What Non-Fiction Are We Reading Now (April thru June 2023)?

DiscussãoNon-Fiction Readers

Aderi ao LibraryThing para poder publicar.

What Non-Fiction Are We Reading Now (April thru June 2023)?

Editado: Abr 1, 9:13 am

Add your Q2 posts here.

Editado: Abr 1, 12:39 pm

Enjoying this Libby audio ~

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia
by Candace Fleming
(interesting and informative YA book/because of spell casting, is Trump our Rasputin?)

Abr 2, 11:04 am

Deliberate Cruelty: Truman Capote, the Millionaire's Wife, and the Murder of the Century. Roseanne Montillo. Real interesting. I'm about half way through.

Abr 2, 2:52 pm

The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man: A Memoir
Paul Newman
4/5 stars
Wonderful autobiography written by Newman about his life but in between his chapters, his family and friends also contributed their thoughts. They then were compiled by Stewart Stern. I liked the way they set this up and enjoyed reading about him.

Abr 2, 2:53 pm

>3 loraineo: I am reading that now but I am not very far in but am enjoying it!

Abr 3, 8:56 am

I'm reading Talking to Strangers. I've read a few of Malcolm Gladwell's other books, but I'm not sure that I like this one. His thesis (that we misunderstand strangers due to cultural and other differences) seems a bit strained, particularly when applied to the notorious cases that he is using as examples.

Abr 3, 11:23 am

I've finally finished my thorough read of Noble Dreams, Wicked Pleasures and posted a review. I think my next non-fiction will be a re-read of a favorite: Mary Carruthers' Book of Memory.

Abr 4, 5:05 pm

I finished Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything in Between by Laila M. El-Haddad. The book is a memoir told in blog posts of El-Haddid's experiences, and those of her family and neighbors, living in Gaza during the Israeli occupation (even after the Israeli technical withdrawal) during the 2000s. It's hard to read because it is so depressing (it's quite well written) but it provides very important information.

Abr 4, 5:54 pm

Currently enjoying The Kevin Powell Reader. I am thrilled to an early reviewer for such an amazing book.

Abr 5, 12:52 pm

I finished No Cheering in the Press Box an anthology of oral histories from interviews with famous sportswriters (with a very strong emphasis on baseball) of the 1920s through 1960s from interviews conducted by editor (and sportswriter) Jerome Holtzman. Taken together, these oral histories present a fun and interesting picture of a fascinating time in American sports and sportswriting, and of the American newspaper world in general.

Editado: Nov 16, 8:35 pm

Esta mensagem foi removida pelo seu autor.

Abr 6, 7:47 am

Ancient Egypt, a Captivating Guide to Egyptian History. Ancient Pyramids, Temples, Egyptian Mythology, And Pharaohs Such As Tutankhamun and Cleopatra by Captivating History I have on my Kindle.

Abr 7, 12:04 pm

Deliberate Cruelty: Truman Capote, the Millionaire's Wife, and the Murder of the Century
Roseanne Montillo
4/5 stars
This was the fascinating, true story about the death of a millionaire's wife, Ann Woodward in the 50's and the role Truman Capote figured into her death.

Abr 7, 12:57 pm

Rather than a re-read of The Book of Memory I've settled on Carruthers' subsequent book The Craft of Thought (also a re-read) as more germane to my current work and unreviewed in LT.

Abr 7, 1:09 pm

I finished Heroes and Villains: the True Story of The Beach Boys by Steven Gaines. This group bio provides a detailed account of the individuals' troubles with drugs, bad business decisions, bad romances and each other, with special emphasis on the damage wrought by the Wilson Brothers' father, Murray. It's a well-written narrative, but while this book is a good place to go to learn about the group's lives, the discussion of their music and creative processes is cursory.

Abr 10, 11:09 pm

Laughing On Writing M*A*S*H, Tootsie ,Oh,God! and a Few Other Funny Things
Larry Gelbart
3/5 stars
Larry Gelbart, who brought the series M*A*S*H to television, relates his career in show business, the movies and TV Series he was involved in and the people he worked with. I liked it but parts of it dragged on. Books About Film/Television

Abr 12, 8:34 am

I finished the LTER book The Kevin Powell Reader. I found it an insightful and inspiring collection of essays and poems written over a 40 year span dealing with personal memoir, hip hop culture, racism, sexism, and various black heroes.

Abr 12, 12:03 pm

>18 LynnB: I love the title!

Abr 14, 6:11 pm

Hullo, all. I'm currently reading The Last Wolf: The Hidden Springs of Englishness by Robert Winder, The English Reformation: Religion and Cultural Adaptation by Norman L. Jones (in preparation for a tour with my wife in England this summer with the author as our guide!), and I just started Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe last night. Enjoying all of them and taking my time.

Abr 15, 7:46 am

I finished the LTER book Refugee. This is the memoir of a Hungarian Szekely man who spent his time from age 8 to 20 as a refugee, within Hungary, Yugoslavia, Italy, finally settling in Australia. The book portrays the impact that the unsettled times of the 1940 and 50's in Eastern Europe had on people..

Abr 18, 11:25 am

Last Chain On Billie: How One Extraordinary Elephant Escaped the Big Top
Carol Bradley
4/5 stars
Bradley relates the tale of the elephant Billie who was captured in Asia and taken to the states to perform in circuses in the most horrible of conditions and who eventually with a lot of help is released into an animal sanctuary. The author also details the cause of animal rights, those who helped and those who tried to rig the system in their favor.

Abr 19, 7:29 pm

Battleship A Daring Heiress, A Teenage Jockey, and America's Horse
Dorothy Ours
4/5 stars
This is a fascinating true story, mainly set in the 30's and 40's, that features Marion duPont, a wealthy woman who lived for her horses and the racing industry; Bruce Hobbs, a 17-year-old jockey who was raised by his father who was also a jockey and a horse named Battleship who becomes the unlikely hero of this book. Very interesting!

Abr 21, 1:20 am

>26 LynnB: Interesting! I read her husband's memoir a while back, which, if I remember correctly, was smuggled out of a Nazi jail shortly before his execution.

Abr 23, 2:41 pm

Finding Me
Viola Davis
4/5 stars
Davis, who is an actress, relates her life of poverty as a child and how she got out of it and became an award winning actress who won awards in all the major entertainment categories. This was a fascinating read!

Editado: Maio 1, 7:54 am

I'm reading My Best Mistake by Terry O'Reilly. I love his CBC show, Under the Influence.

Maio 5, 10:39 am

The True Tails of Baker and Taylor: The Library Cats Who Left Their Pawprints on a Small Town . . . and the World
Jan Louch
5/5 stars
What a wonderful story about a library who took in two Scottish Fold cats, Baker and Taylor. The library and the patrons embraced them and let them live in their library. After the cats were photographed for a poster they became minor celebrities and their fans traveled to the library to see them or write letters to them.

Editado: Maio 10, 12:52 pm

By Michelle Obama
5/5 stars
This is a fascinating look at Michelle Obama’s life from her childhood growing up in Chicago, meeting Barack and through her role as First Lady of the White House. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it will definitely be on top of my favorites list.

Maio 10, 8:46 am

I'm reading Wish It Lasted Forever about the 1980s Boston Celtics by a Boston Globe sportswriter. Lots of inside information and anecdotes makes it a fun read for this Celtics fan.

Maio 10, 10:53 am

>33 vwinsloe: I remember Shaugnessy's excellent sportswriting from my days at Boston University in the mid-1970s. That must be a fun book for a Celtics fan. I recently got very disappointed by a book about the Knicks' championship season of the year before. The writer was a blowhard (not a professional sportswriter).

Editado: Maio 14, 7:04 pm

>34 rocketjk: Yes, lots of new stuff that I am sure he wrote about because enough time had passed. It's helping to distract from the current team's playoff collapse.

Edited to add: the report of collapse was premature. On to the Eastern Conference Finals!

Maio 15, 1:17 pm

>36 LynnB: I thought that was excellent. A bit like spending time with some friends, having a nice relaxed drink, when you randomly discover that one of you is an expert and the next 15 minutes are the most illuminating of your week.

I finished Fatal Rivalry by George Goodwin. Interesting, but I would describe the writing as stodgy.

Maio 16, 3:55 pm

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her
Melanie Rehak
5/5 stars
Rehak tells the fascinating story of how book serials began. These serials included The Bobbsey Twins, Hardy Boys and in particular the Nancy Drew stories which were written by Harriet Stratemeyer Adams and Mildred Benson. Harriet Stratemeyer’s father had started the business in which he wrote the synopsizes and then farmed them out to other authors to flesh out the stories. These books took off and became a worldwide phenomenon and are still popular.

Editado: Maio 23, 11:20 am

A Natural Woman: A Memoir
Carole King
4/5 stars
This is a wonderfully, written memoir by Carole King, who relates her life and family history up to 2012. Included in the book is her rise to fame, her personal life and her collaborations with other artists. Definitely for King fans.

Maio 24, 8:44 am

I'm reading a book of Ann Pachett's essays, mostly written during the pandemic. They are all good reads, but I especially enjoyed the eponymous essay, These Precious Days.

Editado: Maio 24, 12:34 pm

Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole
Susan Cain
3/5 stars
I loved Susan Cain's book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. This new book of hers was very interesting. She discusses the topic that without sadness and yearning that we cannot be a whole person. If you haven't read any of her books, I would start with Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.

Editado: Maio 25, 12:30 pm

In honor of his demise this week, I've cracked open the "unauthorized biography" Anger, about experimental filmmaker and occultist Kenneth Anger. It was published in 1995 (just before I briefly met him), so it's certainly missing his later life.

Maio 28, 8:35 pm

Libby eBook ~

At Home: A Short History of Private Life
by Bill Bryson

Maio 28, 10:59 pm

Martin Lindstrom
4/5 stars
Fascinating book about how businesses use different tactics to promote certain brands, especially name brands. Lindstrom also wrote Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy. I knew marketing brands was/is popular but I never knew the lengths that marketing companies would go to get a product to sell. Very interesting. This book was written in 2011. I wonder what new tactics businesses use today!

Maio 29, 12:46 pm

>36 LynnB: love this. Have you read her novels? Some amazing takes on myths which I highly praise

Maio 29, 1:00 pm

>45 cindydavid4: Not yet, but I intend to.

Jun 2, 8:27 pm

review for fredrick the greathere


I would be very interested in other peoples take on the history of his times. Feel free to share

Jun 6, 10:30 am

Cool Dead People: Obituaries of Real Folks We Wish We'd Met a Little Sooner
Jane O'Boyle
4/5 stars
This was such an original book about people we didn't know but still lived unusual lives. O'Boyle gathered these obituaries and compiled them in this book. Not a lengthy read but oh so interesting!

Jun 6, 10:49 am

>51 JulieLill: This is what fuels my habit of reading the obituaries every morning. And I entirely endorse the feeling that you wish you'd known of them when they were alive.

>42 paradoxosalpha: I read his obit. That was a varied life.

Jun 6, 11:08 am

>51 JulieLill: oh thats right up my alley. You might also enjoy Mobituaries great lives worth reliving

Editado: Jun 6, 2:42 pm

>51 JulieLill: That looks like a cool book. I taught Creative Writing 101 at San Francisco State University for two semesters. It was beginning Creative Writing for non-English majors. It was an elective, though, so, obviously, these were students who were actually interested in the subject matter. At any rate, sometimes the students would ask me what to do if they couldn't think of anything to write about. I would tell them one trick was to read the obituaries for a day or two because they were bound to find somebody's life story that gave them an idea for a short story or a poem. I will say that I did think of that on my own, though I'm sure I'm about the zillionth person to do so.

Jun 7, 12:29 pm

>53 cindydavid4: Added that to my reading list. I do love non-fiction and bios too!

Jun 7, 1:51 pm

"How to Create a Mind" is a book by Ray Kurzweil, a prominent futurist and inventor. The book explores the idea of reverse-engineering the human brain in order to create intelligent machines. Kurzweil argues that a detailed understanding of the brain's structure and function can be used to create more advanced artificial intelligence.

How to Create a Mind

Jun 10, 9:55 am

I finished the biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. It is a thorough and very readable account of Franklin's life, both personal and public, giving vent to both his positive and negative attributes and his contributions to American history and character.

Jun 11, 7:31 am

I'm reading In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss which is a short, personal look at the difficulty of obtaining assisted suicide while navigating a devastating diagnosis.

Jun 14, 1:12 pm

The Premonition: A Pandemic Story
by Michael Lewis
4/5 stars
Fascinating look at epidemics particularly revolving around Covid. The author discusses what caused it, who was affected by it and the men and women who fought it and tried to deter it. Well written!

Jun 14, 2:06 pm

My current re-read of The Craft of Thought has impressed on me how I tend to read non-fiction with short chapters more slowly, although I read fiction with short chapters more rapidly.

Editado: Jun 16, 12:13 pm

Levi Strauss: The Man Who Gave Blue Jeans to The World
By Lynn Downey
4/5 stars
This is an interesting biography/nonfiction about the life and times of Levi Strauss. Born in Germany, he left for America and ended up in San Francisco in the 1850’s dealing with imported goods. He met Jacob W. Davis, a customer who invented the the riveted denim pants. Davis partnered with Levi in 1871 to produce the blue jeans.
Never married, he supported his family and encouraged his employees to better their lives.

Jun 16, 3:31 pm

I finished the LTER book The Secrets of the Moon. The author presents the facts known about the moon as determined by science as well as some of the lore, and the moon's influence upon man. I did learn much I didn't know particularly it's influence upon making the earth conducive to life. I did find it a bit repetitious particularly in it's consistent insistence on pointing out what was and what was not substantiated by science (as if science was absolute and knew all at this point)

Jun 21, 8:26 am

I just finished I finished Mission to Moscow, Joseph E. Davies' memoir, sort of, of his two years (1936 through 1938) as U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union. I say "sort of" because the book is not a narrative but a series of journal and diary entries as well as many of Davies' official reports and correspondences with Secretary of State Cordell Hull, President Roosevelt, and other government officials. There is quite a bit of repetition, as sometimes, for example, a report to Hull is immediately followed by a very similar report to Roosevelt. That said, the accumulation of information and insights that Davies provides ends up being pretty interesting for someone (like me) with an interest in the events of this era. Davies was in Moscow, and part of the inner diplomatic circle, during the purge trials and the run-up to World War Two. Interestingly, this book was published in October 1941, just 6 weeks or so before Pearl Harbor.

Davies discusses the state of Soviet industry at the time, based on the many tours he took for that purpose. He was surprised and extremely impressed with how far they'd come so fast since the Revolution.

He spend a good bit of time describing the Purge Trials that took place during his term as ambassador. As the trials progressed, Davies wondered whether the execution of so many high ranking officers would cause the Red Army to turn against Stalin, but concluded in the end that the Stalin administration had instead cemented its power quite effectively. Davies also tells us that many in the Diplomatic Corps (in other words, other countries' ambassadors to Russia) concluded that many of the defendants were probably actually guilty. Davies describes a period of "terror" in which the arrests and executions numbered into the tens of thousands, and reached from the highest levels of military and government down onto the factory floor.

Davies reports on the Soviet government's increasing frustration with Neville Chamberlain's appeasement politics towards Germany and their eventual outrage when they are left out of the negotiations that led to the infamous Munich Agreement. In fact, according to Davies, the Russians had been prepared to come to the aid of the Czechs militarily (as per the mutual defense treaty the had with Czechoslovakia and France). From the Munich Agreement, says Davies, the Soviets concluded that England and France were willing to give away Eastern Europe to Hitler in order to keep from being attacked themselves, and were probably willing to let Russia have to take on Hitler by themselves. This led them to the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact that would allow them to at least forestall a German attack.

Believe it or not, I've posted a longer review on my Club Read thread.

Jun 23, 8:32 am

>64 LynnB: That looks good. Putting it on my wishlist. Thanks.

Jun 25, 1:08 pm

I'm reading Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine and Mysteries of Blood by Rose George

>65 vwinsloe: I finished Wordslut yesterday and enjoyed it. Lots to think about and learn.

Jun 25, 2:50 pm

Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey
Mark Dery
3/5 stars
Interesting biography of Edward Gorey, illustrator and writer. He published and illustrated over a hundred books and influenced other writers and artists. Was known as an eccentric and secretive. Interesting book but at times it dragged on. Authors

Jun 26, 7:16 am

>66 LynnB:. Thanks. On my list and will make a great gift for a friend who is into etymology!

Jun 27, 3:20 pm

I finished A Short History of Coffee, which was interesting, tracing the history of coffee from the discovery myth (a flock of frisky goats) through to modern times. As someone who can't tolerate caffeine any more, the chapter on decaffeination was very interesting.

Jun 28, 1:27 pm

The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation by
Elizabeth Letts
Snowman was a horse that was to be sent to the slaughterhouse if it weren't for Harry de Leyer. He saw this horse and ended up buying him for $80 dollars. Turns out that it was a great decision for Harry, an immigrant and his family, who cleaned him up and entered him in the sport of show jumping. What a wonderful story about their relationship!

Jul 1, 12:46 pm

I finished the baseball biography Tom Seaver: A Terrific Life by Bill Madden. It was fun, a good but not great biography, and a fine survey of Seaver's life and career for anyone not familiar with Seaver.

Editado: Jul 5, 4:41 am

I've just finished reading "What's the Use of Philosophy?" by Philip Kitcher. I don't remember how many books on this subject I have read. I keep on reading because Philosophy can provide intellectual stimulation, cultural enrichment, personal growth, and practical relevance to contemporary issues, making it an enriching and rewarding pursuit for many. We are all philosophers in one way or another ....

What's the Use of Philosophy?