Sunday, November 25, 2018

Nonfiction November 2018--Week 4!

This event is being cohosted by the following five bloggers: 


Week 4 (November 19-23): Reads Like Fiction
Nonfiction books are often 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?

Perhaps the most common nonfiction books I read 
that do not necessarily read like fiction are memoirs/autobiographies/biographies.
There is typically little tension/drama, though some defy that definition.

I have read several that I would highly recommend:

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
I learned sooooo much by reading this one book! She is a wealth of knowledge!

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
I was absolutely fascinated by the details of training/'manning' a goshawk 
in the wake of her father's death and trying to re-establish her own life without him.

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
Be forewarned! Do NOT be fooled by the small size and length of this book!
Her text may be sparse and poetic, but it is definitely intense!

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
This would make a wonderful gift! Such a collection of timeless observations...

West With the Night by Beryl Markham
What a life this woman led! So many female firsts!
Absolutely fascinating...and I loved the writing!

And I just now realized that all of these are written by females! Ha! 
Guess there aren't many males whose lives interest me much at this point. 
Though I do intend to read Barack Obama's books at some point in the future, 
and am extremely anxious to read Becoming, Michelle Obama's autobiography!

Then there are the nonfiction books I've read and truly felt like fiction.
There are many reasons: mainly the pacing. 
These books do not just present a bunch of facts, rather they are excellently written stories, 
providing some tension and creating a desire within me to keep reading to find out...
And, in my humble opinion, that is what any 'good' book does!
Be it fiction or nonfiction.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore
This was amazingly written and so very informative!
Trust me! We all owe our lives (literally) to the women in this group 
who survived to live long lives!

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
This is truly one of the very best books I've ever read! I learned so much about rowing! 
And especially the challenges experienced by this one team.
Brown does an excellent job of characterization and building tension all within a true story!

I am especially interested in Social Justice and these books were so informative 
in different ways...and each of them well-crafted!

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness 
by Michelle Alexander
Heartbreaking. Unbelievable just how inherently unfair our "justice" system is...
( excellently-written fiction book that depicts the personal cost of unjust arrest, charges, and incarceration is An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.)

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
This one man is such a hero! He makes me want to move south to help him in his fight!
What a heartbreaking but so very necessary book! And his writing just flows...

The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City
by Laura Tillman
This is one of the first books I've read that truly depicted the marginalization of the poor and emotionally under-equipped to survive, let alone thrive, in this world...
Having worked in the as a mental health advocate, this hit home as so very accurate...

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America by Timothy Egan
I learned so very much from this book and it read just like fiction! 
I will definitely read anything this man writes!

Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan by Doug Stanton
I read this while working at Borders in 2009. Though I am by no means interested in the military or reading about it, I found this book enthralling!
I see it has now been made into a movie entitled 12 Strong and they have released the original book under a new title: 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
I also read this book while working at Borders. It was fascinating!
I would definitely read anything this man has written!

What nonfiction books would you recommend as reading like fiction?

Happy reading!

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