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I don't read a ton of nonfiction, but this sounds like a fun way for me to broaden my reading and my knowledge of nonfiction books, so I'm in. I've started adding books that I've read this year, and I'm going to slowly but surely start broad and work my way into more detail (perhaps to every "ten," but we'll see how it goes).
Updated May 2, 2011:
Nonfiction makes up about 10% of my reading, and I tend to read books about books, biographies of favorite authors, literature, plays, and a smattering of books on language or sports when I'm left to my own devices. This is an attempt to expand my nonfiction reading, even if only in small ways.
I'll be updating the following every so often to see how I'm progressing in my totals (below is my list by class):
002 The book The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Barlett
004 Data processing Computer science The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
(007 Not assigned or no longer used)
(008 Not assigned or no longer used)
(009 Not assigned or no longer used)
011 Bibliographies Book Lust by Nancy Pearl
016 Bibliographies of works from specific subjects 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, edited by Peter Boxall
020 Library & information sciences This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson
(024 Not assigned or no longer used)
027 General libraries The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel
028 Reading, use of other information media The Pleasure of Reading, edited by Antonia Fraser (and a few others)
(029 Not assigned or no longer used)
(040 Not assigned or no longer used)
(041 Not assigned or no longer used)
(042 Not assigned or no longer used)
(043 Not assigned or no longer used)
(044 Not assigned or no longer used)
(045 Not assigned or no longer used)
(046 Not assigned or no longer used)
(047 Not assigned or no longer used)
(048 Not assigned or no longer used)
(049 Not assigned or no longer used)
(104 Not assigned or no longer used)
(112 Not assigned or no longer used)
(125 Not assigned or no longer used)
(132 Not assigned or no longer used)
(134 Not assigned or no longer used)
(136 Not assigned or no longer used)
(151 Not assigned or no longer used)
153 Mental processes & intelligence A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink
155 Differential & developmental psychology One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I've Learned About Everyone's Struggle to Be Singular by Abigail Pogrebin
(157 Not assigned or no longer used)
(159 Not assigned or no longer used)
(163 Not assigned or no longer used)
(164 Not assigned or no longer used)
(217 Not assigned or no longer used)
(219 Not assigned or no longer used)
222 Historical books of the Old Testament Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy by Kelly Minter (no touchstone)
231 God No Other Gods by Kelly Minter
236 Eschatology The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
(237 Not assigned or no longer used)
242 Devotional literature If by Amy Carmichael
(244 Not assigned or no longer used)
248 Christian experience, practice, life Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
252 Texts of Sermons Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr.
(256 Not assigned or no longer used)
(257 Not assigned or no longer used)
(258 Not assigned or no longer used)
261 Social theology Show Me God by Fred Heeren
277 Christian church in North America Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller
(288 Not assigned or no longer used)
(298 Not assigned or no longer used)
302 Social Interaction You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen
305 Social Groups Barefoot in Baghdad by Manal Omar
306 Culture & Institutions Singled Out by Virginia Nicholson
330 Economics Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
362 Social welfare problems & services Little Princes by Connor Grennan
363 Other social problems & services Haiti After the Earthquake by Paul Farmer et al.
371 School management; special education F in Exams by Richard Benson
372 Elementary Education Raising Bookworms by Emma Walton Hamilton
394 394 General customs The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien
500 Natural sciences & mathematics A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
516 Geometry The Joy of Pi by David Blatner
(517 Not assigned or no longer used)
(518 Not assigned or no longer used)
523 Specific celestial bodies & phenomena A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
(524 Not assigned or no longer used)
551 Geology, hydrology, meteorology Krakatoa by Simon Winchester
(571 Not assigned or no longer used)
598 Aves (Birds) A Supremely Bad Idea by Luke Dempsey
(804 Not assigned or no longer used On the Art of Reading by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch - the library I borrowed from used this call number, otherwise I think it would've ended up in 028 or one of the other categories I've already covered)
808 Rhetoric & collections of literature Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
811 American poetry in English The Radiation Sonnets by Jane Yolen
813 American fiction in English The Beekeeper's Apprentice and many more
814 American essays in English Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
818 Miscellaneous writings 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
821 English poetry The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien
822 English drama The Tempest by Shakespeare
823 English fiction Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis and several others
833 German fiction City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
843 French fiction The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupery
863 Spanish fiction The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
891 East Indo-European & Celtic literature Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
892 Afro-Asiatic literatures Semitic Adrift on the Nile by Naguib Mahfouz
910 Geography and Travel Best American Travel Writing 2009, edited by Simon Winchester
914 Europe Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
918 South America The Lost City of Z by David Grann
926 No longer used (formerly a biography division) Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
928 No longer used (formerly biographies of authors) Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson
940 General history of Europe Maus by Art Spiegelman
941 General history of Europe - British Isles The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi
942 General history of Europe - England & Wales London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd
955 General history of Asia - Iran Things I've Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi
968 General history of Africa - Southern Africa The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa by Josh Swiller
971 General history of North America - Canada The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede
977 General history of North America North - central United States Why I Left the Amish by Saloma Miller Furlong (no touchstone)
998 General history of other areas - Arctic islands & Antarctica The Ends of the Earth: An Anthology of the Finest Writing on the Arctic and Antarctic edited by Elizabeth Kolbert and Francis Spufford
*Most libraries don't classify biographies in this way anymore, but since my local public library does (both libraries in which I work do, in fact), I'm going to use their classification when I've already filled in the other number a book would have had. In other words, I'll fill in the most up-to-date Dewey number first, then the "no longer used," and I won't finish all the "no longer used" in bios if that's all I have left at the end.
welcome! You've got a good approach to the challenge. Mini challenges are satisfying to complete for Dewey and you'll definitely find you self reading interesting things you wouldn't have found otherwise.
thanks, fundevogel! When I choose nonfiction, I tend to find I read in similar subject areas, so I figured this would be a fun way of reading outside my comfort zone and learning interesting new things at the same time. I'm looking forward to being a little more purposeful in the nonfiction I pick to read.
welcome - I'm another one who tends to read in the same limited subjects. I've found this challenge to be a good way to encourage myself to read new things.
sjmccreary - thanks for the welcome. I'm looking forward to the challenge and seeing what other people are reading, too.
Just an update to say that I'm reading You Just Don't Understand to fill a spot in the 300s. I haven't gotten very far, and it may be awhile because I own the book and tend to read books with due dates faster. But I expect it will be interesting reading.
Edited in an attempt to fix the touchstone
306 Singled Out by Virginia Nicholson - Another 100 down! This was an interesting look at single women living in England between the World Wars. After WW1, there were several more women than men who were known collectively as the "surplus women." This tells some of their stories, from women who had to work extremely hard jobs to support elderly parents from single, educated young women who had enough money to travel and absolutely love every minute of being single and several more in between. An interesting history about a topic I hadn't thought of much.
Currently reading -
302 You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen and
598 A Supremely Bad Idea by Luke Dempsey
598 A Supremely Bad Idea by Luke Dempsey - loved the birding parts, was "meh" about everything else. His sarcastic sense of humor annoyed me rather than tickling my funny bone. An OK read.
302 You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen
A convincing argument presented in a clear, conversational style for the differences in how men and women tend to talk - and perceive a conversation. Dr. Tannen supports her observation that men often approach a conversation in terms of status and women in terms of connection with real life anecdotes (I even recognized some conversations as mirrors of some that I've had!) and transcripts of experiments. Recommended.
#19 That one sounds very interesting - I'm adding it to the wishlist for later.
641 Untangling My Chopsticks by Victoria Abbott Riccardi
At the age of twenty-five, Victoria Abbott (unmarried at the time) traveled to Kyoto to learn the art of tea kaiseki, the meal that comes before the better-known tea ceremony. She was an excellent descriptor of the foods she made and tasted, though sometimes her style of writing annoyed me. About 26 recipes are included throughout.
420 Made in America by Bill Bryson
Whoops...forgot to update this thread when I finished this. In short, a fascinating mix of linguistics, history, and random details related to the English language in America. I've posted a longer review on the work page for anyone interested.
#23 Another one for the wishlist. I really need to stop read threads and start reading more books!
LOL...definitely a danger on this site, isn't it? The wishlist grows ever faster...
#26 Not me, I'm still in denial. I can stop adding books anytime and get them all read in about 9 months. If I wanted to. I just don't want to. ;-)
haha...or you could take the point of view that I try to...I may not get to all the books I want to read in my lifetime but I will never reach the point where there's nothing I want to read. :-)
Yikes - it's been awhile since I had anything new to report. Well, without further ado:
155 One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I've Learned About Everyone's Struggle to be Singular by Abigal Pogrebin is a part psychology, part interview, part memoir exploration of the world of twins, covering everything from aspects of the relationship to the loss of a twin. I've always been interested in twins (and used to wish I had one), so I found it fascination. Longer review here.
Milestone reached - each 100 has been read!
thanks, Zoe and sjmccreary. I'm happy to have met it in my first year of the challenge (since most of my nonfiction reading falls under literary criticism or sports), and I'm hoping to fill out a hundred next year. Maybe the 800s with a few translations, or the 900s with history? Any recommendations for numbers I'm missing?
I have found myself lately checking out the dewey number on every book that looks interesting - just to see if it is in a section that I don't have yet. Sometimes, when I'm waffling about adding a book to my wishlist, I'll let that be the deciding factor! I've also been making notes on my Dewey chart on excel about which sections and divisions I have on the wishlist, so that I can tell at a glance which I still need to find books to fill.
If you're not overly sensitive about religion Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir (920) is a pretty interesting read. I read much of it aloud with my mother (who is deeply religious) and we both enjoyed it a lot.
It's a memoir about growing up in an Orthodox Jewish community with a very disfunctional family. Consequently there are some very funny stories and some very sad stories. The shifts between tone can be subtle so it can take a little time to realize when a story is about something particularly disfunctional.
I particularly like how the stories of his childhood inform how he approaches the up coming birth of his son.
I've heard of Foreskin's lament elsewhere on LT, and had had an unrelated conversation about circumcision with some friends on Facebook.. interesting enough to go on Mt. Tbr
Foreskin's Lament does sound pretty interesting. I haven't quite decided how I'm doing biographies, since most libraries (and Dewey) categorize them all 921, while my library still uses the old system, division by profession into 920s and 928s (authors) and 927s (arts and entertainment)...and I might just read it that way. If I do, I'm not quite sure if it will fit, but maybe I'll just make it. :-)
I think most of us aren't trying to fill the no longer used/unassigned sections. We just add them when we happen to find something there. Of course it's totally up to you how you handle it.
The only reason I'm really thinking seriously about doing it differently from biographies is that the library where I work does it this way. At least this year, I'm going to try filling the spots mainly from books that my library owns and have this challenge doing triple duty: making myself more familiar with the Dewey Decimal System, subjects that I wouldn't normally read, and the books available in my library.
On the other hand, there are enough spaces to fill and subjects to read without making myself read 10 bios instead of one...so we'll see. :-)
Another one down:
998 - The Ends of the Earth: An Anthology of the Finest Writing on the Arctic and the Antarctic edited by Elizabeth Kolbert and Francis Spufford
A neat collection of fiction and nonfiction on the Polar regions to commemorate the fourth International Polar Year (2007-March 2009) - a longer review here.
020 This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson
Borrowed this ARC from a co-worker and fellow librarian. Overall, an interesting series of vignettes linked by the intersection of librarians and technology. I would have liked it better before I went to library school and learned about almost everything she covers, but I'd recommend it to folks thinking about becoming librarians - longer review here.
I thought so. I think I'm going to have fun filling the 420s. I always wished I'd taken more than just one intro to linguistics class...
833 City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
Translated from German - fun fantasy story about a literary dinosaur.
222 Ruth: Loss, Love & Legacy by Kelly Minter (no touchstone)
A Bible study on the book of Ruth - I don't generally count devotionals or Bible studies because there's usually more writing than reading, but otherwise I would never finish Dewey, so I've decided to count it.
I like Kelly's approach to the book, taking only a few verses at a time and exploring this Old Testament book slowly (only four chapters in six weeks!). Even if you're familiar with the story of Ruth, you're bound to find details and connections you didn't make before. My pet peeve with Bible studies, particularly those written by women, are the questions that have you "imagine you were..." or "how do you think ___ felt" - there are a few here, as well as a couple of leading questions, but overall it's a solid study that provided enough fodder for good discussions every week.
22 Lol, I hate the silly questions, and the overinflated emotional messages. My mom sent me "the Purpose Driven Life" a while back. I think a lot of parents did, thing is that I actually attempted to read it while my friend that actually still is a Christian never even considered reading the copy her parents sent. I couldn't get through it, I can't respect a book that has to use such a ginormous typeface and I thought it was criminal to use that many exclamation points.
Edit: Hey, check it out, "ginormous" has gained official acceptance in the English lexicon.
Yeah, I'm a Christian, but there are still some Bible studies I like more than others. Haven't read Purpose Driven Life so I can't really say about that one, though I think too many exclamation points would bug me too. :) This one was good overall and usually stuck with the text, but I don't like the ones that always ask about feelings or to imagine beyond. I know it works for some people, but my general thought is if it doesn't say, it's not important.
LOL re:ginormous, and apparently it's been in the language for 60 years already! hehe...
Well if you prefer substance in your religious studies, as it seems you do, I don't recommend The Purpose Driven Life. If I remember correctly it was pretty thin and shallow on actual Biblical reference and study...It's more of a self help book, a fluffy, feel good, "yay God!" self help book. I think it's actually aimed at a fairly small number of people that like to read that sort of thing...it just happens to be a group that loves to give other folks these books too ;).
It's good that you've been able to find the less cheesy stuff. The 200's are formidable enough without having to dig through fluff.
That's a good way to put it - wanting substance. Guess I won't feel guilty if I end up giving away The Purpose Driven Life then. :) The book I'm going to be counting for 248 is still more writing than reading, but it's more open-ended questions than emotional ones, and forces me to think about responses because of it.
haha...yeah, awhile back my church had it as a group read thing. I started it but didn't get far, and still have it on my bookshelves somewhere.
I recently read More Book Lust for my 011, and I agree, it did bad, bad things to my TBR list!
Yep, definitely a danger, and darn it all I want the lists to get smaller, but they don't seem to be complying. The more books I read, the more books get added to the list.
Thanks for the review, that one's been bouncing on and off my reading list for a year or so.
Hope you enjoy it if you get to it. I kinda want to read his new book, A Reader on Reading, but 028 is one category I have no trouble filling (and overflowing).
002 The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett
A somewhat repetitive, but fascinating, account of a man - John Gilkey - who had such a desire to acquire rare books that he stole them. Longer review on the work page.
Apparently I've been averaging about one nonfiction book a month this year. This is going to be one loooong challenge if I keep up that rate!
248 Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
I kind of forgot this one counted; I'd been meaning to read it all of 2010 and finally buckled down and finished it a few days after Christmas. I enjoyed it, but I think it would most work for either those who already agree with Lewis' theology or have a mind that works much like his. Longer review here.
Edited to put in a more direct link to the reviews page rather than the work.
Going through recently read books, it occurred to me that more fit here than I'd previously thought.
Here's an add from last year:
236 The Great Divorce - touchstones still won't work, but here's my review.
Great review of A Whole New Mind. (Too bad I already have a 153! Sometimes this feels like collecting McDonald's Monopoly stamps or something.)
>64 Thanks! I know what you mean about collecting those Dewey numbers. :) Right now I've got a book out of the library that I thought would be a 612 and I was a little disappointed to find out that catalogers have put it in 616, which I already have filled. Oh well!
977 Why I Left the Amish by Saloma Miller Furlong
Classified here because she grew up in Ohio. Short version: not really recommended unless you really like the genre of I-had-a-dysfunctional-family memoirs. Longer version here.
Fair warning: if you're not really interested in the 200s to begin with, you won't care for this one.
231 No Other Gods by Kelly Minter
This is Kelly Minter's first Bible study. Her other one, Ruth, is one that I completed last year, and I liked this one for much the same reasons - it digs into the Bible without asking you too much about your feelings or imagining what so-and-so must have felt. Essentially, she discusses why we have false gods and how we can get rid of them to make room for what God wants to do in our lives. I found it very thought-provoking and challenging.
780 The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross
I really recommend this! It's a broad look at classical music in the 20th century. Ross does a decent job of writing a description of the pieces he discusses, and I've learned much more than I ever thought I'd want to know about classical music - only to find I've got so much more to learn. Here's my full length review.
Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
Technically this would be 305, but since I already have that filled, I'm counting it as one of the former biography divisions, 926. This is the story of Deo, a man who survived both the uprising in Burundi and Rwanda, as well as immigration to the US with little money and no English. Longer review here.
643 Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home by Ilona Bray et al.
It may not sound like the most thrilling book to read from cover to cover, but I found it readable and accessible and chock full of useful information for a first-time home buyer. Received through LibraryThing Early Reviewers and reviewed more thoroughly here.
918 The Lost City of Z by David Grann
Explorer Percy Fawcett went into the Amazon with his son and his son's best friend in 1924. They were never heard from again, and despite many search parties and other explorers trying to find their trail, the mystery of their disappearance and their quarry - the city of "Z," a sort of El Dorado - were never solved. Now, David Grann, writer for The New Yorker becomes intrigued by Percy's story, and in a dual narrative shifting between Fawcett's life and Grann's research, he explores what could have happened nearly 90 years ago.
Some recent nonfiction reads:
516 The Joy of Pi by David Blatner is a slight book and excellent if you're unsure about getting through mathematics. Tidbits about the history of pi and the quest for knowing more and more digits make this a fun ride if you're into trivia. More here.
277 Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller - the author of Blue Like Jazz discusses the way in which he feels that the Christian church has reduced the gospel to a formula rather than a relationship with Jesus Christ. Longer review here.
968 The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa by Josh Swiller - a deaf (not Deaf, as in, part of the Deaf Community/Culture) man recounts his time in Zaire in the Peace Corps. A rather harrowing story, and unfortunately I didn't much like the guy himself. Longer review here.
941 Continuing my British reads with The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi. An interesting account (if overblown subtitle) of the lives of King George VI and his speech therapist, Lionel Logue. Recommended.
892 Adrift on the Nile by Naguib Mahfouz - a bunch of friends who get high every night figure life is meaningless. I didn't like it.
#79: Better or worse than the movie?
#80: I have the first two of Mahfouz's Palace trilogy--hope they're not just about getting high! I'm tired of books about people on drugs.
I understood from the interviews after the movie that in real life their relationship was much more level, without the king often acting up and with a real, actual friendship developing between the two - something I didn't the sense of in the movie. How's the book in this respect?
>81/82 - While I started out with inevitable comparisons going on in my mind, the book is a very different work for the movie, and it's really hard to say better or worse as a result. It's more of a straightforward biographical take, starting with birth and family life (though briefly) and going to each man's death. You get a broader sense of the history and a clearer sense of the length of time of their relationship. Some details are definitely different from the movie, but a lot of the same information gets conveyed. It also includes family pictures, including some postcards that the royal family sent the Logues - I do think you get a better sense of this from the book.
>81 Regarding the Palace trilogy, I haven't read it myself, but a couple of people who knew I was disappointed with Adrift on the Nile still recommended I try them. :)
971 - The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede was my read for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It was a really good read - more in my review.
#84: I saw a TV special about this and thought it was oen of the most moving stories I've ever heard. The book looks great (although I know it will make me cry!).
371 F in Exams by Richard Benson - short and hilarious, a collection of test/quiz questions and students' inventively wrong answers.
394 The Father Christmas Letters by J.R.R. Tolkien
I learned something new - I never knew this classification was for "General Customs." I always thought it was where the Christmas books that weren't crafts went. Huh. Anyway, the book I read is a selection of letters that Tolkien wrote - from Father Christmas to the Tolkien children. They're cute and sometimes funny, as Father Christmas often tells them some of the tribulations caused by the hapless North Polar Bear.
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