Back to School/Learning Freebie
(in honor of school starting back up soon, come up with your own topic that fits the theme of school or learning! Books that take place at school/boarding school/during study abroad, books you read in school, textbooks you liked/didn’t like, non-fiction books you loved or want to read, etc.)
For this post, I am going to focus on some of the non-fiction books I’ve read and enjoyed recently. Those of us who are no longer in school should not take that as an excuse to stop learning, so I think sharing collections of books which will help us learn and expand our horizons is always a good thing.
1. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil de Grasse Tyson
This is a good read for people who aren’t used to reading science books anymore. Dr. Tyson does a great job of explaining astrophysics for the average person.
2. Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience by Indre Viskontas
This one gets a little more detailed and science-y, but I really enjoyed the myths that Dr. Viskontas explodes. It’s a lot of fun to listen to, and if you have a chance you should also consider looking up some of her opera work. (We worked together on an operetta a while ago, and she has a wonderful voice.)
3. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
If you know the current Daily Show, you know Trevor Noah. However, I really enjoyed listening to him narrate his book about some of the amazing stuff that’s happened in his life so far.
4. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day
This is a great memoir, and also a good reminder for how to be a good person. Sadly, she has a lot of experience with trolls, and some of her stories about them are great reminders for how we can all be better people.
5. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
It’s Thor and Loki and Odin told in a different way than we’ve been getting in pop-culture lately! It’s still entertaining to read (or listen to, as I did) but these are the Norse myths and not the Marvel comics.
6. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This is possibly the most important book I have read all year. (It’s not my favorite book of the year, but that is not the point.) If you haven’t read it, you should. I regret not having read it in school, because I think I would have gotten more out of it with class discussions and projects, but at least I have read it for myself.
7. Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
Carrie’s memoirs are special, and sometimes inspirational. We all need a little more of that in our lives.
8. The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know by Joshua N. Winn
I look forward to the day when we can say with certainty that we have found a planet in another solar system which is capable of supporting human life. This lecture series talks about the ways we are searching for those planets, and the challenges that astronomers face in learning more about exoplanets.
9. The Medieval World by Dorsey Armstrong
A lot of what we think we know about the medieval world is made up by movies and TV. This Great Courses lecture series doesn’t really focus on the things Hollywood got wrong, but instead shows what it was really like based on historical records.
10. Leonard: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner
You can learn things about the people involved though this book, but also about different acting methods and different ways that our culture growing up shapes us. Of course, you can also just enjoy reading the wonderful tales of two close friends.
Have you read any good non-fiction lately? I do tend to gravitate toward memoirs and science non-fiction, but I’m trying to branch out a bit. Do you have any recommendations for me — whether or not they are in those sub-genres?