Interesting, recent non-fiction that is available on Kindle
June 4, 2017 1:37 AM   Subscribe

I used to be a big reader of non-fiction, but I haven't read much lately because I've been too busy. I'd like to change that. I'm out of the loop, though - I don't know what new, interesting, or important non-fiction has been released within the last few years. The big requirement: It has to be available on Kindle. I'm in an area where I can't order physical books.

I prefer non-fiction that isn't too dumbed down for a popular audience. I tend to read a lot of history and science - particularly medicine and astronomy. Some books I liked:
  • The Emperor of All Maladies by Mukherjee
  • A History of the World in 12 Maps by Brotton
  • 1491 by Mann
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Skloot
(And a lot more.) I'm not really set on the subject, and am especially open to recommendations from people in a particular field who think that such-and-such book about their field is good.
posted by Kutsuwamushi to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
You'd probably like any of Mary Roach's books; Grunt is her most recent.
posted by neushoorn at 2:38 AM on June 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


When breath becomes air, by Paul Kalanithi. Caveat: sad.
posted by Nieshka at 3:33 AM on June 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


The Hemingses of Monticello seems like it might be a good fit.
posted by obfuscation at 4:31 AM on June 4, 2017




I second Mary Roach. Gulp, Stiff and Bonk are good.
posted by starlybri at 6:40 AM on June 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied Hospital is an excellent mix of history and medicine. It doesn't come out until September, but I read an advance copy recently and thought it was fascinating. It's not just the history of one hospital, but the history of the development of medicine and medical care in general, with Bellevue as the backdrop. Good stuff.
posted by bookmammal at 6:40 AM on June 4, 2017


Dominic Lieven's The End of Tsarist Russia: The March to World War I and Revolution is the best thing available on the subject, and in fact the best history book I've read in a while. Only $9.99 on Kindle!
posted by languagehat at 6:42 AM on June 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


Here are a few I've read, and that are all available on kindle:

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson, about a cholera plague in 19th century London (also How We Got To Now by the same author...though on re-read these may not be recent enough.)

The Invention of Nature, a biography of Alexander von Humboldt by Andrea Wulf is recentish (2015) and was quite good.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson was, for me, a gripping and fast read. Same with his other books if you've not read those.

One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson is a neat little microhistory of a very short time frame.

I've not read these (yet), but a couple more suggestions:

The Radium Girls, by Kate Moore, about women who worked in factories painting radium-laced paint onto glow-in-the-dark watch hands, and what doing so did to them.

Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly, about African-American mathematicians working for NASA.

A Warrior of the People by Joe Starita. A biography of Susan La Flesche, the first Native American doctor.
posted by Janta at 6:43 AM on June 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


Lower Ed by Tressie McMillan Cottom is an insightful look at the for-profit education industry. I work in education and wish I could convince every single person I know to read this book.
posted by zebra at 7:13 AM on June 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


I wanted to throw in a "didja know about this" and mention that Amazon now has Prime Reading.
If you're a Prime Member, you can peruse fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels and read them for free.
This might encourage you (and others) to try something outside your current comfort zone.

Prime Reading on Amazon
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 8:00 AM on June 4, 2017 [3 favorites]


Mukherjee has a newer one out, called "The Gene: An Intimate History," which is about this history of genetic research, and how to us what you know about your own genes.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:19 AM on June 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


Seconding "the gene".
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:50 AM on June 4, 2017


The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson

Ghettoside, by Jill Leovy

Dreamland. By Sam Quinones

were all five star reads for me
posted by janey47 at 11:01 AM on June 4, 2017


Robert Kolker's true crime account of the murder of five women near Long Island, Lost Girls, is fantastic, but depressing. It is definitely available for Kindle.
posted by rpfields at 11:22 AM on June 4, 2017


Many good suggestions here. One more: THE best nonfiction I've read in recent years on Kindle is KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps.
posted by bearwife at 3:34 PM on June 4, 2017


Bunch of good recommendations! I've downloaded a bunch of free samples and will get to reading!
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:13 AM on June 5, 2017


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