The BAND for April is Quirky


I’m hosting this month’s BAND discussion and the topic is QUIRKY NonFiction.

How do you define QUIRKY? and do you read it?

quirky |ˈkwərkē|
adjective ( quirkier, quirkiest )
characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits :  her sense of humor was decidedly quirky.

I like to read nonfiction on odd subjects. I define quirky as a book about a single subject that at first thought might prompt a question of how anyone could find enough stuff to write an entire book?

When someone asks what you are reading and the look of surprise or confusion on the person’s face when you tell them you’ve got a 484 page tome on the History of SALT suggests you’re crazy, it might be considered ‘quirky nonfiction’.

I think I am attracted to the opportunities to capsulize my learning. One little daring topic is not overwhelming and allows one to meet one person, learn some history, explore safely something I can relate to and then be thrilled to know a little more. I like the exploring of one thing from many different angles. And I’m not confronted with a choice to do something about it. I can be content that I learned something new.

Examples of nonfiction that I’ve enjoyed:

Mauve  How One Man Invented a Color That Change the World by Simon Garfield. Purple is my favorite color. The chemistry and history of the times was captivating.

The Secret Life of Lobsters  by Trevor Corson – One of my all time favorites, this follows three story lines that delve into the biology, the managing of the lobster industry, and the struggles of a family who makes their living lobstering in New England.

 The Invention of Clouds by Richard Hamblyn. The author manages to present a romantic view of weather and the chase to understand it framed around the life of Luke Howard who is credited with cloud nomenclature.

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife – Not my favorite, but I do like mathematics. It is interesting to note that the concept of zero and its recent inclusion on the number line is relatively ‘new’.

Join Me by Danny Wallace.  This book is about what happens when you start a movement. Except that Mr. Wallace didn’t really have an agenda thus was quite surprised when people all over the world were happy to join him anyway.

Other books that catch my eye that I have NOT read (yet) but would fit my quirky category are:

Making Piece:  Love, Loss and the Healing Power of Pie by Beth M. Howard. Yea, actually not very quirky but I want to read this!! A memoir; with pie…

Anything and everything by Mary Roach:  Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Bonk: the Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Spook: Science Tackles the AfterLife, and more…

Just My Type   by Simon Garfield – HEY! Did you notice that this author is the same guy who wrote Mauve?! WOW! This tells me that Mr. Garfield is probably a guy who likes to write about odd stuff.

I think we can put Mark Kurlansky in this category and most certainly Mary Roach. Tell me some more!

Who are your favorite quirky titles and authors?


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