"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, January 20, 2020

Best Nonfiction Reads of the Past Decade

Here is my promised list of favorite nonfiction titles read and published in the last decade. I decided to leave Memoirs off the list. How knows? Maybe I will create a list of my favorite Memoirs of the decade soon. I hyperlinked the titles of those books I reviewed. The books I've selected represent those books which have stayed with me or I've referenced frequently in the past years. I recommend them all highly. Sorted chronologically.
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (2010)---A fascinating look at medical ethics based on the use of Henrietta's cancer cells without family permission. A book club selection. (Audiobook)
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (2014)---Dr. Gawande reminds us that we are all mortal and with our doctors we need to plan our end-of-life goals. I think of this book often and its advice. I want to finish well. (Audiobook)
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (2014)---Stevenson is a lawyer dedicated to helping individuals who are trapped in prison without representation, particularly those on death row. A movie is being made of it, so read it first and watch his TED talk. (I also read the YA version of the book but I don't think it is as good. It is too pared down.) (Audio and print)
  • The Wright Brothers by David McCullough (2015)---We all think we know everything there is to know about the Wright Brothers but we are wrong. Orville and Wilbur were way more creative, innovative, inventive, hard-working, and capable than you can imagine. Any book by David McCullough is not-to-be-missed. This one is no exception.  (Audiobook)
  • Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (2016)---Part memoir, part biology manual. For that reason I kept it on this list, though it is technically a Memoir. I fell in love with Hope Jahren and with trees. (Audiobook)
  • A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves That Made Us Human by Kay Frydenborg (2017)---The only middle grade book on the list and the only one I evaluated for the Cybils Awards. As a dog lover I was fascinated by it. As a lifelong learner I was gobsmacked by how mush I learned from it. If you don't want to read it, at least read my review. (Then you will want to read it!) (Print)
  •  Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (2017)---This book reads like a murder mystery. David Grann does something most writers don't do, he inserts himself into the story as he reports his findings. A book club selection. (Audiobook)
  • The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham (2018)---Meacham is a historian and writes with authority about other times in our history when we faced crises, putting our current political climate into context. I felt soothed by his words and message. The title comes from a quote by Abraham Lincoln: We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” (Audiobook)
What are some of your favorite nonfiction titles published in the last decade?

-Anne


16 comments:

  1. I've read the majority of these and they are SO GOOD! I just listened to Bryan Stephenson on Terry Gross' Fresh Air, which reminded me that I want to see the movie.

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  2. A really interesting list. I would include The Immortal Life of Harriet Lacks on a list, I’d also have The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery, Unbelievable by T Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong, The Underground Girls of Kabul.

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    1. Other than The Immortal Life, I haven't even heard of these other books. I will need to check them out. Thanks.

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  3. I've only read a couple because I don't generally gravitate toward non-fiction. (although I loved "Devil in the White City." "Boys in the Boat" was definitely one of my favorite reads of that year!

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    1. Devil in the White City is excellent but it was published in 2003, so it didn't make the decade list.

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  4. I've read 7/12 and I agree with all of them. I think I need to add Killers of the Flower Moon to my TBR.

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    1. Killers of the Flower Moon is so interesting and maddening. Grann is an excellent writer.

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    2. So many people recommended Boys in the Boat, and I put it off and put it off. When I finally got around to it, I was amazed at how good it was. I bet Killers of the Flower Moon will be the same.

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  5. Definitely some interesting looking reads here. I read more nonfiction a few years ago but it's been a while- the dog book especially sounds super interesting.

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  6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was a fantastic read.

    My TTT .

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  7. I loved The Wright Brothers. And Unbroken, too, of course. Still need to read Boys in the Boat. :)

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  8. I’m picky about nonfiction. I’ve read a couple of these, and many others are on my list. I couldn’t get through Flower Moon, on audio. It was just too slow. I need to check out some more of these. Thanks.

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    1. I actually find that I am more forgiving of nonfiction than I am of fiction. I listened to Flower Moon on audible, too. But I found it fascinating.

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  9. On the nonfiction side, I share two that also made my list of favorite nonfiction books in the last decade: Being Mortal and Unbroken. Being Mortal is sooo essential reading for all of us, I believe.

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  10. Ah, a perfect list for me! I loved Killers of the Flower Moon, such a great book and terrible story.

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