Non-fiction: Not Just "Heavy" Reading

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

By Simon Winchester

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There are two tales in this page-turner. One is how the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) was compiled, which is fascinating in itself; and the other is a gripping story of a convicted murderer who spends his life sentence as a major contributor to the OED. This one stays in your mind for a long, long time.

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The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists are Unraveling the Mysteries of our Favorite Crustacean

By Trevor Corson

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A fascinating study of lobsters and their sex lives (!), trapping lobsters and studying lobsters and lobster wars and lobstermen and.... You get the idea!

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Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood

By Oliver Sacks

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"In an unforgettable portrait of an extraordinary mind, the distinguished neurologist who wrote Awakenings offers an account of his youth as fascinating as his celebrated case histories. Overflowing with humor, sadness, sensuous recollection, and the almost physical rapture of discovery, this bestseller re-creates the wonder of science as it is first experienced."

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Waiting for Aphrodite: Journeys Into the Times Before Bones

By Sue Hubbell

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In this book, the author takes us on a journey through the mysteries of time -- geological, biological, and personal -- as she writes of the evolution of life on this planet and the evolution of her own life: her childhood next to a Michigan graveyard; the three colleges where she "learned three things;" her twenty-five years keeping bees on a farm in the Ozarks; and finally her move to a "strange little house" in a small Maine town, "the place I wanted to grow old in."
Also available on audio.

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