Non-fiction reading - What books are you tackling?

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The last one I read was Poor Economics by Esther Duflo. Imho the best book on development economics available.

Currently reading through "Napoleons Irish Legion" for fun and profit. It is one of the only books on the subject other than the "Memoirs of Miles Byrne" so it makes for an interesting read. I have a fascination with the Napoleonic era and actually have started to collect an entire shelf full of memoirs and books on some of the less known sides of the war.

Basically I am trying to build a better impression of the period from the perspective of the non-major nation players, such as the Irish and the Poles, both of whom were spread out between both sides of the conflict.

Mr Nice by Howard Marks is a good non fiction to read. Currently going through it a second time. It's an autobiography of his life from a small town in Wales to his time in university and eventual incarceration due to his involvement as an international marijuana smuggler

What's this "non-fiction" thing you speak of?

Without jest, I really want to get into Legacy of Ashes, seems quite good.

I would also like to get into more philosophical stuff too, I tried reading the Hagakure, but that was me trying to read it.

Tsunemoto knows a thing or two about writing a mental exercise disguised as a book.

Who knows though, I might pick it up again, but I still have two books to read for English Literature, and after I finish them I really want to continue with A Song Of Ice And Fire.

I recently purchased a textbook on my own because I'm learning how to code AI in C++ and Python for a game I am working on.

So that's really as far as I go with non-fiction, I suppose.

I have just started reading through Apollo: The Epic Journey To The Moon by David West Reynolds for the nth time - it's such a great book about one of my all-time favourite things.

Right now I have Hell's Angels as on-off reading. The one where Hunter spent 2 years with them.

George Orwell:

  • Homage to Catalonia - recollections of fighting in the trenches and in the streets of the Spanish Civil War.
  • Down and Out in Paris and London - recollections of being destitute and homeless.
  • The Road to Wigan Pier - investigations of living conditions of northern English working class people in the 1930's.

Hunter S. Thompson:

  • Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail - from the front lines of the campaigns of the 1972 U.S. presidential candidates.
  • The Great Shark Hunt - collection of articles and essays.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:

  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - while technically a work of fiction, it is closely based on the author's experience of life in the Soviet gulags, and is an easier read than his much longer Gulag Archipelago.

I'm reading Tim Cook's Shock Troops about the Canadian military during the second half of WWI. It's fairly interesting - good depth, and somewhat more narrow focused than a lot of general "History of the Great War"-type books without being as narrow as a lot of the pure military history (that just focus on single battles) or social histories (that usually focus on a tiny number of individuals).

Asimov's - Guide to the Bible (places the bible in historical and geopolitical context - highly recommended)
Dalai Lama - The Art of Happiness
Professor Max Atkinson - Lend me your ears (speech-writing and presentation skills)
Steve Lowe and Alan Mcarthur - The best of "Is it just me or is everything shit?" (bitter and cynical satirical view of modern Britain)

Ivan's War is an interesting collection of accounts by Red Army veterans who witnessed the events of the infamous Eastern Front.

Well, this past months have been strangly non-fictionally and I have read loads of the stuff (although some of it really sounds more like fiction at times).
Amongst others I have finished (in no particular order):
1) Religion & Science by Bertrand Russell.
2) The Demon Hunted World (Science as a Candle in the Dark) by Carl Sagan.
3) The Trial of Henry Kissinger by CHristopher Hitchens.
4) Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin (about evolution).
5) Why Does E=mc2 by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.
6) Arguably by CHristopher Hitchens (essays).
7) The Gunpowder Plot by Antonia Fraser.
8) Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford.
9) Just for Fun by Linus Torvalds and David Diamond.
10)Moab is my Washpot by Stephen Fry (autobiographical).

I'm in the middle of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon.

I think that I'll be needing a big batch of fiction very soon.
:)

Spillover by David Quammen. It's about the history, workings and possible (and shit-your-pants-scary) future of diseases transmitted between different species. Fuck Ebola!

That said, for the last month or so my reading has been mostly dominated by Infinite jest so it might still be a while until I actually finish it.

Edit: While not a book, I'd still like to plug Dan Carlin's highly interesting Hardcore History podcast, which has been the major source of non-fiction stuff for me in the last year or so, also the newer episodes are more like audiobooks than podcasts anyway. http://www.dancarlin.com//disp.php?page=hharchive

I suppose it depends on how one defines "fiction". By a librarian's definition, religious texts, works of philosophy, all manner of academia that covers ideas which aren't based on facts as we know them are "non-fiction"...

That said, I recently picked up a book at a thrift store which was printed in 1901... "The Riddle of the Universe" by Ernst Haeckel. The guy had some interesting ideas about the human mind (especially for a guy who lived most of his life in the 19th century), but I'm not certain this one deserves the classification of "non-fiction". Rather like reading the dialogues of Plato.

In other news, Westeros isn't real?!
...I've been living a lie since the late 90s...

I have finished reading Physics and philosophy by Werner Heisenberg, and have just finished reading(for what must be like the 5th time) Hitler's Uranium club: The secret recordings at farm hall by Jeremy Bernstein. They were part of the recommended reading for my university course, and even though I have graduated, I still get great enjoyment from reading these two volumes. The non-fiction book I have just started reading is Molecular symmetry and group theory by Alan Vincent, just to remind myself of the various symmetry elements and point groups. I really enjoy chemistry.

Last non-fiction books I read were No God But God which explores the history of Islam, The Book of Tea which talks about Japanese aesthetics, and The Art of Style which covers grammar.

I'm currently reading a color theory book by the same lady as wrote Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

I'm listening to the audiobook of Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point."

It's an interesting look at what makes trends become epidemic in their spread.

I think about the only non-fiction I've really ever read by choice would have to be Bruce Campbell's auto-biography: If Chins Could Kill. Mostly 'cause I like Bruce and the book reads well in his voice.

Captcha: stand up guy

Yeah, that's Bruce.

FalloutJack:
I think about the only non-fiction I've really ever read by choice would have to be Bruce Campbell's auto-biography: If Chins Could Kill. Mostly 'cause I like Bruce and the book reads well in his voice.

Captcha: stand up guy

Yeah, that's Bruce.

I hear tell that Arnold Schwarzenegger's autobiography is an interesting read. Lots of good photos of him in his youth and in office to be found there.

...And yes, he called his autobiography what everyone hoped he would.

I exclusively read academic history books actually. I have a couple dozen that I have bought and just haven't had time to read quite yet due to my school work. Right now I'm reading The Fragile Fabric of the Union: Cotton, Federal Politics, and the Global Origins of the Civil War and I'm also rereading At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor. The first book is way outside my area of study and I don't really have much interest in it. The latter is directly related to my specialization (as my forum picture gives away), which I'm quite happy about.

I like reading autobiographies, been thinking of re-reading through some of the rock star ones I've got. Slash's, Ozzy's and the Motley Crue ones are all great reads if your into their music. Nikki Sixx's heroin diaries is good too, quite scary to read what was going through his head whilst he was on the junk. Might go through that one first.

I'm finally getting round to reading Mary Douglas' 'Purity and Danger', regarding the connection between religious ritual and ideas of purity and impurity (to condense and simplify massively). It was a staple while I was at Uni, but I read in parts rather than right through depending on what I was studying.

On my too-read shelf I've Hobbes' 'Leviathan', Locke's 'Two Treatises of Government', a couple books by Niall Ferguson (I'm a fan of his pop-culture economic analogies and possible explanations for historical events), 'The Good Soldier: The Biography of Douglas Haig', and 'The Price of Inequality' by Joseph Stiglitz (he's always an interesting read, even if he sometimes suffers from the common political economist issue of spending more time poking holes in other people's ideas and theories than justifying his own alternatives).

Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky
The Origin of Species - Charles Darwin
Nerd Do Well - Simon Pegg
Dawn of the Dumb, I Can Make You Hate & The Hell of it all - Charlie Brooker
If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor - Bruce Campbell

I like how my list has gone from Noam Chomsky to Bruce Campbell, a fantastic range.

I'm on a WWI kick lately, so I'm reading Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson and I'm planning to follow it up with Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August.

'Minds and Computers' I just finished 'The God Delusion'

Birth, School, Metallica, Death by Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood. I love Metallica, I love biographies and I love origin stories, so this was a pretty awesome Christmas present. I love learning more about some of my favorite musicians.

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