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Nominate a non-fiction book for the November book chat

Nominate a non-fiction book for the November book chat

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  • rudolphia rudolphia's Avatar 09-07-11 | 10:20 PM
  • November's genre is informational non-fiction. This could include books about nearly any topic. Some examples:

    Self-help
    Psychology
    Social trends
    Economics
    History and historical events

    Let's hear the ideas. I'll select the November book at random on September 30.
  • rudolphia rudolphia's Avatar 09-08-11 | 01:15 AM
  • I'll nominate An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales by Oliver Sacks.

    Amazon.com Review
    The works of neurologist Oliver Sacks have a special place in the swarm of mind-brain studies. He has done as much as anyone to make nonspecialists aware of how much diversity gets lumped under the heading of "the human mind."
    The stories in An Anthropologist on Mars are medical case reports not unlike the classic tales of Berton Roueché in The Medical Detectives. Sacks's stories are of "differently brained" people, and they have the intrinsic human interest that spurred his book Awakenings to be re-created as a Robin Williams movie.

    The title story in Anthropologist is that of autistic Temple Grandin, whose own book Thinking in Pictures gives her version of how she feels--as unlike other humans as a cow or a Martian. The other minds Sacks describes are equally remarkable: a surgeon with Tourette's syndrome, a painter who loses color vision, a blind man given the ambiguous gift of sight, artists with memories that overwhelm "real life," the autistic artist Stephen Wiltshire, and a man with memory damage for whom it is always 1968.

    Oliver Sacks is the Carl Sagan or Stephen Jay Gould of his field; his books are true classics of medical writing, of the breadth of human mentality, and of the inner lives of the disabled. --Mary Ellen Curtin
  • MrsPook MrsPook's Avatar 09-08-11 | 11:47 AM
  • I will nominate The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

    Amazon.com Review
    Author Erik Larson imbues the incredible events surrounding the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with such drama that readers may find themselves checking the book's categorization to be sure that The Devil in the White City is not, in fact, a highly imaginative novel. Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the fair's construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City" around which the fair was built. His efforts to complete the project, and the fair's incredible success, are skillfully related along with entertaining appearances by such notables as Buffalo Bill Cody, Susan B. Anthony, and Thomas Edison. The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event as well as his own charismatic personality to lure victims. Combining the stories of an architect and a killer in one book, mostly in alternating chapters, seems like an odd choice but it works. The magical appeal and horrifying dark side of 19th-century Chicago are both revealed through Larson's skillful writing. --John Moe
  • rudolphia rudolphia's Avatar 09-08-11 | 09:57 PM
  • That was a great one, Michelle.
  • MrsPook MrsPook's Avatar 09-08-11 | 11:35 PM
  • You read that one already Rudi? He has several others that looked good too so pick one of those instead you have not read.