HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Reading & Writing » Non-Fiction (Group) » Hi, I'm looking for non-f...

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 05:08 PM

Hi, I'm looking for non-fiction recs of a specific type

I'm sending books to an incarcerated friend and he prefers non-fic.

If he was into fiction, it would be no problem because I read it by the ton. But, I'm at a loss for picking out non-fic books, especially with his very specific preferences added into the mix:

He likes books on motorcycle culture, mafia stuff, rock and roll biographies, history, Old West outlaws, and, gawd help us, conspiracy theory stuff. He's not a fan of the MC and mafia books written by undercover cops. *snort*

They have to be paperback and ship from Amazon. He's got a great sense of humor and I'm trying to keep his spirits up, so nothing too depressing/sad endings.

How's that for a bunch of guidelines?


A few I think he would like are either out of print and stupid expensive, or only ship from 3rd party sellers: In Cold Blood, The Corner, Hammer of the Gods, The Curse of Lono, David Paulides' Missing 411 books.

So far, he's liked Jim Carroll's diaries, Into the Wild, and the Jeff & Michael Shaara Civil War trilogy (those were close enough to non-fic for him). And now I'm out of ideas.

He requested Nikki Sixx's autobiography but Amazon only has it in hard cover right now. I was thinking of the Creature From Jekyll Island but afraid that might bore him.

He hasn't been much of a reader until now, so the field is wide open ... if the books fit into his parameters.

Any recs would be greatly appreciated.

17 replies, 1657 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Hi, I'm looking for non-fiction recs of a specific type (Original post)
happybird Apr 2019 OP
KPN Apr 2019 #1
happybird Apr 2019 #3
tblue37 Apr 2019 #2
happybird Apr 2019 #4
tblue37 Apr 2019 #14
happybird Apr 2019 #15
no_hypocrisy Apr 2019 #5
happybird Apr 2019 #9
dameatball Apr 2019 #6
underpants Apr 2019 #7
underpants Apr 2019 #8
happybird Apr 2019 #11
elfin Apr 2019 #10
PADemD Apr 2019 #12
Nay Apr 2019 #13
PoindexterOglethorpe May 2019 #16
Neoma May 2019 #17

Response to happybird (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 05:16 PM

1. In the history category Undaunted Courage is

a great book about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KPN (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 05:29 PM

3. Thank you!

Just checked out the description and reviews and I think he'll like it. It's in my cart.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to happybird (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 05:25 PM

2. Get a used copy of "In Cold Blood" for 99 cents plus shipping & handling:

https://t.alibris.com/In-Cold-Blood-Truman-Capote/book/3162179?qsort=p&matches=1483

(Alibris is often better for used book prices than Amazon is.)

S&H = $3.99

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tblue37 (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 05:34 PM

4. It has to be Amazon

per this particular jail's regulations. For used books, the order has to be fulfilled/shipped by Amazon, not the third party seller. It's a PITA.

All Amazon's used offerings of In Cold Blood ship by the seller. Ugh. It's $12 new, which isn't awful, but I've been trying to keep in the under $10 range for each book.

I'm going to keep and eye on the used listings- maybe one will ship through Amazon.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to happybird (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 29, 2019, 12:18 AM

14. Can't you get it then mail it, or is that not allowed? nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tblue37 (Reply #14)

Mon Apr 29, 2019, 01:01 AM

15. Sadly, no

They aren't even allowed to have the original letters that are sent- each page is xeroxed and the original shredded. It's to prevent drug smuggling.

The only other thing I can send is one food package per month, which has to be ordered through the company the jail uses for commissary. There's a $70 limit per package, which doesn't buy much. The portions are tiny and cost an arm and a leg.

Jail is such a freaking racket. I've had to sign up for 3 separate services, all from private companies: phone, the food package place, and to deposit money in his account (they take a 10% fee out of each deposit).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 06:41 PM

9. Ooo! I forgot about that one

Not sure if he's read it, will ask next time he calls. Thanks!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to happybird (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 06:04 PM

6. "Cigar City Mafia" by Scott M. Deitche. This book deals with the history of Mafia activity in the

Tampa area. I really enjoyed it because many of the places described I had been to as a child. A good read. It also has some good insights on what the local politics were like in those days.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to happybird (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 06:05 PM

7. 2. 1 I've read and one I haven't.

Tom Davis (of Franken and Davis) wrote an autobiography just before he died. Very frank and open. Great stories about Franken, Aykroyd, and Jerry Garcia. Davis was best friends with Jerry.

There's a fairly recently book by Che Guevara called "Motorcycle" about his trip with a friend all over South and Central America. They were in their mid 20's and both took off from their medical career/education.

Of course there's also Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which is supposed to be really good.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to happybird (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 06:13 PM

8. Ooh. Another "Havana Nocturne"

THIS I have read and it's really good. It's a parallel story of Meyer Lansky and Fidel Castro.
Lansky had his eye on Cuba going back to when he was running penny pitching in NYC.
The Cuban Revolution was really a comedy of errors (every major operation failed miserably) until they ran out of places to hide and said "What the hell. Let's go into Havana".


TJ English - who seems to specialize in mafia and underworld books.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to underpants (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 06:44 PM

11. The description and blurbs look crazy!

The Frank Sinatra orgy interrupted by a Girl Scout and nuns!?


Plus the history sounds fascinating. It's on my list for his next shipment. Thanks!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to happybird (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 06:41 PM

10. American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road by Nick Bilton

Amazing book. Reads like a thriller, though non-fiction.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to happybird (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 07:40 PM

12. The Black Hand by Stephan Talty

Beginning in the summer of 1903, an insidious crime wave stirred New York City, then the entire country, into panic. The children of Italian immigrants were being kidnapped and dozens of innocent victims gunned down. Bombs tore apart tenement buildings. Judges, senators, Rockefellers, and society matrons were threatened with gruesome deaths. The perpetratorsí only calling card: the symbol of a black hand.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1328911195/ref=tmm_fbs_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1556494604&sr=8-1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to happybird (Original post)

Sun Apr 28, 2019, 09:49 PM

13. I've read all these and recommend them:

The Devil in the White City -- Erik Larson
Thunderstruck -- Erik Larson
Mothman Prophecies -- John Keel
The Boys in the Boat -- Daniel Brown
Seabiscuit -- Laura Hillenbrand

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to happybird (Original post)

Sun May 5, 2019, 01:29 AM

16. For history and biography

take a look at the books by Candice Millard.

River of Doubt is about a trip ex president Teddy Roosevelt took to the Amazon after he left office.

Destiny of the Republic
is about the assassination of President Garfield.

Hero of the Empire
is about Winston Churchill and the Boer War.

I've actually only ever read Destiny, but it's among the very best books I've ever read. Eventually I'll get to the others.

As far as the very best book I have ever read in my entire life, it's Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser. I suppose I'm biased because I started reading the Little House books when I was about 8, I've reread them many times, and have read the earlier biographies of Laura. This one blows every other one out of the water. It gives a brief history of the Ingalls and Quiner families (her father's and mother's respectively) and then launches into a full and critical biography of Laura. Wow. It won the Pulitzer Prize for biography. Well deserved.

Fraser is also the author of God's Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church which I've also read and is likewise excellent.

I happen to be very aware that books to prisons in at least some states require they come from Amazon, and I know people will get tripped up because they don't always realize that the book they're ordering from Amazon comes from a third party.

Let us know when you need more suggestions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to happybird (Original post)

Sun May 19, 2019, 11:59 AM

17. Ok.

The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara
Hell's Angel's by Hunter S. Thompson
China Underground by Zachary Mexico
The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson
My Bloody Life by Reymundo Sanchez
No One Gets Out of Here Alive by Danny Sugarman, Jerry Hopkins
Playing Dead by Elizabeth Greenwood
Public Enemies by Bryan Burroughs
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
Rising Out of Hatred by Eli Saslow
The Road to Jonestown by Jeff Guinn
Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
Walking to the Moon by Chris Campion
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Jimi Hendrix by Sharon Lawrence

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread