Tuesday, January 10, 2017

BEST BOOKS 2016: NON-FICTION, PART 1



2016 was a majestic year for fiction and non-fiction. Let’s take a look at some of the non-fiction titles chosen by NY Times, Washington Post, Wall St. Journal and LA Times critics.  Find these titles at the Monrovia Public Library! 


Siddhartha Mukherjee, who won the Pulitzer Prize for The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, continues to draw kudos with his second title The Gene: An Intimate History. The Gene is a saga about the discovery of genes, how they operate and the pursuit to manipulate them. Mukherjee also includes a fascinating genetic investigation into his own family. The science, the scientists and the ethics of genetic research are all present in this masterful work by an exceptional writer.

Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Gene

 So much has been written about the intelligence of primates, but The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman reveals that our avian friends are not bird brains. Instead they are smart, tool-using creatures. The author wisely mixes science with fascinating tidbits to make this a marvelously readable book. You will never think of birds, particularly crows, in the same way.

Jennifer Ackerman's The Genius of Birds

Climate change denial and the drive to stop income equality are just two of the topics researched in Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer. The author examines how wealthy business people, like the Koch brothers, have used their money and political beliefs to try to influence politicians and legislation.  The author is a seasoned journalist and this book has been called remarkable and an essential book for all Americans to read.

Jane Mayer's Dark Money



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