Nonfiction November: Books about airplanes

Nonfiction November is my new favorite holiday.
This week, we’re hosted by Julie of JulzReads, who gives us this
Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert
Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more
books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert),
you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have
been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books
on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).
I seriously love this “Be the Expert” assignment, because it lets
us fly our freak flags. And heaven knows we’ve got ’em. 
I had to decide among my obsessions: Presidents? Space? True
tragedy? The modern West?
It was a dilemma, guys.
But in the end, I went with: Aviation.  [happy sigh]
I’ve been reading about airplanes for years, and I love
airplane books
Here are two of my shelves.

And here’s me flying one of those puppies. 

Today we’re gonna look at the aviation books I’ve read in the past
several years and blogged about. 
We’ll start with…
The memoirs
I love a good aviation memoir, especially when the pilot/author
keeps it real. Here we’ve got two fine examples, one from a fighter pilot and
one from an airline pilot.

And here are two bonus memoirs, because I can’t resist. These
books don’t have blog posts about them, but they’re a couple of my favorites
from years past.
The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles Lindbergh
(3 words: lyrical, modest, triumphant)
The Fun of It by Amelia Earhart
(3 words: sprightly, forthright, conversational)
Next up: a wonderful book by a great nonfiction author, about one
of those days when things went wrong… 

Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson by William Langewiesche

If you’re more into history, check out these books about two guys with the Wright Stuff.
My favorite Wright brothers biography is this one:
For a different approach (ha! pilot pun!) give this one a whirl…

All of these books just make me happy. 
topic do you keep reading about, over and over again?

24 thoughts on “Nonfiction November: Books about airplanes

  1. Ha! Fly our freak flags?! Love it! And this is such a great topic. I loved Circling the Sun, which has some aviation in there and also Before the Fall…more about an aviation disaster. Oh – also The Three by Sarah Lotz…super creepy aviation disaster. Of course – those are all fiction 🙂

  2. I haven't read much about aviation at all… West With the Night by Beryl Markham and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand are two that at least feature flying that popped into my head. Interesting topic!!

  3. How fun to see you flying as well as reading! Have you read Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein? It's fiction, but taps into the author's passion for women pilots and WWII.

  4. You might really enjoy Flight of Passage: A True Story by Rinker Buck. I haven't read it myself, but I gave it to my father-in-law and he loved it. Here's the publisher's description: "Writer Rinker Buck looks back more than 30 years to a summer when he and his brother, at ages 15 and 17 respectively, became the youngest duo to fly across America, from New Jersey to California. Having grown up in an aviation family, the two boys bought an old Piper Cub, restored it themselves, and set out on the grand journey. Buck is a great storyteller, and once you get airborne with the boys you find yourself absorbed in a story of adventure and family drama."

  5. Years ago, I read the story of the Canadian airplane that ran out of gas in mid-air because of a mix-up in the amount of fuel loaded due to converting to the metric system (1983). The pilot landed the plane safely on in Gimli Manitoba on what, if I remember correctly, was an abandoned runway. I didn't record the book and I can't remember the title, but it's stayed with me. I guess that's how airplane books are!

  6. I'm impressed if you're flying planes! I also liked David McCullough's Wright Brothers book which I read & reviewed earlier this year. I'm still in awe of the Wrights. Great book. I also like the last chapter in West With the Night … where she tells about her trans-Atlantic flight. Many can't beat that.

  7. A whole shelf or two of aviation? Cool, and it would be something I've read nothing about. I've been very impressed with this topic today and the varied interests and books available for readers.

  8. These all look really good. I am sorry to say that I have not read any of these.

    As of late I have been interested in Amelia Earhart. I will try to get to that one in the coming months.

  9. Look at you flying! You are BADASS! (In the best possible way.)
    Did you know that William Langewiesche's dad also wrote a book on flying? I've never read it but it's supposed to be a classic: "Stick and Rudder," by Wolfgang Langewiesche. (How do you like that name? German much?)
    Thanks for this great list of books. I'm loving Nonfiction November, although it is going much too fast.

  10. Citizen — You're way too kind. Stick and Rudder has been on my horizon for years now… and I still haven't read it. Maybe now's the time… I'm adding it officially to the TBR. Thanks for the recommendation!

  11. This is wonderfully unique am personal. I have never read a book about aviation, but one of these would be of interest to me. I find the topic fascinating.

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