Dewey Attack 2015! 10 Books for 10 Categories

If you are like me, you may feel like you do not read enough nonfiction.  (Note: fellow blogger Stephen is not like me.) To help with that we are doing a Dewey Attack.

As most public libraries do, Fontana Regional Library uses the Dewey Decimal System to organize many of our books.  More specifically, to organize nonfiction books.  While novels and other works of fiction are arranged by author, nonfiction books are done so by subject.

Dewey gives every subject that exists its own number.  These numbers range from 000 to 999, with usually a decimal point and more numbers after that.  Combined with some other information, this creates the call number for the book, and the call number tells us on which shelf the book is at.  Each range of 100 numbers (100-199, 500-599 etc) is a separate general category.  So today we are going to choose a book from each general category.

Dewey Decimal Categories


Abominable Science!: Origins of The Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids, Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero   001.944

Abominable Science! book coverThe library has many books about Bigfoot and other cryptids.  The thing that sets this one apart is that Loxton and Prothero take a very science based approach to their investigation of these beings.  Prothero himself is a paleontologist.  They focus on the evidence and not on the stories and myths.  Whether you are a believer or not you will find their book a great read.

Unrelated, I won a spelling bee in 8th grade by spelling abominable.

PostSecret : confessions on life, death, and God, Frank Warren  155.6

Boy telling girl a secret.
She is totally going to tell.

Do you like secrets?  Would you tell a stranger yours?  That is exactly what happens in PostSecret.  People share their most guarded secrets…via postcard.  Anonymously sent to the PostSecret website, the book compiles many of the most stirring ones.  Be warned, though.  Some are inspirational but many are heart breaking.

The complete gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt, Richard H. Wilkinson  299

Book coverZeus and Odin, Thor and Apollo…are not in this book.  Greek and Norse mythology is pretty well known to many of us.  But what about the Egyptians?  Their gods have stories that can rival any other pantheons.  This book has a nice multiple angle approach, covering not only the mythology but the historical aspect as well.  It has great pictures making it suitable for browsing but also has enough depth for true studying.


Green River, running red : the real story of the Green River killer– America’s deadliest serial murderer, Ann Rule  364.152

Book coverWhen I first moved to the Seattle area in 1991 the Green River killer was an ominous presence.  I read a paperback at that time that detailed the case, and if I remember correctly even named the killer as a prime suspect.  The book was a frustrating read since at the time Gary Ridgway, the killer, was unidentified and still a free man.  Fortunately he was later caught and convicted, and Rule, one of the best true crime writers, fills us in on the details.

Mortal syntax : 101 language choices that will get you clobbered by the grammar snobs– even if you’re right, June Casagrande  425

Book coverYour wrong!  It says so right their!  Anyone who spends much time on the Internet sees many spelling and grammatical errors, and also sees those who take it upon themselves to offer corrections.  Mortal Syntax tackles this issue head on with humorous, and often unexpected, results.


A lion called Christian, Anthony Bourke and John Rendall  599.757

In a story that is stranger than fiction, two Australians bought a lion from a department store(!) and when he grew too big set him free in Africa.  A year later they came back, and you really have to see it to believe it.

The book, of course, gives you the whole story.


Brewed awakening : behind the beers and brewers leading the world’s craft brewing revolution, Joshua M. Bernstein  663

Book coverI like beer, and since the 1990s I have been a bit of a beer snob, eschewing the big name brands for the locally produced craft beers.  In recent years the craft brewing industry has become much more mainstream, and this book gives you that history.  Drink up!



The noble hustle : poker, beef jerky, and death, Colson Whitehead  795.412

Book coverWhitehead, who wrote one of my favorite zombie books, here tackles poker, and more specifically the famous World Series of Poker.  Originally tasked to do an article for a magazine, he ended up with a book.  Witty, searing, and educational, this is a great read for you whether you have never gone astray betting on pocket jacks, or if you are a poker pro.  Go Team Anhedonia!


The war that killed Achilles : the true story of Homer’s Iliad and the Trojan War, Caroline Alexander  883

Book coverI’ve always loved Greek mythology, and Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are among the best examples.  Did you know that the Iliad has basis in fact?  There really was a Trojan War, and Alexander details how the truth and the stories are intertwined, and shows how the Iliad reflects war in all its glory…and horror.


Chile, edited by Tony Perrottet  918.30466

I love to travel, although I don’t get to do it very much.  One place that is on my list to visit is Chile, if for no other reason than my wife was born in Santiago.  This book shows you some of the highlights of travelling to that country.  The library has travel books for most anywhere you want to go, so before heading out check them out.

Santiago, Chile skyline


All of these books can be found in the library catalog here:;page=0;locg=155;depth=0


2 thoughts on “Dewey Attack 2015! 10 Books for 10 Categories

  1. Cool blog, Chris. I like that they’re all books that wouldn’t immediately come to mind when you see the subject. There are lots of treasures tucked away in nonfiction!


  2. Thanks, Kristina. There are a lot of treasures. I worry that some people think of nonfiction as reference materials and big thick dusty history tomes. So much more than that!


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