Monday, April 19, 2010

Springtime Non-Fiction

Jerry Coyne has opened a thread asking for reading recommendations:

Please recommend one nonfiction book that you think everyone should read, and explain in no more than three sentences why we should read it. The book need not be about science, though those entries are welcome too. The only books excluded from this contest are mine and Darwin’s Origin, which has been done to death.
There are several recommendations I might have made if someone hadn't already -- Montaigne's Essays; Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel; Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea (forgive the excess of consonance); assorted titles by Stephen Pinker, Richard Dawkins, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Carl Sagan.

I threw in for Twain's Letters from the Earth, without which no reading life can be said to be complete. Sorry, but that's just the way the universe turns out if you carry it all through rigorously, not unlike the value of Pi or E = mc2. Don't hate the player, hate the game. (And don't hate the game -- it won't help.)

The thread closes on 23 April, so don't dawdle if you have suggestions to make. Reading the recommendations of others is its own reward, but the best recommendation submitted via comments to Jerry Coyne's post wins an autographed copy of his own excellent book, Why Evolution is True.

You have nothing to lose but a dull reading season, and quite possibly your chains.

1 comment:

Audrey said...

Thanks for these great suggestions! The book I am reading is called Loving in the Moment by Gina Lake. The author writes about loving and peaceful relationships in a practical, non-judgmental way. She focuses more on adults in their thirties and up and addresses anger, romantic illusions, addictions, abusive behavior and so forth. Very informative book, which is getting some great reviews lately.