Recent Nonfiction

* “The Story of French”:amazon by Jean-Benoit Nadeau. Interesting to a casual student of language, the contrast between the active central management of French and the organic unmanaged nature of English is interesting. The strong role of Quebec, vs the weak role of France itself in advancing the language
was illuminating. I also had never understood the distinction between an etymologic language like English and a phonetic language like French — no wonder English is such a pain to learn. Of course like all books about French culture, there were the requisite protestations about the relevance of French and all things French — this got old.
* “The Physics of NASCAR”:amazon by Diandra Leslie-Pelecky. A little disappointing. Some interesting views into the engineering behind NASCAR vehicles but the science explanations are at the 9th grade level. I had hoped for more.
* “John Adams”:amazon by David McCullough. Terrific tale of a legendary American. Moving in a way I didn’t expect. Adams thought broadly and was principled to a fault. Didn’t use his governmental career to enrich himself or his family. Endured great personal tragedy with grace. An inspiration.