“Readable” Non-Fiction

Ariely, Dan.  The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone—Especially Ourselves.  177.3
Ariely challenges our preconceptions about dishonesty– we all cheat, whether it’s copying a paper in the classroom, or white lies on our expense accounts. He explores how unethical behavior works in the personal, professional, and political worlds, and how it affects all of use, even as we think of ourselves as having high moral standards.


Bascomb, Neal.  The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi.  Y 364.15 B
Recounts how, sixteen years after the end of World War II, a team of undercover Israeli agents captured the Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann, in a remote area of Argentina and brought him to trial in Israel for crimes committed during the Holocaust.

Bragg, Georgia.  How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous.  Y 920 B
A look at the deaths of several famous people throughout history and the circumstances surrounding those deaths.

Campbell, Jeff.  Daisy to the Rescue: True Stories of Daring Dogs, Paramedic Parrots, and Other Animal Heroes.  Y 590 C
Collects over fifty true stories of heroic animals rescuing people, including a pot-bellied pig, parrot, dolphin, and half-breed wolf, with current scientific research about the human-animal bond.

Duhigg, Charles.  The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.  158.1 D
Identifies the neurological processes behind behaviors, explains how self-control and success are largely driven by habits, and shares scientifically-based guidelines for achieving personal goals and overall well-being by adjusting specific habits.

Fatsis, Stefan.  Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive ScrabblePlayers.  793.734 F
Follows the author, who was originally just a curious reporter and now a Scrabble fiend, as he becomes an expert Scrabble player and delves into the realm of Scrabble culture, where he encounters a vitamin-popping standup comic and the three-time champion who plays by Zen principles, and realizes that Scrabble is more than just a game on many different levels.

Fleming, Candace.  The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia.  Y 947.083 F
Traces the story of the Russian Revolution, the lives of the Romanov family, and the story of their tragic deaths, in an account that draws on primary source materials and includes period photography.

Heos, Bridget.  Blood, Bullets and Bones: The Story of Forensic Science From Sherlock Holmes to DNA.  Y 363.25 H
A history of modern forensic science from the first test for arsenic poisoning in the 1700s to criminal profiling, fingerprinting, blood splatter analysis, DNA evidence, and all the milestones in between.

Jacobs, Thomas A.  Teen Cyberbullying Investigated: Where Do Your Rights End and Consequences Begin?  Y 345.7302 J
Presents a collection of landmark court cases involving charges of cyberbullying–including threatening emails, hateful comments on blogs and messages using a false identity–urging readers to think about how the computer can change their lives and hurt others

Kakalios, James.  The Physics of Superheroes.  530.0711 K
An exploration of the science behind the powers of popular comic superheroes and villains illustrates the physics principles underlying the supernatural abilities of such characters as Superman, Magneto, and Spider-Man.

Kean, Sam.  The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements.  546 K
A text centered around the periodic table explores intriguing tales about every element of the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, evil, love, the arts, and the lives of the colorful scientists who discovered them.

Marrin, Albert.  Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy.  Y 974.7104 M
Describes the conditions in the textile industry in the early 20th century behind the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company that led to the death of many young women, and explains its impact on the labor movement and on society.

Murphy, Jim.  Blizzard! The Storm that Changed America.  J 551.555 M
Presents a history, based on personal accounts and newspaper articles, of the massive snow storm that hit the Northeast in 1888, focusing on the events in New York City.

O’Connor, Anahad.  Never Shower in a Thunderstorm: Surprising Facts and Misleading Myths About Our Health and the World We Live In.  613 O
A health reporter for The New York Times looks at the truth behind a variety of health myths, old wives’ tales, conventional wisdom cures, and other baffling medical mysteries, covering such topics as the safety risks of showering during a thunderstorm, the aphrodisiac qualities of oysters, the cancer dangers of grilled meat, yo-yo dieting, and more.

O’Reilly, Bill.  Lincoln’s Last Days: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever.  Y 973.7092 O
A dramatic and accessibly told recreation of the 16th president’s assassination adapts the author’s historical thriller for younger readers, combining age-appropriate text with abundant photographs to cover key aspects of the Civil War and the final moments of Lincoln’s life.

Pennebaker, James W.  The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us. 425.55 P
Draws on groundbreaking research in computational linguistics to explain what language choices reveal about feelings, self-concept, and social intelligence, in a lighthearted treatise that also explores the language personalities of famous individuals.


Sheinkin, Steve.  Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon.  Y 940.5449 S
Recounts the scientific discoveries that enabled atom splitting, the military intelligence operations that occurred in rival countries, and the work of brilliant scientists hidden at Los Alamos.

Sheinkin, Steve.  The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights.  Y 940.5433 S
Presents an account of the 1944 civil rights protest involving hundreds of African-American Navy servicemen who were unjustly charged with mutiny for refusing to work in unsafe conditions after the deadly Port Chicago explosion.

Stone, Tanya Lee.  Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers.  Y 940.5403
Examines the role of African-Americans in the military through the history of the Triple Nickles, America’s first black paratroopers, who fought against attacks perpetrated on the American West by the Japanese during World War II.

Swanson, James L.  The President Has Been Shot!: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy.  Y 973.92 S
Recounts the 35th president’s assassination and details key events while sharing informative back matter and archival photographs.

Tougias, Michael J.  A Storm Too Soon: A Remarkable True Survival Story in 80-Foot Seas.  Y 910.9163 T
When a forty-seven-foot sailboat disappears in the Gulf Stream in the throes of a calamitous storm, it leaves behind three weary passengers struggling to stay alive afloat a life raft in violent waves 80 feet tall.

Woollett, Laura A.  Big Top Burning: The Story of an Arsonist, A Missing Girl and the Greatest Show on Earth.  Y 974.6304
Draws upon primary source documents and survivor interviews to recount the story of one of the worst disasters in American history, the 1944 Hartford circus fire, which claimed the lives of over one hundred people.

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