Recent Nonfiction Books — The Geography of Bliss, The Thing About Life…, An Army At Dawn, Silver Spoon Kids

* “The Geography of Bliss”:amazon by Eric Weiner. A solid book exploring the nature of happiness; community, sharing, connections, a sense of a greater purpose, and a laid back approach to life all seem to be key.
* “The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead”:amazon by David Shields. Reflections on mortality. I don’t really get it, he seems to be yelling at his readers and his father “don’t you get it? How can you be so carefree? We are all going to die” and my response is so what? How would I live differently? Am I supposed to be more dour and depressed, and how would that make things better?
* “An Army At Dawn”:amazon by Rick Atkinson. The story of the US Army at dawn of WWII in North Africa — disorganized, soft, bickering, self-centered. All this was blasted away as the army learned how to fight and as the men ill-suited to war were rendered casualties. At the start, we viewed this as someone else’s war. By the end of the North African campaign, the war was deeply personal to the army with resultant changes in behaviour.
* “Silver Spoon Kids”:amazon by Gallo, Gallo, Gallo. Trite examples, middle school vocab, shallow thinking. If you have no moral compass whatsoever and can’t bring yourself to engage in deep thought or true acts of compassion, I guess this book is for you. I’d personally recommend almost any classic or autobiography or meaningful nonfiction (any of the other books mentioned) as a better way to develop morality, and of course real engagement with real people in your community.