Tropics' Non-Fiction Books: 2015

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Tropics' Non-Fiction Books: 2015

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1tropics
Editado: Jan 29, 2015, 2:34pm

1. Day Of Honey: A Memoir Of Food, Love, And War - Annia Ciezadlo

Traditional Middle Eastern cuisine becomes a focus of this American journalist's experiences in war-torn Baghdad Iraq and Beirut Lebanon.

2tropics
Editado: Jan 31, 2015, 5:30pm

2. The Solace Of Open Spaces - Gretel Ehrlich

A collection of essays, published in 1985, in which an urbanite describes her transition to seemingly accomplished cowhand and sheepherder in the rugged environment of Wyoming, where humans and animals (domestic and wild) continue to compete for scarce resources.

Readers may be familiar with the author's other books, including A Match To The Heart which describes her ordeal of being struck by lightning.

"Though it was water that initially shaped the State, wind is the meticulous gardener."

"All summer there had been the silent whimsical archery of seeds; timothy and fescue, cottonwood puffs, the dilapidated shingled houses of pine cones letting go of their seeds."

"To follow the watercourses in Wyoming - seven rivers and a network of good-sized creeks - is to trace the history of settlement here."

"We live in a culture that has lost its memory. Very little in the specific shapes and traditions of our grandparents' pasts instructs us how to live today, or tells us who we are or what demands will be made on us as members of society."

3tropics
Editado: Jan 31, 2015, 5:29pm

3. Writing On The Wall: Social Media - The First 2,000 Years - Tom Standage

4tropics
Editado: Jan 31, 2015, 5:20pm

4. The Broken Road: From The Iron Gates to Mount Athos - Patrick Leigh Fermor

This renowned ex-patriot British author died in 2011, aged 96, before completing this book, part of an exquisitely-detailed trilogy, which recounts the final leg of his year-long walk, undertaken in 1933, at the age of 18, which began in Holland and ended in Constantinople (Istanbul).

5tropics
Editado: Jan 29, 2015, 2:36pm

5. The Best American Science And Nature Writing 2006 - Brian Green Editor

"Science needs to be recognized for what it is: the ultimate in adventure stories. Against staggering odds, a species that has been walking upright for only a few dozen millennia is trying to unravel mysteries that have been billions of years in the making."

6tropics
Editado: Fev 13, 2015, 6:52pm

6. Opium Season: A Year On The Afghan Frontier - Joel Hafvenstein

Published in 2007, this is the dispiriting account of an international aid worker's unsurprisingly failed efforts in 2003-2005 to "diversify" the opium-poppy-growing economy in Helmand Province.

"The foreign staff would bunker down in a secure fortress, hire Afghan contractors to carry out quick-impact projects, make a couple of heavily armed monitoring visits if they thought it was safe, and bring back photos and numbers to declare success."

"Opium created a huge demand for labor; it took a lot of hands to milk millions of poppies during the week or two when the bulbs were full of gum. The average daily rate for poppy labor was about seven dollars, plus three meals a day. We had local reports of skilled harvesters making the equivalent of ten dollars a day. With our wage set at four dollars, it wasn't hard to do the math."

"..........plenty of Pakistani officers were profitably immersed in the Afghan war economy, whether in guns, drugs, or smuggling."

7tropics
Mar 1, 2015, 1:22pm

7. An Unexpected Light: Travels In Afghanistan - Jason Elliot

Published in 1999, this moving and insightful book, rich in historical detail, chronicles an adventurous young British man's challenging travels through war-torn Afghanistan, beginning in 1979, clandestinely, at age 19, during the Soviet occupation of that country. Ten years would pass before he returned, undertaking two succeeding journeys through a landscape cruelly scarred by perpetual war, always assisted by and grateful for the kindness shown by his indomitable Afghan hosts. This was, of course, a man's world, in which the women remained hidden from view, as mandated by tradition.

"I've come to the conclusion that journeys are sparked from small and unlikely things rather than grand convictions; small things that strike a note which resonates beyond earshot of the rational."

8tropics
Editado: Mar 6, 2015, 4:13pm

8. Moby-Duck: The True Story Of 28,000 Bath Toys Lost At Sea And Of The Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, And Fools, Including The Author, Who Went In Search Of Them - Donovan Hohn

Of the the thousands of container ships which ply the world's oceans, some inevitably encounter storms violent enough to dislodge their cargo. A great deal of this cargo is comprised of non-biodegradable plastic, including the 28,800 tiny childrens' toys referred to in the title. This well-researched book takes us on an exhaustive maritime exploration of several years' duration, during which much is made painfully apparent about the pervasive environmental costs associated with our modern way of life. We also learn about convergence zones, divergence zones, six degrees of freedom, the Beaufort Scale, the Coriolis effect, zooplankton, phytoplankton, mesoscale eddies, Irminger rings, the albedo effect, the bioaccumulative properties of PCBs, and much, much more.

"What's most nefarious about plastic, however, is the way it invites fantasy, the way it pretends to deny the laws of matter, as if something - anything - could be made from nothing; the way it is intended to be thrown away but chemically engineered to last. By offering the false promise of disposability, of consumption without cost, it has helped create a culture of wasteful make-believe, an economy of forgetting."

9tropics
Mar 19, 2015, 10:40pm

9. Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield - Jeremy Scahill

Published in 2013, this is a thorough and dispiriting investigation of the secretive machinations of the C.I.A. and the U.S. military's Joint Special Ops Command in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

10tropics
Mar 19, 2015, 10:42pm

10. Dark Nature: A Natural History Of Evil - Lyall Watson

11tropics
Mar 29, 2015, 2:28pm

11. Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, And Other Inscrutable Geographies - Alastair Bonnett

12tropics
Mar 29, 2015, 2:32pm

12. Yemen: The Unknown Arabia - Tim Mackintosh-Smith

13SylviaC
Mar 29, 2015, 3:01pm

How was Unruly Places? I've been wondering about it.

14tropics
Mar 29, 2015, 3:40pm

Sylvia: I took voluminous notes while reading Unruly Places. One of the most heartbreaking "lost" places is The Aral Sea, having been virtually sucked dry in just a few decades via massive cotton irrigation projects. There are still "secret" cities in the former U.S.S.R. related to various defense/military projects. The author describes a secret detention facility in Romania, part of the U.S. post-911 "extraordinary rendition" program. Over the past two decades the Saudis have destroyed about 95% of old Mecca in an effort to obliterate any evidence of previous rulers such as the Abbasid caliphate and the Ottoman presence. Following the nuclear reactor explosion at Chernobyl, 45,000 citizens of the nearby town of Pripyat, Ukraine were evacuated.

These are just a few examples.

15SylviaC
Mar 29, 2015, 4:04pm

That sounds like it would interest me. I'll have to look for it.

16Bop_Dada
Editado: Mar 30, 2015, 8:24pm

Enjoyed that Lovely list of terms we get to learn from number 8,but must add one : "Flotsometrics"
I am a "Garbologist" and Beachcombing Sherlock.
Chelyabinsk Urkrane
is not just "Unruly" but killed more than Chernobyl
as Detailed in KATE BROWN'S "Plutopia"
""Did you know that both Russia and USA have ongoing radioactive disaster sites which have each released four times more radiation into the environment than Chernobyl? In our first hour, a history lesson on the sacrifices made by both super powers in the race to create plutonium. Professor Kate Brown opens our first hour, speaking for the first time on the show. She spoke on 22nd of July, 2013 at Seattle Town Hall. Her book Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters, 6 years in the writing, reveals some remarkable parallels between the Russian and American efforts to create the plutonium needed by their nuclear bombs. Following on in some ways from Antony Sutton's revelations last episode about the transfer of technology and funds from the US to the USSR, Brown traces some remarkable parallels in the history of both superpowers- from the use of forced labor, prison camps, secrecy oaths and spying to the clandestine research into the health effects of radiation poisoning, cover ups, sacrifice of the surrounding population and fraudulent claims that the radiation posed no threat to human health. ""

one is right to balance
such Dark Nature of Unruly
Dirty Wars on Broken Roads or Polluted Seas with the Solace and Honey of hopeful, Quiet, Open, and friendly Spaces even if virtual as in number 3
sure beats retreating into
inscrutible opium I thank All authors, for unraveling this "Reading" alternative, may the masses find "It's" opiate soon ! and thus
regain their memory.

17AnnieMod
Mar 30, 2015, 8:30pm

>14 tropics: That sounds fascinating... I will probably have a lot at it although I am a bit worried how sensational the writing is...

18tropics
Mar 31, 2015, 11:09am

Thanks for the information, Bop_Dada.

19tropics
Abr 17, 2015, 10:42pm

13. Time Bites: Views And Reviews - Doris Lessing

20tropics
Abr 17, 2015, 10:43pm

14. Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures In The World's Most Polluted Places - Andrew Blackwell

21SylviaC
Abr 18, 2015, 9:15am

I see the reviews and ratings for Visit Sunny Chernobyl are all over the place. What did you think?

22tropics
Abr 19, 2015, 10:20am

Sylvia: Humanity's widespread destructive impact is revealed here in an engaging manner. The author's wry wit shines through in spite of it all. I think this book would be useful to "spread the word" in a high school Environmental Studies class.

23SylviaC
Abr 19, 2015, 10:34am

Worth checking out, then.

24tropics
Editado: Abr 29, 2015, 10:42am

15. The Swerve: How The World Became Modern - Stephen Greenblatt

Reread. I posted a lengthy review in "Tropics' 2012 Books Read".

25tropics
Maio 15, 2015, 11:20pm

16. The Whole Hog: Exploring The Extraordinary Potential Of Pigs - Lyall Watson

26tropics
Maio 15, 2015, 11:23pm

17. Shrinks: The Untold Story Of Psychiatry - Jeffrey A. Lieberman

27tropics
Maio 22, 2015, 11:47pm

18. Another Day Of Life - Ryszard Kapuscinski

29tropics
Jun 3, 2015, 7:52pm

32tropics
Ago 8, 2015, 11:01pm

23. In The Land Of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey In The Saudi Kingdom - Qanta A. Adhmed, M.D.

33tropics
Ago 21, 2015, 12:55pm

24. A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey Of Cabeza de Vaca - Andres Resendez

34tropics
Ago 25, 2015, 4:55pm

25. Skyfaring: A Journey With A Pilot - Mark Vanhoenacker

35tropics
Set 5, 2015, 12:17am

26. On The Move: A Life - Oliver Sacks

36tropics
Set 5, 2015, 12:19am

27. Leaving Before The Rains Come - Alexandra Fuller

37SylviaC
Set 5, 2015, 12:37am

How was On the Move? I have it on my wishlist, but haven't bought it yet.

38tropics
Set 5, 2015, 8:09pm

Sylvia: I preferred the author's first memoir, Uncle Tungsten: Memories Of A Chemical Boyhood.

39SylviaC
Set 6, 2015, 12:55am

I haven't read that yet, but have it on my TBR shelf. In general, I've found his last few books disappointing. Apparently there will be some more books published posthumously.

41tropics
Set 17, 2015, 4:15pm

43tropics
Out 15, 2015, 6:02pm

31. H Is For Hawk - Helen Macdonald

44tropics
Out 17, 2015, 9:24pm

32. Between The World And Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates

45tropics
Out 20, 2015, 3:18pm

46tropics
Nov 19, 2015, 1:55pm

34. Outposts - Simon Winchester

47tropics
Nov 19, 2015, 1:56pm

35. Under The Volcano - Malcolm Lowry

48Book-Dragon1952
Editado: Nov 19, 2015, 4:00pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

49Book-Dragon1952
Editado: Nov 19, 2015, 4:00pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

50lorax
Nov 19, 2015, 3:53pm

>49 Book-Dragon1952:

Click on "More" under your message, and you'll get an option to "Delete". (A placeholder saying "This message was deleted by its author" will remain.)

51Book-Dragon1952
Nov 19, 2015, 4:00pm

Thank you.

52lorax
Nov 19, 2015, 4:50pm

To put back the missing context, message 49 when I replied was a "How do I delete my message" request, I wasn't just randomly telling Book-Dragon to delete her posts!

53Book-Dragon1952
Nov 19, 2015, 4:58pm

I think I posted in the wrong group, I am new to this, sorry for any misunderstanding.

55tropics
Dez 21, 2015, 9:56pm

37. Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari