Book Discussion Thingie - Book The Second! - Initial Nomination Thread AKA BBBBSBC 2 - Non-Fiction Boogaloo

Hi all,

Time to nominate a new book for our BBS Book Discussion Thingie. The consensus this time 'round seems to lean toward the Nonfiction.

How 'bout you post nominee books for us to read this time 'round. We will also (eventually) discuss possible modifications to the reading and discussion schedule we used last time, though that discussion may well end up in a separate thread. Once we have a goodly number of nominees, we’ll set up a system whereby to vote for the actual book we’ll end up reading. All and sundry are welcome to join in. We had lots of fun last time, even though the book we chose didn’t end up being universally adored. Even with a sucky book, we proved we can have an engrossing and enlightening conversation!

Now to seize the attention of our prior readers: @Raita, @Mindysan33, @funruly, @penguinchris, @OtherMichael, @noahdjango, @miasm, @daneel, @SmashMartian, @chgoliz


Continuing the hail… @ChuckV, @Elusis, @jlw, @aeon, @Ignatius, @ActionAbe, @crenquis, @jerwin

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Looks at library ‘for later’ shelf.

All I seem to have on the non-fiction side is

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Unless you fancy reading Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography or something? :wink:

I have not read it, though I’ve been meaning to,

I made some suggestions here.

Yeah, that could be fun.

Offered for om nom nomination…


I believe my sister read this some years ago, and I’d been meaning to read it as well:

From the author of the highly praised The Pencil and The Evolution of Useful Things comes another captivating history of the seemingly mundane: the book and its storage.

Most of us take for granted that our books are vertical on our shelves with the spines facing out, but Henry Petroski, inveterately curious engineer, didn’t. As a result, readers are guided along the astonishing evolution from papyrus scrolls boxed at Alexandria to upright books shelved at the Library of Congress. Unimpeachably researched, enviably written, and charmed with anecdotes from Seneca to Samuel Pepys to a nineteenth-century bibliophile who had to climb over his books to get into bed, The Book on the Bookshelf is indispensable for anyone who loves books.

I nominated a non-fiction book before – John Mearsheimer’s The Israel Lobby – and I still think it’s a good nomination but I’m a little worried about drive-by trolls (it’s a hot-under-the-collar topic, after all).

Books where the author delves deeply into one subject are a favorite genre of mine, so either the fork or book book (hah!) would interest me.

Thanks for keeping the ball rolling, @Donald_Petersen!

I’d like to suggest this, but I don’t think it’s possible to get a copy anywhere.

How about this?

Or one of DFW’s essay collections?

Or some of Will Self’s non-fiction writing? (I read Feeding Frenzy some time back, these might be good)

or Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note?

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I nominate One Nation Under God.

At various times in a span of fifteen years, John McPhee made geological field surveys in the company of Eldridge Moores, a tectonicist at the University of California at Davis. The result of these trips is Assembling California, a cross-section in human and geologic time, from Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada through the golden foothills of the Mother Lode and across the Great Central Valley to the wine country of the Coast Ranges, the rock of San Francisco, and the San Andreas family of faults. The two disparate time scales occasionally intersect—in the gold disruptions of the nineteenth century no less than in the earthquakes of the twentieth—and always with relevance to a newly understood geologic history in which half a dozen large and separate pieces of country are seen to have drifted in from far and near to coalesce as California. McPhee and Moores also journeyed to remote mountains of Arizona and to Cyprus and northern Greece, where rock of the deep-ocean floor has been transported into continental settings, as it has in California. Global in scope and a delight to read, Assembling California is a sweeping narrative of maps in motion, of evolving and dissolving lands.

I’ve read this one (the blurb mentions just the radio series not the book) and it is fantastic:

On that note though I too would like to read The Sixth Extinction.

It does occur to me that many non-fiction books would be difficult to discuss in this free-form context. Hard to really say for sure I suppose.

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Lots of interesting ideas here.

I realized there were two, both by a friend of mine, which might be good suggestions (and which would pass the Tempest challenge as well).


Thomas Piketty:

WEB DuBois’ Darkwater (I think this is also free online? :

Did anyone mention Mearsheimer and Walt?

These are all books I’ve wanted to read for a while, and haven’t gotten around to it. I’m sure there are more, but that’s probably enough from me for now!

Sorry about the late response… I’ve been out of town!

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You’ve been out of town getting some sort of award for your paper!

Piketty would be a timely choice.


Maybe a book that isn’t explicitly political, to start? Sure, everything can be political. but I’d prefer to discuss something with a political subtext over a book with explicit political overtones. It’s less obvious.




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The Graphic Novel adaptation, published by Heavy Metal books?

Side note: many books share the same title-- link to a bookseller or a library, if possible?

This guy?

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