Sept/Oct 2018 ~ What non-fiction books are we enjoying?

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Sept/Oct 2018 ~ What non-fiction books are we enjoying?

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1Molly3028
Editado: Set 4, 2018, 6:09pm

Going forward, similar group threads will continue to pair months together ~
more info to peruse in a single thread.

ALSO: the Audiobooks group would appreciate your input!
http://www.librarything.com/groups/audiobooks

2Meredy
Ago 30, 2018, 7:26pm

I've just started a new release that was favorably reviewed in the NY Times: My Year of Dirt and Water: Journal of a Zen Monk's Wife in Japan. I'm liking it, but I think I'd be finding it a bit hard to read if I didn't have a little experience with both Japanese and Zen.

3Molly3028
Editado: Set 3, 2018, 11:40am

Coding: Raspberry Pi &Python: A Guide For Beginners
by Leonard Eddison
(Kindle eBook/I decided to sample a coding book ~ the term "coding" is
all over the Internet these days)

4Molly3028
Editado: Set 4, 2018, 4:02pm

Next week I will be reading this pre-ordered iTunes iBook ~

Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
Parts of the book have started to leak out today ~ WOW.

5vwinsloe
Set 4, 2018, 2:28pm

I've just started reading Red Notice. While I knew that the former USSR had morphed into a kleptocracy, I had no idea. Yikes!

6JulieLill
Editado: Set 4, 2018, 3:45pm

Am reading Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart by Scott Eyman. I bought this awhile ago and finally started it. So interesting!

7Helenliz
Set 4, 2018, 3:57pm

Almost finished Undertones of War by Edmund Blunden. It's written in a very understated way and the language is beautiful. At times it takes a while for the violence to sink in, as it's not obvious or startling.

8Meredy
Set 5, 2018, 7:47pm

>4 Molly3028: I've ordered a hard copy of that. It sure sounds like one I'm going to want to read with a pencil.

9snash
Set 5, 2018, 7:54pm

I finished Along the Edge of America, a travel memoir of a boat trip along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline. Sometimes the author spent more time on his own mental state than I cared about, but the scenery and character sketches of those he met along the way were great.

I've also started Gods, Voices and the Bicameral Mind: The Theories of Julian Jaynes. I read Julian Jayne's original book many years ago and consider his theories most interesting. I considered rereading it but decided to read this series of essays instead. I'll probably read it slowly while reading other less demanding books.

10Molly3028
Editado: Set 6, 2018, 1:34pm

>8 Meredy:

Between these three books ~ Fire & Fury/Unhinged/FEAR ~ it is impossible to ignore the dysfunction of this White House. The long-term caretakers of the building, its "renters" and the grounds must be mortified.

11Meredy
Set 6, 2018, 2:28pm

>10 Molly3028: And to juice up the terror, read a couple of books on NK and Putin. They're the kind of thing that makes it hard to use the word "enjoy" with respect to our NF reading.

12LynnB
Set 6, 2018, 4:40pm

15JulieLill
Set 16, 2018, 4:54pm

Hank & Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart
Scott Eyman
4.5/5 stars
Being a huge movie fan, when I saw this at the bookstore, I knew I had to buy this book and I was not disappointed. The two met in New York as stage actors and became friendly and ended up as roommates. This book follows them through that period to the end of their lives even discussing their time in the military during WWII and their movie and stage careers. So interesting, this will be one of my top books this year.

16SChant
Set 19, 2018, 6:02am

Finished the excellent The Hard Way Up, the autobiography of working-class suffragette and socialist Hannah Mitchell. Now starting Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction, a discussion of past and present extinction events.

17vwinsloe
Set 19, 2018, 11:00am

I'm listening to Fly Girls which is about women aviators in the airplane races of the 1920s and 30s.

I'm reading Educated, a memoir of growing up in a survivalist family in Idaho.

18snash
Set 19, 2018, 4:42pm

I finished Gods, Voices and the Bicameral Mind: The Theories of Julian Jaynes. Having read the original book by Julian Jaynes, this series of essays was a very good refresher in that each essay summarized Jayne's theories in their own words. It also provided an update on research and information gathered since 1977. There were only a couple of essays that were more obtuse than I cared to plow through.

19snash
Set 20, 2018, 11:56am

I finished the LTER book, Our Woman in Havana. It is a look at Cuban life from the mid-50's, prior to Castro, to now although the author only lived there for 3 years starting in 2011, visiting several times after 2014. Her descriptions of Cuba before her arrival are taken from Graham Greene and the reminisces of people she interviewed. The book gives a colorful picture of Cuba which even handedly presents both the good and the bad of country's history

20JulieLill
Set 21, 2018, 2:04pm

The Stowaway: A Young Man's Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica
Laurie Gwen Shapiro
4/5 stars
This is the wonderful true story about William "Billy" Gawronski, a young man who longs to go to Antarctica with Admiral Byrd who had a soft spot in his heart for stowaways. After 3 attempts to hide on the boat, he has been allowed to stay and work on one of the ships on the trip doing odd jobs. Shapiro does a very nice job writing about Gawronksi through his life and highlighting the time period which included the beginning of the Great Depression that rocks Gawronski’s life and the lives of millions of people.

23rocketjk
Set 29, 2018, 8:01pm

I finished up On Watch, Elmo Zumwalt's memoir about his time as Chief Naval Officer during the Nixon Administration.

24SChant
Set 30, 2018, 5:49am

Started The Brain: the story of you by David Eagleman. A tour of the brain's functions, perceptions and plasticity - very accessible to a non-scientist.

25snash
Out 4, 2018, 6:59am

I finished the superb memoir, Educated. It was an excellent portrayal of the difficulties and struggles of breaking away from ones family no matter how crazy or abusive that family might be.

26vwinsloe
Out 4, 2018, 9:11am

>25 snash:. I hadn't looked at it that way, but, yes, it does depict that very well. Educated was a selection of the Now Read This-PBS/New York Times book club and reading some of the comments associated with that club revealed that there was a blog by the author's brother that gradually backed away from supporting her and has now disappeared. Sadly, some never get away.

27rocketjk
Out 4, 2018, 11:59am

I'm now reading The Trouble with Physics: the Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next by Lee Smolin. I don't get all the details, but the general concepts are very interesting and overall the book is very clearly written.

28LynnB
Out 4, 2018, 1:17pm

29JulieLill
Editado: Out 6, 2018, 11:19pm

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time
Mark Adams
4/5 stars
Travel editor/writer Mark Adams who along with John Leivers, who had explored the Andes before, take off on a unique trip to Peru exploring the region, following the travels of Harvey Bingham’s (an early explorer of Peru who claimed to have discovered Machu Picchu). He also discusses the history of Peru. I found it very interesting and informative especially the information on Bingham.

30rocketjk
Out 11, 2018, 8:58pm

Just finished The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next by Lee Smolin. It was dense and hard to push through in some places, but I do feel I learned a bit and it was as clearly written as a book on this sort of physics is likely to get.

31JulieLill
Out 15, 2018, 12:16pm

The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories: China From the Bottom Up
by Liao Yiwu
3.5/5 stars
Liao Yiwu interviews the citizens of China about life in China following the rise of Mao and beyond. The chapters highlight the jobs these people held and the changes that the revolution had on their lives. It is a sad book about the way the people of China were treated by their government and their fellow citizens who were forced to turn in their neighbors for any offences perceived whether true or not. Disturbing content but well-written.

32snash
Out 17, 2018, 11:07am

I finished The Inner Life of Empires dealt with a large Scottish family involved in the English Empire from India, to the Caribbean, to North America during the 1700's. It was a frustrating book in that there's a mass of information, but the author has trouble organizing it, and in her attempt to do so repeats certain themes over and over and also spends too much time talking about the nature of this micro history and difficulties in gathering information. Despite these faults, it does give a picture of the times and the nature of some lives during that time.

33dpevers
Out 23, 2018, 8:24am

>16 SChant: I really enjoyed The Sixth Extinction, which can then lead to many others of the same ilk. But, it can be a bit "depressing" to see so much written about mankind's negative impact on Nature.

34SChant
Out 23, 2018, 10:54am

>33 dpevers: I know what you mean - but it has prompted me to try and take more personal responsibility for my environmental impact - reducing plastics use, planning more journeys by public transport (a bit of a challenge!), and also writing to my MP/companies/local council about my concerns.

36rocketjk
Editado: Out 25, 2018, 2:57pm

I finished the excellent Day of Infamy, Walter Lord's minute-by-minute account of the attack on Pearl Harbor, published in 1957.

I'm now reading the very interesting How Soccer Explains the World: An (Unlikely) Theory of Globalization by Franklin Foer. Published in 2004, the book seems already out of date on some issues. But I am enjoying it and learning from it nevertheless.

37TooBusyReading
Editado: Jan 12, 2019, 3:24pm

I finished Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin about how Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and LBJ led the nation through very difficult times, and what helped shape their ways of leading. Pretty interesting stuff, especially in these turbulent times.

38LynnB
Out 26, 2018, 12:54pm