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Archive for 'Non-Fiction'

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History (2004/2009/2018) John M. Barry I started this immediately after finishing Gina Kolata‘s book on the flu. Interestingly, these books work well together. This book looks at things up to and during the outbreak, Kolata’s book is during and after the outbreak. This book covers […]

Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It

Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It (1999) Gina Kolata I’d been wanting to re-read Flu for years, however, I the digital version never went on sale. But when the Covid-19 pandemic started, it went on sale one day, and I snatched it […]

Lady Cop Makes Trouble

Lady Cop Makes Trouble (2016) Amy Stewart (Kopp Sisters) Set in New York and New Jersey in 1915. Constance Kopp has been working as a deputy, but since the county won’t allow her a badge and official position, she ends up relegated to prison matron. At the start of the book, she meets with Mrs. […]

Girl Waits with Gun

Girl Waits with Gun (2015) Amy Stewart (Kopp Sisters) Set in New Jersey in 1915. After the disappointment of the previous book I finished, I needed something completely different to clear my brain. I probably read the first paragraphs of about five books before I settled on this. First. Constance Kopp was a real woman, […]

The Apple Lover’s Cookbook

The Apple Lover’s Cookbook (2011) Amy Traverso I’d just picked up a bunch of apples from the Farmers Market when I noticed this kindle book on sale. Generally, I prefer my cookbooks to be hardcover, but I did have a lot of apples, so I bought it. I’ve mentioned before that I tend to read […]

Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist

Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist (1994) Dr. William Maples I’ll be honest. I bought this on sale, so the fact I only paid a dollar or two for it colors my opinion. If I’d paid full price, I’d have liked it a lot less. Take that […]

Passionate Minds: Emilie du Chatelet, Voltaire, and the Great Love Affair of the Enlightenment

Passionate Minds: Emilie du Chatelet, Voltaire, and the Great Love Affair of the Enlightenment (2006) David Bodanis In France (and Europe) ~1706-1749 Unless you are a geek or a mathematician (or perhaps astronomer) you probably have never heard of Emilie du Chatelet. Not because she lacked achievements, but because she achieved those things as a […]

Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love

Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love (1999) Dava Sobel I read this a long time ago. Possibly soon after it came out. So when I needed some non-fiction bedtime reading, I decided to read it again. This book is based upon Galileo’s “124 surviving letters from the once-voluminous correspondence he carried […]

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions (2014) Randall Munroe I adore xkcd. It’s often funny, sometimes enthralling, and almost always makes you think. So when Randall Munroe wrote a book based upon his What If answers, I snatched it up. Because: Randall Munroe. But I bought the actual physical book, so it […]

My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places

My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places (2013) Mary Roach (T)he complete collection of her “My Planet” articles published in Reader’s Digest. She was a hit columnist in the magazine, and this book features the articles she wrote in that time. I adore Mary Roach’s writing. She makes me laugh, but also writes about […]

Dessert For Two: Small Batch Cookies, Brownies, Pies, and Cakes

Dessert For Two: Small Batch Cookies, Brownies, Pies, and Cakes (2015) Christina Lane Let me gush, for just a moment: I love this book. I love to bake, but I don’t love having more sweets than Michael and I should (or even can!) eat. But in baking, unlike cooking, you can’t just halve or quarter […]

Comfort and Joy: Cooking for Two

Comfort and Joy: Cooking for Two (2015) Christina Lane After falling in love with Dessert for Two by Christina Lane, I snatched up Comfort and Joy. The section we use most frequently is Anytime Comfort Foods, and although they’re not necessarily my comfort foods, what we’ve made is super delicious. One-Skillet Beef and Cheddar Paste […]

The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook

The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook (2014) America’s Test Kitchen In the past couple years I started to take cooking more seriously. I’ve always loved baking, but cooking? Not so much. On a whim I picked up a couple of cooking for two books, to see if not having to eat the same meal for […]

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal (2013) Mary Roach I love Mary Roach. I would love to be trapped in an elevator with her (unless she’s claustrophobic, in which case, that seems unfair). She is a science fan-girl of the best kind, and is unafraid to get into the nitty gritty details (and believe me, […]

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2012

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2012 (2012) Edited by Dan Ariely and Tim Folger I’ve mentioned before that I read non-fiction before bed. I like it, it’s interesting, but it doesn’t keep me awake, wanting to know what happens next. I’m especially fond of science writing, because I like science. So the Best […]

The Doctor Wore Petticoats: Women Physicians of the Old West

The Doctor Wore Petticoats: Women Physicians of the Old West (2006) Chris Enss The stories in this book are very interesting–it’s a look at the women who were the pioneers of medicine in the old West. The problem is that the writing is pretty terrible. Each women is introduced with a somewhat fictionalized tale of […]

She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth

She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth (2011) Helen Castor This was my most recent “read before bed” book, so it took me quite awhile to finish, and I can’t say that a lot of it will stick with me, but it was interesting. The book looks at queens who attempted to rule England […]

A History of the World in 6 Glasses

A History of the World in 6 Glasses (2005) Tom Standage I got this as a kindle deal, and was absolutely delighted by it. It’s a look at how six beverages–beer, wine, liquor, coffee, tea, and Coca Cola–changed the world. There were so very many fascinating historical tidbits, I’m afraid that on multiple occasions I […]

Lives of the Trees: An Uncommon History

Lives of the Trees: An Uncommon History (2010) Diana Wells Well. That only took about six months to read. Maybe more. That’s not to say it wasn’t interesting, and that I didn’t learn lots of fascinating stuff. But it was very good bedtime reading. I have to say, one of the things I’ve come to […]

Angel Killer: A True Story of Cannibalism, Crime Fighting, and Insanity in New York City

Angel Killer: A True Story of Cannibalism, Crime Fighting, and Insanity in New York City (2012) Deborah Blum If you’re looking for a light happy story–this is not the correct place to look. This is a true crime history of a man who kidnapped, tortured–and in some cases–at children. That’s now why I read this. […]

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 (2011) edited by Mary Roach and Tim Folger I’ll admit I bought this because 1) it was on sale and 2) because it was edited by Mary Roach. I have no idea is Mary Roach is a good editor or not on her own, but I love […]

Simply Sensational Cookies

Simply Sensational Cookies (2012) Nancy Baggett So, maybe I have a problem. This is the fourth cookbook–dessert cookbook (and third cookie book)–I’ve finished in a week. But I love baking. What can I say? And I’m always looking for just that perfect cookie. I have two other of Nancy Baggett’s dessert cookbooks, so when this […]

Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts

Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts (2012) Alice Medrich As I’ve noted before, I am very fond of Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies, so along with Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies I also picked up Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts. There are a lot of recipes I want to try here, though I have made only one […]

Rose’s Christmas Cookies

Rose’s Christmas Cookies (1998) Rose Levy Beranbaum You can tell it’s getting colder–I’m starting to obsess over baking books and looking and possible Christmas cookies. (NOTE: This is the ONLY Christmas thing I am interested in. I don’t want to hear Christmas music or see decorations until AFTER Thanksgiving.) I very much liked the pictures, […]

Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies

Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies (2010) Alice Medrich I love Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies so much that the pages fell out of my original copy. So how could I resist a new–and LARGER!–cookie book? So what do we have? ~340 pages of recipes with plenty of notes and pictures and options and alternatives […]

Hush Money

Hush Money (2010) Susan Bischoff Several months ago I read the story Impulse Control, set in the same world as Hush Money, and really liked it. So I bought Hush Money, and then kept thinking, “I don’t think I want to read this right now.” I don’t know why I do these things. Something happened, […]

Baking

Baking (2009) James Peterson I love baking books, and I especially love baking books that focus on technique as well as recipes. I love to bake, and I want to become a better baker. Cooking may be an art and a science, but baking is far more science than art, and knowing the science makes […]

The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography

The BetterPhoto Guide to Digital Photography (2005) Jim Miotke Let me be clear, this is not a bad book. It’s just not a useful book for me. This is an extremely basic book, covering things like the basics of taking pictures and file types. If you knew absolutely nothing or very little about photography, this […]

Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference

Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference (2010) Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu Let’s start this with a truth: Desmond Tutu is an amazing human being. Like his good friend, the Dalai Lama, he has lived through things that those of us in the developed world cannot even imagine yet has remained […]

Botany for Gardeners

Botany for Gardeners: Third Edition (2010) Brian Capon It’s been a long time since my botany classes in college. A long time. I’ve recently found myself trying to remember basic botany / plant physiology / plant geography etc recently, but as all my college text books are long gone, I decided I needed a refresh. […]

Fast Breads: 50 Recipes for Easy, Delicious Bread

Fast Breads: 50 Recipes for Easy, Delicious Bread (2010) Elinor Klivans and Susie Cushner As much as I love my Kindle, I can’t say I’ve had much of a desire to read cookbooks on it. But this was a deal I could hardly resist, so I went for it. Yes I did, in fact, read […]

A Field Guide to Eastern Forests: North America

A Field Guide to Eastern Forests: North America (1988) John Kircher and Gordon Morrison A long time ago, way back when I was in college, I studied Biology with a focus on plants. Because I love plants. I think they’re fascinating. When we had apartments, I always had houseplants, and once we had our own […]

Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History

Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History (2011) Bill Laws I like to read non-fiction books. First, I like learning stuff, and second, non-fiction is generally good to read before bed, since it tends to lack suspense and surprises. Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History cover a lot of plants, focusing on […]

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) (2012) Jenny Lawson As readers of my twitter stream and blog already know, I love The Bloggess. I fully admit she isn’t for every. After all, this is the woman whose tag line could (and should) be “knock knock motherfucker” But if she does amuse you […]

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities (2009) Amy Stewart Cute, and at times interesting, but also at times, she was trying way too hard. Plants (at least to me) are fascinating in and of themselves. And people do tend to naively assume that if someone is a plant it’s […]