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 Post Post subject: Any good Non-Fiction out there?
Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:34 pm 
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Don't get me wrong. I enjoy Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, and all the other good fiction out there. As a matter of fact, I just finished reading one of the finest works of fiction I've experienced in a while - Till We Have Faces which you can vote for here!

With that preface, let me say that often the most satisfying books I have read have been non-fiction. Here's why: When I read a good fiction book, I feel compelled to share what I have read with those around me. Unfortunately, this usually limits me to either finding someone who has read the book previously, and twiterring about what parts we liked, or sharing a brief synopsis of the plot, or set-up (for you wouldn't want to give away the ending!) On the other hand, when I read a good non-fiction work, I find that I share what I have read a lot more, as the knowledge contained within is not only fascinating, but also quite real. The result is that as I learn, those around me learn as well. I really enjoy this experience, and hope you do also. I would like to find out what books you have found yourself sharing with others. I'll start with a few of my favorite titles.

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife is a book which traces the history of the enigmatic number 0. Along with this he provides lots of fun examples illustrating how zero refuses to obey the laws of mathematics without a fuss (use zero to prove that Winston Churchill was in fact, a carrot!)

Publisher's Description: "The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshiped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time, the quest for the theory of everything"


Genome: The Autobiography of a species in 23 chapters by Matt Ridley describes an interesting characteristic in every chromosome making up your genome (or DNA.) For example, chapter 4 - on Fate - describes the genetic characteristics of Huntington's disease. Those with this tragic mutation can use a DNA test to pinpoint with high accuracy the exact year they will die. Ridley describes this as molecular Calvinism.

While some background in genetics would help, that is not necessary to enjoy this book. Ridley is a good teacher, and he always strives to make his explanations simpler, not more complex. He doesn't cheat on the detail either, but manages to provide a good enough balance to make this accessible to nearly all readers willing to give a "science book" a try.


I'll try to write up more non-fiction recommendations as I have time. Please add your favorites to the list and maybe we'll all learn a little something. :)

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Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:52 pm 
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The first thing that came to mind was Dreams of my Fathers by Barack Obama. I know he may not be a good president but he is a very gifted as a writer. :)

That's all I can think of at this time :-k Unless you want to know his second book! \:D/


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Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:05 pm 
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Hmmm.

Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose
Beyond Band of Brothers by Major Dick Winters
Easy Company Soldier by Dan Malarky
In the Company of Heroes by Mike Durant
Black Hawk Down by [I forget XD]

There's WAY more, but I'm having brain difficulties (sp?) at this time. I have a lot I could recommend, but it matters what one is interested in :shrugs:

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Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:17 pm 
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Oh... NON-FICTION JUNKY! Sorry... I'm sorta one of those. I'm all for like, biographies on famous people and things like that...Hm... I'm not sure any of the books I like reading would be worth while posting... Hmm.... Interesting Idea though.. reminds me, I should read my FDR book this summer just so I can hand it off to my sister... oh the joys of having a library in my room and not reading half the books in it!


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Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:04 am 
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I love Phillip Yancy, Brother Andrew, and Max Lucado to name a few.

Also Eric and leslie Ludy, Beth moore at times too

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Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:41 am 
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I've also heard that Dreams was a very well written book. I may try to read it some day, if only to "know my enemy", so to speak. However, for now I find myself getting so frustrated any time I hear him come up in conversation, that for my own peace of mind's sake I will choose to avoid that book. Thanks for the recommendation, though! I may try to read it in the future! Any other suggestions?



Ben Linus wrote:
it matters what one is interested in.

...And I can tell that you must be interested in war stories! You're like my grandfather. I've never read a non-fiction one myself. Is there one from off that list that you recommend most highly!



I started to read Gandhi's autobiography once (actually, it's more like my wife read bits and parts of it to me and I leafed through it.) That was absolutely fascinating. I'd like to finish that some day, along with reading Ravi Zacharias' story. Dr. DAM, what was the most interesting biography you have read? Author, subject, description - any enlightening information would be appreciated! :D



I've heard Yancey speak, and I've read some Max Lucado. While I wasn't thrilled by Yancey as a speaker, I've heard he's a good writer and wouldn't mind reading something by him. Many people have recommended "What's so amazing about grace" to me, would you fall in that same camp, or is there another book of his that you like more? What I've read of Lucado has been good, though it's all been either fiction/biblical expansion, or a fiction/non-fiction mix (In the Grip of Grace.) I certainly find his illustrations encouraging. What's your favorite Lucado book, and why?

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Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:45 pm 
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I admit, I'm a History Buff and--I use this term lightly--war junkie. I don't like war (I don't like people getting killed, period), but I'm interested in it from a history sort of point of veiw.

Off that very list? I'd recommend In the Company of Heroes by Mike Durant--who was captured by the Somali Miltia during the battle at Mogadishu, Somalia, Africa, in 1993. It's about his experiences during capture, his backround as a army Nightstalker and Pilot for Black Hawk helecopters, and his life afterward. It's far from a boring read--which some nonfiction books can be--it's very descriptive and held my attention (I read it in almost an afternoon; It's sort of long, but not very)

Then again, that might be just me--like said, it matters what you're interested in. If you prefer biographies to this sort of thing, then it might not totally hold your attention. Although if you have at least some interest in modern warfare/history, then this I would highly recommend! \:D/

Max Lucado? Hmm, I don't think I could choose! Everyday Deserves a Chance was a good one, so was Cure for the Common Life and Grace for the Moment. Not to mention his cute kids books--what's it called, the one with the wooden puppets? :-k

I love his veiw on things--they've totally assisted me along with my faith; but I don't think I could choose one over the other!

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Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:58 pm 
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Oh yes, there is some great non-fiction out there! \:D/
At the moment, I'm reading "Mao's Last Dancer", it's a biography about Li Cunxin.


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Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:12 pm 
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John Julius Norwich's trilogy of the history of the Byzantine Empire was fascinating. :)

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Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 3:15 pm 
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I'm currently reading This is your brain on music, by Daniel J. Levitin. It's about the science of music.. pretty good (although I haven't read in it in a while).

I can't remember the name, but I read a book on zero-point energy (I think it was The hunt for zero point) that was really good too, if you're into conspiracies.. \:D/

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Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:17 pm 
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Baron Bomburst wrote:
I'm currently reading This is your brain on music, by Daniel J. Levitin. It's about the science of music.. pretty good (although I haven't read in it in a while).

I can't remember the name, but I read a book on zero-point energy (I think it was The hunt for zero point) that was really good too, if you're into conspiracies.. \:D/


I got the This is your brain on Music as a Christmas gift a couple years ago, but have yet to read it. Now that you've reminded me of it, I think I'll try. That zero-point energy book sounds interesting too. I didn't realize that there was even a conspiracy to be into there. :)

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Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:29 pm 
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Back in 10th grade, our history/literature class was required to read Flags of Our Fathers, a New York Times bestselling work that tells the stories of the soldiers in the famous flag raising Iwo Jima photograph. Our teacher asked us to rate the book on a 1-10 scale and went around the room. I think my 7-8? was the lowest; most were 9's and 10's.

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Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:09 pm 
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Taq wrote:
Back in 10th grade, our history/literature class was required to read Flags of Our Fathers, a New York Times bestselling work that tells the stories of the soldiers in the famous flag raising Iwo Jima photograph. Our teacher asked us to rate the book on a 1-10 scale and went around the room. I think my 7-8? was the lowest; most were 9's and 10's.

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The book was meh for me--it was good, but for some reason I prefered (sp?) the movie (Which is rare because usually I prefer the books and dislike the movies)

I agree with David: that zero point one looks good, I'll have to check it out! :D

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Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:00 pm 
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I enjoy reading biographies/auto-biographies or historical-fiction. I usually cannot get into a fiction book as well as I can into a biography. It's more enjoyable to read about someone in real life.

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Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:23 am 
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JesusFreak777 wrote:
Beth moore at times too

I also enjoy Beth Moore! Get Out of That Pit and Breaking Free are great books by her. Her devotional books based on the Bible Studies are great too. I liked Jesus The One and Only.

I recently read Multiple Blessings based upon the story of Jon & Kate Gosselin. I know their story is very controversial right now, but this book really put their faith into perspective. It makes me want to just really pray for their marriage, and wisdom in the decisions they make for their family.

I would also recommend Still Growing, Kirk Cameron's autobiography. It was excellent! Especially if you grew up watching Growing Pains.

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Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:37 pm 
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Robyn Jacobs wrote:
I recently read Multiple Blessings based upon the story of Jon & Kate Gosselin. I know their story is very controversial right now, but this book really put their faith into perspective. It makes me want to just really pray for their marriage, and wisdom in the decisions they make for their family.

Speaking of books about families with a lot of kids, I once read 12 Part Harmony, which told the story of one family that adopted many kids. I think some of the kids were biological, too. I remember being able to identify with the family at various points, such as when the author described the flabbergasted reactions of others when they learned of that family's additional adoption decision.


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Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:05 pm 
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My mom thinks reading fiction is a waste of time... we got into a fight about that today and she thinks I need to mature and read more non-fiction. I find it boring though.


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Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:31 am 
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Anna><> wrote:
My mom thinks reading fiction is a waste of time... we got into a fight about that today and she thinks I need to mature and read more non-fiction. I find it boring though.


I'm sorry, but that's sad.

I love both fiction and nonfiction; but I can see how nonfiction can get boring--it gets better if you're reading something that you're interested in, but that's usually the hard part

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