Like every single year, I didn't read as much Non-Fiction as I meant to -- but I did read a decent amount. These are the best of the bunch.

 

(in alphabetical order by author)

 

Luck Favors the PreparedLuck Favors the Prepared


by Nathaniel Barber

My original post


Nathaniel Barber has a real gift at taking embarrassing (mortifying?), frustrating, and/or inexplicable episodes from his life and turning them into amusing tales. Some of the best descriptive passages I read this year -- no matter the genre. I won't promise you'll like every story in this collection of short autobiographical pieces, but you'll like most of 'em -- and you will find something in the rest to appreciate. Fun, heartwarming, and disturbing -- sometimes all at once.

4 Stars

 

How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at OddsHow to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds


by Alan Jacobs

My original post

 

As Carl Trueman asked Jacobs, how do you give this book to someone with that title? It's a shame you can't give it as a gift without implicitly insulting someone, because this needs to be given to everyone you know -- especially everyone who spends any time online. Entertaining, convicting, convincing, challenging. This is as close to a must read as I came across last year (maybe in the last two).

4 Stars

Reacher Said NothingReacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make Me


by Andy Martin


You know how many times I've tried to write about this book? I read it back in January and am still enthused about it. Part literary criticism, part author biography, part fan letter -- Martin follows Lee Child through the writing of Make Me, and delivers one of the most enjoyable reads from last year -- easy. It's like the one of your favorite DVDs with a fantastic set of commentaries and special features, but somehow better (for one thing, it's not like Martin's drowning out the best scenes with his blather). It reminds me of talking about Child/Reacher with a good friend (which I do pretty frequently) -- but Martin's more erudite than either of us. Just so much fun.

5 Stars

Henry: A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to AmericaHenry: A Polish Swimmer's True Story of Friendship from Auschwitz to America


by Katrina Shawver

My original post

 

Unlike the Jacobs book, I do know how to give this to people -- and I have. The writing could be sharper -- but the story? It'll reshape the way you think about the Holocaust -- not by lessening the horror, but by broadening your view. This story of survival is one that will stay with you.

4 Stars

 

Source: http://irresponsiblereader.com/2018/01/03/my-favorite-2017-non-fiction-reads