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Dipping My Toes Into Non-Fiction Books & TBR List

Dipping My Toes Into Non-Fiction Books & TBR List

 

Yesterday, I watched a documentary. Actually, correction, I watched a shit ton of documentaries.

 

non-fiction book recommendation

 

And out of the blue, there is this itsy bitsy tiny voice that blooms inside of me. At first it was faint, almost as if I knew something was brewing inside this head of mine, yet at the time, I still wasn’t able to pinpoint what and where my brain is going at.

So I ignored it, and continue on my jolly adventure of watching more documentaries.

Until a few hours later, while I was in the midst of watching a documentary explaining why and how there is a slice of Europe in Africa, it popped into my head.

Psst. You know, you read so many books. But, so much of it is fiction. Why don’t you try Non-fiction instead, this time around?

And the me at that time, who was brimming with wonderment and ideas as to how I can change the world, immediately agrees.

Yes, definitely. It is a very good idea. I should read more non-fiction books.

 

non-fiction book recommendation

 

So off I went. I approached my friends, and the kind people of the internet. To ask for a non-fiction book recommendation for a non-fiction noob like me.

An hour or two later, out came the recommendations. Dozens of recommendations flood my inbox. The books range from autobiography, WWII stories, true crime mysteries, all the way to finance, psychology, and business books.

The fiction reader inside of me was, to say the very least – excuse my being extra– shooketh (shocked). I didn’t know there was a whole new world out there that I have never discovered before. I mean, of course I have heard of all those books. But in your girl’s tiny brain, Non-fiction books are like The Big Foot. You have heard stories about it, you have heard about people’s experience reading non-fiction, but it seems like it came from a world so far away that you don’t even dare to imagine to want to breach into it.

And when I got all that book recommendations, I realized something. I learned that all these time, I was the one who limit myself from finding out more and discovering Non-fiction books.

I have always associated Non-fiction books as “school books” or”smart people books”. As in, those books can only be read by smart people and smart people only. I don’t know what happened in my childhood that I could not remember that might have traumatized me to non-fiction books, but that is how it panned out.

And since your girl here is still just a little bean with not a lot of brain, I – somehow, don’t ask me why because I don’t know either – just pushed the notion reading non-fiction books aside immediately. Without even first experiencing what it feels like to read a non-fiction book.

So today, I thought to rectify the situation. Since I have already gotten so many recommendations from so many friends and people online. I decided that I am going to go through with it.

 

non-fiction book recommendation

 

What’s to lose? The worse case scenario is that I don’t enjoy it. Which, if that is to happen, I can just easily stop reading, and pick up something new to read. Best case scenario, I gain some brain power and become a more informed cookie than I was yesterday.

With that said, do not expect anything to change anytime soon. I am still going to be a sloth who enjoys rolling around and doing nothing. Just as I will still read, rant and gush about my fiction books. Everything will remain the same. Other than that sometimes, I will now also throw in a non-fiction book or two every now and then to spice things up.

And for those of you who are also thinking about picking up a non-fiction book, please, join me on my almighty and noble mission. Just kidding. But in all seriousness, if you too are looking to start reading, be it fiction or non-fiction, or kids books, or comics.

Here is one advice I can give you : just start. Crack that book open and start reading. No buts, no ifs.

Like what Nike said : Just Do It. 

Plus, there is no day like today to learn and try something new, don’t you think so? *wink*

 

 

 

 

 

non-fiction book recommendation

 

1. Into Thin Air 

 

Genre : Adventure, Autobiography, Travel, History, Non Fiction

Type   : Standalone

Status : Published

 

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A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that “suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down.” He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more–including Krakauer’s–in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer’s epic account of the May 1996 disaster.

 

 

 

non-fiction book recommendation

 

2. Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

 

Genre : Adventure, History, Biography, Non Fiction

Type   : Standalone

Status : Published

 

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In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery–and make history themselves.

For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.
But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment.
No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location.

Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors–former enemies of their country. As the men’s marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew.

Author Robert Kurson’s account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the ocean’s underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea.

 

 

 

non-fiction book recommendation

 

3. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

 

Genre : History, Science, Philosophy, Anthropology, Non Fiction

Type   : Standalone

Status : Published

 

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100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens.

How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?

Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power … and our future.

 

 

 

non-fiction book recommendation

 

4. The Monster of Florence

 

Genre : Mystery, True Crime, History, Non Fiction

Type   : Standalone

Status : Published

 

BLURB  :

 

In 2000, Douglas Preston fulfilled a dream to move his family to Italy. Then he discovered that the olive grove in front of their 14th century farmhouse had been the scene of the most infamous double-murders in Italian history, committed by a serial killer known as the Monster of Florence. Preston, intrigued, meets Italian investigative journalist Mario Spezi to learn more. This is the true story of their search for–and identification of–the man they believe committed the crimes, and their chilling interview with him. And then, in a strange twist of fate, Preston and Spezi themselves become targets of the police investigation. Preston has his phone tapped, is interrogated, and told to leave the country. Spezi fares worse: he is thrown into Italy’s grim Capanne prison, accused of being the Monster of Florence himself. Like one of Preston’s thrillers, The Monster Of Florence, tells a remarkable and harrowing story involving murder, mutilation, and suicide-and at the center of it, Preston and Spezi, caught in a bizarre prosecutorial vendetta.

 

 

 

non-fiction book recommendation

 

5. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil 

 

Genre : Mystery, True Crime, History, Travel, Autobiography, Classic, Non Fiction

Type   : Standalone

Status : Published

 

BLURB  :

 

A sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city has become a modern classic.

Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.

It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman’s Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the “soul of pampered self-absorption”; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight. These and other Savannahians act as a Greek chorus, with Berendt revealing the alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive in a town where everyone knows everyone else.

 

 

 

non-fiction book recommendation

 

6. Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris

 

Genre : Mystery, True Crime, War, WWII, Cultural, Non Fiction

Type   : Standalone

Status : Published

 

BLURB  :

 

Death in the City of Light is the gripping, true story of a brutal serial killer who unleashed his own reign of terror in Nazi-Occupied Paris. As decapitated heads and dismembered body parts surfaced in the Seine, Commissaire Georges-Victor Massu, head of the Brigade Criminelle, was tasked with tracking down the elusive murderer in a twilight world of Gestapo, gangsters, resistance fighters, pimps, prostitutes, spies, and other shadowy figures of the Parisian underworld.

The main suspect was Dr. Marcel Petiot, a handsome, charming physician with remarkable charisma. He was the “People’s Doctor,” known for his many acts of kindness and generosity, not least in providing free medical care for the poor. Petiot, however, would soon be charged with twenty-seven murders, though authorities suspected the total was considerably higher, perhaps even as many as 150.

Who was being slaughtered, and why? Was Petiot a sexual sadist, as the press suggested, killing for thrills? Was he allied with the Gestapo, or, on the contrary, the French Resistance? Or did he work for no one other than himself? Trying to solve the many mysteries of the case, Massu would unravel a plot of unspeakable deviousness. When Petiot was finally arrested, the French police hoped for answers.

But the trial soon became a circus. Attempting to try all twenty-seven cases at once, the prosecution stumbled in its marathon cross-examinations, and Petiot, enjoying the spotlight, responded with astonishing ease. His attorney, René Floriot, a rising star in the world of criminal defense, also effectively, if aggressively, countered the charges.  Soon, despite a team of prosecuting attorneys, dozens of witnesses, and over one ton of evidence, Petiot’s brilliance and wit threatened to win the day.

Drawing extensively on many new sources, including the massive, classified French police file on Dr. Petiot, Death in the City of Light is a brilliant evocation of Nazi-Occupied Paris and a harrowing exploration of murder, betrayal, and evil of staggering proportions.

 

 

 

 

 



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