I've been saving up some titles, among them Allan Villiers' Sons of Sinbad, about Arab dhow sailors around 1900; and Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines; and Frances Yates's The Art of Memory; and Clifford Geertz's Negara. Maybe George Lakoff's Women Fire and Dangerous Things (how to think like an alien). There's a book about how Polynesian sailors cross uncharted Pacific distances by reading the water surace, bird flight, light at differnt times of day, etc., but I can't remember the title.
I'd like to include a few titles for those as interested in scientific possibilities, but of these I am even less able to suggest any -- I mean I've read the reviews and can recognize the concepts, but have no titles, and no guidelines.
So any ideas, in any of these categories -- unlikely but actual human thought-systems; daily life in unexpected human realms; weird science; historical backwaters or forgotten empires?