I post quite a few children’s reading lists on here. But because I think kids who read have parents who read, every so often it’s fun to talk about what we grown-ups are reading as well.
I’m not really a non-fiction girl. I’m more of a geeky-British-fantasy, Lord-of-the-Rings-obsessed, Harry-Potter-loving, Narnia-visiting grown adult. You know, if we’re being honest.
But there are a handful of non-fiction books I’ve read that I couldn’t put down. That I find myself dwelling on for days or returning to re-read. When I listed them out, I realized it was a really weird assortment of books — two about extreme sports, one about a Holocaust survivor. A terribly irreverent series of essays. A marriage advice book. And one I can’t figure out how to describe except that it has a lot of stats. Huh.
1.) The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman: I suppose it’s strange to give newly married people advice books, but if I were to start, I’d give them this. A great exploration of the different ways people show love. Not everyone brings their honey flowers — sometimes they shovel the driveway, or make dinner, or tell you straight up. Translates to other relationships (including connecting with your kids) as well.
2.) Halfway to Heaven: My White-Knuckled, and Knuckleheaded Quest for the Rocky Mountain High by Mark Obmascik: I’m just going to begin by lifting the first line of the description from the book sleeve,
“Fat, forty-four, father of three sons, and facing a vasectomy, Mark Obmascik would never have guessed that his next move would be up a 14,000-foot mountain.”
He then spends a year climbing all 54 of Colorado’s “fourteeners”. Funny, full of interesting facts about Colorado and the odd people who’ve lived and made history here. But, I think, fascinating even to people who live elsewhere.
3.) The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom: A Dutch watchmaker and her family help Jews hide from the Nazis, until they themselves are captured and sent to concentration camps. The story is harrowing and uplifting and all those things, but the later part — when the war is over and she ministers to the people who imprisoned her and killed her family — makes me think I’ve never really forgiven anyone.
4.) The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell: An explanation of the moment when an idea or trend spreads worldwide. My favorite part is the anecdotes — the origins of Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues. New York in the ’90s. The ride of Paul Revere. Hugely entertaining with some interesting insights.
5.) Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris: I find a lot of books funny, and afterwards I tell people all the funny stories I’ve read (yep. I’m that lady at the party.). But it is rare that I actually laugh out loud when I’m reading. This book made me LOL, it really did. There are lots of bad words and some off-color humor and an essay on going to the bathroom that I skipped because ew. But the book is hilariously funny and his French teacher’s insults toward the end of the book are a thing of beauty.
6.) Born to Run by Christopher McDougall: You know — the book about the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico who run crazy long distances with just a few pieces of tire rubber on their feet? A look at eccentric ultra-runners and a little science about running and just a fun read for anyone who’s ever run at all.
Now it’s your turn — favorite non-fiction book? I need some new suggestions — go!
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