Biography vs. Science Books

By | December 15, 2009

Since 1995, I have only read non-fiction.  I am not suggesting that everyone do this.

The non-fiction books I read fall into two categories: Biography/History and Science/Theory.  Some bio/history books are fantastic, like Robert Caro’s books about Lyndon Johnson or Robert Moses.  He is my favorite author with a ridiculously high Pulitzer prize average per book.  These books are true stories that capture your imagination the real time and place.  Some biographies are not as good, like Che which is boring me to tears.  On the science/theory side, the books have a particular bit of knowledge they are trying to convey.  There is no story.  It’s just a logical proof of the concepts.  Guns, Germs and Steel or anyMalcolm Gladwell book are good examples of these.  Sometimes reading this sort of book you say, “OK, I get it.” and then you have to read another 250 more pages proving their point even further.

Science books teach me a tremendous amount about the world in which we live.  How people think, what makes a good presentation, why capitalism doesn’t work anywhere except the west.  All of these subjects can be taught.  However, I can’t read these non-stop.  I was about to start a new science book called The Political Mind, but I just can’t do it.  I need a story.  I think I want to read Andre Agassi’s autobiography or maybe a Pulitzer prize winner or national book award winner.

The problem is that Christmas is right around the corner and I imagine I will be getting some books.  So I just have to wait 10 days.  Maybe, I could watch some TV in the meantime.  Discovery Channel or History Channel?  Or maybe 30 Rock on Netflix?

One thought on “Biography vs. Science Books

  1. Arthur Kay

    If you’re into sports, there’s a fantastic biography of Lou Gehrig called “Luckiest Man”. I couldn’t put it down… but if you’re not a baseball fan then it might not be the book for you.

    Reply

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