Top Ten Tuesday

toptennonfiction

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week the challenge was to make any list we wanted.  So, in honor of my friend Nate, lover of all things non-fiction, I decided to make a list of my top ten favorite non-fiction books.  They may not be ones that he would like, but it goes to show that I do read and enjoy non-fiction now and then!

  1. Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder – My geekiness comes out here, part of me will always be an engineer and I loved this story of a group of brilliant and dedicated engineers at Data General as they design and build a new computer in just one year.
  2. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham – Thomas Jefferson is probably the figure from American history that I most admire and this biography was engrossing and enlightening.
  3. Whatever it Takes by Paul Tough – Although the task is daunting and the statistics sometimes overwhelming and depressing, the story of the work that Geoffrey Canada is doing for literacy and learning through the Harlem Zone is inspiring.
  4. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – McDougall provides an engrossing story about ultra-runners, from scientific research to the natives in an isolated part of Mexico that run hundreds of miles, to a race between those very natives and the world’s best ultra-distance runners.  Makes me want to run and fell the wind in my hair and the earth beneath my feet…
  5. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand The story of Louis Zamperini’s life, from his delinquent childhood to the Berlin Olympics to harrowing experiences during World War II and his recovery upon returning home, is an amazing tale of perseverance and faith.
  6. Ghost in the Wires by Kevin MitnikNow the dork in me comes out again… For years Kevin Mitnik was the most elusive computer hacker in the world, and hacking was a game to him, a cross between a puzzle and a con.  This story of his escapades, his run from the authorities, and his ultimate capture is an amazing thrill-ride.
  7. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – A fascinating biography about a fascinating man – a jerk and a genius, one inseparable from the other in his pursuit of absolute perfection.  A technological revolutionary who connected art and technology and consumers as never before.  This story of his life is well-balanced and interesting (and the geek in me loved to read about the development of some of the most famous products in technology history), providing an unbiased glimpse into the life of a unique man.
  8. Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls – I found Jeanette Walls’ memoir, Glass Castles, to be compelling, but I absolutely loved this story of her grandmother, a tough, no-nonsense woman who was breaking horses when she was six, travelling along to an isolated town to teach when she was fifteen, learning to fly planes and running a vast ranch through both personal and natural disasters. A truly captivating story about an amazing woman and her life.
  9. Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma – I love to read with my kids, and although I do try, we don’t manage to make it every night.  In fourth grade, Alice and her father decide that they are going to read together for at least ten minutes every night for 100 nights.  After the 100 nights are over, they keep going, reading together every night until Alice goes to college.  This book tells the story of their relationship through the stories that they shared together, making me hope that the stories I have shared with my children will have an impact as well.
  10. The Outermost House by Henry Beston – For years my husband and I would take the kids and stay for a week in a small ramshackle cottage on the dunes of Cape Cod on the National Seashore.  Henry Beston’s descriptions of his solitary year spent there are beautiful and captivating; they always take me back to one of my favorite places to be.

Tuesday Top Ten

toptenwords

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week the challenge was to list the top ten phrases or words that draw you to a book – that cause you to pick-up a book at the library or buy it at the bookstore.

  1. BOOKS!  Books about books, bookstores, book groups, libraries, authors – I am truly a bibliophile and will pick up anything that mentions books.  I probably could’ve made my entire list out of book-related phrases, but it felt like it would be cheating…
  2. The Beach – If I could spend my days on the beach, watching the ocean (no matter the weather) with a book in my hand I would be exuberant!
  3. Ireland – The only Irish thing about me is my husband, but I love to read about Ireland, whether it’s a story of work-weary folks struggling to survive or a story of mysticism and belief, it always seems to be a world in which I become engrossed.
  4. Italy – Although I’ve never been there, I love books about Italy – the art, the music, the architecture, the history, the food…  I really need to plan a trip!
  5. Food – I love books about food, especially those that so artfully describe the art of creating it and the joy of consuming it.  I love to cook and while these books always make me hungry, they also inspire me to try new culinary creations of my own!
  6. The South – Maybe it’s because I’ve spent most of my life shivering in upstate NY, but I always love stories of the south – the relaxed pace and the warm air.
  7. Road Trip – There’s something about the idea of heading out on the road, leaving your cares and responsibilities behind, and heading out on an unknown adventure that is always appealing.
  8. Mystery – I admit it, I love a good mystery, and even some not-so-good mysteries – be they thrillers or fun cozy-mysteries I love a whodunit.
  9. Founding Fathers – I am always intrigued by our founding fathers and others from the revolutionary time in our country’s history – admittedly Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, and Abigail Adams are my favorites, but I will take more than a passing glance at a book about anyone during that time period.
  10. Tech Stuff – Must be the engineer in me still lives on to some extent, I love geek books (maybe not the technical volumes anymore, but still geeky nonetheless) – Skunkworks by Ben Rich and Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder are two that I found inspiring and fascinating.