What Non-Fiction are you reading in April, 2017?

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What Non-Fiction are you reading in April, 2017?

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1LynnB
Abr 3, 2017, 2:56pm

I'm reading the screenplay, Big Eyes by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, which is the true story of artist Margaret Keane, whose husband claimed credit for her work.

2SChant
Abr 4, 2017, 5:28am

About to start Reality Is Not What It Seems by Carlo Rovelli.

3JulieLill
Editado: Abr 4, 2017, 3:00pm

>1 LynnB: Did not like the film but would love to learn more about her. Have you read anything on her besides the screenplay?

4LynnB
Abr 4, 2017, 4:20pm

no, the screenplay is all I've read so far. What a fascinating story!

5bluepiano
Abr 4, 2017, 6:05pm

LynnB, from the cover image I'm guessing that her husband's name was Walter. If it was, either the poor man was a patsy or he was a shockingly greedy person who was willing to become infamous in return for a huge share of the profits. SChant, that one sounds v. interesting but I'm a bit wary because the author had written a best-seller--is it one of those pop science books written by a US journalists or is it sober & focussed?

Have begun A History of Private Life: Revelations of the Medieval World which I'd suspected I might resort to skimming whilst however studying the illustrations. But so far it's very interesting even though its focus is upon the aristocracy rather than the people or society at large.

6SChant
Abr 5, 2017, 5:01am

>5 bluepiano:: "SChant, that one sounds v. interesting but I'm a bit wary because the author had written a best-seller--is it one of those pop science books written by a US journalists or is it sober & focussed?"

He's a theoretical physicist but he does try to make a very complex subject accessible to non-physicists.

7LynnB
Abr 5, 2017, 7:32am

Walter Keane had dreams of being an artist and while his original motivation for passing the art off as his own might have been, momentarily, touchingly sad, he was basically driven by ego and greed.

8bluepiano
Abr 5, 2017, 11:05am

Thanks for replies. SChant, in that case I'll be looking into it & rather eagerly. Just that I'm wary now of a certain sort of science book--often written by an American journalist it seems--whose tone & content seem to be the result of the author wanting to be bff with 15-year-old readers.

9Bookmarque
Abr 5, 2017, 11:51am

I just started - The Wright Brothers by David McCullough and it's immediately engaging as are all his books.

10JulieLill
Abr 5, 2017, 12:29pm

>9 Bookmarque: I like McCullough books. John Adams was one of my favorite books by him.

11Bookmarque
Abr 5, 2017, 1:15pm

I liked John Adams, too. The one about Americans in Paris was decent, but a bit repetitive by comparison. I keep meaning to buy the one about the Brooklyn Bridge.

12LynnB
Abr 5, 2017, 2:21pm

I loved David McCullough's The Great Bridge. It was an excellent story about both the people involved, and the history of the times.

13varielle
Abr 5, 2017, 3:01pm

I've started again A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas A. Basbanes. It's pretty long. I made it halfway through a few years ago and have now picked it up again. Those book people be crazy. ;)

14SChant
Abr 6, 2017, 5:16am

>8 bluepiano: There are lots of pretty good science books out there written by scientists who are also good communicators. I'll recommend John Gribbin or Jim Al Khalili for physics and Adam Rutherford for genetics, though of course there are lots more!

15SDaisy
Abr 6, 2017, 11:40pm

I finished Isky: Ed Iskenderian and the History of Hot Rodding by Matt Stone earlier this month. It was a terrific book! I really enjoyed it. You can find my 5-star review of it on the book page linked to above. I'd definitely recommend it!

16christina.h
Abr 7, 2017, 2:34pm

I'm getting ready to start on The Art of the Handwritten Note, by Margaret Shepherd.

I've been wanting to read it for a few months now, but I'm also kind of dragging out Nine Stories, by J.D. Salinger, just for the fact that I don't want to be done with it. I've been reading it when not swamped with homework, and it's a wonderful collection of stories. :)

17Sandydog1
Abr 7, 2017, 9:49pm

Finishing up H is for Hawk. The descriptions of A gentilis are fascinating. The rest of it? Melancholy, depressing, tortuous, meh.

18SChant
Abr 8, 2017, 11:13am

As a bit of light relief from quantum gravity I've just looked through Hello, is this planet Earth?, Tim Peake's excellent book of photographs from the ISS.

19Sandydog1
Abr 9, 2017, 1:12pm

And now, for the totally fascinating and camply, ' finally getting around to Gulp

20LaRiccia
Editado: Abr 9, 2017, 5:59pm

Hello, Is This Planet Earth sounds beautiful.

Just started How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales From the Pentagon by Rosa Brooks. I like her voice a lot so far; not far enough into it yet to know how I feel about her thesis.

21JulieLill
Abr 9, 2017, 6:34pm

>19 Sandydog1: Loved Gulp so fascinating!

22SChant
Abr 10, 2017, 7:15am

>19 Sandydog1: I love Mary Roach's works - funny, informative, and occasionally gross ;-0

23JulieLill
Abr 10, 2017, 12:30pm

On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker
A'Lelia Perry Bundles
4/5 stars
This is fascinating in depth look at the life of the ambitious Madam C.J. Walker, who rose from slave to entrepreneur and philanthropist amid the historical events of the late 1800's and the early 1900's. Bundles who was related to Madam Walker and is a writer and news producer writes of the struggles and triumphs of Madam Walker as she hawks her hair products and employs poor women across the country to demonstrate her products and to help themselves out of poverty.

24LyzzyBee
Abr 10, 2017, 4:53pm

I'm still enjoying The modern writer and his world and am itching to start Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries but really I have to finish the Fraser or the Lorna Landvik novel I'm reading before I can start it ...

25Seajack
Abr 11, 2017, 10:43am

Finishing up The Not-Quite States of America, a look at our five official territories (as well as the independent-yet-associated Federated States of Micronesia). Journalist author writes well, but seems a bit . . . naïve to me.

Started Eight Flavors: the untold story of American cuisine, which I find highly engaging.

26JulieLill
Abr 11, 2017, 3:23pm

>24 LyzzyBee: >25 Seajack: Both Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries and Eight Flavors: the untold story of American cuisine sound interesting!

27LyzzyBee
Abr 14, 2017, 3:36am

> 26 Word by Word is brilliant, I could just stop working, eating and sleeping and read and read and READ it ...

28LynnB
Abr 14, 2017, 10:33am

I've overloaded on fiction lately so pulled a non-fiction off the TBR shelves: 17 Carnations: The Royals, the Nazis and the Biggest Cover-Up in History by Andrew Morton.

29snash
Abr 14, 2017, 11:07am

I finished The Unquiet Daughter which is a memoir of a woman's quest to learn who her father was and the history of her mother's life around the time of her birth which takes place in the US, Vietnam, and France. It is well written and the story is fraught with anguish and intrigue.

30Helenliz
Abr 14, 2017, 11:51am

I finished The Penguin book of historic speeches which I'd been reading for months. They got easier to read, partly the ideas, partly the language and partly that you've heard recordings of them. Interesting but I'm not sure that I'll rush out and read more speeches.

31rocketjk
Abr 14, 2017, 4:09pm

I finally read West with the Night by Beryl Markham. I enjoyed it, but with some reservations. Mostly, I was not expecting so much of it to be about her childhood. At any rate, very much worth reading.

32JulieLill
Abr 18, 2017, 3:12pm

Max Perkins: Editor of Genius
A. Scott Berg
5/5 stars
This is the biography of Max Perkins, editor for Scribner's who worked with Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and many more authors in editing their classics. Berg does a wonderful job in writing this amazing tale of Perkin's life and his close relationships with some of the most influential writers of that time period. I had seen the movie based on this book and wanted to learn more and I was not disappointed. Highly recommended - I did not want this book to end!

33SDaisy
Abr 20, 2017, 11:31pm

34SChant
Abr 21, 2017, 4:52am

Just started Hidden Figures about black women mathematicians working for NASA in the 1950's and '60's. The film was an entertaining but light "feelgood" movie; I was hoping for a bit more depth from the book, but so far the style is very similar.

36Bookmarque
Abr 21, 2017, 3:54pm

I'm about 1/2 way through The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman and it's a nice companion piece to Other Minds:The Octopus, the Sea and the Deep Origins of Consciousness which I read a few weeks ago. Fascinating stuff about animal cognition.

37snash
Editado: Abr 22, 2017, 7:00am

I finished the LTER of Roots, Radicals, and Rockers, a history of the musical genre of Skiffle in England. I have read several books about the history of popular music but all focused on the US until the Beatles. I had never heard of Skiffle and was fascinated to learn of it. The book is well written with numerous pictures so that the many names and threads do not overwhelm. Besides the history of a musical genre, it's the history of the emergence of the adolescent as a force in society.

38JulieLill
Abr 22, 2017, 6:10pm

>35 LynnB: Love the title- can't wait to hear what you think of the book!

39JulieLill
Abr 22, 2017, 6:12pm

>37 snash: Never heard the term skiffle till now-interesting. Sounds like a good book!

40LynnB
Abr 23, 2017, 8:57am

They Used to Call Me Snow White But I Drifted was an interesting look at the "gender politics" of humour. The author is a professor of English and of feminist theory in the U.S. She examines how girls and boys are taught about using humour, and about what is appropriately considered funny by each gender. She continues with the use of humour in adults. Some younger readers might not be familiar with all the examples of funny women she uses, but will still get the point that trusting your own sense of humour is empowering.

41LyzzyBee
Abr 23, 2017, 1:34pm

I've just enjoyed both Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper and The Way of the Runner by Adharanand Finn, very different books, about working on a dictionary and long-distance running, but both about endurance!

42JulieLill
Abr 23, 2017, 7:13pm

>40 LynnB: Love the title of that book and the topic- will have to check it out.

43framboise
Abr 24, 2017, 7:53pm

Halfway through with The Rules Do Not Apply, a memoir by Ariel Levy. I can't remember the last memoir I tore through like this.

44Helenliz
Abr 25, 2017, 1:37am

Finished White Gold, about the white slaves captured by the Barbary pirates and held in the slave cells of Morocco. A bit sensationalist and repetitive, at times. Not a topic I knew anything about.

45elena.trintas
Abr 25, 2017, 10:48am

I am reading again 2 non-fiction books from the same author Conscious Creativity that takes me into a meditation prayer and mindfulness journey and Art of 4 Elements spiritual poetry that I can read over and over again. Both books are by Nataša Pantović Nuit

46JulieLill
Abr 25, 2017, 4:10pm

Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam
Pope Brock
5/5 stars
In this fascinating and outrageous story set in the early 20th century, Pope Brock covers the true life story of Dr. John R. Brinkley, famous doctor, would be politician, businessman and radio innovator who is not all that he seems to be when in fact he is a fake and charlatan taking advantage of his patients and convincing them he could renew their sexual vigor. But instead of healing patients he causes pain and death while being pursued by Morris Fishbein, physician and editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, who is determined to see Brinkley be punished and removed from harming further patients. One of the best non-fiction books I have ever read.

47JulieLill
Abr 25, 2017, 4:12pm

>43 framboise: I looked this up and now I have another book on my never ending books to read list

48framboise
Abr 25, 2017, 7:34pm

>47 JulieLill: I finished it in one day. I had never heard of Ariel Levy prior to recently when I came across some articles/reviews about this memoir. It is harrowing--be forewarned. But the writing is exquisite and heartwrenching. I'll never forget it.

49rocketjk
Abr 26, 2017, 12:13am

I finished A Treasury of the World's Great Letters, edited by Max Lincoln Schuster. This is a fascinating collection that begins with and exchange of letters between Alexander the Great and King Darius III and ends with Thomas Mann's indictment of the Nazi regime from his exile in Switzerland. In between there letters to and from all manner of famous writers, scientists, generals, politicians and great thinkers, set forth in chronological order. Spinoza, Napolean, George Washington, Dickens and Dostoevsky. Disraeli and Gauguin. P.T. Barnum. Intimate moments (Pierre Curie's marriage proposal to Marie), teaching moments, complaints, philosophy and advice are all represented.

50rocketjk
Maio 2, 2017, 12:57am

I'm now reading Bruce Springsteen's fun and well-written autobiography, Born to Run.

51JulieLill
Maio 6, 2017, 7:19pm

The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder
by Daniel Stashower
3.5/5 stars
In 1841, Mary Rogers, a beautiful, young woman who worked in a cigar shop is found dead after being missing for 3 days. Her death incites the newspapers to analyze the crime in a morbid fashion for months and is the main story in the city with hundreds of articles and theories brought forward about her death. Even Edgar Allan Poe becomes involved in the case and writes a story with similarities to Mary Rogers’s death in order to prove who killed her. Enthralling!