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I keep going back to my nonfiction shelf and never get tired of it, so I think it's time to expand. Some favorites so far are The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir, Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, A Year in Provence and its follow-ups by Peter Mayle, The Hungry Ocean by Linda Greenlaw. I realize that covers a lot of territory.
What nonfictions are keepers on your shelf?
Here are some of my non-fiction keepers:
Having Our Say by the Delaney sisters
Footprints in the Soil by Rosemary Emery
Pau Hana by Ronald Takaki
The Power of Myth by Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell
Poemcrazy by Woolridge
The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoffs
An Autobiography by Gandi
It's Easier than you think by Sylvia Boorstein
Celebrate Life by Lewis
Good Dogs, Great Owners by Brian Kilcommons
Writer's Guide to Everyday Life (I have a few of this series)
Love Medicine and Miracles by Bernie Siegel
I'm hooked on non-fiction and I'm going through a true crime phase right now. I'm also a history lover. Anything by either Dave Pelzer or Torey Hayden are fantastic. Some of my recent favorites are:
Unnatural Death by Michael Baden
You'll Never Nanny in this Town Again by Suzanna Hansen
Coroners Journal by Louise Cataldi
90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper
Dead Reckoning by Michael Baden
Girl Interupted by Susanna Kaysen
These were my favorite nonfiction books in 2007:
Guns, Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond
Thunderstruck by Erik Larsen
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman
The Best of James Herriot
Life on the Great Lakes, A Wheelsman's Story by Fred Dutton
The Opposite of Fate by Amy Tan
Population: 485 by Michael Perry
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
If you liked The Life of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir, you might try the Tudor biographies by Carolly Erickson. She has a very easy-to-read writing style. I especially liked her biography of Mary Tudor, titled Bloody Mary.
I read the Professor and the Madman, I really liked it! Another nonfiction I forgot to mention was A World History of Salt, which discusses trade, economics, migration, etc. in the context of the production and availability of salt. It sounds so dry but ended up being really well written.
Cloi, does Carolly Erikson write nonfiction? I read a novel of hers about Catherine Parr and found it kind of bland...
I would also recommend books by Carolly Erickson if you like history. The books that I have read are fiction, but they are based on facts. Her books tell the life stories of royalty, like Queen Elizabeth, Marie Antoinette, Queen Victoria, etc. I have read several and enjoyed most of them.
A agree about SALT: A WORLD HISTORY. Mark Kurlansky has many good books. Might also try his COD.
Henry Petroski takes the same sweeping approach for THE PENCIL.
Charles Seife does a great history of ZERO.
I just read Hetty: The Genius and Madness of America's First Female Tycoon, by Charles Slack, and really liked it. This was a book club book that I didn't think I would like, but I was surprised that I did. Hetty Green was a strange woman who took a modest fortune and grew it into a huge fortune, on a par with Carnegie, Astor, the DuPonts, etc. The book is very accessible for the average reader - the financial discussions aren't too technical.
I also really liked The Great Influenza, by John Barry, about the flu pandemic of 1918. This is a more scholarly work than Hetty with a lot of science in it, but really interesting. One of my obsessions is plagues and deadly diseases, so this was right up my alley.
Now I have a whole bunch of books recommended on this thread on my wishlist...that's the only problem with nonfiction, it turns over a lot more slowly on PBS than fiction. Thanks for the feedback, I'll let you know how it goes!