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Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here - Literature - Nairaland

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Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by AjanleKoko: 2:57pm On Aug 02, 2012
How many of us book-readers read nonfiction?
I'm not referring to your school books o. Just general interest stuff. Like Wiley's World History For Dummies. I think we get the general idea.


I like Malcolm Gladwell's books, obviously. I also like the Freakonomics series. I also read a lot of books about soccer, including Simon Kuper's Soccer Men and Soccernomics, and Graham Hunter's Barca: The Making of The Greatest Team In The World.

I have also read all three of Dambisa Moyo's books: Dead Aid, How The West Was Lost, and Winner Take All. Mohammed Yunus' biography, Banker To The Poor, and Friedman's The World Is Flat.

And of course, my most influential management book ever, Steven Covey's (God rest his soul) The Seven Habits of Highly-Effective People.

I'm a compulsive book-buyer, so I own all those books wink. So what nonfiction have y'all been reading lately?

1 Like

Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by naijababe(f): 4:43pm On Aug 03, 2012
The richest man in Babylon for the 100th time or so. I am surprised you like Covey so much, i have not been able to get myself to finish it. It's one of those fluffy books jare.

Hoping to move on to Plato's republic, hopefully I won't be bored to death.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by AjanleKoko: 4:56pm On Aug 03, 2012
naijababe: The richest man in Babylon for the 100th time or so. I am surprised you like Covey so much, i have not been able to get myself to finish it. It's one of those fluffy books jare.

Hoping to move on to Plato's republic, hopefully I won't be bored to death.

The Republic is a good read.
The Richest Man In Babylon is written like a novel, makes for easy reading. Covey is deliberate and emphatic in his books. But try to finish it, there is a lot of value therein.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by naijababe(f): 5:44pm On Aug 03, 2012
I'll make an effort but if turns out to be all fluff, you go pay for my time o and I hope you know my time is not cheap tongue
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by since1914(m): 5:14am On Aug 04, 2012
I like Malcolm Gladwell too. Have read three of his books. outlier, Tipping Point and Blink. Outlier is my best so far. I have also read the Richest man in Babylon, but it was a very long time ago...was probably too young to comprehend the morals of the book then. Will look for it one of these days.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by tpia5: 8:06am On Aug 04, 2012
have to think about it- dont know them offhand.


then again, which genre is being discussed.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by AjanleKoko: 10:18am On Aug 04, 2012
tpia@:
have to think about it- dont know them offhand.


then again, which genre is being discussed.

Nonfiction, general interest. Depends on what you are particularly interested in.

My preferences are, in no particular order: World History, Economic Viewpoints (not economics textbooks mind you), personal finance, management concepts & the subject of leadership.
I do read fiction, though not as much as I used to.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by mbulela: 8:07pm On Aug 04, 2012
Until i took an unplanned and disappointing leave from books weeks ago, i just finished reading The Paradox of Choice - Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz. One of my more favourite titles from the Behavioural Economics genre. Very practical book that left me thinking.
I left Italian Job by Gianluca Vialla /Gabriele Marcotti half way.That was my last read.
Read Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo a while back . I also read The age of Paradox by Charles Handy a while back and read the first Freakonomics.i felt the 2nd one was just an effort of greed. Abig fan of their podcast by the way.
I am hugely excited about Who Ate all the Pies by John Nicholson,can't wait to get back into the act of reading so i can get down to it.
Recently got How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton Christensen [/b]too, i'm a fan of his though their are aspects of his work i do not agree with.
Will have to find a delicate time to read [b]A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke
. Not an easy read i imagine.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by tpia5: 11:50pm On Aug 05, 2012
i read self help books, history, etc.

food- anything on healthy eating.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by PhysicsQED(m): 6:07am On Aug 06, 2012
I read a lot of nonfiction, almost exclusively science and history, although I have read a few biographies and a few books that I would describe as more philosophical or psychological.

Some very interesting books I've read in the past few months:

William Poundstone - Prisoner's Dilemma

Gerard Milburn - The Feynman Processor

Claude Levi-Strauss - Myth and Meaning: Cracking the Code of Culture

Roland Barthes - Mythologies

Charles Mann - 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus


Maybe this topic should be stuck to the front page by the mods.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by Nimshi: 1:05pm On Aug 06, 2012
PhysicsQED: interesting list. Do you know a lot about game theory?
Myth and meaning... slender book, but packed with good stuff.

Recent reads:
1) Crippled Giant - Nigeria since Independence (Eghosa E. Osaghae)
2) Reflections on the Nigerian Civil War (Raph Uwechue)
3) Federalism & ethnic conflict in Nigeria (Rotimi Suberu)
4) Fermat's last theorem (Simon Singh)
5) The code book (Simon Singh)
6) Small acts of resistance (Steve Crawshaw & John Jackson)
7) Covering Islam (Edward Said)
8') The Bottom Billion (Paul Collier)
. . .

Once I stopped driving to work, I found a fantastic way to utilise time on the train . . .

.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by PhysicsQED(m): 2:11am On Aug 07, 2012
Nimshi: PhysicsQED: interesting list. Do you know a lot about game theory?

No, not a "lot." Not really an area of focus for me, but I find it interesting.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by PhysicsQED(m): 4:11am On Aug 07, 2012
Some books I read a few years ago that I really liked and would recommend:

Arthur Koestler - The Sleepwalkers

E.T. Bell - Men of Mathematics

V.S. Ramachandran - A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness

Patrick Coffey - Cathedrals of Science

Timothy Ferris - The Mind's Sky

Michio Kaku - Physics of the Impossible

Andrew Hodges - Alan Turing: The Enigma

Martin Rees - Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape The Universe

Horace Judson - The Eighth Day of Creation

Schrodinger - What is Life

Freeman Dyson - Origins of Life

Joseph Stiglitz - Globalization and its Discontents




Non-fiction I'm reading now in between studying and internet browsing:

Che Guevara - Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War

Nancy Greenspan - The End of the Certain World: The Life and Science of Max Born

The Complete Works Of Chuang Tzu


I'd be interested in seeing what more posters are reading. I've added some books mentioned by others in this thread to my list of books to read.

1 Like

Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by pleep(m): 5:03am On Aug 07, 2012
^ Damn phsyics lol shocked.

I dont read much anymore, but some good non-fiction i have read are:

The dicoverers- Daniel J. boorstin

Ivan the terrible- Madariaga

Guns Germs and steel- Jared Diamond

The Art of Mackin'- Tariq Nasheed grin

Despite my interest in the subjects, most of these books were dreadful to read.

AjanleKoko:
I like Malcolm Gladwell's books, obviously. I also like the Freakonomics series.
I read the first one, awesome book, haven't got to the second tho. how is it?
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by Nimshi: 7:35pm On Aug 07, 2012
Malcolm Gladwell appears quite popular here; I've read only two of his books. With Outliers, I came away unimpressed. Mr. Gladwell writes good prose and can tell a story or two; but his 10,000-hour nonsense is interesting though. This attempt to appeal to the popular imagination is what Friedman takes to a lower low in 'The World Is Flat'. Gladwell attempts a story of heavy science; Friedman talks to celebrities. Both books are heavy on anecdotal evidence. As pointers to how to be exceptional and/or an explanation of it, Outliers is a poor offering; and as insight into globalisation, Friedman misinforms; the danger with these books is not deconstructing them.

.

1 Like

Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by pleep(m): 6:16am On Aug 08, 2012
undecided
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by AjanleKoko: 2:23pm On Aug 12, 2012
Nimshi: Malcolm Gladwell appears quite popular here; I've read only two of his books. With Outliers, I came away unimpressed. Mr. Gladwell writes good prose and can tell a story or two; but his 10,000-hour nonsense is interesting though. This attempt to appeal to the popular imagination is what Friedman takes to a lower low in 'The World Is Flat'. Gladwell attempts a story of heavy science; Friedman talks to celebrities. Both books are heavy on anecdotal evidence. As pointers to how to be exceptional and/or an explanation of it, Outliers is a poor offering; and as insight into globalisation, Friedman misinforms; the danger with these books is not deconstructing them.

Now that sounds like a proper book review from a proper book critic wink
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by Nimshi: 11:50am On Aug 13, 2012
AjanleKoko: Now that sounds like a proper book review from a proper book critic

The emphasis on "proper" above is curious; what difference does it make?

I could discuss the Gladwell books I've read in any detail; they're definitely not useless, but they're low quality popular books on the subjects they deal with. Gladwell could have transcended his background in the liberal arts, but his books mislead in important ways. That Mr Friedman is even more reprehensible.

And rather than dump titles of books here, it's definitey more insturctive to tell why a book is recommended, or why not.

.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by AjanleKoko: 12:12pm On Aug 13, 2012
Nimshi:

The emphasis on "proper" above is curious; what difference does it make?

I could discuss the Gladwell books I've read in any detail; they're definitely not useless, but they're low quality popular books on the subjects they deal with. Gladwell could have transcended his background in the liberal arts, but his books mislead in important ways. That Mr Friedman is even more reprehensible.

And rather than dump titles of books here, it's definitey more insturctive to tell why a book is recommended, or why not.

.

Your comments in the first post read like a book review you'd encounter in the press. Did not read to me like a casual comment. No offence, mind you. I am hardly a professional literary reviewer or critic wink

As regards Gladwell, the books are quite entertaining more than anything to me; it did not seem like a scientific analysis per se, more like clever use of intuitive observations to debunk some aspects of popular culture.

Friedman, well, is a journalist, so I didn't expect anything profound. To me, he was recording his observations about places he visited and people he met. Which is fair in my view. I read nonfiction primarily for the same reasons that I read fiction - for entertainment.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by Nimshi: 12:30pm On Aug 13, 2012
Oh. . . well, really, it isn't any more casual than anything else that's casual here.

Wouldn't it be an overkill to do more for a forum as this, when almost everything would end up in the (digital) bin?

I wasn't crticising your choice of books . . . I've read two Gladwells and at least one Friedman (that Friedman) . . .

Reading only for entertainment - as you claim to do - is perhaps a 'cool'/relaxed attitude to reading books; but I'd doubt that Gladwell and Friedman meant their offerings a entertainment; and, I'll also doubt that other contributors here read their non-fiction for entertainment . . . but: it works for you, so, well, good.

I'd like to see people make recommendations on this thread, and that they share what they've taken away from reading the books whose titles are being unloaded here; that, I think could be even more useful.

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Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by AjanleKoko: 12:59pm On Aug 13, 2012
^^
Hmm.
One book I read for instruction is The Seven Habits of Highly-Effective People. Strangely, many people seem to be put off by his flowery, management-consultant-style speak. I think the book is very good for young people in the formative stages of their careers.
.
Other books I have read for information are the ones by Dambisa Moyo: Dead Aid, How the West Was Lost, and Winner Take All.
I got a frank and unbiased of the economic plight of Africa in Dead Aid, and how aid dollars have only prolonged the problem.
How The West Was Lost attempts to give a broad overview of the last fifty years, and how Europe and the US have aided each other to lose their way economically. Winner Take All is all about the rising influence of China, and the pros and cons inherent in an emergent Chinese world power. She even provides a blueprint for African leaders, on how they can engage China constructively, rather than what obtains right now.

I will post reviews of other books that I've read for reasons other than entertainment, as we go along
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by Nimshi: 9:07pm On Aug 13, 2012
Good start!

I must now also practice what I preach. . .

.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by obowunmi(m): 10:47pm On Aug 13, 2012
Nimshi, are you single??

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Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by Nimshi: 1:21pm On Aug 17, 2012
obowunmi: Nimshi, are you single??

Hmnnn ... er, why?

(Of course, this must be one of those instances where responding to a question with another could be justified. . . no?)

.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by obowunmi(m): 2:10pm On Aug 17, 2012
Nimshi:

Hmnnn ... er, why?

(Of course, this must be one of those instances where responding to a question with another could be justified. . . no?)

.

Just curious. Male or Female?
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by Nimshi: 2:24pm On Aug 17, 2012
Again . . . why?

And just so you know: I don't believe your 'just curious' (the 'curious', may be, but the 'just', no). . . so that's why the second 'why'.

And: when will you post something about the topic of this thread?

.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by obowunmi(m): 3:33pm On Aug 17, 2012
Nimshi: Again . . . why?

And just so you know: I don't believe your 'just curious' (the 'curious', may be, but the 'just', no). . . so that's why the second 'why'.

And: when will you post something about the topic of this thread?

.

Ok- you are getting over analytical here pumpkin. I enjoyed reading your review of the books. So wondered if your 1. M or F. 2. If ur married.
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by pleep(m): 5:01pm On Aug 17, 2012
polly male.

1 Like

Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by yamakuza: 9:12pm On Aug 17, 2012
obowunmi:

Ok- you are getting over analytical here pumpkin. I enjoyed reading your review of the books. So wondered if your 1. M or F. 2. If ur married.

seems you r looking for a wife ... grin

what book(s) can be recommended for you?
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by obowunmi(m): 9:16pm On Aug 17, 2012
LoooL
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by pleep(m): 9:22pm On Aug 17, 2012
hahaha grin
Re: Nonfiction Books: State Your Preference Here by afroxyz: 6:46am On Aug 18, 2012
Where cam I get copies of Dambisa Moyo's books and also Frantz Fanon's black skin, white mask. Debonnaire does not have these books in stock

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