I read a lot of non-fiction. Here are the top six* from the 30 or so non-fiction books I read in 2015.
  1. Sixth Extinction - Elizabeth Kolbert
    In which we learn about the previous five worldwide animal extinctions, and why the signs and science points to the likelihood that we are living in a sixth man-made mass extinction.
  2. 1913: The Year Before - Florian Illies
    A super witty and entertaining look at the year before the Great War through biography of what certain key historical people were doing in the year. A focus on the cultural (not just the political) makes this a fun and enlightening read.
  3. Love + Sex With Robots - David Levy
    Exactly what it sounds like: an artificial intelligence expert writes about humans' love for inanimate objects and our eventual need to 'do it' with very interesting androids. (See also the films Ex Machina, Chappie and Her).
  4. Dead Wake - Eric Larsen
    A compelling and well researched traditional history of the last crossing and sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania with a focus on the people involved, including those in the submarine.
  5. Mapheads- Ken Jennings
    Highly recommended if you are a map nerd and lover of trivia. Jennings is an excellent writer who does great research for his books. Plus he's funny.
  6. Wright Brothers - David McCullogh
    Traditional history of how Wilbur and Orville overcame the bounds of gravity with their flying machines. Still pretty fascinating.
  7. **. Honorable mention but probably only fascinating to me and other fans of professional cycling:
  8. Lance Armstrong's War - Daniel Coyle
    Written during the cyclist's seventh Tour de France 'victory' and completely fascinating in new ways when reading after knowing what we learned about his blood doping and cheating ways. Read with Coyle's 'The Secret Race,' his written-with-Armstrong-teammate-Tyler-Hamilton's doping confession, and you will be both outraged and sympathetic.