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November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection 
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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
I'm going to go through the new releases and bestsellers on Amazon.com and fill in the blank space we have in this thread. That was we can get a non-fiction poll up soon for a non-fiction discussion that starts Dec. 1st.



Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:09 pm
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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
This is kind of random, but here's a book I was planning to read. It was recommended by Sam Harris.

Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening
http://www.amazon.com/Buddhism-Without- ... ut+beliefs

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In this simple but important volume, Stephen Batchelor reminds us that the Buddha was not a mystic who claimed privileged, esoteric knowledge of the universe, but a man who challenged us to understand the nature of anguish, let go of its origins, and bring into being a way of life that is available to us all. What the Buddha taught, says Batchelor, is not something to believe in but something to do—and as he explains clearly and compellingly, it is a practice that we can engage in, regardless of our background or beliefs, as we live every day on the path to awakening.


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"Buddhism Without Beliefs is the kind of finely written primer about the concepts of Buddhism that even a heathen like me can appreciate and understand. For the non-Buddhist, or the aspiring Buddhist, it will be of much assistance. Filled with compassion, lucidly written, this is a book that explains much about an ancient, ever-living philosophy that has much to offer the stunned searchers of truth in our chaotic age of modernity."—Oscar Hijuelos, author of Mr. Ives' Christmas and The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love



Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:31 pm
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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
I would like to suggest "Killing Lincoln" by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. Now I am not a big fan of O'Reilly, but I was asked to read and review this for our local Friends of the Library group. I am about half way through, and am pleasantly surprised. It is not a heavy academic treatise; rather they authors seem to be trying to make it read like a thriller. But so far it is an easy read, and the facts are stratight.


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Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:48 pm
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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
This is a great suggestion, Cattleman. I've been tempted to get a copy myself. O'Reilly pisses me off with his aggressive stance towards atheism but I do like much of what he says on his show. I've wondered about this book for a while now. Great reviews and now you're endorsing it.



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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
So many actual historians out there, why would you want to read Bill O'Reilly? The guy is an anti-intellectual.



Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:01 am
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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
Dexter, it is more the topic than the author that interests me. Quite frankly I'd probably rather read about Lincoln's life and death from a different source so if you have a suggestions please share it. And Lincoln is one idea but anything to do with American history would be nice. Yes, I'm biased towards American history as I'm an American. I'd consider other stuff too.



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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
Chris OConnor wrote:
Dexter, it is more the topic than the author that interests me. Quite frankly I'd probably rather read about Lincoln's life and death from a different source so if you have a suggestions please share it. And Lincoln is one idea but anything to do with American history would be nice. Yes, I'm biased towards American history as I'm an American. I'd consider other stuff too.


I also like reading American history.

It's a big undertaking, but I'd rather read this highly-regarded biography of Lincoln
http://www.amazon.com/Lincoln-David-Her ... hy+lincoln

But don't let me stop the suggestion process, just throwing in my two cents



Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:05 am
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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
I'm not really hanging out much here lately, so this is not an official vote or endorsement. But if you want to read about this time period in American history, check out anything by Bruce Catton, who won a Pulitzer in 1954 for A Stillness at Appomattox, the last of a trilogy about the Civil War. The first book in this trilogy would probably be a great choice, though I haven't actually read it yet.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/038504 ... r=&sr=1-11

But I have read this fine and highly anthologized essay by Catton in which he compares and contrasts Lee and Grant. Worth reading!

http://users.ipfw.edu/ruflethe/grantandlee.html


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Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:56 pm
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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
I also love reading history and depending on the topic would rather read the primary sources (diaries, speeches) than just the historian's opinion. But there are some great historians out there and definitely some books worth reading. On the topic of Lincoln I would suggest two -

This Fiery Trial: The Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln - William E. Gienapp
This is a great book because Gienapp gives you a little snapshot of what was going on at the time of each of Lincoln's speeches in the book, but then you get to read the speech yourself and see Lincoln's mind at work. I also enjoy the novelty in this day and age of a president who wrote his own speeches. The link is below - five out of five stars at Amazon and multiple reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/This-Fiery-Trial- ... 2C+William

2nd suggestion would be-Tried By War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief - James M. McPherson. I have not read this book, but I have read McPherson before and he is a great author and historian. This received four stars at Amazon and the link is http://www.amazon.com/Tried-War-Abraham ... r+in+chief



Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:26 pm
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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
I have purchased the book: No Easy Day, and would love to discuss it in this forum, so i am rooting for chris oconners suggestion.



Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:30 pm
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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
I have finished O'Reilly's "Killing Lincoln" and must withdraw my suggestion that it be a topic of discussion. The authors freely admit they want it to read 'like a thirller.' It this they succeed. Unfortunately, the book is so full of errors, it should be considered fiction. For example, on the day of is assassinatin, Lincoln works in the Oval Office. The Oval Office was not built until 1909 during the administration of William Howard Taft.

The books adds nothing to the Lincoln legacy.


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Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:42 am
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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
A poll will be created in the next few days. :-)



Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:38 am
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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
Anyone here ever read Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate: the Modern Denial of Human Nature? It looks like a good one.

I see it's been discussed here before, but many of those who participated are not around any more.


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Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:51 am
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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
Geo, "The Blank Slate" was the 9th book we read and discussed here on BookTalk.org. We were a young community back then and if there is enough interest there is no reason we cannot pull that forum out of the archive and do it again. Here is our BOOKS page that shows all past (and current) books we've discussed with links to the discussion forums and chat transcripts if we did a live chat. books.html

Oh, and we did a live chat with Pinker. I sure miss doing live chats. You can read the transcript here. transcript5.php



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Post Re: November & December 2012 Non-Fiction Book Selection
Cattleman I read the O'Reilly book too and I cringed the whole time. I don't many American history books off the top of my head but a few years ago I read a great book "Elizabeth and Mary" by Jane Dunn. It's a dual biography of Elizabeth 1 and Mary Queen of Scots.



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