Here’s my second installment of my all-time recommendations. Several different genres are on this list, maybe one for everyone. Thank you for the support and enjoy!
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History in Four Meals by Michael Pollan:
This is the book that started me on Michael Pollan’s great advice, and partly inspired me to make some changes in my lifestyle last summer. (And start blogging and reviewing in January, but that’s a different blog post.) The Omnivore’s Dilemma delves into the American diet and how it is affected by the bottom line. Pollan begins with a simple premise: how does the food we eat get to our plates. He chooses four meals and tracks their progress along the food chain while discussing the issues of nutrition, environmental factors, and cost. This is a book that revealed so much to me about the food we eat; I’ve read several more of Pollan’s books because of it. Highly readable and definitely recommended.
Among the Thugs by Bill Buford:
I remember buying this book as a college sophomore at the Barnes and Nobles in Visalia, Ca in the summer of 1996. I saw the cover and thought, what the heck is that book??!! It was the first nonfiction book I’d read that wasn’t a textbook. I loved Buford’s descriptions of the English soccer hooligans and the way he immersed himself in their lifestyle to tell the stories of their subculture. It opened by eyes to gonzo journalism, a type of writing I continue to go back to frequently. A great read!
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes:
This outstanding novel follows one soldier’s story through the conflict in Vietnam. Written over the course of thirty-five years by a decorated Vietnam vet, it has been lauded by as one of the most authentic descriptions of combat. It is by far the best book I have ever read about war.
Lieutenant Waino Mellas and his grunts in Bravo company are pushed around the bush by the powers that be. This is what struck me most by Marlantes’s depictions of war; the bureaucracy of the military and the covering of all the asses is a timeless cluster that pervades this work. It is excellent. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in the literature of war.
The Vish Puri detective series by Tarquin Hall:
One of my favorite detectives. This 4-book series follows the eccentric PI Vish Puri and his band of assistants as they race all over Delhi solving their clients’ mysteries. The food, the language, and the people pervade these fantastic stories. I highly recommend.
This website is a great introduction to the books and its characters: http://www.vishpuri.com
The Remaining by D.J. Molles:
Project Hometown: 50 men. One in each state. Trained and waiting for the day the world breaks. Ready to pick up the pieces and put society back together.
Captain Lee Harden is one of these men, living a quiet life in North Carolina until he gets the call. A sickness has broken out, and people are acting very strangely. Harden begins following the detailed protocol he’s by trained in and tries to take the steps to find survivors.
This six-book series is the best zombie story I’ve ever read. Molles’s writing is fast-paced and relentless in its grit and action-packed fun. Highly recommended for anyone who likes the genre already or who has never read a zombie story before.