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Favorite non-fiction book or author

fred rosenberger
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  16

Along the line of the "recommend a movie" thread, I though I'd try a non-fiction book thread. What books or authors do you like?

I have found by accident I like just about everything I've read by Simon Singh. Without knowing they were by the same author, I read Fermet's Enigma, The Code Book, and Big Bang (i read them years apart and didn't make the connection). I found each to be utterly fascinating - making some very complex topics very accessible to just about everyone. I'm in the process of finding other books by him, and can't wait to read them as well.

Who or what can you recommend in the non-fiction genre?


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Jesper de Jong
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  16

I like this one a lot: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

It's about the history of science and the scientists that played a role in it and their peculiar personalities. Interesting and fun to read.

If you like books about science such as Simon Singh's books, you're certainly going to like this one too.


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fred rosenberger
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I read his A Walk In The Woods years ago, and I remember I enjoyed it tremendously (the image of the coffee filters has stuck with me all these years), but never went back to anything else he wrote. I will have to check them out.

Bear Bibeault
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Hands down: Isaac Asimov


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fred rosenberger
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Bear Bibeault wrote:Hands down: Isaac Asimov

Forgive me for sounding dumb here...but I don't think I knew Asimov wrote non-fiction. Is there a particular one of his I should start with?
Bear Bibeault
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Asimov Popular Science

I remember particularly enjoying The Collapsing Universe. With today's advances in cosmology and astrophysics, some of the info may be dated; but still a good read.
Karthik Shiraly
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2 books by Peter Watson's on social history - Ideas and A Terrible Beauty.
"Ideas" always reminds me of a favourite TV show of mine that ran years ago, called "Connections" by James Burke which was all about inventions, inventors and their often surprising impact on future society.
Chan Ag
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Non-Fiction .. Ok ..

Aleph by Paulo Coelho
The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
fred rosenberger
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Chan Ag wrote:Aleph by Paulo Coelho

I'm confused...the wikpedia page on Aleph says it is both a novel and an autobiographical account.

So is it fiction or non-fiction?
Ulf Dittmer
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I'm a fan of Tom Wolfe; pretty much everything he wrote before Bonfire of the Vanities is non-fiction. From Bauhaus to Our House, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers, and The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby are my favorites.


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Matthew Brown
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Ian Stewart is very good, if you're into mathematics. I particularly liked Life's Other Secret, about mathematics in biology, and he's also one of the authors behind the Science of Diskworld series.

(Would also second Simon Singh).
chris webster
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+1 for Simon Singh, Ian Stewart (maths), and for Britain's favourite adopted American Bill Bryson. If you've never read Bryson before, maybe start with The Life And Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid a hilarious and humane account of his childhood in 1950s Des Moines.

History:
Really enjoyed 1491 - The Americas Before Columbus by Charles Mann. Recently started the "sequel" 1493 - Uncovering The World Columbus Created, which looks promising.
Also liked Tom Holland's book on the Persian wars Persian Fire.

Science:
John Gribbin is one of my favourite popular science writers, and if I had to recommend one book, then The Universe - a biography which covers a lot of ground in cosmology in a very readable fashion.
Jaron Lanier's polemic You Are Not A Gadget is a challenge to the geek establishment to think about the consequences of seeing people and the wider world purely in terms of technology and our relationships with gadgets.

Finally, if you only ever read one book about the Arctic, make it Barry Lopez's magnificent book Arctic Dreams, a fascinating and profoundly poetic account of the natural world of the high Arctic. Read it now, before the world he describes is destroyed by global warming and oil exploration.


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margaret gillon
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I was looking for links to include with several books I wanted to post here and am finding most of them to now be considered partially or completely fictionalized .

Since it's Friday, and poker night, I submit Ace on the River by Barry Greenstein. I am always fascinated by people who can sit at a table and bet 30K on nothing and their ability to out bluff the other players. I play four to six times a week and suffer when I loose my five dollar buy in.
Chan Ag
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fred rosenberger wrote:
Chan Ag wrote:Aleph by Paulo Coelho

I'm confused...the wikpedia page on Aleph says it is both a novel and an autobiographical account.

So is it fiction or non-fiction?


No idea why the wikipedia says it's a novel, may be cause Paulo Coelho writes fiction mostly. But Aleph is an autobiography. It's not a work of fiction ( I think so ).

Edit - I just noticed that the wikipedia page also says this -- "Under the sentence "Some books are read. Aleph is lived", the book is an autobiographical account written in a novel format. Upon release it became a bestselling novel in Brazil".
Jesper de Jong
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Alex's Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter
Jeanne Boyarsky
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There are a number of programming book authors here who write consistently good books. I don't want to pick one as "favorite" so I'm not going to try.

One of my favorite non-fiction, non-computer books was "Outliers."


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Chan Ag
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Ok, a recent favorite I missed in my favorites' list--

Java Threads Edition 3.

By Henry Wong and Scott Oaks. But everyone knows that. :-)

Two other favorite books from the hi skool days --

Let Us C by Yashavant Kanetkar
Understanding Pointers In C by Yashavant Kanetkar.
Anayonkar Shivalkar
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Almost all books by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Malcolm Gladwell.

I also like works of Desmond Morris and Daniel Goleman.


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Anayonkar Shivalkar (SCJP, SCWCD, OCMJD, OCEEJBD)
Chan Ag
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  16
On The Road ( it's the printed book I mean but there is also an audiobook ) by Jack Kerouac.



I was looking for links to include with several books I wanted to post here and am finding most of them to now be considered partially or completely fictionalized .


Ditto.

Edit : Personally I hate the characters, both Dean and Sal.
They are irresponsible, egocentric, *erks, the kind I love to hate ( with a passion ) and I could go on but I shouldn't...
I like this book for other reasons; the writing, I think, is beautiful.
I have many favorite lines in the book. They make me reflect on things.
Karthik Jayachandran
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Why I left Golman Sachs - Greg Smith
ARGO - Antonio Mendez
Quiet - Susan Cain
Dad is Fat - Jim Gaffigan
Steve Jobs -

Not sure 'Steve Jobs' book comes under non-fiction. Quiet and Dad is fat are interesting reads to me.
Frank Silbermann
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fred rosenberger wrote:
Bear Bibeault wrote:Hands down: Isaac Asimov

Forgive me for sounding dumb here...but I don't think I knew Asimov wrote non-fiction. Is there a particular one of his I should start with?
http://www.amazon.com/The-Sensuous-Dirty-Old-Man/dp/0802703631
 
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