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Blue Truck Recommends: Nonfiction Books

22 Mar

Nonfiction can be tricky, but when it’s good, it’s amazing.

Below are my top recommendations for nonfiction reads (in alphabetical order by author, ’cause that’s how nonfic rolls.)

The Diving Bell & The Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death, Jean-Dominique Bauby

Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper, Diablo Cody

Columbine, Dave Cullen

Abraham: Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths, Bruce Feiler

Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe’s America, Andrew Ferguson

The Know-it-All: One Man’s Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, A.J. Jacobs

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, A. J. Jacobs

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott

Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy, Melissa Milgrom

The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession, Susan Orlean

Pretty is What Changes: Impossible Choices, the Breast Cancer Gene, and How I Defied My Destiny, Jessica Queller

A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern Day Slavery, E. Benjamin Skinner

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Mary Roach

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Mary Roach

Cleopatra: A Life, Stacy Schiff (reviewed here)

Rats: Observations on the History & Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants, Robert Sullivan

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, James Swanson

Assassination Vacation, Sarah Vowell

Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Captain America, and the New Face of American War, Evan Wright

* * * * * * * *

(This post goes out to Shayla Dvorak, who asked me for recommendations for her nonfiction book group. Thanks for opening the wormhole into my brain.)

As always, happy reading!


Blue Truck Recommends: Books About Love

10 Feb

Valentine’s Day: at its core, it’s not about roses or candy hearts, grand gestures, pina coladas, or getting caught in the rain. Out somewhere beyond all that commercialism and making people feel bad, it’s about love.

(I think once upon someone even said, love is all you need, but I can’t be sure.)

Kicking off the first in a series, Blue Truck Recommends, here are my by-no-means-exhaustive suggestions for a few love-ly reads:

If you’ve lost some love…
Love is a Mixtape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield

If you want to lose some love…
Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross (reviewed here)

If love has been under your nose this whole time…
One Day by David Nicholls (sort-of reviewed here)

If you’ve got mad mama love…
Room by Emma Donoghue

If you’re having a rough time with this thing called love…
Say When by Elizabeth Berg

If you’re unsure whether marriage is compatible with love…
Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert

If you want a little magic with your true love…
Petty Magic by Camille DeAngelis (read my interview with the author)

If you know that friendship is its own awesome love…
Sideways by Rex Pickett

If love is different than you remembered it…
You Lost Me There by Rosecrans Baldwin (read my review)

If you want love that inspires you to make tremendous discoveries…
Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss (review forthcoming, hopefully)

If you believe love can be both huge and tender…
The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken

If you really love your coworkers…
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

If you really love your grandmother…
The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook

If you’re full of complicated familial love…
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (or anything by Jonathan Tropper, really)

If you believe in bravery and self-love…
Pretty is What Changes: Impossible Choices, the Breast Cancer Gene, and How I Defied My Destiny by Jessica Queller
The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank

If you know that “it’s complicated” is sometimes the only reasonable facebook relationships status answer to love…
Come Together by Josie Lloyd & Emlyn Rees

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers. But way more importantly: happy reading!

(photo credit to Keturah Weathers)

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