Top Ten Tuesday: Book Club Picks

This week’s theme is a lot of fun – top ten book club picks! One of my favourite genres, and one that I think is woefully under-appreciated, is nonfiction. And so, here are ten nonfiction titles to try out with your book club.Β I’ve tried to pick titles with broad appeal that will encourage discussion and conversation.

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksΒ – Science, race, family, ethics, economics and politics collide in the fascinating story of Henrietta Lacks and her incredible cells.

The Devil in the White City – The stories of two men, one a sinister murderer and the other the architect behind the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, collide in this gripping true tale of crime and commerce.

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Into Thin Air – A thrilling account of the disastrous 1996 Everest season, in which 11 climbers lost their lives.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – Neurologist Oliver Sacks beautifully and sympathetically recounts some of the strangest and most fascinating cases he encountered during his long career.

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In a Sunburned Country – Pretty much any books by Brill Bryson is a good choice for a book club, but this exploration of Australia is one of Bryson’s laugh out loud funniest.

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void – Mary Roach always manages to make hard science accessible and often hilarious. This look at space exploration is fascinating, cheeky and highly informative.

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Working in the Shadows – A journalist spends a year undercover working the jobs “most Americans won’t do”, revealing the plight of undocumented migrants and poor Americans in this fascinating, at times heartbreaking account of life in the shadows.

52 Loaves – This hilarious account follows one man’s obsession to bake the perfect loaf of bread.

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The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Explore the natural history of cooking and food and take a hard look at the modern Western diet and what it means for the future of our society as a whole.

Orange is the New Black – When a successful young woman is sent to prison for a crime she committed years before, she discovers an entirely new world behind bars. An eye-opening, compassionate look at prison life.

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30 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Book Club Picks

  1. This is a great list! I enjoyed Henrietta Lacks, Devil in the White City, Into Thin Air, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Orange is the New Black. A couple of these are new to me (Working in the Shadows and 52 Loaves), but sounds wonderful. And the others are already on my wish list.I’ve been reading a lot more nonfiction lately.

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  2. I actually don’t read a lot of nonfiction. I just don’t have the focus for it. I think my brain thinks it was born in a fictitious world. BUT, I have Orange is the New Black on my shelf and I do really want to fit it in.

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    • Erik Larson is a great author for people exploring nonfiction, because he’s a really gripping writer whose books read like thrillers. Bill Bryson is also a great choice, since he’s got a great sense of humour, and his books are often side-splittingly funny.

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  3. I’ve only recently started pushing myself to read more nonfiction but I’ve found I have a hard time picking titles out to read. These look incredibly interesting and I’m adding most (possibly all) of them to my TBR!

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  4. Fantastic list! I see some titles I need to get to…Working in the Shadows, 52 Loaves, and Henrietta Lacks sound fascinating. Mary Roach’s work is consistently great and compelling as are Erik Larson and Oliver Sacks….and Bill Bryson. Okay, all your picks are awesome!! πŸ™‚

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  5. The Omnivore’s Dilemma is a book I wanted to read but never did… so I’m glad you reminded me. πŸ™‚ I don’t read as much non fiction as I did but there are so many I’d like to read, books like Omnivore and even some histories.

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  6. I definitely don’t read enough non-fiction– sometimes I’ll read a rock bio (I know, but it’s a guilty pleasure), but I’ve been meaning to read so many others. Like I own The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth and STILL haven’t read it. The Devil in the White City sounds SO interesting. I’m going to have to put that on my SOMEDAY list πŸ™‚

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  7. I really want to start giving non-fiction a try because I definitely don’t read enough of it. Henrietta Lacks and The Devil in the White City sound intriguing, and the Bill Bryson sounds really entertaining too.

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  8. I never really read nonfiction. Guess this is the time to widen my horizons, if you sayπŸ˜‚ great post! You have now given a lot of recs so I will maybe pick one up soon!

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    • Hurray, that’s what I love to hear! Nonfiction is such a great genre because there’s something for just about everyone – whether you like something series or funny, historic or contemporary, or just about anything else you could imagine, there’s a nonfiction title for you. πŸ™‚

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  9. Yes to Henrietta Lacks and Devil in the White City! I still think about those books years later.

    I’ve been meaning to read Oliver Sacks for a while. I hope to get to one of his books before this year is over!

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