The kids are back in school, learning new things every day. It’s the perfect time for Mom and Dad to expand their minds too. These fascinating nonfiction reads will teach you something new and have you turning pages as fast as you can.
“The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson
This fascinating trip into history reads like the best thriller novel. Author Erik Larson details the events leading to and surrounding the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. Following the progress of two men, one the architect of the great event and the other America’s first serial killer. You’ll be amazed by how many of the everyday things we enjoy now are tired to the Fair.
Erik Larson has several other amazing historical reads.
Content note: A few detailed descriptions of murders.
“1776” by David McCullough
How much do you really know about how our country began? This exhilarating book brings the fateful year of America’s birth to life, looking at our side and the British side. David McCullough digs deep into history and life to shine a light on stories you’ve never heard before of people who shaped a nation.
David McCullough, one of the foremost author historians, has written many books on many different subjects.
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot
Henrietta Lacks — it’s a name we should all know and yet didn’t until this book came out. In the 1950’s, Henrietta, a black woman from the South, was diagnosed with cervical cancer. One of her doctors took a sample of that tumor for lab research. And that one sample changed the world. It led the way for a polio vaccine, better treatment of cancer, and much more. But Henrietta’s family had no idea their mother’s cells were still living on in labs all over the world. An incredibly fascinating story of family and science.
Content note: Brief mention of some sexual abuse and a few uses of foul language, including a couple F-words.
“The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” by Elizabeth Kolbert
In the last half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when a whole species or several were erased from the planet. We are currently in the sixth. “The New York Times” award winning writer, Elizabeth Kolbert, dives deeply into how humanity is affecting the planet and what is happening right now. A compelling, and eye-opening read.
If you enjoy this book, Elizabeth Korbert has a few other great science reads.
“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain
Introvert and Extrovert—do you remember these terms from high school psychology? Do you know which one you are and what it means? In this extraordinary book, author Susan Cain delves deep into what it means to be an introvert. Drawing on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience, Cain brings to light the power of the introvert.
“Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity” by David Whyte
Is there truly meaning in going to work each day, in the menial tasks often set before us? If you’re looking to better understand what it means to work or to discover what your work should be, author and poet David Whyte weaves a beautiful exploration in this book. Whyte asserts that “work can actually be our greatest opportunity for discovery and growth.” A beautifully written book, sure to change how you look at your work.
“Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment, and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words” by David Whyte
This incredible book is an in-depth look at 52 words and what they really mean in our lives. Words like, alone and loneliness, friendship and beauty, work and withdrawal. It’s the kind of book that opens your eyes to what is going on in your life, your heart, and your head. It makes you think. And it’s so beautifully written you’ll want to come back to it again and again.