June 2011 Book Picks
Nonfiction had a good showing in the month of June with two anniversary editions of bestsellers: one of which will teach you about America’s past and the other will teach us about its future endeavors. I find that nonfiction books for the general reader, like these, are always a fun way to learn about the complicated things I normally wouldn’t dream of reading about.
The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must by Robert Zubrin
Robert Zubrin is an engineer and creator of Mars Direct, a blueprint for settling the red planet, which has altered completely the way scientists view the potential to do so. This fifteenth anniversary edition of The Case for Mars details how the American Space Program can accomplish such a task. More importantly, Zubrin explains that Mars’ resources make it possible to produce oxygen and fuel. Just the mind-blowing idea of people not only going to, but living on, Mars in our lifetime is enough reason to pick up this book.
Don’t Know Much About History, Anniversary Edition: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned by Kenneth C. Davis
When Don’t Know Much About History was first published twenty-five years ago, it spent twenty-five consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and began Kenneth C. Davis’ acclaimed Don’t Know Much About series. Updated with the “Era of Broken Trust”, from the end of the Clinton Administration through the recent recession, this anti-textbook informs you on the history lessons they left out in school.
Robert Rodi, author of Dogged Pursuit, which told the story of how he entered his rescue dog in competitions, now turns his attention to life in Italy. A complete outsider, he attempts, over seven visits throughout the year to win the affections of a people who would rather have nothing to do with a gay American writer. This hilarious and heartwarming memoir, serves as a reminder to take an active part in your own life.
State of Wonder by Anne Patchett
Award–winning author Anne Patchett’s latest follows a research assistant who travels to the Amazonian jungle in search of her former mentor. Dr. Annick Swenson disappeared there while working on n extremely valuable new drug, and the last person who tried to find her mysteriously died before completing the mission.
The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo
Hunt and Lipo began studying the island in 2001, finding evidence that discounts the largely held belief that Easter Islanders were self-destructive warmongers. Instead, they learned about an environment-conscious civilization that can teach us a great deal about dealing with the challenges we face today.