Today’s blogging challenge from Long & Short Reviews is ‘Favorite Nonfiction Book’, which is…er, problematic. I read over a hundred nonfiction books a year, and have done since I started keeping a book log in mid-2007. which means I’ve read over fourteen hundred nonfiction titles since January 1st, 2008. The last time I took I long look at my nonfiction favorites was in 2019, when I posted a list of fifty favorites from 2010 – 2019. Using my first recap (“Five Years of Reading”, May 2012), the 2020 post, and my last two annual wrapups, I present…. the Arch List, my favorite nonfiction from May 2007 until this very moment! Most of it is firm (Death and Life and Consolations aren’t going anywhere ever), but there are there are a few I debated. It’s twelve instead of ten for….let’s say religious reasons. It’s not because I couldn’t prune to ten. Nossir.
Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman
The Meditations, Marcus Aurelius
The Consolations of Philosophy, Alain de Botton
The Geography of Nowhere, Jim Kunstler
The Age of Faith, Will Durant
A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts, Neil Chaikan
The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, Jonathan Haidt
Happy City: Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design, Charles Montgomery
The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11, Garett Graff
The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Violence and Virtue, Richard Wrangham
12 Rules for Life, Jordan B. Peterson
The Only Plane in the Sky sounds interesting.
The best book on 9/11, bar none. I recommend to anyone.
Only read ‘Meditations’ on that List… Oh, and I’d struggle to get it down to 10 too, and I don’t read anything like the numbers you do!
I was tempted to just mention books I’ve read in the last 3 years, but then figured….ah, why not try the challenge of producing the uber-list?!
I think you’d find both Haidt and Wrangham interesting reads!
‘The only Plane in the Sky’ and ‘A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts’ sound very interesting.
Lots of interesting recs to check out, thanks!
Wow, some really great books, I’ve read Epictetus, but not Aurelius. Bookends of stoicism.
Yes! Seneca’s letters are also good, but I haven’t read a proper translation of Musonius Rufus yet, just excerpts.
Bookmarking your page so I can spend a little more time going through your reviews and investigating these titles. If people put them on favorites lists, I take notice. Thank you. Here is my list of nonfiction favorites. I am new to the link-up and giving it a try today.
There are a couple of these that look promising to me. I’ll be looking for Happy City: Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. I thought Only Plane in the Sky was excellent.
Agreed about Only Plane — have you ever encountered Lynn Spencer’s “Touching History”? It’s 9/11 as experienced by air traffic control, the airline companies, and US military aviation personnel. It alleges a fifth plane, which had a late takeoff and was grounded after news of the multiple takeovers took over. A group of four Arab passengers disappeared, leaving behind carryon luggage that proved to have box-cutters inside.
Oh my. That gives me chills.
As it did me! Have to wonder what the other target was.
That Richard Wrangham book sounds fascinating! I’m adding that one to my TBR.
He’s also done one on the effects of cooking on human natural history!
Oh, that sounds like fun too!