New Non-Fiction Titles For Your Enjoyment
October 13, 2010
October’s non-fiction releases provide something to please just about everyone. For Bill Bryson fans this is a special harvest season as he has two books out this fall; the first, At Home: a short history of private life, is based on the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.” His next book, due out in early November is Seeing Further: the story of science, discovery, and the genius of the Royal Society.
For history buffs we have The Berlin-Baghdad Express by Sean McMeekin which tells the fascinating story of how Germany exploited Ottoman pan-Islamism in order to destroy the British Empire, then the largest Islamic power in the world. For Civil War buffs we have Bloody Crimes: the chase for Jefferson Davis and the death pageant for Lincoln’s corpse by James L. Swanson which depicts the Union’s thrilling chase to capture Davis as well as the pageant of Lincoln’s funeral train traveling through all the major Northern cities on its return to Springfield. Founding Fathers fans (!) will enjoy Joseph Ellis’ First Family: Abigail and John Adams as well as Ron Chernow’s Washington: a life.
For more on politics, Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars is here and waiting for your analysis. Also just out is Monsoon: the Indian Ocean and the future of American power by Robert Kaplan. Kaplan, the author of Imperial Grunts, explores the countries around the Indian Ocean and discusses why this region will be crucial to American interests and power in the 21st century.
Mary Catherine Bateson gives us Composing A Further Life: the age of active wisdom in which she provides an exhilarating challenge to think about and approach our later lives with the full force of imagination, curiosity, and enthusiasm.
For those interested in biographies, we have tomes on Diaghilev, the founder and impresario of the Ballets Russes, and Ingrid Betancourt, a candidate in the Colombian presidential elections who spent six years in captivity in the Colombian jungle after being captured by FARC.
On the lighter side we have Travels In Siberia by Ian Frazier. A dazzling Russian travelogue in which Frazier trains his eye on Siberia, exploring many aspects of this storied, often grim region and writes about the geography, the resources, the people, the history, the 40-below midwinter afternoons, and even the bugs.