What Non-Fiction Are We Reading Now (July thru Sept 2022)?

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What Non-Fiction Are We Reading Now (July thru Sept 2022)?

Redigerat: jul 9, 2022, 8:14 am

Add your third-quarter postings here.

jul 10, 2022, 7:09 pm

Barnum: An American Life
Robert Wilson
5/5 stars
This is the biography of the amazing PT Barnum, who ran a museum of oddities, brought life to the circus and introduced some of his most famous acts to the American public including Jenny Lind, the Swedish songstress, Jumbo, the elephant and General Tom Thumb. The author paints a wonderful picture of his life, his family, the people that surrounded him and mostly his drive to entertain people. Highly recommended!

Redigerat: jul 11, 2022, 11:20 am

I finished my read of Opposing the System by Charles Reich and posted my review. Now I'll move on to Finding the Mother Tree.

jul 12, 2022, 8:50 am

About to embark on a history book discovering some of the under-represented working-class and middle-class women activists in late 18th and early 19th century Britain, Uncontrollable Women: Radicals, Reformers and Revolutionaries by Nan Sloane.

jul 12, 2022, 12:41 pm

Just finished Ripped From The Headlines. Real interesting..how lots of movies are based on true life crimes. Now I'm planning to watch some of the old movies listed ..

Redigerat: jul 14, 2022, 8:31 am

I'm reading Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie which combines the biographies of these three pioneering women journalists with the story of the beginnings of National Public Radio.

jul 15, 2022, 2:42 pm

jul 21, 2022, 9:37 am

jul 21, 2022, 3:18 pm

I'm reading This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs The Climate by Naomi Klein.

jul 21, 2022, 4:21 pm

The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood
Sy Montgomery
5/5 stars
This is the delightfully true story about Sy Montgomery, naturalist, writer and radio commentator, who along with her husband raised a pig who was sickly. With the help of their neighbors providing food and support, he recovered quickly, grew to 750 pounds and was a friend to the neighbors, a local celebrity and a beloved pet.

jul 26, 2022, 1:34 pm

Started Paths of dissent, my first book to revue for library thing on the 21st

jul 27, 2022, 4:53 pm

I stalled out on Finding the Mother Tree and I'm returning to it now.

In the meanwhile, I read and reviewed Lives of the Great Occultists.

jul 31, 2022, 12:50 pm

>14 LynnB: I like that author!

Redigerat: aug 2, 2022, 5:20 pm

High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out, by Amanda Ripley. So appropriate in our current political climate. Engaging case studies of different conflicts and how they were (or were not) resolved.

aug 7, 2022, 3:35 pm

I'm reading The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes by Scott Wallace. I've read about one quarter of the book's 740 pages and find the account riveting. Contrary to what the title may lead you to think, the expedition's goal is to leave these people uncontacted and protect them from outside their homelands. History has shown that contact nearly always ends in disaster for them and their way of life.

aug 8, 2022, 7:39 am

I finished the LTER book, The Forgotten Artist. This is the biography of landscape artist, Evylena Nunn Miller. Included are numerous color images of her paintings, detailed accounts of her travels, and transcriptions of announcements of her exhibitions. At times the day by day details seemed tedious but they did convey her energy and drive. That she can now be referred to as "forgotten" despite hundreds of paintings, exhibits, and self promotion is a sad but all too true outcome for most artists.

aug 12, 2022, 9:12 am

Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer
Barbara Ehrenreich
4/5 stars
I have read Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed and enjoyed that book. In this book she talks about how we spend more time worrying about living a long life as we put our bodies through dieting, fitness and medical tests. But science shows that the cells make those decisions on how long we live and not us. That maybe we should live our life fully and not worry about what we cannot control. I thought this was very thought provoking!

aug 13, 2022, 9:10 am

I'm reading a memoir called Half Broke by a horse trainer who was enlisted to train a herd of horses that had become semi-feral on a prison farm. Really interesting and well written so far.

aug 13, 2022, 10:25 am

>20 JulieLill: - I haven't read N&D, but was intrigued by your description of Natural Causes enough to get the audiobook from the library. Hm. Not sure what to make of her comparison of gynecological exams to sexual assault. I mean, how else is anyone supposed to examine a person? And the extension that doctors in western medicine are nothing but predators using their profession to get nekkid women. It's a bit much. Her whole stance is a bit whiny and strange. Not sure I'll keep going.

aug 13, 2022, 5:07 pm

I finally wrapped up Finding the Mother Tree (and posted my review). It was really good and deserved better attention from me than it got, with two long pauses early on and a rush through the final chapters.

In a major pivot, I think I will read Paine's Age of Reason next.

aug 14, 2022, 2:49 pm

>23 Bookmarque: I didn't agree with everything Ehrenreich wrote but I thought what she did write was quite intriguing.

aug 18, 2022, 12:22 pm

I've just started Nothing but the Truth by Marie Henein

aug 21, 2022, 2:21 pm

I've just completed Patrick Radden Keefe's excellent, disturbing history of the Troubles, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. The book is very readable and extremely compelling. Keefe has done a great job of providing a comprehensive account of the Troubles and especially of the human toll they took. My longer review is up on the book's work page and my 50-Book Challenge thread.

aug 22, 2022, 9:18 am

>27 rocketjk: One of my favorite reads of 2021.

aug 22, 2022, 10:50 am

>28 vwinsloe: I'm sure it will make my top 10 or maybe even top 5 list for this year.

Redigerat: aug 26, 2022, 3:40 pm

I wrapped up my read of The Age of Reason and posted my review. It has aged well! Next up: Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea.

Redigerat: aug 29, 2022, 12:01 pm

The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, And American Royalty In The Nation's Largest Home
Denise Kiernan
4/5 stars
This was quite an interesting story of George Vanderbilt, his wife and the building and history of the Biltmore House on 125,000 acres in North Carolina. The author takes us through the good and bad times of the family including what happened to them from both World Wars and the Depression. I have never been to the estate but I really enjoyed this book.

sep 3, 2022, 1:24 pm

>34 vwinsloe: I saw that she died but she left a nice legacy of written work!

sep 7, 2022, 2:42 pm

The SUPERGIRLS – Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and The History of Comic Book Heroines
by Mike Madrid
4/5 stars
Madrid discusses the history of the comic supergirls from the beginning in the 1940’s until the 2000’s. Very detailed and interesting.

sep 14, 2022, 12:18 pm

I finished the LTER book The End of Solitude. It was a very excellent thought provoking series of essays. His observations on present society, literature, and dance were spot on. I often found myself agreeing with his dismay with various present day trends but then had to recognize some ruts of thought that I have fallen into myself. There were a couple of essays about some literature critics that I found less pertinent to my experience.

sep 19, 2022, 7:28 am

I'm reading Caste, which is quite different than the narrative nonfiction of her previous book, The Warmth of Other Suns, but it is compelling.

sep 19, 2022, 7:53 am

>40 vwinsloe: Coincidentally, I just stayed up until almost 5:00 a.m. California time to finish up the last 60 pages of Caste, which I found very enlightening, disturbing and, I absolutely agree, compelling.

sep 19, 2022, 9:06 am

Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend
Mitchell Zuckoff
4/5 stars
Charles Ponzi, an immigrant from Italy came to America in 1920 to make it big. Unfortunately, life was hard in America but he eventually latched on to a scheme in Boston that made him a lot of money at the expense of others. Unfortunately, his scheme ended to be a house of cards falling when he thought he had it made! Well written and very interesting!

sep 20, 2022, 12:47 pm

I've just finished the astounding baseball memoir, The Boys of Summer, by Roger Kahn. My friend picked it as his selection for the monthly reading group we're both members of. I was a bit surprised to realize I'd never read the book, as it is of course considered a classic of the genre and was, in fact, a trailblazing book when first published. The writing is wonderful and the insights into the lives of ballplayers during the 1950s, and of so many other aspects of human nature in general and the ways in which our perspectives about our own youths change with the passage of time, are outstanding and compassionately rendered. If by some wild chance you're interested in my longer review, you can find it on my 50-Book Challenge thread.

sep 21, 2022, 2:28 pm

I returned to, and finished, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. In this clearly written, crucial and devastating book, Wilkerson lays out the concept of caste as it pertains to American society. The book more or less begins with the fact that racism grew out of a stronger group's desire to use "an arbitrary and superficial selection of traits" (Ashley Montagu as quoted by Wilkerson) to create an underclass. Wilkerson quoting Montagu again: "The idea of race was, in fact, the deliberate creation of an exploiting class seeking to maintain and defend its privileges against what was profitably regarded as an inferior caste." In other words, European colonizers needed an excuse to subjugate, plunder and murder the people they came in contact with.

These divisions and classifications hardened, with pseudo-science, religion, greed, hatred and ignorance acting as the cement among the brickwork. Now, white America is brought up with a wide array of assumptions about people who don't look like them. This holds true for working class whites who are taught to eschew social programs that could help them and their families if those programs will also help blacks. It also holds true for liberals (like me) who think they are past all that and who are well-meaning and think of themselves (ourselves) as "not seeing color," would never hesitate to shake hands with or even hire a Black person but who still embody a roster of unconscious suppositions about people of other races.

sep 28, 2022, 8:40 am

I finished Fellowship in Learning: Kalamazoo College, 1833-2008. A very good book outlining the history of the small liberal arts college, Kalamazoo College, addressing it's history in terms of administration, faculty, student life, fund raising with plenty of pictures. Since I, mother, aunts and uncles attended Kalamazoo College for 23 of those years, I very much enjoyed the book.

sep 28, 2022, 8:59 am

>46 snash: How fun and interesting.

sep 28, 2022, 11:37 am

>46 snash:

I'd love something like that for my alma mater Grinnell College. I'm not sure it doesn't exist, but the closest thing I could find in LT is Grinnell College in the Nineteenth Century.

sep 29, 2022, 6:09 pm

>48 paradoxosalpha: I recently ran into a fellow alumni (on my floor of my apartment building!) who had the book. I don't know how I would have found it otherwise. Obviously, he'd kept up with the alumni community more than I.

sep 29, 2022, 7:10 pm

>48 paradoxosalpha: You should look at the Grinnell College Library site. They have a digital collection; and they probably also keep college related print materials.

Redigerat: sep 30, 2022, 11:34 am

Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America's First Sports Hero
Christopher Klein
4/5 stars
Klein does a wonderful job describing the colorful life of John L. Sullivan, pugilist and sports icon who was born in 1858 as he follows the ups and downs of his life and career till his death in 1918. Despite the lack of TV and radio, Sullivan’s popularity was one of the highest in the US and he was considered the US’s first sports hero. Highly recommended!