Thursday, February 15, 2007

Non Fiction Books To Consider

I'm still udecided about the Non-Fiction Five Challenge. Should I, or shouldn't I?

Meanwhile, here are some non-fiction titles I'm looking, regardless of whether I sign up for the challenge or not:

Thanks to Jenclair's recommendation, I'm looking at Written in Bones: How Human Remains Unlock the Secrets of the Dead, edited by Paul Bahn. It's a collection of articles by different contributors. They cover a variety of topic, from Incan sacrifices found on the Andes Mountains, to a discussion of the murders of the nephews of Richard III.

One of my little known childhood ambition was to be an archaeologist. I wanted to be like Howard Carter and explore the pyramids, discover ancient tombs and find hidden treasures. I loved books on old secrets and mummies and even now, I find myself fascinated by well-researched books on anthropology and how the ancient remains seem to speak to us. (Hmm...maybe that's why I love CSI: Crime Scene Investigation)

I'm also looking at Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner, by Dean Karnazes. I first read about Dean Karnazes from Wired magazine last year. This man is amazing.

An ultramarathon is any run beyond 26.2 miles, and Dean Karnazes has done lots of them. In fact, he seems like a guy out to punish himself, with his habit of going for 100 miles run, and also having run in the first ultramarathon in the South Pole — "breathing the superchilled air directly [without a mask] could freeze your trachea" — Nice.

But there is something seductive in knowing more about a guy who would push him to the limits. What makes him do it, and more specifically, where does one find the motivation to go so far? Karnazes says the first half of the run is done with the body, the second half is with the mind. Sounds almost New Age, but this man has done it. And I want to know how.

The best part is, the books are actually available through the local library. So it's just a matter of hoping down one of these days.


jenclair said...

I wanted to be an archaeologist, too! Another book I want to read is
The Mummy Congress by Heather Pringle.

Rebecca H. said...

I'm tempted by this challenge too, as I have tons of good nonfiction books I'd like to read, but I think it would be too much to take on ... the Ultramarathon book sounds very interesting.

LK said...

Have you read Gina Kolata's Flu? Man, that was interesting.

darkorpheus said...

Jenclair: Yay us! I used to subscribe to National Geographic magazine because they have these really cool features on ancient archaeological sites, with full coloured pictures. I'd pour over the pictures and re-read them over and over.

I am such a geek! *grin*

Dorothy: Yeah, it's a tempting challenge, isn't it. I'm just listing the possible books. I always feel I need to get more variety in my reading. Anyway, long way to May, so there's still time to decide. WHat books will you pick though, if you do sign up for the challenge?

LK: Not yet, but there's a flu bug going around the office (and I think I just caught it). Maybe I should bring it to the office and read passages ALOUD of death and dying to all flu-infected colleagues. Hee!