13 October 2017

9 Nonfiction Books to Read Right Now

No matter where you live, October is a time for changing seasons. For me, the days are noticeably shorter, and I'm looking forward to cool evenings curled up with a book. This week I'm expanding my horizons by gaining new perspectives on humanity and learning more about life in other places and other times. The 9 books I feature today are exemplary of the outstanding nonfiction available in your bookstore right now.

What It Means to Be Human

9 nonfiction books to read in October
  • Admissions by Henry Marsh (Thomas Dunne, Oct. 3): A well-respected retired neurosurgeon examines his career with grace and style. Marsh provides a broad perspective by sharing not only his tenure in Britain's top hospitals but also his experiences as a volunteer in much poorer countries with few medical resources.
  • The Origins of Creativity by Edward O. Wilson (Liveright, Oct. 8): A Pulitzer Prize-winning evolutionary biologist looks at the intersection of the humanities and biology to explore the importance of creativity in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Wilson looks to our distant past and also offers his thoughts on how we can protect our planet's future.
  • On Living by Kerry Egan (Riverhead, Oct. 25): A compassionate hospice chaplain shares the life lessons she learned while tending to the dying. Egan writes that surprisingly few patients wanted to talk about God, instead finding meaning and purpose in their relationships with family and friends.
Insights into Other Lives

9 nonfiction books to read in October
  • Code Girls by Liza Mundy (Hachette, Oct. 10): A well-known journalist give thousands of women their rightful place among the American heroes of World War II. Mundy introduces us to the young female recruits who spent the war years breaking enemy codes, testing U.S. codes, and providing vital intelligence to the military.
  • Blood Brothers by Deanne Stillman (Simon & Schuster, Oct. 24): An award-winning author delves into the deep friendship between Sitting Bull, a Lakota Indian, and William Cody, the owner of the famous Wild West Show. Stillman focuses on the lives of the two men in the years after the Little Big Horn, placing their actions in the broad context of Native American rights both then and now.
  • The Six by Laura Thompson (Picador, Oct. 3): A freelance journalist gives us the inside scoop on the famous Mitford sisters. Thompson not only tells us the gossipy stories of the young women but notes how their very diverse lives reflected the changing British and European landscape surrounding the war years. (Note: not new, but new in paperback.)
Investigating Issues

9 nonfiction books to read in October
  • A Moonless, Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo (Hachette, Oct. 3): An on-site reporter provides a firsthand and personal account of devastating conflicts in four African countries. Okeowo reports on a small group of inspiring individuals who suffered and survived extremist violence and who are now trying to end further tragedy in their respective homelands. 
  • Wild Horse Country by David Philipps (Norton, Oct. 10): A Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist explores the history of the wild horse from its introduction by Spanish explorers to its hallowed place in the American imagination. Most important though, Philipps exposes the precariousness of the mustang's future in the ever-diminishing public lands of the west.
  • Death in the Air by Kate Winkler Dawson (Hachette, Oct. 17): A documentary film producer / journalist looks at the two active killers of 1952 London's harrowing winter of death. Dawson tracks the effects of the tens of thousands of deaths caused by a five-day noxious smog and the half dozen victims of a presumed serial killer, who was on the loose in the crippled city.


Tina 10/13/17, 6:36 AM  

Nude breakdown of books, I have an interest in Code Girls and the Admissions books.

rhapsodyinbooks 10/13/17, 6:59 AM  

Code Girls looks good to me!

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 10/13/17, 7:28 AM  

Great list as we're heading into Nonfiction November! I've been hearing a lot about Code Girls.

JoAnn 10/13/17, 8:14 AM  

Just in time for Nonfiction November! Admissions looks good to me.

Susie | Novel Visits 10/13/17, 8:49 AM  

I'm about 2 hours in on the audio version of Code Girls and it's great! Getting a jump on Nonfiction November!

bermudaonion 10/13/17, 9:00 AM  

Great round up of titles! I'm particularly interested in The Six.

Vicki 10/13/17, 10:23 AM  

Thanks for sharing this books with us. I've added a few to my list for Nonfiction November.

(Diane) bookchickdi 10/13/17, 10:58 AM  

I gave my mom a copy of Code Girls and On Living is a book I am going to order right now.

Esme 10/14/17, 10:31 AM  

These all look great. How are you? I have been silent for a few weeks-ok maybe last two months-time to pay attention to the blog again. Have a good Saturday.

Lisa 10/15/17, 9:09 PM  

Blood Brothers catches my eye as that relationship has come up in a couple of things i've read/listened to in the past couple of weeks. And Death In The Air because of The Crown - that was my first knowledge of that event in England. I can't imagine what it must have been like.

Iliana 10/16/17, 3:41 PM  

I'm looking forward to a couple of these, in particular Death in the Air and A Moonless, Starless Sky. Hope you enjoy whichever non-fiction titles you decide to read!

Daryl 10/17/17, 8:39 AM  

were i a non fiction reader i would be running to the book store after reading about these books

Becky G 10/25/17, 3:45 PM  

Admissions looks so good. I am reading a book series by a Dentist and it's amazing. It's Tooth is Stranger Than Fiction by Dr. Carroll James. Incredibly clever and funny, a great memoir read.

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