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Staff Picks 2016: Best Adult Non-Fiction

Written by Regina Fried on . Posted in All, Reading

man-readingHere are our picks for the best adult non-fiction books of 2016. We published a list of our favorite adult fiction books earlier this week. You can read it here. On Monday, we’ll publish our picks for the best young adult and children’s books of 2016.

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer: Hammer crams cultural background, a contemporary account of Al Qaeda in Mali, and an adventure story into the same book. The adventure story loses steam under the weight of the history and politics, but the impact of what the Timbuktu librarians accomplished keeps the book interesting. — recommended by Mary Catherine in Doylestown

Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant: British science writer Marchant writes about how our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs can ease pain and heal, and how sometimes placebos can be better than real drugs, using evidence-based studies. — recommended by Ceil in Doylestown

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo: Comedian Amy Schumer does not disappoint with this laugh-out-loud autobiography. She even adds a few serious chapters to tastefully use her celebrity influence to touch upon some current issues facing society today. Overall, it was well done and a must read for those who enjoyed Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” and Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please.” — recommended by Kathleen in Levittown

In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett: This was an interesting and witty behind-the-scenes look at this very funny, award-winning show. I never knew she once fired Harvey Korman! — recommended by Mary Beth in Morrisville

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren: What a great mix of science and the personal story of the scientist. It may be a cliché, but I know I won’t look at trees and plants the same way again. — recommended by Holly in Doylestown

One Child by Mei Fong: An investigation into China’s “One Child” policy, started in 1980 and recently dismantled, and the many unintended consequences of “the world’s largest experiment in social engineering.” — recommended by Ceil in Doylestown

Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook by Theresa Carle-Sanders: Full of the delicious recipes mentioned in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. 18th century cooking made easy for the 21st century cook. — recommended by Karen in Doylestown

Pandemic by Sonia Shah: Science journalist Shah theorizes what the next pandemic will look like by tracking the history of the worldwide cholera pandemic from its beginnings in South Asia to Haiti today, showing how pathogens are taking advantage of globalization and how difficult it is for modern medicine to keep up. — recommended by Ceil in Doylestown

Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout by Laura Jane Grace (biography): An unfiltered and searing look into the life of the transgender front-woman who founded one of America’s most important punk bands, Against Me! — recommended by Adam in Warminster

Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramovic — recommended by Neil in Perkasie

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