Fun to read non-fiction books

Or at least non-fiction books that you actually read because of interest and not just for school assignments or work.

For me, Uncle John’s Bathroom reader

I’ve had America: The Book and Pauline Kael’s For Keeps in my bathroom for a while.

I should be finished both, but I usually dump out at work so I don’t spend a lot of time in there.

Wow, just about all I read is non-fiction so it is all fun for me. I love the Uncle John’s readers, too!

Lately I’ve read Tony Bourdain’s new collection of essays The Nasty Bits which was very entertaining and hiliarious!!

If you like baseball, hell, even if you don’t like baseball, I would highly recommend The Soul of Baseball: A Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America. Wonderful book about the great Buck O’Neil, Negro Leagues icon. The author follows Buck during what ended up as the last summer of Buck’s 94 years. Funny stories, heartwarming anecdotes. Buck was a unique original.

Right now I’m reading Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell. Written in 1933 he chronicles his years as a “starving artist”…so far it is great fun, he has a sly wit when describing poverty. Poverty-stricken myself lately it’s a bit comforting to read about his travails.

I don’t really understand the point of the non-fiction distinction, but I’m enjoying David Sedaris’s Naked at the mo.

Persian Fire by Tom Holland is great reading.

I quite enjoyed South by Sir Ernest Shackleton. It’s Shackleton’s own account of his ill-fated South Pole expedition in 1914, and while it is non-fiction (history), it reads like an exciting adventure novel.

I read mainly nonfiction, and I have loved many nonfiction works. One of the more compulsively readable was “Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers” by Mary Roach. I also loved “The Hero With A Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell, “A History of Pi” by Petr Beckmann, all of the “Big Secrets” books by William Poundstone, “Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment” by W. Richard Stevens, “The C Programming Language” by Kernighan and Ritchie, and “A History of Western Philosophy” by Bertrand Russell.

I enjoy Peg Bracken and Lora Brady, both of whom write cookbooks.

Anything by Asimov and Heinlein. Those guys were very interesting, fiction, fact, or opinion.

Stephen King’s Danse Macabre and On Writing. I recommend them to anyone who thinks that King only writes horror fiction.

The Daily Cocktail is an interesting gem–a guide to alcoholic drink inspired by an historical event that took place on that day. If you’ve ever wondered what drink to serve for the events that involved the Menendez Brothers, OJ Simpson, Joey Buttafuco or John Wayne Bobbitt, this book is for you!

IF you like business and business scandals, try James Stewart’s Den of Thieves, which is about the Ivan Boesky/Michael Milken scandals, and Disneywar, about the Michael Eisner era at Disney and Kurt Eichenwald’s The Informant, about price fixing at Arthur Daniels Midland, and Conspiracy of Fools, about Enron.

There’s a rather obscure author named Cecil Adams…
However, if well-researched serial-killer accounts that flow like novels are your idea of fun (and they are mine), then Harold Schechter’s DEVIANT (Ed Gein), DERANGED (Albert Fish) and DEPRAVED (H.H. Holmes) are quite entertaining.
Jay Robert Nash’s less-well-researched BLOODLETTERS AND BADMEN is also fun, though not as reliable.

Timothy Ferris is an enjoyable science writer. he takes difficult concepts and makes them fairly understandable to the lay person without dumbing it down. I kind of like Roger Penrose, too.

Calvin and Hobbes collections are an awesome way to pass toilet time.

A couple that I’ve mentioned before in other threads, that are funny, educational, and an absolute blast to read:

The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, by A. J. Jacobs
Sperm Are from Men, Eggs Are from Women: The Real Reason Men And Women Are Different, by Joe Quirk

I’m currently reading Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die by Michael Largo and Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger. Both are good.

I’m currently enjoying David Christian’s Maps of Time, a book about the history of the universe, the galaxies, suns, planets, Earth, life, us.

I loved Devil’s Candy: The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes to Hollywood, a book about the making of the movie. I loved the book The Bonfire of the Vanities, and like most fans of the book, was astonished at the atrocious movie. Julie Salamon, the author of Devil’s Candy, gives a blow-by-blow description of the making of the movie. A brilliant exposé of a movie gone terribly wrong.

Seconded. She also wrote Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife. From the Publishers Weekly review:

There’s even a mention of Cecil!

Mein Kampf…fuckin’ hilarious

I hope you also recommend Hearts In Atlantis. Though that does have a supernatural element, it’s definitely not a horror novel (and has a lot more than the movie did).

Also enjoyed:

Savage Love, The Kid, Skipping Towards Gomorrah, and The Commitment, all by Dan Savage, a gay man who writes an advice column and has adopted a child.

The books of Bill Bryson. My favorite is his latest, a memoir of his childhood called The Thunderbolt Kid.

**Malcolm Gladwell’s ** Blink and The Tipping Point.

**Paco Underhill’s ** Why We Buy: the science of shopping, and The Call of the Mall.

**Paul Feig’s ** Kick Me and Superstud (memoirs count, right?)

**Mark Salzman’s ** True Notebooks, his account of teaching writing to juveniles in prison.

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt.

All you can find by Robert Sapolsky, who writes on animal and human behavior.