Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Non-Fiction That Is Non-Boring

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economi
In Freakonomics, explore the secrets of everything. The inner workings of a gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Klu Klux Klan. This books takes many long-standing and seemingly obvious common knowledge beliefs, reexamines them, and turns them upside down for you to see from a whole new angle. Thought provoking and difficult to put down, you will keep talking about it long after you do. 

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air. "Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder. "I'm a panda," he says at the door. "Look it up." The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation. "Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves." So, punctuation really does matter, even if it is only occasionally a matter of life and death. Has proper punctuation become an endangered species? This is a book for people who love punctuation, or could learn to love it more!

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

At least one-third of all people are introverts. They prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; they favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from Van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer. This book has the power to change how we see introverts and how introverts see themselves.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Full of principles for success in whatever you do, this book has sold 15 million copies since being released in 1936. Read about the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people over to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment. Would you like to achieve your maximum potential?

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau's personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance, this book, published in 1854, describes his two years living alone in the woods in Massachusetts. Like the woodland scenery, which you should see if at all possible, this book is utterly lovely.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser

Fast food - where did it even come from? And how has it seemingly taken over the world? Explore the answers to those questions and find other unsettling truths about the alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture, and even real estate.    

Outliers: The Story of Success by

"Outliers" are the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. What makes high-achievers different? Discover the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

So, what's your favorite non-boring non-fiction?

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