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WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions! 
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 WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!


Please tell us what non-fiction book or books you think we should read and discuss as a community in October, November & December 2021. It will be helpful to provide a link to where we can learn more about your book suggestion. And if you really want to impress us add a few words about why you're suggesting the book.

We have a little over 3 weeks to select a new non-fiction book so your participation here in this process is greatly appreciated. After you've made your suggestion check back and monitor this discussion. When your fellow members suggest a book consider making a reply post telling us if you like the suggestion or don't find it a good fit for a BookTalk.org discussion. Just interact a bit here in this thread and help us work as a team towards finding a great book to talk about together.



Sat Sep 04, 2021 12:17 am
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Post Re: WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
I am just about finished reading Mama's Last Hug by de Waal. This is my first of his works and I loved it. His writing is clear and concise yet he manages to convey complex topics at the same time.

So I was looking for another of his works to read in the near future and this one stood out. So figured I would suggest for discussion.

The title may seem like another hard atheist selection, but from what I understand de Waal is not enemy of religion. He is a non-believer, but not what one would call a hard-liner.

The Bonobo and the Atheist - SciAm Review


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Post Re: WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
If I don't see some non-fiction suggestions flowing in I'll have to pick books myself and just run a poll.



Sun Sep 05, 2021 4:53 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
I can suggest some more...


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Post Upheaval - Jared Diamond
Upheaval - Link to B&N listing.

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A riveting and illuminating Bill Gates Summer Reading pick about how and why some nations recover from trauma and others don't (Yuval Noah Harari), by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the landmark bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel.
In his international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, in his third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crises while adopting selective changes -- a coping mechanism more commonly associated with individuals recovering from personal crises.
Diamond compares how six countries have survived recent upheavals -- ranging from the forced opening of Japan by U.S. Commodore Perry's fleet, to the Soviet Union's attack on Finland, to a murderous coup or countercoup in Chile and Indonesia, to the transformations of Germany and Austria after World War Two. Because Diamond has lived and spoken the language in five of these six countries, he can present gut-wrenching histories experienced firsthand. These nations coped, to varying degrees, through mechanisms such as acknowledgment of responsibility, painfully honest self-appraisal, and learning from models of other nations. Looking to the future, Diamond examines whether the United States, Japan, and the whole world are successfully coping with the grave crises they currently face. Can we learn from lessons of the past?


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Post The Hundred Year Marathon - Michael Pillsbury
The Hundred Year Marathon:China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower (Link - bookshop.org)

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One of the U.S. government's leading China experts reveals the hidden strategy fueling that country's rise - and how Americans have been seduced into helping China overtake us as the world's leading superpower.

For more than forty years, the United States has played an indispensable role helping the Chinese government build a booming economy, develop its scientific and military capabilities, and take its place on the world stage, in the belief that China's rise will bring us cooperation, diplomacy, and free trade. But what if the China Dream is to replace us, just as America replaced the British Empire, without firing a shot?

Based on interviews with Chinese defectors and newly declassified, previously undisclosed national security documents, The Hundred-Year Marathon reveals China's secret strategy to supplant the United States as the world's dominant power, and to do so by 2049, the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic. Michael Pillsbury, a fluent Mandarin speaker who has served in senior national security positions in the U.S. government since the days of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, draws on his decades of contact with the hawks in China's military and intelligence agencies and translates their documents, speeches, and books to show how the teachings of traditional Chinese statecraft underpin their actions. He offers an inside look at how the Chinese really view America and its leaders - as barbarians who will be the architects of their own demise.

Pillsbury also explains how the U.S. government has helped - sometimes unwittingly and sometimes deliberately - to make this China Dream come true, and he calls for the United States to implement a new, more competitive strategy toward China as it really is, and not as we might wish it to be. The Hundred-Year Marathon is a wake-up call as we face the greatest national security challenge of the twenty-first century.


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Post Re: WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
Chris OConnor wrote:
If I don't see some non-fiction suggestions flowing in I'll have to pick books myself and just run a poll.


Don't threaten us!

I am definitely on board for anything by Frans de Waal or Jared Diamond. Thanks, Mr. P.

We discussed Guns, Germs, and Steel a few years back. The third in this series, Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis was published in 2019 and is 512 pages.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/upheav ... 0316409148

Besides The Bonobo and the Atheist, De Waal also wrote Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are—published in 2017 and is 352 pages.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/are-we ... 3662&aug=1

I would also read The Human Cosmos: Civilization and the Stars by Jo Marchant, published in 2020 and is 400 pages. It has been selected by several organizations as a "best book" of 2020.

Here's a description:

Quote:
An historically unprecedented disconnect between humanity and the heavens has opened. Jo Marchant's book can begin to heal it.

For at least 20,000 years, we have led not just an earthly existence but a cosmic one. Celestial cycles drove every aspect of our daily lives. Our innate relationship with the stars shaped who we are—our art, religious beliefs, social status, scientific advances, and even our biology. But over the last few centuries we have separated ourselves from the universe that surrounds us. It's a disconnect with a dire cost.

Our relationship to the stars and planets has moved from one of awe, wonder and superstition to one where technology is king—the cosmos is now explored through data on our screens, not by the naked eye observing the natural world. Indeed, in most countries modern light pollution obscures much of the night sky from view. Jo Marchant's spellbinding parade of the ways different cultures celebrated the majesty and mysteries of the night sky is a journey to the most awe inspiring view you can ever see—looking up on a clear dark night. That experience and the thoughts it has engendered have radically shaped human civilization across millennia. The cosmos is the source of our greatest creativity in art, in science, in life.

To show us how, Jo Marchant takes us to the Hall of the Bulls in the caves at Lascaux in France, and to the summer solstice at a 5,000-year-old tomb at New Grange in Ireland. We discover Chumash cosmology and visit medieval monks grappling with the nature of time and Tahitian sailors navigating by the stars. We discover how light reveals the chemical composition of the sun, and we are with Einstein as he works out that space and time are one and the same. A four-billion-year-old meteor inspires a search for extraterrestrial life. The cosmically liberating, summary revelation is that star-gazing made us human.


https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-hu ... 0593183014

BTW, I am increasingly inclined not to shop at Amazon for personal reasons, which is why I'm not showing Amazon links.


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Mon Sep 06, 2021 4:41 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
Ditto on Amazon. Bookshop.org is a good option as they support local shops with proceeds from each purchase. And B&N is at least not Amazon. Lol


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Post Re: WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
You guys sick of where Amazon stands on social issues? I use Amazon to grab book cover images but their affiliate program has never really made us any money here on BookTalk.org. No matter how much I want to get away from them I always go back and order more. The convenience is hard to deny. A few minutes ago I ordered a box of Temptations cat treats, a box of Q-Tips and a magnet fishing kit. :blush:



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Post Re: WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
Chris OConnor wrote:
You guys sick of where Amazon stands on social issues? I use Amazon to grab book cover images but their affiliate program has never really made us any money here on BookTalk.org. No matter how much I want to get away from them I always go back and order more. The convenience is hard to deny. A few minutes ago I ordered a box of Temptations cat treats, a box of Q-Tips and a magnet fishing kit. :blush:

I buy way too much stuff from Amazon, but increasingly I feel somewhat guilty about it.

Remember in the 1990s a Wal-Mart coming to town was seen as a threat for many small businesses? It's not difficult to imagine Amazon's effect being much, much worse. It's getting to the point where it's very difficult to buy some items locally. It's easier and cheaper to buy our crap from Amazon. But there's a potential downside to this convenience when the company becomes the only game in town.

I like my Kindle and will probably keep using it, though I still read a lot of physical books too. I know many readers who read exclusively on a Kindle and they are missing out on many (mostly older) books that are either out of print or not available on Kindle. So already you see that our reading choices are being limited. Amazon has a huge influence in the publishing world already. The company promotes its own books over other competitors and so has an unfair advantage. If you read exclusively on a Kindle, you are being spoon-fed your choices.

Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I don't want my reading selections to be decided by a corporation.

Buying from B&N is probably not the best solution, but at least they still have brick-and-mortar stores. I actually buy most of my books used from third-party sellers on Abebooks. I love getting those packages in the mail!


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Post Re: WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
Geo, that all makes perfect sense and I've thought of those very same issues many times over the years. Nobody can compete with Amazon. Just think of the power Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple have over our lives. They really control the world.



Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:38 pm
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Post Re: WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
I am concerned about the power Amazon has and is trying to grab... Like all the techs. Pay damn taxes.

I use Amazon but I am definitely trying to use it as little as possible. I will cart stuff and then see if I can find it locally. Books I do not buy from Amazon at all anymore.

I do and will still use Kindle. But only for select few books.


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Post Re: WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
BookTalk does a lot of thinking about thinking correctly. We're reading Think Again by Adam Grant and previously discussed Good Thinking by Guy Harrison, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, When Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd Riniolo and On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not by Richard Burton.

So how about taking up some of the concepts in those books by reading one we know will challenge our ideas, one we will probably absolutely hate? I don't have specific recommendations, but perhaps a well regarded book that challenges evolution, climate change, the scientific method, atheism, Covid-19, critical thinking, or diversity? There is a risk - this could be an fascinating experiment or a highly annoying failure. We have avoided this in the past - is BookTalk up for that challenge?

On edit:
I checked back again and stand corrected: BookTalk did accept this challenge once or twice. We read Science Was Born of Christianity: The Teaching of Fr. Stanley L. Jaki by Stacy Trasancos. This was advocated by a stahrwe, a prominent poster at that time. The author is a stripper turned chemist and then Catholic theologian. This probably was not the best example of a challenging book because Stanley Jaki believed that only physicists (and maybe chemists) are scientists. All other scientific disciplines such as biology, psychology, medicine, anthropology, etc. are merely engaging in "reasoned discourse."

Another challenging book may have been Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection by D.M. Murdock, AKA Acharya S. I didn't read that one, so not sure.

Anyway, are we up for another challenge of this type?



Wed Sep 08, 2021 4:06 am
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Post Re: WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
I think such a discussion could be quite engaging despite how it annoys us at times. Just try to find a few books that fall into this category and present them with perhaps a brief explanation of why you think we might all benefit/grow from a discussion of that book.

As a child I used to pick up whatever books my foster parents had in the house. They usually weren't ideal for a young boy, but it really made a difference in my life and perspective on the world. I love your idea of tackling a book that we're potentially going to want to rip apart in frustration. OK, my words mot yours. But this could be fun.



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Post Re: WANTED: October, November & December NON-FICTION suggestions!
We could have two non-fiction selections - a regular one plus a challenge for those bored by all the bias confirmation. :-D :hmm:

Ok here is one challenge item just published yesterday, so it should be "fresh." Believing Is Seeing: A Physicist Explains How Science Shattered His Atheism and Revealed the Necessity of Faith by Michael Guillen, PhD.
Is your worldview enlightened enough to accommodate both science and God at the same time? Dr. Michael Guillen, a best-selling author, Emmy award–winning journalist and former physics instructor at Harvard, used to be an Atheist—until science changed his mind. Once of the opinion that people of faith are weak, small-minded folks who just don’t understand science, Dr. Guillen ultimately concluded that not only does science itself depend on faith, but faith is actually the mightiest power in the universe.

...Is it true that “seeing is believing?” Or is it possible that reality can be perceived most clearly with the eyes of faith—and that truth is bigger than proof? Let Dr. Guillen be your guide as he brilliantly argues for a large and enlightened worldview consistent with both God and modern science.

Here’s another challenge, you have probably heard of this scientist. He comments on Covid-19 policy from time to time. It appears he believes in the big bang and evolution, but also believes God was involved. Francis S. Collins is one of the country's leading geneticists and the longtime head of the Human Genome Project. Prior to coming to Washington, he helped to discover the genetic misspellings that cause cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, and Huntington's disease. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland, and in his spare time he enjoys riding a motorcycle and playing guitar.

Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis Collins. An instant bestseller from Templeton Prize–winning author Francis S. Collins, The Language of God provides the best argument for the integration of faith and logic since C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity.

It has long been believed that science and faith cannot mingle. Faith rejects the rational, while science restricts us to a life with no meaning beyond the physical. It is an irreconcilable war between two polar-opposite ways of thinking and living. Written for believers, agnostics, and atheists alike, The Language of God provides a testament to the power of faith in the midst of suffering without faltering from its logical stride. Readers will be inspired by Collin’s personal story of struggling with doubt, as well as the many revelations of the wonder of God’s creation that will forever shape the way they view the world around them.

Let's also try to pick something from a different topic, may need some help...


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