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Old 08-27-2009, 04:15 AM
1,156 posts, read 3,765,011 times
Reputation: 778


"The Americans" by Daniel Boorstin. A multi-volume series that encapsulates early American history in a thoughtful, transparent and revealing way. It is so good, in fact, I think it should be made mandatory reading for every U.S. high school or college student.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:50 AM
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,232 posts, read 46,464,913 times
Reputation: 11081
The Art of War...Sun Tzu.
The Dictionary of Misinformation

Anyone remember that Cultural Literacy book? The one that contained all the knowledge an adult should know? Well, I got my hands on it and they put Jacksonville as the capital of Florida. It's been Tallahassee for years. Perhaps before it became unified, Jacksonville might have been a capital, but not since unification.

Still looking for The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi.
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:37 AM
Location: Bangor Maine
3,440 posts, read 6,509,152 times
Reputation: 4049
Saga of the Mitford Sisters by Mary S. Lovell

If you are interested in the period around WW2 this book fits in nicely with that. These sisters (6 of them) were born in England around the 1920's and came of age in the 40s. They all lived fascinating lives. There was one brother but he died as a young man I believe. It was well researched and I just can't forget it. I think I read it about 4 years ago. One of the sisters was a friend of Hitler and one ended up coming to the US to live. Several wrote books, which I intend to read.
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:46 AM
Location: Pittsburgh
29,595 posts, read 34,022,054 times
Reputation: 76435
I love the Mitfords. There's a great book, The Mitfords: Letters between Six Sisters that is a collection of their correspondence from the 1910s and 20s all the way up to a few years ago when Diana (the second-to-last living sister) died.
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:02 PM
1,079 posts, read 2,638,688 times
Reputation: 734
I'm not sure if it's been mentioned, but one of my favorites is "Common Ground" by J. Anthony Lukas. About forced busing in Boston. Highly recommended to pretty much anyone.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:09 PM
13,499 posts, read 18,063,197 times
Reputation: 37885
1. A Few Bloody Noses, Robert Harvey - a history of the American Revolution from the British viewpoint. Very informative and very well written. This author even has the ability to write battle narratives that are clear and succinct and didn't push me into a semi-coma.

2. The Ascent of George Washington: the Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon, John Ferhing. Like most Americans I was "educated" with an American history packed with plaster saints, the most boring of which had to be G.W. This book was a terrific antidote! It is not a biography strictly speaking, but rather a study of G.W.'s growth into and maturity as a man in the public arena.

I'm not an American history buff, but I would certainly recommend both of the above books to those who are, and even to others, who like me, may not be U.S. history buffs.

3. Park Güell: Gaudí's Utopia, Josep M. Carandell & Pere Vivas. Intended as a souvenir book I found the text as interesting as the photos, and the photos are nothing short of stunning.

4. The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window Into Human Nature, Steven Pinker. Not a scientific tome, and despite the quote "Awesome" from the Daily Mail review, it is not a book your seventeen year old is likely to shove in his back pocket either. Thought-provoking and entertaining at the same time; the chapter on foul language is worth the price of the book.

5. Basic Teachings of the Buddha, Glenn Wallis. This is not, in my estimation, an introductory or basic level book on its subject, at least not for someone who is looking for a first-time introduction to the subject. On the other hand, for someone who has read some of the many popular books on Buddhism (and these are usually books on religious Buddhism) this book takes you back to what are purportedly the basic teachings of the Buddha Buddha - his thoughts without the religious trimmings. The main part of the book is divided between a small number of short texts and the author's comments and explication. The somewhat longish intro shouldn't be skipped. I found this to be one of those books that really raised questions in my mind that are not easily answered, or may not have answers - and for me that is the mark of a well handled subject.

6. How to Do Everything: Microsoft Expression Web 2, Donna Baker &Rick Leinnecker. Because I had put up a large web site a few years ago (first one) using Microsoft's Front Page software, I thought that using MS Expression Web 2 would be a breeze. Well, it wasn't and neither was the "For Dummies" one on the subject. It was a totally unfocused mishmash, whereas this book has turned out to be what I was looking for....clearly written explanations and a logical sequence of topics.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:20 PM
Location: California
440 posts, read 1,026,105 times
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If you read Beautiful Boy, you also MUST read Tweak, it is the sons view of his whole drug addiction. Truly 2 amazing books, really puts things in perspective for you about todays issues with Meth.
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:24 PM
Location: Baltimore
1,802 posts, read 8,135,643 times
Reputation: 1974
Originally Posted by SactoBankerGirl View Post
Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer
- by James L. Swanson

This book is such a fast-paced, well-edited read, I will be surprised if it isn't made into a movie one day. Very good.
I concur - this was excellent.
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:51 PM
Location: Loudoun County, VA
1,148 posts, read 3,722,556 times
Reputation: 408
"Charlie Wilson's War" by George Crile and "Forever War" by Dexter Wilkins were my favorite non-fiction books this year. Both were written really well. The latter was actually one of the most touching and thought provoking books I've ever read.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:55 PM
Location: Illinois
4,751 posts, read 5,398,800 times
Reputation: 12999
First They Killed My Father by Luong Ung, recently followed up with Lucky Child

Luong Ung tells her story of survival under the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot. Both books are hard to put down and definite tearjearkers, but they also expose a lot of what was happening in Cambodia during and after the Vietnam Conflict, a part of history most Americans know virtually nothing about.
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