What Non-fiction books are we starting 2017 with?
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I've also started Hidden Figures, Margo Lee Shetterly's history of African American women "calculators" at NACA and NASA at the dawn of the space age, with a view toward finishing it before the film adaptation shows up at my local single-screen.
Looking back, 2016 feels like a lackluster year for non-fiction books -- some solid reads, many disappointments, but very few standouts. I'm hoping for better results in 2017.
Am starting the year with Dot Dot Dot No. 20, the final issue of an unclassifiable sort of journal. Thought-provoking in a vague way rather than informative.
Phillip M. Hoose
This actually is a YA Non- fiction book and fairly short but nevertheless a fascinating story of a group of Danish teenagers that refused to accept Nazi occupation during WWII while most of the adults accepted the occupation and went along with it. Most of the books that I have read on WWII did not discuss Denmark so I found this very interesting.
On paper, trying to finish up The hidden half of nature : the microbial roots of life and health. Good stuff. Lots of basic science updates that I've missed since leaving school in the 70s.
by Alan Napier with James Bigwood
Alan Napier is probably best known as Alfred,the butler in Batman the TV series but he had a very fascinating life and career outside of Batman. Born and raised in England, he was related to the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on his mother's side. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and then spent his whole life acting on the stage, in movies and on TV. The book discusses his life, family and working in the entertainment field.
Originally written by Napier, James Bigwood took over finishing the book and adding comments to the sections written by Napier. At times this was hard to put down especially when his family was being discussed and his life growing up in England. Some of the discussion of his numerous roles was a little overwhelming but overall I enjoyed this book and I learned a lot about him.
nrmay - I think I need to buy Abandoned Places for a friend! How do you like it?
I finished Our Man in Charleston a few weeks ago and then read Sleepwalker last week, which I did not really like. I had such high hopes for it, too. Now I am working on Hidden Figures and I am really enjoying it so far.
My family has been watching the three-DVD set Steve Martin: The Television Stuff (checked out of the public library) and really enjoying it. So far it's really a period study of 1970s entertainment, but still funny even so.
Have finally got round to reading all my Granta journals, all mostly non-fiction. Have just read article in the one I'm at now about a Swiss maker of woodwind instruments who made the best-seller list with a memoir of being in Auschwitz as a child. He wasn't.
The book is both charming and hilarious, with little pockets of the kind of sadness a comedian knows only too well. Also, it's very quotable. This one's my favorite, and apparently the internet thinks so too since it's already a meme:
"Despite a lack of natural ability, I did have the one element necessary to all early creativity: naïveté, that fabulous quality that keeps you from knowing just how unsuited you are for what you are about to do."