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  1. A Brief History of Curious Things

    In Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, the protagonist is tasked to find illustrations for a book on the history of metals with a focus on the curious rather than just the cold facts. I would buy this book in a heartbeat, if only it existed. This is why I am asking for suggestions on non-fiction that is interesting, informative and entertaining. I remember enjoying Stephen Hawking's A Short History of Time when I read it long time ago. Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything was okay, though its scope was clearly too large and, so I have understood, there were plenty of factual errors. A Long History of Electricity (there might be a pattern here) by a Finnish professor Ismo Lindell was an excellent read, especially since it deals so closely with the subject of my studies. In all the books, the "stories" are told, more or less, through individuals and mostly in chronological order (of discovery), which makes for a very pleasant and human reading experience. Speaking of humans, I also recently read Alan Weisman's The World Without Us. It had its moments but wasn't as well organized as the others and I often found it quite dull. So anyway, any subject will do, though I'm likely to skip A Colorful History of Tiffany Glass and will almost definitely not read one dedicated to war or economy. Feel free to suggest those too, however, as someone else might be interested. Illustrations are considered a plus. Thanks!