5 Noteable Nonfiction Books of 2016

© 2016 Farnam Street Media

These books offer a rich view into the world from different perspectives and are sure to resonate with your mind and heart.


BORN TO RUN — Finally, Springsteen’s autobiography. This goes into detail about how he rose to international fame.

DARK MONEY: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right“Jane Mayer’s Dark Money. . . is absolutely necessary reading for anyone who wants to make sense of our politics. Lay aside the endless punditry about Donald’s belligerence or Hillary’s ambition; Mayer is telling the epic story of America in our time. It is a triumph of investigative reporting, perhaps not surprising for a journalist who has won most of the awards her profession has to offer…. She’s a pro, and she’s given the world a full accounting of what had been a shadowy and largely unseen force. . . . Remarkable.” — The New York Review of Books

THE GENE:An Intimate History — Siddhartha Mukherjee wrote the bestselling (and Pulitzer-Prize winning) Emperor of all Maladies, a history of cancer. He’s matched that feat here with The Gene. The book is a history of genetics, our search for the gene, and what’s possible with the modern understanding of how genes work (good and bad). Mukherjee not only knows his stuff, but he’s a great writer. If you’re willing to put in the effort, understanding the “big ideas” of genetics is worth your time, and it’s hard to think of a better way for a non-specialist to do it than by reading this one.

I CONTAIN MULTITUDES: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life — “Offer[s] engrossing-and gross-details about how an invisible world shapes our species…Mr. Yong’s book lives up to its title, containing multitudes of facts presented in graceful, accessible prose….The author wonderfully turns to the humanities again and again to enrich the book’s scientific detail…And he’s funny.” — Wall Street Journal

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR — It’s been a while since I’ve cried reading a book. This beautifully written memoir, by a young neurosurgeon diagnosed with terminal cancer, attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living? If you read this and you’re not feeling something you’re probably a robot.


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