I am really looking forward to hearing what titles you have to suggest since non-fiction isn’t my first reading choice and I am sure there is much out there that I shouldn’t be missing. But I do have a few that I have really enjoyed.
First two: House by Tracy Kidder and Walden by Jeffrey Cramer. Kidder is an excellent writer and his titles span a wide range of topics. This one is about the building of a house in Amherst. One of his best known is Mountains Beyond Mountains which is about Paul Farmer’s work – much of it in Haiti. Walden is a lovely annotated edition by a local author.
David is very well known for his biographies but this title is a little different – it is the story of the building of the Panama Canal – not, as most of his are not, a short read.
Dava Sobel is the author of one of my favorite non-fiction titles – Longitude – an absolute gem of a book. In this one she looks at Galileo’s daughter who was sent to a nunnery – a look at the options open to brilliant women in that time period
If you are a birder and you are obsessed and willing to spend a year of your time and lots of money, you can attempt to see more bird species than anyone else in a single year. I don’t think the winner gets anything except bragging rights but this is a fairly light read – made into an amusing movie with Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, Jack Black and John Cleese.
My final suggestion is an unusual biography by Peter Ackroyd – instead of writing about a person he is giving you the biography of an entire city. It’s a slightly different = and interesting – take on history.