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What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next?? 
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Post What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
If you don't have 25 posts on the forums please don't post in this thread. Thank you!

Let's hear some great non-fiction book suggestions. What non-fiction book would you like to read and discuss next?



Include the title, author's name and a link to where we can read more about the book. The more information you give us about WHY you think the book would be great for group discussion the higher the probability we'll all agree with you about your suggestion. Brief posts that don't do anything other than name the book will have little impact on your fellow members. So sell us on your book!



Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:17 pm
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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
The Art of Cruelty by Maggie Nelson sounds interesting and has nothing to do with jesus.
http://www.npr.org/2011/08/04/138564680 ... and-sadism

Nelson's new book, The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning, emanates from a similarly broad subject. For her first outing with a major publisher, Nelson chose to focus on the pervasiveness and complexity of cruelty in art and culture, beginning with the question of whether violence and gore can still make a visual impact in an already bludgeoning media environment. This question leads her on a journey through such divergent topics as violence in video games, NBC's pedophile-persecuting To Catch a Predator, simulated rape art, Francis Bacon, Sexton poetry, the work of playwright Martin McDonough, Sylvia Plath, torture-porn movies, Abu Ghraib prison, Britney Spears and Patti Smith — and somehow she makes it all come together in a fresh examination of why we are so attracted to sadism.



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Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:01 am
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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
"Infidel" and "Nomad" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali are her memoirs of growing up as a woman of Islam. Hers is an incredible story of one persons rise from poverty and enslavement to international acclaim. Ali is now living in the US and runs a controversial foundation encouraging women's freedom and anti-sharia laws. I would propose that we read and discuss both books.

http://www.amazon.com/Infidel-Ayaan-Hir ... 049&sr=1-3



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Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:14 am
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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
"The Art of Cruelty" does look good and it raises some good questions. We really are inundated with violence and cruelty in the news, movies and music we watch and listen to. At some point we become desensitized. At least that is the theory.

And it having nothing to do with religion might be another positive most of our best discussions have focused on religious topics.



Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:16 am
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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
I also would be interested in anything political. I'll take a look around and see if I can come up with a suggestion.



Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:33 am
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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
Sounds good. What about this book.

Death by China: Confronting the Dragon - A Global Call to Action by Peter W. Navarro and Greg Autry

Book Description
China is now the #1 danger facing America. Best-selling author and economist Peter Navarro exposes every form of "death by China"—from lethal products to espionage, imperialism, and nuclear proliferation through China's relentless attack on the U.S. economy. A must-read book for every American, by the best-selling author of The Coming China Wars.

China is now the greatest threat to America.

Soon to be the world’s largest economy, China is attacking on every front, with every available weapon—from protectionism and currency manipulation to cyber attacks and espionage. Around the globe, China is also doing whatever it takes to capture crucial resources—even if it means promoting nuclear proliferation by the world’s most dangerous regimes. Inside the United States, Americans are being injured or killed by the Dragon’s dangerous exports: poisoned food, spiked drugs, toxic toys. Meanwhile, huge U.S. corporations have allied with China’s state-owned enterprises to destroy American manufacturing—and, ultimately and ironically, destroy themselves.

It’s an incredible and incredibly shameful story, and Death by China tells it all. But understanding the reality of China’s assault on America is only the beginning. Leading economists Peter Navarro and Greg Autry offer a complete plan for surviving the global power shift China has already engineered—and halting the Dragon’s onslaught before it’s too late.



Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:55 am
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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
"Life As Politics" by Asaf Bayat.
"Life as Politics provides a strategy through which to recognize the multiple ways that large numbers of urban residents across the Arab World deploy common practices to reshape the everyday conditions of urban life and re-socialize prevailing institutions of governance. Bayat tunnels across the familiar demarcations of territory, social attribution, and political identity to detail collective forces of 'ordinary people' using assumptionsof shared interests and background to implicitly act in concert, and without self-conscious mobilization. Instituting themselves in urban public spaces with the courage to act despite constraint, these forces materialize incremental openings and opportunities for residents to demonstrate ways in which disparate facets of life can be assembled, particularly through thediverse ways in which Islam is put to work. As such this is an enormously valuable contribution to how we think about urban life and what it ispossible to do with it."—AbdouMaliq Simone, Goldsmiths, University of London
http://www.amazon.com/Life-Politics-Ord ... 972&sr=1-1



Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:20 am
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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
Chris, "Death by China" sounds good also. Having worked for a Chinese owned company, it is very interesting to me. I truly believe this is something that we Americans must take seriously and do something about politically. People seem to overlook the fact that the Chinese government could take over the US right now by calling in our debt to them.



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Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:23 am
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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
I'm going to make 2 suggestions.


First up, Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence by Bill James.

The editorial reviews on amazon all seem like little quotes or snippets, so I'll post the "product description."


Quote:
The man who revolutionized the way we think about baseball now examines our cultural obsession with murder—delivering a unique, engrossing, brilliant history of tabloid crime in America.
Celebrated writer and contrarian Bill James has voraciously read true crime throughout his life and has been interested in writing a book on the topic for decades. Now, with Popular Crime, James takes readers on an epic journey from Lizzie Borden to the Lindbergh baby, from the Black Dahlia to O. J. Simpson, explaining how crimes have been committed, investigated, prosecuted and written about, and how that has profoundly influenced our culture over the last few centuries— even if we haven’t always taken notice.

Exploring such phenomena as serial murder, the fluctuation of crime rates, the value of evidence, radicalism and crime, prison reform and the hidden ways in which crimes have shaped, or reflected, our society, James chronicles murder and misdeeds from the 1600s to the present day. James pays particular attention to crimes that were sensations during their time but have faded into obscurity, as well as still-famous cases, some that have never been solved, including the Lindbergh kidnapping, the Boston Strangler and JonBenet Ramsey. Satisfyingly sprawling and tremendously entertaining, Popular Crime is a professed amateur’s powerful examination of the incredible impact crime stories have on our society, culture and history.



The next suggestion is Reality is Broken: Why Games Make us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal.

Here's a review from Booklist:

Quote:
People who spend hours playing video or online games are often maligned for “wasting their time” or “not living in the real world,” but McGonigal argues persuasively and passionately against this notion in her eminently effective examination of why games are important. She begins by disabusing the reader of some inherent prejudices and assumptions made about gamers, such as that they’re lazy and unambitious. Quite the opposite: McGonigal finds that gamers are working hard to achieve goals within the world of whatever game they are playing, whether it’s going on a quest to win attributes to enhance their in-game characters or performing tasks to get to a higher level in the game. Games inspire hard work, the setting of ambitious goals, learning from and even enjoying failure, and coming together with others for a common goal. McGonigal points out many real-world applications, including encouraging students to seek out secret assignments, setting up household chores as a challenge, even a 2009 game created by The Guardian to help uncover the excessive expenses of members of Parliament. With so many people playing games, this comprehensive, engaging study is an essential read. --Kristine Huntley


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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
Alastair I.M. Rae, Quantum Physics: A Beginner's Guide
http://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Physics-B ... 905&sr=1-1

I don't know how much interest there would be, but I just picked up this book. It's a cheap and concise introduction with good reviews.

From Amazon:

Quote:
"Few appreciate how deeply quantum physics affects so many aspects of our everyday 21st century world, so Rae's emphasis on the practical impact of abstract concepts is very welcome." -- Professor Sir Michael Berry, Royal Society Research Fellow, Bristol University

"An accessible introduction to the field and assumes no prior knowledge; A comprehensive and up to date review." -- Scientific and Medical Network

"Rae has done an impressive job. Any reader who is prepared to put in a little effort will come away from this book with not only an understanding of the basics of some important practical applications of the theory but also some appreciation of why its conceptual foundations are still the subject of such spirited debate." -- Professor Anthony Leggett, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Physics


From the preface:

Quote:
"[t]he main text contains practically no mathematics, although it is complemented by 'mathematical boxes' that flesh out some of the arguments... the aim of the book is to lead readers to an understanding of quantum physics, rather than simply impressing them with its sometimes dramatic results.



Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:09 am
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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
Chris OConnor wrote:
Book Description
China is now the #1 danger facing America. Best-selling author and economist Peter Navarro exposes every form of "death by China"—from lethal products to espionage, imperialism, and nuclear proliferation through China's relentless attack on the U.S. economy. A must-read book for every American, by the best-selling author of The Coming China Wars.

China is now the greatest threat to America.


Maybe I'm one of those China apologists and appeasers, but I'd be interested in a more serious book rather than the fear mongering and apparent economic ignorance about China "winning" (it's not a zero-sum game)

Just came across this, regarding goods "Made in China":
http://www.frbsf.org/publications/econo ... ource=home



Last edited by Dexter on Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:18 am
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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
Having succeeded in my nomination of our current book, I hesitate to nominate another one, but here goes anyway.

Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Quote:
amazon.com/Structure-Scientific-Revolut ... 0226458083

Thomas S. Kuhn's classic book is now available with a new index.

"A landmark in intellectual history which has attracted attention far beyond its own immediate field. . . . It is written with a combination of depth and clarity that make it an almost unbroken series of aphorisms. . . . Kuhn does not permit truth to be a criterion of scientific theories, he would presumably not claim his own theory to be true. But if causing a revolution is the hallmark of a superior paradigm, [this book] has been a resounding success." —Nicholas Wade, Science

"Perhaps the best explanation of [the] process of discovery." —William Erwin Thompson, New York Times Book Review

"Occasionally there emerges a book which has an influence far beyond its originally intended audience. . . . Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions . . . has clearly emerged as just such a work." —Ron Johnston, Times Higher Education Supplement

"Among the most influential academic books in this century." —Choice

One of "The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the Second World War," Times Literary Supplement




Quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Struct ... evolutions
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), by Thomas Kuhn, is an analysis of the history of science. Its publication was a landmark event in the history, philosophy, and sociology of scientific knowledge and it triggered an ongoing worldwide assessment and reaction in — and beyond — those scholarly communities. In this work, Kuhn challenged the then prevailing view of progress in "normal science." Scientific progress had been seen primarily as a continuous increase in a set of accepted facts and theories. Kuhn argued for an episodic model in which periods of such conceptual continuity in normal science were interrupted by periods of revolutionary science. During revolutions in science the discovery of anomalies leads to a whole new paradigm that changes the rules of the game and the "map" directing new research, asks new questions of old data, and moves beyond the puzzle-solving of normal science.[1] For example, Kuhn’s analysis of the Copernican Revolution emphasized that, in its beginning, it did not offer more accurate predictions of celestial events, such as planetary positions, than the Ptolemaic system, but instead appealed to some practitioners based on a promise of better, simpler, solutions that might be developed at some point in the future. Kuhn called the core concepts of an ascendant revolution its “paradigms” and thereby launched this word into widespread analogical use in the second half of the 20th century. Kuhn’s insistence that a paradigm shift was a mélange of sociology, enthusiasm and scientific promise, but not a logically determinate procedure, caused an uproar in reaction to his work. Kuhn addressed concerns in the 1969 postscript to the second edition. For some commentators it introduced a realistic humanism into the core of science while for others the nobility of science was tarnished by Kuhn's introduction of an irrational element into the heart of its greatest achievements.
Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Synopsis
2.1 Basic approach
2.2 Historical examples
2.3 The Copernican Revolution
2.4 Coherence
2.5 Three phases
2.6 Incommensurability
3 Kuhn's opinion on scientific progress
4 Influence of SSR
5 Criticisms of Kuhn and SSR
5.1 Concept of paradigm
5.2 Incommensurability of paradigms
5.3 Incommensurability and perception
5.4 Eurocentrism



Last edited by Robert Tulip on Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
We have a handful of great book suggestions now. Is anyone else interested in participating in this process? Please suggest a book or two if you have yet to suggest any. We don't need more suggestions from the same people that have already suggested books. We need additional people to jump in here and make it known that they fully intend to participate in the next non-fiction discussion.

As of right now I am most interested in "Infidel."

Would anyone else like to suggest a book?



Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:49 pm
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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
Here is my top suggestion.

God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales by Penn Jillette

Book Description

Quote:
Not only can the man rant, he can write.

From the larger, louder half of the world-famous magic duo Penn & Teller comes a scathingly funny reinterpretation of The Ten Commandments. They are The Penn Commandments, and they reveal one outrageous and opinionated atheist's experience in the world. In this rollicking yet honest account of a godless existence, Penn takes readers on a roller coaster of exploration and flips conventional religious wisdom on its ear to reveal that doubt, skepticism, and wonder -- all signs of a general feeling of disbelief -- are to be celebrated and cherished, rather than suppressed. And he tells some pretty damn funny stories along the way. From performing blockbuster shows on the Vegas Strip to the adventures of fatherhood, from an on-going dialogue with proselytizers of the Christian Right to the joys of sex while scuba diving, Jillette's self-created Decalogue invites his reader on a journey of discovery that is equal parts wise and wisecracking.

Praise for God, No!

"People who say that libertarians have no heart or atheists have no soul need to read this book. Because Penn Jillette has a lot of both." -- MATT STONE and TREY PARKER, creators of South Park and the award-winning Broadway musical The Book of Mormon

"There are few people in the country who question more boldly, brashly, and bravely than my friend Penn Jillette.

"This planet has yielded exactly one mutual friend for Glenn Beck and me and that friend has written a brilliant book called God, No! Penn reveals 'the big secret of magic,' tells you why tattoos are perfect expressions of atheism and exactly what to eat when you know you're going to vomit later." --LAWRENCE O'DONNELL

"Penn Jillette is a twenty-first-century Lord of Misrule: big, boisterously anarchic, funny, Rabelaisian, impossible and unique. There isn't--couldn't be--better not be--anybody like him." --RICHARD DAWKINS, bestselling author of The Greatest Show on Earth and The God Delusion



Here is an interview of Penn Jillette by Piers http://youtu.be/UH9mx6odQR4

I'd love to interview Penn Jillette or do a live chat with him.



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Post Re: What non-fiction book would you like to discuss next??
I'd be up for "God, No!" :3


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