dakota fossil-hunting and this landscape looked very familiar to him.  Btw, were those before & after shots of a dinosaur horn? Or rib?

Those were the before and after shots of over an hour of me grinding away rock accretions on half of a thigh bone (Diplodocus, I think), with what was essentially a tiny jack hammer. It was part of a week-long RoadScholar "Jurassic Experience" in Thermopolis, WY. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks they might be interested in that sort of thing. :)

https://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-adventure/15388/digging-for-dinosaurs-the-jurassic-experience

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Offline CrissyM

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2017, 01:14:39 AM »
Salt: A World History by  Mark Kurlansky
It's the best history book I've ever read. Actually interesting, with great info on how salt effected trade, war, and more in ancient times.

Speculative fiction with heart.
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Offline EthelindaW

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2017, 01:02:24 PM »
These first two sound fascinating! Since I hail from tropical climes, reading anything about survival in the Nordic environment is a draw, and the historical angle is a plus. Dinosaurs, well, who can resist, right?  :)

Right? You can't go wrong with dinosaurs. To stray slightly off-topic (since it's fiction), every dinosaur-lover should read Raptor Red by Robert Bakker. That's my favorite.
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Offline Rena Arun

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2017, 05:34:37 PM »
Right? You can't go wrong with dinosaurs. To stray slightly off-topic (since it's fiction), every dinosaur-lover should read Raptor Red by Robert Bakker. That's my favorite.

OOPS. I'm straying from the topic too for just long enough to say I just looked it up ... Written from the point of view of a female dinosaur! Now that's a novel, um, novel, lol. I'll have to check it out.  :)

Offline Bodie Dykstra

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2017, 01:57:13 PM »
I edited a book last year called How to Protect (or Destroy) Your Online Reputation by John David. It changed how I think about my online persona. Indie authors might actually find it useful, too; there's lots of information about responding to feedback and owning your online presence.
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Offline AriadneBeckett

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2017, 07:41:06 PM »
John Grisham's The Innocent Man. (Yes, Grisham, yes, nonfiction.)

Seriously one of the most depressing books I've read - as in "make your clinical depression worse and leave you feeling horrible about humanity" depressing. That's not a criticism of the book; I think it's an important book, and the impact it had on me was a *positive* reflection on the skill of the writer.

Offline Rena Arun

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Re: Non fiction books that have stuck with you
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2017, 08:02:04 PM »
Here is a memorable book, came out last year, that is worth reading on many different levels: a memoir of growing up poor in the Appalachians, a revelation of an overlooked, underprivileged segment of society, a flailing culture which yet flourishes in pockets of big cities and small forgotten towns:
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance