Monday, March 5, 2018

Nonfiction Recs

I'm a bookworm. I've been part of a book club for 14 years. I've been reading YA for the past 25 years as part of my work with teens and currently as part of an awards committee that I chair.  When not engaged in my required reading, I binge on fantasy and sci-fi because I like to escape to a world where most always the good wins.  I do, however, love well-written nonfiction. Some might believe I am still trying to digest Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks, but I've long since given that book away to a friend who might actually finish it. I've put together a list of some of my favorite nonfiction reads. 

5.  Do you like science, or more specifically chemistry?  Have you ever wondered about how and why they created the periodic table?  With the history of the discovery of the elements and their addition to the periodic table, Sam Kean, author of  The Disappearing Spoon has put together a collection of one of my favorite scientific reads.  You can read the chapters as stand alone pieces and keep dipping into it if the science gets too heavy to read from cover to cover.  I've encouraged our chemistry teachers to use this with their students.

4.  If you camp as much as I do, then you will love Hope Jaren's Lab Girl.  This memoir not only recounts Hope's life as a scientist and her descent into mental illness, but every other chapter explores the biodiversity of the forests that she is studying.  Her work captures many of the spaces that I've traveled to in America and also captures the life of a female scientist in a male-dominated field. 

3. Do you love maps?  I love my Rand McNally Atlas.  In times of great need when there is no phone access nothing beats the large pages of the map.  I've traveled across the United States with this as my guide.  Longitude by Dava Sobel reveals how longitude lines were discovered. Talk about a picture of tenacity.  It took over 25 years of research for this important discovery to be made.  Sobel's account is compelling and makes me treasure my maps even more. 

2.  Live long enough and you will encounter tough times.  My dad died when I was young and few people in my life understood my grief. That is why when I find a book that encapsulates the way I felt and sometimes still feel, I am glad to know I am not alone.  Sheryl Sandberg effectively captures these emotions in Option B and the layer of research here is interesting as well.  Recently my co-worker reminded me, that even though you go through tough times, you can still have an amazing life and I do. Option B is a book that reminds you how.

1.  Do you love New York City? Do you oysters?   Read The Big Oyster to learn about the history of NYC and about the biodiversity for oysters at that time. What is a luxury food for us was a commoners food back then.  This is history and science at its best.

What nonfiction do you suggest I check out?

1 comment:

  1. YES! I've recommended The Disappearing Spoon to so many people after we read it in book club. Miss you and the books!


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