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Un-official non-fiction book club ? - Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainance

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Would anyone be interested in an un-official monthly non-fiction book club?

Fiction book clubs are more popular and I really enjoy the Idle Bookcast but I'd like to be part of a book club that is focused on non-fiction - any type (except maybe auto-bio cause I find few of them worth reading). Looking at my goodreads account only 1/4 of the books I read were non-fiction and I'd like to up that to somewhere between a 1/3 and and a 1/2.

I think the Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainance would be a good first pick as it has been talked about on the podcast before and is it on the cheap on Kindle ( currently $2.99).

If anyone else is interested I will be starting to read the book this week and will post about it in this thread. Hope you will join in.

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I wouldn't call Zen nonfiction personally.

True - it's more's of a philosophical novel but whenever I think about books like that (eg. Camus the stranger or Voltaire's Candide) I think about the philosophy espoused by the book as opposed to the story, characters (which are sometimes pretty thin and are meant to stand for a particular point of view).

I regard them as Plato's dialogue with extra bits added on which is why I see them more as non-fiction although in truth they are a mix of both fiction and non-fiction.

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I would love to contribute to a un-official non-fiction book club! My brother and I are both pretty heavy readers in non-fiction, he actually got me into it by hooking me on the ancient Romans. I have since moved onto the Napoleonic Era, but the past few months have left strapped for time and have fallen back into fiction, but I would love to come back! Here are some things I have read.

Julius Caesar, by Philip Freeman - This was actually the first non-fiction book I read, and it is both a great read and an interesting subject/time period.

Cicero, by Anthony Everitt - I then moved onto Everitt's biography on Cicero, the great Roman orator. In hindsight this one might be a bit bloated but that is what one expects of a biography.

Augustus, by Anthony Everitt - This is where Everitt really shines, by far on the best biographies I have read. I highly recommend checking this one out.

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, by Timothy Snyder - One of the most tragic books I have ever read. It tells the tale of the poor people who lived on the eastern front of World War 2. You always hear about how both sides were evil on the eastern front, learning why will break your spirit. Highly recommended.

The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte & The Reign of Napoleon Bonaparte, by Robert Asprey - This is were I got serious with my non-fiction reading. 1,100 pages dedicated to one man's life, and it was interesting the whole way through. Robert Asprey comes from a military background and his writing reflects this, you don't get a great sense of Napoleon's political career. Thankfully Napoleon had the most interesting military careers I have ever read about. Also I remember "The Reign" smelling particularly good.

Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, by Michael Korda - Admittedly I never got further then the first three or four chapters on this one. They were quite good but I started to not have the time to settle into reading for multiple hours straight. My brother tells me this one is worth a read however.

So there you have it, my recommendations if some thumbs want to read a real book, none of this fancy prancy made up nonsense. If people were interested in a hardcore non-fiction club I would suggest The Rise of Rome, mostly because I have wanted to read it since it came out and this might force me to.

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