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Back To School Book Week {Non-Fiction}

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Now we're talking! Non-Fiction has become my favorite reading genre in the last 5 years, probably because I got so sick of reading novels for school. In one semester, I would read anywhere from 25-50 books for my English major, and I just got sick of reading fiction for awhile. I did have a book club for the past two years that mainly read fiction, but even still, Non-Fiction was my 'under-the-covers-with-a-flashlight' reading. Statistically, adults don't read hardly at all (80% haven't read anything!), and the ones who do rarely read non-fiction, which is surprising to me because it would seem no one is learning anything! (Kudos, though, to Harry Potter, getting all those kids reading 800+ page books, J.K., you rock!)
Anyway, this post is full of praise for non-fiction because it's generally eye-opening. Biography, Memoir, Social Research, Historical books are all fascinating...because they're true! Even if I do have to read fiction, I prefer it to be historical fiction so there is some inkling that it could have happened. Enough with the lecture...let's get on with it!
Girls Gone Mild by Wendy Shalit (also renamed The Good Girl Revolution) is a social study on the subculture of women returning to a more modest, feminine lifestyle instead of the "hook-up culture". It's a fascinating read, and one I liked so much that I bought a few copies for my friends. I think everyone that has children, girls OR boys should read this book and glean from it, if not read it with their teenage children (though, preferably, the information could be used with children as little as 5, as girls that age are now reported to be on diets and struggle with eating disorders...) The reason is so many men (boys) are growing up in a world where women are not respected and the repercussions of that, and women (girls) are seen only for their body image, pretty face, and usefulness to men. Don't get me wrong, it's NOT a feminist book (I, too, do not align myself with any feminism, only equal rights for women). I would argue the author is against the main forms that feminism has taken in this country, making things easier for men, and that much harder for women. Read it, you won't be able to put it down! The statistics are shocking and even the bibliography is as precise as possible!

Honorable Mention:
  • Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. Loved this book, since it's about something near and dear to my heart: getting kids outside. This book goes into all the evidence of what he calls "Nature-Deficit Disorder" which means, kids are not getting re-energized or smarter by staying inside playing more computer & video games. (He's not just knocking games, he's knocking the culture of fear, too.) His book is written for the average person, parent, teaching, or medical professional, but it is somewhat of a challenging read. He talks about everything from nature providing relief to children with ADHD and autism to inner city schools that benefit from growing a garden instead a parking lot. It's fascinating, and wouldn't you think it's common sense that...when we spend time outside we're refreshed, re-energized, and our mind is clearer? Of course, the same outcome is for children!
  • Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy. I first heard of this book on Mrs. Skenazy's blog, Free Range Kids, and I offered to review her book on my blog. I was happy she obliged and sent me a copy, since I finished this interesting little sucker in little over two days. It's short, witty, and statistically fascinating! Free Range Kids goes against everything you've ever heard about child predators, kidnapping, and letting those kids play outside! She is a feisty author who is totally backed up by her crazy statistics. If you've ever (I have, too, so don't be shy) ever EVER felt afraid to let your children play outside by themselves, you need to read this book. You'll find it as fascinating as I did! Just read her hilarious blog if you don't believe me....
  • Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy. I really liked this book because I love historical non-fiction. This book was a study (really non-biased) of all the birthing practices from ancient times through present day, and which are more beneficial for mother & baby alike. If you have problems with medical 'imagery', I suggest you do not read this book. Some parts are a bit heavy in the shock value. If you don't have a problem with it, this is a fascinating look at something so common to us all.
Hope you enjoyed Book Week!

Comments

kylee said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
kylee said…
Shelfari "Plan to Read" update occuring as we speak! Thanks for all of the recommendations this week!
oobbles said…
Oh I am going to read all of those!! I have been reading a lot of memoirs lately, but I hadn't even considered that they were nonfiction. They are so fascinating they just seem to be a good story.
great list. i am putting a few on my to read list.
thanks!

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