Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This Week’s Topic : Back to School Freebie
This week’s TTT is a back to school freebie so my take on the theme is “books that taught me something new.”
You can learn all sorts of wonderful things from both fiction and nonfiction titles, and here are just a few of those selections!
- The Topic : Funerals, Cremations, and the Science of Death
- The Book : Stiff by Mary Roach
- Roach writes about death and what comes after with humor, heart, and a heavy amount of research. How do you donate your body to science? Why do we embalm bodies anyway? These questions and more are answered in this fascinating, funny, and morbid text.
- The Topic : Mountain Climbing
- The Book : Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
- Mountain climbing was never on my list of life goals, and after reading this book I can confidently say it will stay well off. The true tale of the 1996 Everest disaster informs readers not only of the event, but of Everest’s long history of adventure and tragedy.
- The Topic : The 1890s
- The Book : The Devil and the White City by Erik Larson
- I read this book for the first time while living in Chicago, and being able to see many of the fruits of the World’s Fair over a hundred years later gave me a greater appreciation for the city itself. In fact, the architectural and landscape giants who engineered the Fair left their marks all over the country, and I now work just down the road from yet another Olmstead creation. Plus, you know, there is a story about a serial killer too.
- The Topic : Luxury Goods
- The Book : Deluxe by Dana Thomas
- I don’t own fancy purses or designer shoes, and I think my most expensive pair of pants cost $50. The Luxury Industry is something that I was wholly uneducated on. Nevertheless, this book sucked me in with the triumphs and failures of corporations both young and old who are trying to sell a distinct style of life.
- The Topic : Race in America
- The Book : Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Coates memoir, written as a letter to his son, is the story of race in the United States. It breaks down what it means to grow up as a black man, brutally illustrating a past and present that is filled with injustice. As someone who grew up under very different circumstances, it was a massively eye-opening work that helped me to better understand the experiences and realities of others.
- The Topic : Modern Scifi and Horror
- The Book : At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft
- The Cthulu mythology is everywhere in pop-culture. It has influenced, video games, television shows, and heck,w as even in South Park. Lovecraft’s novella about ancient horrors in Antarctica is a solid introduction to one of the greatest genre influences of the 20th century.
- The Topic : Depression and Addiction
- The Book : Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
- Wallace’s epic work is hard to define, and the best I can really do is say that it is the story of addiction and mental illness and how those circumstances affect different people. It is painful, shocking, and especially heartbreaking knowing that Wallace himself was never able to defeat his own demons.
- The Topic : The Iranian Revolution
- The Book : Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
- Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel tells about her experiences growing up as an Iranian girl in the late 1970s and 1980s. She lived through a time of great political, religious, and cultural change. Her words and art beautifully articulate her personal pains and triumphs, as well as those of her national history.
- The Topic : Chess
- The Book : The Eight by Katherine Neville
- This novel is a jet-setting historically based adventure akin to the DaVinci Code (though, in my opinion, better and written about a dozen years earlier). Centered around a chess board, its mystery intertwines with the game and its history and makes you want to pull out a board of your own.
- The Topic : The Finance Industry
- The Book : The Big Short by Michael Lewis
- Interested in learning more about the recent recession? How did it happen? What could’ve been done to stop it? Was anyone to blame? Where those people punished? Lewis looks at the economic crisis through a handful of viewpoints, giving answers to all of those questions and making you really, really angry in the process.