As always, Top Ten Tuesday meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: “ Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 So Far (break it down however you want — by genre, strictly 2017 releases, whatever!) ” And I want to share with you the best nonfiction I’ve read this year so far because I rarely review these great works on my blog. If you want to read more of my reviews, please follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/stasialbean
1. The Brain Defense: Murder in Manhattan and the Dawn of Neuroscience in America’s Courtrooms by Kevin Davis
Can a tumor or a brain injury cause someone to commit a murder or to rape someone? Can they diminish culpability? When does someone plead for insanity and why it makes sense. I think doctors say that all tumors are individuals and that they have very different effects on people so I think Davis chose a very interesting topic to write a book about. Davis also uses good examples, different bizarre and horrific stories of Phineas Cage, Charles Whitman, Herbert Weinstein & Ronnie Cordell among other. I gave this book rating of 5/5 stars.
2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”
― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
This book contains everything you need to know on this topic. It’s very well and very clearly written. And it’s stunning to think that this was written about 80 years ago. All information is there if you’re truly ready for it. 5/5 stars
3. Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal
What separates your mind from an animal’s? Maybe you think it’s your ability to design tools, your sense of self, or your grasp of past and future—all traits that have helped us define ourselves as the planet’s preeminent species. But in recent decades, these claims have eroded, or even been disproven outright, by a revolution in the study of animal cognition.
I think I was familiar with a lot of topics which de Waal explored, yet it was a really good read. 4/5 stars.
4. Think Like a Freak (Freakonomics #3) by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
“Why do so many frown so sternly at the idea of having fun? Perhaps out of fear that it connotes you aren’t serious. But best as we can tell, there is no correlation between appearing to be serious and actually being good at what you do. In fact an argument can be made that the opposite is true.”
― Steven D. Levitt, Think Like a Freak
I think that if I would have read two previous parts first, then this would have made more sense with the constant references to the previous books but that’s okay. A useful book about what you should and shouldn’t do in your life and how to do it. 4/5 stars
5. Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
“I’m the girl who is lost in space, the girl who is disappearing always, forever fading away and receding farther and farther into the background. Just like the Cheshire cat, someday I will suddenly leave, but the artificial warmth of my smile, that phony, clownish curve, the kind you see on miserably sad people and villains in Disney movies, will remain behind as an ironic remnant. I am the girl you see in the photograph from some party someplace or some picnic in the park, the one who is in fact soon to be gone. When you look at the picture again, I want to assure you, I will no longer be there. I will be erased from history, like a traitor in the Soviet Union. Because with every day that goes by, I feel myself becoming more and more invisible…”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
This is what depression feels like. I don’t think anyone has nailed it better than Wurtzel in her book Prozac Nation. It’s a messy autobiography with a lot of important messages. 5/5 stars
6. Pyhät, pahat ja pelokkaat : pelko ja itsetuhoisuus hengellisissä yhteisöissä by Aila Ruoho
In Finnish only sorry. Shortly, the book is about unhealthy religious communities.
Kun olisin saanut vaikka verensiirron niin muuttuisin vähän kuin kauhuleffassa. Eikä tietysti pääsisi paratiisiin, vaikka katuisi kuinka. Jos vaikka saisi jonkun suurrikollisen verta saatanan toimesta!
Ruohon mestarillinen uutuusteos epäterveistä hengellisistä yhteisöistä. Asiallinen, kattava ja taidolla kirjoitettu. Ihannoin kirjailijoita, jotka tekevät näin laajaa tutkimustyötä teoksensa eteen. Tietty gradumaisuus läsnä edelleen kuten Vartiotornin varjossa-teoksessakin. Kuulunee kirjailijan tyyliin. 5/5 tähteä
7. My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive by Julissa Arce
What does an undocumented immigrant look like? What kind of family must she come from? How could she get into this country? What is the true price she must pay to remain in the United States? Interesting & inspiring biography. 5/5 stars
8. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space…
I accidentally watched the film first and didn’t even realize it was based on a book…Both film and the book were incredible! Again, a piece of history that I didn’t know about, a piece that I think would have been muchly unknown without this book and the film adaptation. 5/5 stars
9. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.
Smart, honest and witty book where Gay writes about various topics from a feminist perspective. 5/5 stars
10. WTF?!: What the French by Olivier Magny
In France, the simple act of eating bread is an exercise in creative problem solving and attempting to spell requires a degree of masochism. But that’s just how the French like it—and in WTF, Oliver Magny reveals the France only the French know. From the latest trends in baby names, to the religiously observed division of church and state, prepare yourself for an insider’s look at French culture that is surprising, insightful, and chock full of bons mots.
This was a funny book that explained a lot about French culture: the meaning and the trends with the names, income levels, politics, food: Nutella…5/5 stars
Happy TTT! What have been your best reads this year? Have you read any of these?