Today’s Top Ten Tuesday, (a weekly meme hosted by Broke and Bookish) is Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of X Genre. I’m not good at sticking with one genre. I love lots of different books in lots of different genres. But since I think non-fiction doesn’t get a lot of book blogger love, and I definitely don’t feature it here often enough, I’m going to share with you my top list of non-fiction books.
1. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – I found this book to be emotionally inspiring. The author embarks on a one year happiness project to research what happiness is and how people find it. She chronicled her journey as each month she picked a different habit or activity to explore how that impacted her happiness. There are some great pieces of advice and some great ideas for things you can do to improve your own happiness.
2. Once They Were Hats by Frances Backhouse – This is a story about the history of the beaver, mostly in North America. I found it fascinating to learn more about the history, ecology, behavior and uses of the beaver. It’s a really well written book that reads more like a story.
3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – This is the fascinating, scary, and sometimes upsetting story of Henrietta Lacks and how her cells ended up being used worldwide in cancer research. It’s a story everyone in the sciences should read.
4. Blood Work by Holly Tucker – This is the interesting and disturbing history of blood transfusions with a bit of a mystery woven in. There are some hard to read parts for the animal lovers out there as some of the early experiments were before there was any understanding of how blood types work.
5. One on One by Peter Mansbridge – Peter Mansbridge is a Canadian award winning journalist and news anchor. This book is a collection of stories from his interviews with a wide range of people, from Conrad Black to Bill Clinton to The Dali Lama. It’s fascinating to read the behind the scenes of these interviews and to see some of these people from a different perspective.
6. The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet – I love this cookbook! It has fabulous explanations for why you do certain things when you bake. Like why you use cold butter to blend with flour when making biscuits and what impact the size of the butter bits has on your final product. And it’s full of great recipes. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to become a better baker.
7. Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor – This is a dog training book that doesn’t read like a typical dog training book. It explains behavior modification and gives you all of the options for solving behavior problems, with a focus on shaping behavior. While intended for working with your dog her methods also work to change behavior in pets, kids and others. It’s both entertaining and very useful and prompted a talk I once gave in a seminar titled, Can you train my husband?
8. The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson – Another dog training book that doesn’t read like a dog training book. This book helps you understand why dogs are the way they are and how they are perceiving the world. Armed with this knowledge you can then work to get the behavior you want from your dog. This and Don’t Shoot the Dog (above) are two of my must-read books for dog owners.
9. & 10. Before you Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar – These two books go together (you can even buy the combined version) and they are exactly what new puppy owners need. Filled with practical advice in an accessible way these are great for starting your puppy off on the right food.
So I know this totally let me cheat and flip around genres within the non-fiction genre. And I don’t care! Take a minute to check out a non-fiction book or two. There are some really interesting stories based on real life and there are lots of things we can learn from books!