Sunday, November 18, 2018

Nonfiction November: Reads Like Fiction





Hooray, Nonfiction November is here! Nonfiction November is a month-long celebration of everything nonfiction. Each week, we’ll have a different prompt and a different host looking at different ideas about reading and loving nonfiction.

Week 4 (Nov. 19 to Nov. 23)
Reads Like Fiction (Hosted by Rennie at What’s Nonfiction?)
Nonfiction books often get praised for how they stack up to fiction. Does it matter to you whether nonfiction reads like a novel? If it does, what gives it that fiction-like feeling? Does it depend on the topic, the writing, the use of certain literary elements and techniques? What are your favorite nonfiction recommendations that read like fiction? And if your nonfiction picks could never be mistaken for novels, what do you love about the differences?

Does it matter to you whether nonfiction reads like a novel? If it does, what gives it that fiction-like feeling? Does it depend on the topic, the writing, the use of certain literary elements and techniques?

Nonfiction doesn't have to read like a novel for me to enjoy it, but my favorite nonfiction books do. In nonfiction, the most important thing is truth. But the second most important thing is meaning, and I generally need story to get meaning.

And if your nonfiction picks could never be mistaken for novels, what do you love about the differences?

I love to read through books of information, like encyclopedias and dictionaries; no one would mistake an encyclopedia or a dictionary for a novel. What I love about reference books like these is the feeling that all the important things have been collected and shared in one place. 

What are your favorite nonfiction recommendations that read like fiction? 

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great MigrationUnbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and RedemptionEncyclopedia of an Ordinary LifeThe Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball DreamsThe Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme CourtGod Save Texas: A Journey Into the Soul of the Lone Star StateThe Glass CastleLeonardo da VinciAntifragile: Things That Gain from DisorderWoman: An Intimate GeographyThe Roads to Sata: A 2000-Mile Walk Through JapanThe Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

For Adults:
God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright
The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin
LeRoad Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France by Vivian Swift
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Resistance by Laura Hillenbrand
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams by Darcy Frey
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier
The Roads to Sata: A 2,000 Mile Walk Through Japan by Alan Booth
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

And let's add two more that I finished this week:
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
The American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee


Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the WorldRadioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and FalloutRedwoodsThe Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques CousteauOne Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles DarwinBird Talk: What Birds Are Saying and WhyLet's Hatch Chicks!: A Day-by-Day Chick Hatching Guide for KidsDolphin Baby!Ella: Queen of JazzSchomburg: The Man Who Built a LibraryIf the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's PeopleLives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought)

For Children:
Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World by Katherine Halligan
Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, a Tale of Love and Fallout
Redwoods by Jason Chin
The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino
One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin by Kathryn Lasky
Bird Talk: What Birds are Saying and Why by Lita Judge
Let's Hatch Chicks: A Day-to-Day Chick Hatching Guide for Kids by Lisa Steele
Dolphin Baby! by Nicola Davies
Ella: Queen of Jazz by Helen Hancocks
Schomberg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford
If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's People by David J. Smith
Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes by Kathleen Krull








17 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting links. I put a bunch of your recommended titles for adults on my Goodreads TBR list and placed an order for two of them!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nonfiction doesn't have to read like fiction for me either but I will admit to being partial to it when it does. I've made note of several of the titles you mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Unbroken is one of my favorite narrative non-fictions as well. However, I did not love Glass Castle nearly as much as everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love memoirs, and The Glass Castle was a favorite. This week, I added Becoming, by Michelle Obama.

    Enjoy your books...and thanks for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love nonfiction that reads like fiction and see a couple of favorites here, especially The Nine and Traveling Mercies. God Save Texas is on my wish list and I'm waiting (not so patiently) for the Susan Orleans book to come from the library.

    ReplyDelete
  6. To Hatch a Chick sounds like a cute project/guide for young ones. I don't read much non-fiction but I'll have to keep these in mind for when I do. Happy reading! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for posting all those links, I don't read nonfiction much but I will definitely be adding some of those to my TBR.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow! That's a lot of nonfiction books! I need to read some more nonfiction books!

    Here’s my Sunday Post!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog and join in this week’s Book Photo Sundays

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nonfiction doesn't have to read like fiction for me, but it's a bonus when it does. I'm going to explore your list in more depth and add to my reading list.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't read nonfiction often, but when I do, I prefer it to read like fiction. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I was so glad to see Radioactive on your kids list - I read it a few years ago for #NonFicNov and adored the format. I had read lots of dry information books about Marie Curie for a big school project many, many years ago and I've been fascinated by her story ever since, & was delighted by such an artistic approach to science.

    I had forgotten about LeRoad Trip - another art non-fiction combo that was thoroughly engaging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS I liked how you discussed the importance of a good reference book :-)

      Delete
  12. I don't expect nonfiction to read like fiction. My weekly updates

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have similar feelings - I don't need nonfiction read like fiction, but it never hurts when it does. I appreciate that you've included children's and adult books in your list of recommendations. Thanks for posting!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love Woman: An Intimate Geography too although I don't think it reads like fiction but it's a great read in general. I like that you included some options for kids, I love children's nonfiction too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I like the connection you make between story and meaning. The intangible quality of coherence and relationship is what draws me to reading all kinds of books - fiction or non.

    ReplyDelete

Please share your thoughts.