Non-Fiction books you'd recommend? - TennisForum.com

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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2012, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

Generally it's been novels and short stories I've read down the years.

But as I miss England a bit, I recently bought "A short history of England" by Simon Jenkins and I'm enjoying it. It's nice to fill in the glaring gaps in my knowledge even of my own country...

So this has given me a taste for Non-Fiction, what books would you recommend? I'm looking for middlebrow books I guess, not dry academic books, books that go over the head of the average enthusiastic reader. Equally I don't want something too simplistic, that teaches me nothing new.

The kind of fields that interest me most at the moment are History and Astronomy...but I wouldn't mind something else if you have a particular recommendation.

Most immediately I'd like an accessible book on Ancient Rome, particularly the many and various Emperors...

More generally, a World history book might be a good idea, something to give a taste of events, that might inspire me to look at an unfamiliar period in more detail in future.

Any recommendations gratefully received...

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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

I don't really read non-fiction. But a book I have and read from time to time is "Europe: A History" by Norman Davies. I like the way passage of time is handled and the interesting facts you get. And the maps.




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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2012, 01:36 PM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

Something middlebrow?
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond


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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2012, 01:44 PM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

bill bryson - a short history of nearly everything. I can only recommend it. I learned so much from that book. Even stuff that you didn't even want to remember. And it is also fun to read.
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

I read "In cold blood" by Truman Capote a few months ago and it was extremely good.
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2012, 02:15 PM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

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Originally Posted by Tripp View Post
I read "In cold blood" by Truman Capote a few months ago and it was extremely good.
it might be based on true events, but it's still a fictional book.


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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2012, 05:52 PM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

If you're into romanticized history from a travel journey, I'd recommend Mediterranean Winter by Robert Kaplan. Basically, he recalls a trip he did to Tunisia, Croatia and Sicily while going on about some of the history of the area. It's nice with a cup of hot chocolate in the evening if you're into romanticized crap. He also melds geopolitics with the whole thing, so it was pretty informative actually.

Other middlebrow I liked was Pompeii The Living City by Worth and Laurence. It's going through what we came to know about Roman culture and society from the ruins of Pompeii which had a lot of details about domestic life. Really cool.

If you're into Ancient Greece, then I 'd highly recommend The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece. It goes through by theme (war, status of women, art...etc) and not as a timeline and has stunning illustrations that come in big format.

Also look into the Oxford series of "A Very Short Introduction". They come on various subjects and they are succinct, interesting and very informative.

If you're into introductory philosophy stuff, I have a few recommendations, but these would fall on the more dry academic side.

I don't have time to read anymore. Of course I can't use this excuse that well because I still manage to post in this shit place, but it's true. I got one today on the Philosophy of Mathematics. Let's see if I can fit it in.

Last edited by Apoleb; Mar 14th, 2012 at 06:04 PM.
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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

Sex And Society in Nazi Germany by Hans Peter Bleuel

http://www.amazon.com/society-Nazi-G.../dp/0397009801



I read this stunning book in 1974 and feel it is every bit as relevant and illuminating today as ever.

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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2012, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

Some very intriguing recommendations, thanks everyone.

Looking for my next purchase, I have comeacross this apparently famous book which I have to shamefully confess I haven't heard of, "A little history of the world" meant to be a world history aimed at children, it is recommended by many adults too.

Written originally in German, it sounds a fascinating book...anyone more familiar with it than me?

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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2012, 04:00 AM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2012, 05:02 AM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

Freedom At Midnight - Larry Collins & Dominique Lapierre

hands down the most thrilling historical read i've come across. start to finish captivating. well researched account of India & Pakistan's nationhood with lots of local flavor despite the British bias.

the characters are larger than life but the authors present them well. great read!




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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2012, 05:14 AM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beat View Post
it might be based on true events, but it's still a fictional book.
If that book were written today, it would most likely fall under the Creative Non-Fiction genre.

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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Bon Vivant View Post
Something middlebrow?
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
I have this but I've never read it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp View Post
I read "In cold blood" by Truman Capote a few months ago and it was extremely good.
LOL that is fiction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Halardfan View Post
Some very intriguing recommendations, thanks everyone.

Looking for my next purchase, I have comeacross this apparently famous book which I have to shamefully confess I haven't heard of, "A little history of the world" meant to be a world history aimed at children, it is recommended by many adults too.

Written originally in German, it sounds a fascinating book...anyone more familiar with it than me?

Sounds interest but I've never heard of it. You also mentioned Astronomy. I'm also interested in Astronomy but I don't have any books on it. I do all my reading for it online. I think it's an area that's constantly changing. I would love to go stargazing in places like Hawaii or Atacama Desert.




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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2012, 03:26 PM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

Not quite Ancient Rome, but these are all about history/society/etc in some part of the world that you might not know about before. I really recommend all of them (I love non-fiction).


The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson - Follows three individuals as it describes the migration of American blacks from the south to the north. Very lovingly written.
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick - An incredible book; I could not put it down. It follows five people in a small town in North Korea. Through everything - the good years, the famine, the escape, their lives now. North Korea is such a mystery and this sheds a lot of light on what life is like for your ordinary person there.
We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families by Philip Gourevtich - This one's about Rwanda. It really breaks down the war there and like the other two, it's harrowing, heart breaking, etc. :P

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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 2012, 05:03 PM
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Re: Non-Fiction books you'd recommend?

I definitely recommend Europe: A History, Guns, Germs and Steel, and In Cold Blood.

It's a bit out of date now, but The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy is quite good.

If you have any interest in military history, John Keegan's "The Face of Battle" is a still a classic.

I'm also a big fan of Dreadnought, by Robert K. Massie, and his followup Castles of Steel, chronicling the run-up to World War I and the naval battles of WWI. Of the two, I think Dreadnought is the more important, because it covers more of the social and diplomatic history that we're still sorting out 100 years later (yes, Iraq, Kosovo, the Sudan, etc. all spin out of the aftereffects of WWI).

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