5 Non-fiction Books on My TBR List

Fantasy and sci-fi are my bread and butter of reading BUT I do enjoy a good non-fiction book now and again. Quite frankly, I’m very picky about them so I thought I’d share some that have made my TBR list. I haven’t read any of them yet so don’t come yelling at me if you don’t end up liking them. 😉

Journalist Rachel Nuwer plunges the reader into the underground of global wildlife trafficking, a topic she has been investigating for nearly a decade. Our insatiable demand for animals–for jewelry, pets, medicine, meat, trophies, and fur–is driving a worldwide poaching epidemic, threatening the continued existence of countless species. Illegal wildlife trade now ranks among the largest contraband industries in the world, yet compared to drug, arms, or human trafficking, the wildlife crisis has received scant attention and support, leaving it up to passionate individuals fighting on the ground to try to ensure that elephants, tigers, rhinos, and more are still around for future generations.

Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in northern Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon.

On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia’s brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia was taken to Mosul and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the ISIS slave trade.

Nadia would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety.

Today, Nadia’s story–as a witness to the Islamic State’s brutality, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi–has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war.

Dear Mr. Manson…

It started with a college course assignment, then escalated into a dangerous obsession. Eighteen-year-old honor student Jason Moss wrote to men whose body counts had made criminal history: men named Dahmer, Manson, Ramirez, and Gacy.

Dear Mr. Dahmer…

Posing as their ideal victim, Jason seduced them with his words. One by one they wrote him back, showering him with their madness and violent fantasies. Then the game spun out of control. John Wayne Gacy revealed all to Jason — and invited his pen pal to visit him in prison…

Dear Mr. Gacy…
It was an offer Jason couldn’t turn down. Even if it made him…

The book that has riveted the attention of the national media, this may be the most revealing look at serial killers ever recorded and the most illuminating study of the dark places of the human mind ever attempted

In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.

Over the course of five centuries—from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials—our love of the fantastichas made America exceptional in a way that we’ve never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies—every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.

From Waco to Heaven’s Gate, the past decade has seen its share of cult tragedies. But none has been quite so dramatic or compelling as the Jonestown massacre of 1978, in which the Reverend Jim Jones and 913 of his disciples perished. Deborah Layton had been a member of the Peoples Temple for seven years when she departed for Jonestown, Guyana, the promised land nestled deep in the South American jungle. When she arrived, however, Layton saw that something was seriously wrong. Jones constantly spoke of a revolutionary mass suicide, and Layton knew only too well that he had enough control over the minds of the Jonestown residents to carry it out. But her pleas for help–and her sworn affidavit to the U.S. government–fell on skeptical ears. In this very personal account, Layton opens up the shadowy world of cults and shows how anyone can fall under their spell. Seductive Poison is both an unflinching historical document and a riveting story of intrigue, power, and murder.

If you could only recommend ONE non-fiction book, what would it be??

26 thoughts on “5 Non-fiction Books on My TBR List

  1. Mr. Moss ended up committing suicide thirteen years ago. It was an ambitious idea for a non-fiction book, but I can’t help but wonder if his undertaking took a fatal toll on his psyche. I’ve heard stories of people in a line of work involving interviewing sociopaths, killers, and the general worst of the worst, and they eventually feel as though there’s no good left in the world. It’s very tragic.

  2. These are all really interesting reads from the sound of it, but The Last Victim would be the one I’d pick if I could only pick just one. (What a monstrous question!) lol Presenting all these good sounding books and telling us to pick only one! 😛

      1. Ohhhhhhh, haha yeah, that went right over my head. lol Well, one non-fiction book I heard about recently that sounds interesting to me is: Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them 🙂

  3. Fantasyland sounds like something I’d be interested in if it wouldn’t make me want to dunk my head in water lol. Watching what future historians will discuss play out is tiring. I just read an article that people are foregoing vaccinations for their dogs because they’re worried they’ll get autism. I. Wish. I. Were. Fucking. Kidding.

    Best non-fiction book? Well it’s TECHNICALLY non-fiction, but it’s about fiction/fantasy so I don’t know if it counts, but Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which I’m currently rereading. It’s all about the hero’s journey and how all stories have similar stuff in them. It’s great for a nerd like me 😀

    1. That sounds like it could be really interesting! I’ll wait until you’re finished and post your review before I add it to my list, since I’m so picky about non-fiction.
      I just don’t even about that dog vaccination thing. When is sterilizing humans going to be okay? I know how hypocritical I’m being by supporting it, but I don’t care some days.

      1. I had to log off the internet for a while after reading that. When people are getting sued for their dogs giving people rabies maybe they’ll reconsider. They dude that caused the measles outbreak said he didn’t get his kids vaccinated because of autism fears. I mean even if vaccines DID cause autism (which they fucking don’t) you’d rather have a dead child than an autistic one? That’s textbook ableism and you should just admit to being a piece of shit.

      2. Yes! Ignited Moth and I have been saying that for years. It’s fucked that you would rather let your child die of a disease that was eradicated than deal with having an autistic child. I can’t believe anyone still believes that stupid ass lie that was debunked years ago.

      3. I’m not trying to be THAT person, but that generation annoys TF out of me lol. They call us entitled, yet it’s always some dusty Sharon bitching about her expired coupon and yelling at some poor retail employee.

  4. The Last Girl has been on my list for a long time, it just sounds so good. I hadn’t heard of Fantasyland but it sounds amazing, definitely will be looking for that one! I’m interested in the Jonestown memoir,
    I read a book about that a couple years ago and couldn’t believe that story.

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