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Wed Dec 10, 2014, 05:37 PM

The best Non-Fiction book I read in 2014:

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
by Malcolm Gladwell

Amazon says:
Three thousand years ago on a battlefield in ancient Palestine, a shepherd boy felled a mighty warrior with nothing more than a stone and a sling, and ever since then the names of David and Goliath have stood for battles between underdogs and giants. David's victory was improbable and miraculous. He shouldn't have won. Or should he have?

In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks.

Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago. From there, David and Goliath examines Northern Ireland's Troubles, the minds of cancer researchers and civil rights leaders, murder and the high costs of revenge, and the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful classrooms---all to demonstrate how much of what is beautiful and important in the world arises from what looks like suffering and adversity.

In the tradition of Gladwell's previous bestsellers---The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw---David and Goliath draws upon history, psychology, and powerful storytelling to reshape the way we think of the world around us.

Highly recommend, imho.

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Reply The best Non-Fiction book I read in 2014: (Original post)
FSogol Dec 2014 OP
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2014 #1
FSogol Dec 2014 #2

Response to FSogol (Original post)

Wed Dec 10, 2014, 08:32 PM

1. Can I add one?????

Jane Austen's England: Daily Life in the Georgian and Regency Periods
by Roy Adkins.

I am a huge fan of details of daily life in the last 200-250 years, it helps me understand writers like Austen and Trollope and Dickens.
This particular book contains details I had not heard before, such as modes of transportation and what words we use today that came from those modes.

When one reads that Austen was born, lived and died in a 12 mile area of England, understanding the problems of getting around in her time makes it easier to comprehend why that may be so.
When one reads that she lived at a time when England was at war continuously, and how that affected the supply of false teeth in England...
well, who would have expected to learn that cause and effect detail?

Best part of books like this is you can pick them up, read a bit at a time if necessary.

About the Author
Roy and Lesley Adkins are husband-and-wife historians and archaeologists , have written several other books about life in England history.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 11, 2014, 09:35 AM

2. Of course you should add one. That's the point of these threads.

You mentioned life in Dickens' time so you should read:

"The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career & Revived Our Holiday Spirits"
by Les Standiford.

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