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Best books of 2009: nonfiction

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Fingerprints of God:
The Search for the Science of Spirituality
By Barbara Bradley Hagerty
Riverhead Books
323 pp., $26.95
National Public Radio reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty uses journalism’s tools to explore the intersection of spirituality and science.  (Monitor review 5/19/09)

Shop Class as Soulcraft:
An Inquiry Into the Value of Work
By Matthew B. Crawford
Penguin Press
246 pp., $25.95
A philosopher-turned-motorbike mender meditates on the rewards and joys of manual labor. (Monitor review 6/16/09)

Tears in the Darkness:
The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath
By Michael Norman and Elizabeth M. Norman
Farrar, Staus and Giroux
464 pp., $30
This balanced, beautifully written book about the horrors of the Bataan death march is the definitive account of this exceptionally grim chapter of human history. (Monitor review 7/8/09)

Provenance:
How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art
By Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo
Penguin Press
352 pp., $26.95.
The preposterous yet true tale of one of the most audacious scams in the history of art makes an intoxicating page turner. (Monitor review 8/11/09)

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