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Old 08-19-2015, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 9,091,949 times
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I love animals, so my suggestions are related to nature but here goes:

Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
by Nathanial Philbrick. It is about the whaleship on which Moby Dick was based. A group of sailors' ship, the Essex, gets attacked and sunk by a sperm whale and the crew drift in the Atlantic for something like 45 days in whaleboats. Suffice to say, some people die and some people get eaten (by other people) and some people actually survive.

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. It is about the scrappy racehorse, Seabiscuit, who has been essentially discarded by owners and trainers because he is unconventional. Yet he becomes one of the most famous racehorses of all time and a symbol of the underdog American spirit when he races to victory during the Depression with the help of an understanding owner, trainer and jockey.

Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat. All about Mowat's experiences in Alaska studying wolves, which the researcher concludes are unjustifiably vilified and scapegoated.
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Old 08-19-2015, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Rural Wisconsin
9,886 posts, read 2,761,769 times
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My top ten, in no particular order:

1. The Right Stuff
2. The Perfect Storm
3. Seasbiscuit
4. In Cold Blood*
5. Into Thin Air
6. Into the Wild
7. A Night to Remember
8. Resurrection of the Romanovs (Re: the mystery of Anna Andersen/Anastasia)
9. Johnstown Flood - McCullough
10. One Child - Hayden


*In Cold Blood was promoted as being non-fiction, although I think it was later shown to be partly fictionalized.

I am not sure the above would classify as "must read's", but they were certainly as engrossing as any novel I've read.

(Good thread!)
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Old 08-19-2015, 05:53 PM
 
1,742 posts, read 1,502,729 times
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Just a couple for now. I'll come back later on with more. I'm a non-fiction person too. Oh, and I agree re: Bill Bryson. Everything I've read of his was enjoyable.

Both of these are by Erik Larson.

In the Garden of Beasts


The Devil in the White City

Thanks to the OP for starting this thread. I'm seeing some great possibilities already.
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Old 08-19-2015, 06:01 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,139 posts, read 22,861,802 times
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Most of my choices will be old and if you want them you might have to order them by interlibrary loan at your local library. I will go away for a small time to make sure I get the titles right.

Living on the Ragged Edge by Charles Swindoll
http://www.amazon.com/Living-Ragged-.../dp/0850090644

The Art and Skill of Getting Along with People by Sylvanus Milne Duvall (Author)
http://www.amazon.com/The-skill-gett.../dp/B0006AX90C

The Helper by Catherine Marshall
http://www.amazon.com/The-Helper-Cat.../dp/0800792971

I went back and read the thread title. I don't know that I would call these must reads but I wouldn't call a lot of books listed here as must reads. They're just books that helped me through life. I have wondered many times why anyone would want to know what is in the mind of a criminal? I can understand a detective or lawyer being interested in true crime but it puzzles me why anyone else would be interested.

Last edited by NCN; 08-19-2015 at 07:15 PM..
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Old 08-19-2015, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
27,241 posts, read 17,613,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerGeek40 View Post
Another good one is

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakaur -- the story of the 1996 Mt Everest Disaster.
Yes, this is a good read. Here is a recent article about his experience on Everest:

Jon Krakauer: Climbing Everest my 'biggest mistake' - CNN.com

I've also read his Under the Banner of Heaven. I found it fascinating.

Here is the title of his latest:

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:57 PM
 
3,180 posts, read 6,821,486 times
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Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder - the true story of Paul Farmer, MD who set out to prevent and cure TB in Haiti and beyond. You will be inspired, awed and perhaps motivated to do something better.
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Old 08-19-2015, 09:16 PM
 
Location: midwest
1,452 posts, read 1,116,622 times
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The Tyranny of Words (1938) by Stuart Chase
Anxiety Culture: Tyranny of Words - excerpt
http://archive.org/details/tyrannyofwords00chas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9H1StY1nU8

Actually I read Science and Sanity by Korzybski in my 20s. I didn't know about the above. S&S is notoriously difficult to understand but the above is easier. These books help you understand that you are being bombarded with concepts that are bull****.

psik
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetreelover View Post
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder - the true story of Paul Farmer, MD who set out to prevent and cure TB in Haiti and beyond. You will be inspired, awed and perhaps motivated to do something better.
You beat me to it! I was just about to post this. He also wrote Strength In What Remains. It chronicles the journey of a man who survived civil war and genocide in Burundi, arrived at JFK airport with two hundred dollars, no English, and no contacts. He eventually, thanks to strangers who changed his life, graduated from medical school and devoted his life to healing. He connected with Paul Farmer (above) who collaborated with him to provide health care back in his native country. Fascinating read!
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:46 PM
 
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And while I'm on a roll here, William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways is a great "road trip" book. He concentrates on the little-known roads and byways (the blue lines on the map), obscure small towns and the experiences and people he encounters in out-of-the way places in America on a 13,000 mile road trip.
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Old 08-20-2015, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Miami, FL
8,088 posts, read 8,298,943 times
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Must read to me is

F. Braudel's works on the Med and Capitalism
W. Churchill's WW1 and WW2 histories
E. Hobsbawm's various titles beginning with Ages.
W. & A. Durant Story of Civilization
Ancients: Herodutus, Thucydides, Tacitus, Livy, Plutarch
Various memoirs: Caesar, Xenophon,Froissart, Joinville, Bernal Diaz, Casas, Toqueville, Grant, Sherman, Graves, Sledge,
D.H. Fischer's Albions Seed and other works
Gibbon's Decline and Fall
De Votos' Histories of the early USA
H. Thomas's Spanish Civil War, Conquest, etc.
P. Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.
S. Runciman, The Crusades
Cattons' Civil War volumes
Foote's Civil War volumes
Weinberg Global History of WW2


Tip of the Spear and all that.

Last edited by Felix C; 08-20-2015 at 08:37 AM..
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