To me 2017 started with an assault to truth, facts, and science. After the election and inauguration, I did what I could to help stand up for what I believe in (can’t believe that I have to announce that I stand for facts) by helping to plan our local March for Science and Climate March. Beyond that, I felt like I needed a more subtle way to resist — internally. I believe in an educated citizenship, and I wanted to embrace my intellectualism. So I decided that in 2017 I would only read nonfiction.
I read about a quarter natural science, a quarter social science, a quarter history, and a quarter love and relationships. I’d recommend any of these books, the ones I started that didn’t fully grab my attention got returned to the library. These are the ones that made the cut.
Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, by Neil de Grasse Tyson
With a series of short essays, Neil makes that case that we should fund NASA, which seems like a no brainer to me.
Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage, by Stephanie Coontz
A good title for polyamorous people to read as it charts how marriage and love have only been related rather recently in human history.
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements, by Sam Kean
Stories about the discovering of elements and how they were used (sometimes shockingly!). Science is cool!
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari
Harari looks at the history of humanity from a evolutionary biology perspective in four big chunks: cognitive development of early humans, agricultural revolution, empire building, and scientific revolution.
More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory, by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert
My poly guidebook. See our previous post on poly books.
Great Plains Bison, by Dan O’Brien
Bison are pretty awesome. This book tells the story about how they came back from the brink of extinction.
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, by Jonathan Haidt
Reading this right after the inauguration filled me with rage. It’s a good read for anyone who needs help understanding their conservative family members.
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach
Slightly morbid but super fascinating science about the various things that can happen to our bodies after we die.
Aphrodite’s Daughters: Women’s Sexual Stories and the Journey of the Soul, by Jalaja Bohneim
An intimate look at sexuality and spirituality through the eyes of experienced women. More on this in our polyamory book post.
When to Rob a Bank: …And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt
The best blog and article entries from the writers of Freakonomics have been compiled in this fun read.
I also read some books for school, all nonfiction, but they’re boring so I won’t include them here. I really enjoyed the chance to embrace learning and thought. Some of the books were a fun ride. Others were challenging looks at humanity. I learned a lot and nonfiction will surely continue to be a main staple for my bookshelf.