Michael’s Nonfiction Winter 2015 Picks

There is a great new crop of books coming out this year. Here are a few non-fiction selections (in alphabetical order by title) that I’m looking forward to reading in the next few months. Enjoy!

DeadWakeDead Wake, by Erik Larson

A hundred years ago, the Lusitania was sunk by a German sub off the coast of Ireland. Larson – a gifted narrative non-fiction author – explores the tragedy from several points of view, including the ship’s captain and passengers as well as the U-boat commander. Think Das Boot meets the Titanic. This promises to be a captivating read.

FearlessHeartA Fearless Heart, by Thupten Jinpa

The practice of compassion is the focus of this book by Buddhist instructor Thupten Jinpa. Using science, illustrations from classical Buddhism and western psychology, as well as stories from his own life, Jinpa models how to develop our practice of compassion to improve ourselves and our world. Be fearless!

GuantanamoDiaryGuantánamo Diary, by Mohamedou Ould Slahi

Slahi has been a prisoner in Guantánamo Bay since 2002 but has never been charged with a crime. A U.S. federal judge ordered his release in 2010, but so far there is no sign that he will ever be set free. In addition to being a vivid record of ongoing injustice, this diary is a personal memoir shining a light into a dark and horrifying place.

AllAlongIt Was Me All Along, by Andie Mitchell

This food memoir is by blogger Andie Mitchell, who at age 20, topped the scale at 268 pounds. It’s the story of how she overcame food addiction and found her way to a more healthy approach to a subject she loves. And what’s not to like about a narrative showing how someone overcame the odds and carved out a balanced life for herself?

KimJongIlA Kim Jong-Il Production, by Paul Fischer

Sometimes life is far loopier than fiction could hope to be. In 1978, prior to becoming dictator, Kim Jong-Il was head of North Korea’s Ministry of Propaganda. Dissatisfied with the available local talent for his productions, he had South Korea’s most famous actress and her well-known filmmaker husband kidnapped. After being “re-educated” the famous couple created seven films before escaping. You just can’t make this stuff up.

WildOatsThe Wild Oats Project, by Robin Rinaldi

When the author’s husband decides to have a vasectomy, Robin Rinaldi is suddenly adrift. Without the promise of a family, what should her marriage look like? She opts to explore an open relationship, sowing her “wild oats” on weekdays and returning to her husband on weekends. This book is generating a lot of buzz, not only for its voyeuristic qualities, but also for what the author discovers about love and meaning.


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