Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Last 10 Non-Fiction Books I Added To My To-Read List

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is a fun one -- the last 10 books of X genre we added to our to-read lists. I read so many different genres of fiction that I'd have had to go back pretty far to get 10 historical fiction, or sci-fi, or mystery, and I've been on a bit of a non-fiction kick lately (or, at least, a kick of adding non-fiction to my to-read list!) so that's what I went with.

Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace and Second Chances by Leland Melvin

Added to my TBR: May 27

How I discovered it: BookRiot non-fiction e-mail -- couldn't resist the NASA portrait with dogs!

From Goodreads: In this revelatory and moving memoir, a former NASA astronaut and NFL wide receiver shares his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, examining the intersecting roles of community, perseverance and grace that align to create the opportunities for success.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore

Added to my TBR: May 15

How I discovered it: I'd heard of it, but I added it to my to-read list after covering the new copy we got in at the library

From Goodreads: As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” were considered the luckiest alive -- until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America’s biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights.

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Added to my TBR: May 9

How I discovered it: it's everywhere!

From Goodreads: Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’s face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes―the moment she hears him speak of his crimes―she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case. Despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar.

Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-Extinction by Helen Pilcher

Added to my TBR: May 5

How I discovered it: friend recommendation

From Goodreads: Helen Pilcher is uniquely qualified to explain the cutting-edge science that makes the resurrection of extinct animals a very real possibility, while acknowledging the serious and humorous aspects of giving a deceased animal a second chance to live. If you could bring back to life a person or animal, what would you choose?
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Added to my TBR: April 16

How I discovered it: a friend recommended it while we were chatting about exploration books

From Goodreads: The astonishing saga of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton's survival for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas, as Time magazine put it, "defined heroism." Alfred Lansing's scrupulously researched and brilliantly narrated book has long been acknowledged as the definitive account of the Endurance's fateful trip.

American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Oppression in the West by Nate Blakeslee

Added to my TBR: April 16

How I discovered it: Library Journal pre-pub e-mail (it comes out in October)

From Goodreads: Before men ruled the Earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West. With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, a charismatic alpha female named O-Six for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, with gray fur and faint black ovals around each eye, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers and becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world. But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who are vying for control of the park's stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

Added to my TBR: April 11

How I discovered it: added it after deciding to read "The Lost City of Z"

From Goodreads: In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. As the death toll surpassed more than 24 Osage, the newly created FBI took up the case, in what became one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations. But the bureau was then notoriously corrupt and initially bungled the case. Eventually the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only Native American agents in the bureau. They infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most sinister conspiracies in American history.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

Added to my TBR: April 7

How I discovered it: I've had this book in the back of my mind forever, but just finally added it to my to-read list

From Goodreads: In "All Creatures Great and Small," we meet the young Herriot as he takes up his calling and discovers that the realities of veterinary practice in rural Yorkshire are very different from the sterile setting of veterinary school. Some visits are heart-wrenchingly difficult. some are lighthearted and fun, and yet others are inspirational and enlightening. From seeing to his patients in the depths of winter on the remotest homesteads to dealing with uncooperative owners and critically ill animals, Herriot discovers the wondrous variety and never-ending challenges of veterinary practice as his humor, compassion, and love of the animal world shine forth.

Down the Garden Path by Beverley Nichols

Added to my TBR: April 7

How I discovered it: Instagram -- that cover totally caught my eye, plus it was first published way back in 1931 but is still in print!

From Goodreads: "Down the Garden Path" has stood the test of time as one of the world’s best-loved and most-quoted gardening books. From a disaster building a rock garden, to further adventures with greenhouses, woodland gardens, not to mention cats and treacle, Nichols has left us a true gardening classic.

The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh by Kathryn Aalto

Added to my TBR: March 19

How I discovered it: shelving books at work

From Goodreads: "The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh" explores the magical landscapes where Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends live and play. The Hundred Acre Wood -- the setting for Winnie-the-Pooh’s adventures -- was inspired by Ashdown Forest, a wildlife haven that spans more than 6,000 acres in southeast England. In the pages of this enchanting book you can visit the ancient black walnut tree on the edge of the forest that became Pooh’s house, go deep into the pine trees to find Poohsticks Bridge, and climb up to the top of the enchanted Galleons Lap, where Pooh says goodbye to Christopher Robin. You will discover how Milne's childhood connection with nature and his role as a father influenced his famous stories, and how his close collaboration with illustrator E. H. Shepard brought those stories to life. This charming book also serves as a guide to the plants, animals, and places of the remarkable Ashdown Forest, whether you are visiting in person or from the comfort of your favorite armchair.

Gah! Forgot one! Rather than squeeze it in and delete one, I'll just tack number 11 on the end:

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

Added to my TBR: April 16

How I discovered it: Library Journal pre-pub email (Doughty's first memoir, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory" is one of those books that's really stuck with me!)

From Goodreads: Fascinated by our pervasive terror of dead bodies, mortician Caitlin Doughty set out to discover how other cultures care for their dead. In rural Indonesia, she observes a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body. Grandpa’s mummy has lived in the family home for two years, where the family has maintained a warm and respectful relationship. She meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and introduces us to a Japanese kotsuage, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved- ones’ bones from cremation ashes. With curiosity and morbid humor, Doughty encounters vividly decomposed bodies and participates in compelling, powerful death practices almost entirely unknown in America. Featuring Gorey-esque illustrations by artist Landis Blair, "From Here to Eternity" introduces death-care innovators researching green burial and body composting, explores new spaces for mourning and reveals unexpected new possibilities for our own death rituals.


  1. I love All Creatures Great and Small, and I just bought Radium Girls. We had an event at the bookstore with Kate Moore- who is smart and adorable and her discussion was just fascinating.

  2. You've shared such a great variety of non fiction titles here... I'm really interested in The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh.

  3. Yay nonfiction! I want to read Chasing Space now just seeing the cover alone :)

  4. From Here to Eternity sounds creepy yet so interesting.

  5. The Radium Girls is on my wishlist, even though I suspect it'll make me really mad! I like how all the heavy reads on here are balanced by The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh :D

  6. Non-fiction books are definitely my new addiction this year. I have always avoided them but now I love all the extra learning! I've mostly read memoirs but I can't wait to look through some of these on your list. Especially Radium Girls!

    Danica @ Shelves of Spines
    My TTT

  7. Radium Girls has been on my Going-to-Read-One-Day list for a while now. I read all on James Herriot's books when I was a teenager and wanted to be a vet. Some on my favorites of that time period.


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