Entertaining & Informative Nonfiction
- •Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FoerA journalist decides to enter the Memory Olympics and documents the journey, including all the tricks he used to win!
- •The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Read, Think, and Remember - Nicholas CarrA history of the written word and how its transformation over centuries has shaped our cognitive process. That may not sound terribly interesting but I've never been so engrossed in a book - it's a fascinating read.
- •Born Standing Up - Steve MartinNo explanation needed, Steve Martin is the funniest.
- •How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World - Steven JohnsonJohnson's 6 innovations are not what you'd expect - not the car or the printing press or the Internet - but are instead certain building blocks on which our modern world was built. Really funny and witty read - you'll finish it in 2 days, I promise.
- •The Rule of Nobody: Saving America From Dead Laws and Broken Government - Philip K HowardI'm not sure what side of the aisle Philip K Howard is on, but I get the feeling it's not my side. That said, I think he does a great job of illustrating how bureaucratic our country has become and presents a strong argument for why things need to change. He asserts that when a legal system is as complicated as ours, we eliminate the ability to use common sense.
- •The Universe in a Nutshell - Stephen HawkingYou may know Stephen Hawking from his breakout hit "The Theory of Everything" but did you know that he's got a pretty impressive back catalogue? This book has lots of great illustrations and classic Hawking humor, so even though you'll only understand 7% of it, you'll have a good time reading it.
- •Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking - Malcolm GladwellI'd recommend all the Gladwell books, but this is the first one I read so it's on the list. Listening to Gladwell read his own work via audiobook is also a great way to spend long road trips.
- •The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason - Sam HarrisHarris is preaching to the choir - ironic, yes - but unlike his colleagues, Dawkins and Hitchens, I think he does a good job of not alienating the opposition too much. I can't imagine anyone is going to read this book and change their stance on faith and religion, but for those interested in reading a beautifully written and well articulated piece from a Godless heathen, I'd choose this one.
- •Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters - Matt RidleyI read this book my sophomore year of high school and have since read it 3 or 4 more times. It's a nice reminder of where we came from, how complex we are as humans - from a biological standpoint - and how much we still have to learn about ourselves.