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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are so many. The first that came to my mind was The Art of Loving By Erich Fromm, I only read it when I was around 42yo. It had a significant influence on my world view.

It played one of the key roles in a research work I wrote about the meaning of suffering.

What is the best non fiction you have ever read?
You can write down more than one...
 

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I rather like TRAVELS by Michael Crichton. Almost inspired me to climb Kilimanjaro.  :)
 

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Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken is an amazing book.
 

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I can choose only one? I don't think I can! Here are some titles that come to mind:

Night by Elie Wiesel
"The Fourth State of Matter" by Jo Ann Beard (this is an essay, available online -- but it's also part of a larger work called The Boys of My Youth). This is the essay that made me want to write nonfiction.
Any Susan Orlean, like The Orchid Thief or The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

I'll stop now. :) (I also loved Unbroken!)
 

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One that stays with me is The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris. It explains how our behavior is shaped by our evolution. It showed me what drove me to do things that didn't make sense before and it really has affected, to this day, how I interact with other people, and to see how some of my reactions stem from primal urges.
 

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By far and away it would be Allen Sauvage's A Generic Book.  Next in line would be either James Herriot's books or anything by Peter Hathaway Capstick.
 

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MEmery said:
One that stays with me is The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris. It explains how our behavior is shaped by our evolution. It showed me what drove me to do things that didn't make sense before and it really has affected, to this day, how I interact with other people, and to see how some of my reactions stem from primal urges.
Love that one, and The Human Zoo. Have you read the more recently released versions? I havent and was wondering how different they were, if they included newer research.
 

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Hard to pick one or even a few but Laurie Garrett's "The Coming Plague" is one of my all time favorites and is a fantastic, easy-to-read intro to epidemiology. It's a real eye-opener.
 

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The Power Broker, by Robert Caro. The depth and breadth of the research is staggering, and Caro's mastery of detail is unmatched. The best book I have ever read, period. Regrettably not yet available for Kindle.

 

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9MMare said:
Love that one, and The Human Zoo. Have you read the more recently released versions? I havent and was wondering how different they were, if they included newer research.
I haven't read it yet. The only thing that's stopping me is that it's not available for the Kindle. :( The first two I read a while ago when they were in paperback. I'll have to put it on my list!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
MEmery said:
One that stays with me is The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris. It explains how our behavior is shaped by our evolution. It showed me what drove me to do things that didn't make sense before and it really has affected, to this day, how I interact with other people, and to see how some of my reactions stem from primal urges.
Ohh, sounds interesting. I will write it down. Thanks :)
 

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I loved 1421 - The Year China Discovered The World by Gavin Menzies. An incredible book with tons of research and fascinating insights to hidden secrets of China's past achievements.
 

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I really enjoyed DisneyWar by James B. Stewart. It goes through how Walt Disney Co was built and takes you through the years of Michael Eisner as CEO. It goes into all the movies you grew up with and explores the rationale and corporate politics that went into their decisions.
 

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Straker said:
The Power Broker, by Robert Caro. The depth and breadth of the research is staggering, and Caro's mastery of detail is unmatched. The best book I have ever read, period. Regrettably not yet available for Kindle.

I like that too, though it's a doorstop of a book. Lately, my fave has been A Bright Shining Lie, by Neil Sheehan. Stunning.
 

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ajbarnett said:
I loved 1421 - The Year China Discovered The World by Gavin Menzies. An incredible book with tons of research and fascinating insights to hidden secrets of China's past achievements.
That was WAS fascinating. And I second the vote for Laura Hillenbrand's UNBROKEN. That's the book I'm currently urging everyone to buy. For the disease lovers, THE GHOST MAP (on cholera in London) was great.
 

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I love books about the adventurous lives of famous novelists. One that influenced a lot me was Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell, in which he goes to Spain to cover the Spanish civil war and ends up taking part. Another is Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, which has inspired me on a lifelong quest to find my own "Paris of the 20's." It's why I'm living in Budapest right now, hanging out in the cafes and working on my latest novel here.
 

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Ooo, going to have to list a few favorites here. Generally speaking, I enjoy the writing of Malcolm Gladwell and Atul Gawande, but other than those guys, my non-fiction tends toward memoir:

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
Name All the Animals by Alison Smith
The Color of Water by James McBride
The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan
The Bondwoman's Narrative by Hannah Crafts
Bereft by Jane Bernstein
 

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CNDudley said:
That was WAS fascinating. And I second the vote for Laura Hillenbrand's UNBROKEN. That's the book I'm currently urging everyone to buy. For the disease lovers, THE GHOST MAP (on cholera in London) was great.
Ghost Map is also excellent, I have that on my list of favorite science books in that thread.

I liked Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit...I dont remember the subject of Unbroken but I know it's not horses.
 

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"Reading Lolita in Tehran"

Presented a fantastic picture of how religious fundamentalism was able to take over a previously very secular society...by playing different societal factions/fears against each other. They used the war with Iraq and fear of communism (Russia) to gradually restrict personal freedoms. Very enlightening and timely.
 

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All I can think of quickly is "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking. I am a big fan of cosmology and quantum physics if it is presented without a lot of equations.
 
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