2013 Holiday Book Guide (Nonfiction Picks) | On the Page | Nick Taylor | Palo Alto Online |

Local Blogs

On the Page

By Nick Taylor

E-mail Nick Taylor

About this blog: This blog is a place for conversation about books. I post reviews of what I'm reading--lots of contemporary fiction, but also classics and the occasional work of narrative nonfiction. I am always looking for new books to read, so ...  (More)

View all posts from Nick Taylor

2013 Holiday Book Guide (Nonfiction Picks)

Uploaded: Dec 8, 2013
Last week I listed three of the best works of fiction I read in 2013. Here are my picks in nonfiction:

Theroux, Paul. Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari. (2013) - Theroux this year also published a novel set in Africa, but I have always preferred his nonfiction. This travel narrative is about Theroux's return to Southern Africa, where he worked as a Peace Corps teacher 40 years ago. He describes a hellscape of squalor, corruption, and yes, safari animals. He also has some choice words for Angelina Jolie and her admirers.

Byrne, David. How Music Works. (2012) - This book surprised me with the breadth and depth of Byrne's scholarship. The articulate rock star is a rare breed, and rarer still is the one who can articulate how he works. In a series of illustrated essays, Byrne covers everything from how the the acoustics of performance venues influence composers to how rock musicians might make a living in the age of downloads. The hardcover edition was pricey, at $32, but it's now in paperback for $20. Perfect for anyone who remembers the 80s.

Wiseman, Rosalind. Queen Bees and Wannabees. (2003) - The subtitle of this book explains why I picked it up: "Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World." My elder daughter will be starting middle school next year, and I found Wiseman's descriptions of tween and early-teenage girl society utterly fascinating--especially the taxonomy of the typical clique.

Still to come...picks in poetry and children's literature.
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.

Email:

SUBMIT

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Get important election coverage sent straight to your inbox daily.

After 10 years, Shalala Ramen to leave downtown Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 13,661 views

Which City Council candidates "get" climate change?
By Sherry Listgarten | 15 comments | 3,197 views

Premarital and Couples: I’m not getting what I need. How can I get him/her to change?
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,824 views

ABAG's housing demands for local cities are too much
By Diana Diamond | 10 comments | 980 views

Democracy loses again at City Hall: "Pig in a poke" lawsuit settlement
By Douglas Moran | 6 comments | 897 views