Monday, April 3, 2023

100 Nonfiction Books I Recommend

New and improved!

One word that sticks in my mind while updating 100 Nonfiction Books I Recommend is ephemeral. With our ever-changing world, I wonder if books have become more timely yet more disposable.

Ninety-two of the 100 books I recommend come from the 21st century, and I believe nonfiction exploded as a genre around 2010. In just four years, I felt obliged to replace 25 book reviews with new ones. However, I must point out that 10 of the original reviews simply were books recommended by readers and the humor category wasn't that strong.

My odd main takeaway updating this list and writing 25 new reviews is that I'm developing more of an acceptance to nonreaders. It's not their fault. Our capitalistic culture is too much for many to overcome, and while publishing is a $30 billion industry, it doesn't compare to the $720 billion entertainment industry or $1.8 trillion technology industry.

Book reading is, and will remain, a counterculture action loved by only a few. It doesn't mean nonreaders are bad people, but they think (or don't think, wink) in ways I might not.

For those who actually read, or might give a book a try, I have vetted and give my seal of approval to all 100 books on this list. Many of these books aren't perfect, and some are slow in parts. But the vast majority are page-turners that I couldn't put down.

Also, some categories are perfect for some books, but not all. Many books could be in other categories, but, eh, let's not split hairs over that. Enjoy this list, and let me know if you love any of these as much as I do!

Big Time:
1. Outliers (2008) by Malcolm Gladwell
2. Daring Greatly (2012) by Brene Brown
3. The Year of Magical Thinking (2005) by Joan Didion
4. The Creative Habit (2003) by Twyla Tharp
5. Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985) by Neil Postman
6. On Writing (2000) by Stephen King
7. Born Standing Up (2007) by Steve Martin
8. Lit (2009) by Mary Karr
9. Thrive (2014) by Ariana Huffington
10. All These Wonders (2017) by Moth Storytellers 

11. How To Raise An Adult (2015) by Julie Lythcott-Haims
12. Nonviolent Communication (1999 original, 2015 third edition) by Marshall Rosenberg
13. How We Love Our Kids (2011) by Milan and Jay Yerkowich
14. Grit (2016) by Angela Duckworth
15. iGen (2017) by Jean Twenge
16. Generation Sleepless (2022) by Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright 
17. Make Your Kids Millionaires (2022) by Loral Langemeier and Kyle Boeckman
18. How Children Succeed (2012) by Paul Tough
19. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (2011) by Amy Chua
20. A Promise to Ourselves (2008) by Alec Baldwin

Personal Growth:
21. Mindset (2006) by Carol Dweck
22. Lost Connections (2018) by Johann Hari
23. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (2016) by Mark Manson
24. The Art of Asking (2015) by Amanda Palmer
25. Radical Compassion (2019) By Tara Brach
26. Not Drinking Tonight (2022) by Amanda E. White
27. The Art of Non-Conformity (2010) by Chris Guilleabeau
28. The Omnivore's Dilemma (2007) by Michael Pollan
29. The God Delusion (2006) by Richard Dawkins
30. The Power of Now (1997) by Eckhart Tolle

31. Teaching Community (2003) by bell hooks
32. Permission to Feel (2019) by Marc Brackett
33. Positivity (2009) by Barbara Frederickson
34. Letters to a Young Teacher (2007) by Jonathan Kozol
35. The Courage to Teach (1998) by Parker J. Palmer
36. The Homework Myth (2007) by Alfie Kohn
37. On Your Mark (2014) by Thomas Guskey
38. Lies My Teacher Told Me (1995, new edition 2018) by James Loewen
39. Readicide (2009) by Kelly Gallagher
40. The Body Keeps the Score (2014) by Bessel Van Der Kolk

41. Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968) by Paulo Freire
42. The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys (1995) by Jawanza Kunjufu
43. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (2017, 20th anniversary edition) by Beverly Daniel Tatum
44. Punished (2011) by Victor Rios
45. Excellent Sheep (2014) by William Deresiewicz
46. In Defense of a Liberal Education (2015) by Fareed Zakaria
47. You Are Not Where You Go (2015) by Frank Bruni
48. Who Gets in and Why (2022) by Jeffrey Selingo
49. Smart People Should Build Things (2014) by Andrew Yang
50. Rethinking School (2018) by Susan Wise Bauer

Social Conscience:
51. The New Jim Crow (2010) by Michelle Alexander
52. White Fragility (2018) by Robin DiAngelo
53. How to be an Antiracist (2019) by Ibram X. Kendi
54. Stamped (2020) by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
55. This Fight Is Our Fight (2007) by Elizabeth Warren
56. The Vanishing American Adult (2017) by Ben Sasse
57. Food Not Lawns (2006) by Heather Jo Flores
58. The Souls of Yellow Folk (2018) by Wesley Yang
59. Black Boy (1945) by Richard Wright
60. Night (1956) by Elie Wiesel

61. The Millionaire Next Door (1996) by Thomas Stanley and William Danko 
62. The Psychology of Money (2020) by Morgan Housel
63. Dark Money (2016) by Jane Mayer
64. Born on Third Base (2016) by Chuck Collins
65. The Four (2017) by Scott Galloway
66. Kids These Days (2017) by Malcolm Harris
67. EntreLeadership (2011) by Dave Ramsey
68. Money (2014) by Tony Robbins
69. This Is Marketing (2018) by Seth Godin
70. The Power of Glamour (2013) by Virginia Postrel

71. A Pitcher's Story (2001) by Roger Angell
72. Why Baseball Matters (2018) by Susan Jacoby
73. The Mask of Masculinity (2017) by Lewis Howes
74. Little Red Book (1992, with 2012 anniversary edition) by Harvey Penick with Bud Shrake
75. Zen Golf (2002) by Joseph Parent
76. The Big Miss (2012) by Hank Haney
77. Back from the Dead (2016) by Bill Walton
78. Thinking in Bets (2018) by Annie Duke
79. The Biggest Bluff (2016) by Maria Konnikova
80. Relentless (2013) by Tim Grover

81. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team (2002) by Patrick Lencioni
82. Multipliers (2010) by Liz Wiseman
83. Ego Is the Enemy (2016) by Ryan Holiday
84. A More Beautiful Question (2014) by Warren Berger
85. Crucial Conversations (2002, 2012 edition) by Kerry Patterson, et. al.
86. Conversational Capacity (2013) by Craig Weber
87. Leadership on the Line (2002) by Marty Linsky
88. Good to Great (2001) by Jim Collins
89. Leaders Eat Last (2014) by Simon Sinek
90. Positive Deviance (2010) by Richard Pascale, et. al.

Humanity in the Digital Age:
91) Reader, Come Home (2018) by Maryanne Wolf
92) How to Do Nothing (2019) by Jenny Odell
93) Fantasyland (2017) by Kurt Andersen
94) The Death of Truth (2018) by Michiko Kakutani
95) Braiding Sweetgrass (2013) by Robin Wall Kimmerer
96) The Coddling of the American Mind (2016) by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
97) Option B (2017) by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
98) Humans Are Underrated (2015) by Geoff Colvin
99) Tribe of Mentors (2017) by Tim Ferris
100) Poking a Dead Frog (2014) by Mike Sacks

I fully understand, like most authors, that nobody truly reads everything I write. And that's OK. I forget the exact percentage, but something like 80 percent of books bought are never even opened. Not even opened! 

We readers are a dying breed. I'm sure you're likely scrolling — and not actually reading — this list of 100 Nonfiction Books I Recommend, but if you're actually reading word for word, I thank you. I appreciate words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters and books.

Videos are great and all, but nonfiction books fill gaps in our educations. I feel so fortunate to be able to constantly fill those gaps and choose education (or at least an effort to educate) over ignorance.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Reading is for suckers!

After reviewing 25 books new to me for 100 Nonfiction Books I Recommend, I must conclude this: Reading is for suckers!

One of the Snooze Button Generation's monthly posts grabs at least a few hundred hits. For the book reviews, none of them got to 100 on the day they were posted. I'm interpreting those lack of hits as this: "Hey, dude, stop these reviews. We don't care!"

I guess that response coincides with our current climate, where reflection is low as is full-length book reading. So I'm stopping reading ASAP and will be devoting my life to TikTok.

The big question: What took me so long? Everybody knows that I'd be a superb TikTok personality. Heck, I might even do an ice-bucket challenge or mannequin challenge and even get a fidget spinner. This Gen Xer is hip to all our current trends!

Honestly, I just felt odd releasing my concluding post of 100 Nonfiction Books I Recommend with all of its links on April Fool's Day. So Happy April Fool's Day! Look for culminating post for 100 Nonfiction Books I Recommend on Monday.