Chat Between Chapters: Genre: Non-Fiction

September 6, 2015 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 11


 Do you read non-fiction? Or do you tend to stay away? Recommend some reads to us.

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

I’m not really into non-fiction. I’ve read some memoirs that were good but those are typically not something I can relate to so I don’t really get sucked up into the story like I do with a work of fiction. I’ve read some “funny” memoirs, but they weren’t really all that entertaining to me. I’ve also read a true crime book recently that bored me almost to tears. I have read a few pregnancy and parenting books, so I guess that counts as non-fiction – but they weren’t exactly pleasure reading as they were “omg what do I do now” information books. So yea, I don’t choose non-fiction books for pleasure reading.



I honestly don’t read much non-fiction. I need some plot to drive the action forward. And as for biographies, I don’t really care to know about the personal or private lives of celebrities. I read one celebrity biography (which I won’t name) and now, no longer have any interest in anything this celebrity does. As for non-fiction that I can recommend, I’d say anything by Bill Bryson is worth picking up. His books are hilarious AND informative. And yes, I do read cookbooks. Especially older ones. Even if it’s a cookbook I’ll never actually make anything out of, I still want read it. American Pie is a great example of a cookbook I can just sit and read. Plus PIE! I’m up for trying other non-fiction. So long as it doesn’t read like a text book. 

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11 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Genre: Non-Fiction”

  1. Stefani

    I have to be in a very specific mood to read non-fiction, but i do try to read at least one such book every month. I’ve the unofficial bios of Jane Austen and Steve jobs, memoirs of some people I admire, Ellen DeGeneres’s books and Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. I don’t really care for the funny ones. I mostly read books like this when I’m looking for inspiration or something
    Stefani recently posted…BOOK GIVEAWAY!

  2. Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons

    I read a few, mostly biographies, autobiographies or memoirs. They’re great on audio, usually read by the person, so if feels like you’re being told a story by a campfire about their lives. I’ve read:
    Kevin Smith – Tough Sh-t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good
    Cary Elwes – As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride (with many of the cast and crew)
    Carrie Fisher – Wishful Drinking
    Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons recently posted…Club Nexus Audiobook by E.J. Stevens (REVIEW)

  3. Bookworm Brandee

    I don’t read non-fiction that often but I’ve read some really good non-fiction books! The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson reads like a novel. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali was eye-opening. All of Frank McCourt’s memoirs read like novels. Bill Bryson is entertaining. Okay, I’ll stop there. 🙂 Great topic, ladies!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Release Day Review ~ Sexy ~ JA Huss

  4. Donna

    I read quite a bit of nonfiction and what you are describing is called narrative nonfiction. There are some great choices out there..

    If you liked Devil in the White City you might also like the following:

    Destiny of the Republic by Candace Millard
    The story of President Garfield’s assassination including how Dr. Lister couldn’t get other doctors to wash their hands, how Alexander Graham Bell was trying to find the bullet using info from inventing the telephone, and discussion of the assassin’s insanity and whether he was legally guilty of the crime.

    The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
    The story of a great cholera outbreak in London and how Dr. Snow traced it’s origin to contaminated water. Prior to this people thought it came from “bad air” that was part and parcel of the “immoral” lives of the poor. It’s about how science struggles to introduce a new idea and the resistance to changing one’s mind in the face of evidence.

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
    How one woman’s advanced cancer cells helped doctors understand the biology of cancer. Also the story of this woman’s children who suffered some of the same illnesses she did, but are without medical care.

    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    A number of people this this is fiction because Capote made up some of the dialog, nonetheless it is usually considered nonfiction with great storytelling.

    The Beautiful Cigar Girl by Daniel Stashower
    This is the real story behind Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Mystery of Marie Roget” and also includes some biography of Poe. It includes both the fictional and nonfictional elements of tracking down the guilty parties.

    There are a lot of other nonfiction books out there that read like fiction. Please don’t give up on this genre, you’ll find something you like!

  5. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books

    Eh, I am not a huge fan of nonfiction for exactly the reason that Lynn mentions. I need some plot and some action. I have read a couple of nonfiction books that are pretty good, but for the most part I get bored while reading them. One nonfiction book that I LOVED was If you find this letter: my journey to find purpose through hundreds of letters to strangers. This book was about a woman’s clinical depression and her efforts to get through it. It was very hopeful and moving and I just loved it.
    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

  6. Ramona

    I read it sometimes. Right now I’m reading The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. Otherwise, I read a lot of speciality literature about autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, etc. In general, I have to have a reason for picking up a non-fiction book. Great topic.
    Ramona recently posted…Zen Monday: Get Inspired

    • Lynn

      Thanks, Ramona. And yes, having a specific topic in mind does make it easier to read non-fiction books.

  7. Terri M., the Director

    I think all non-fiction books should be written like Devil in the White City. That novel, set in Chicago during the world’s fair, profiles the nation’s first known serial killer. Chilling! It written more like a fiction book.

    As for memoirs/biographies. I recall enjoying Michael J. Fox’s Lucky Man quite a bit. Bossypants by Tina Fey was quite good as well.

    Sarah Vowell is an entertaining read. Assassination Vacation was a hoot!
    Terri M., the Director recently posted…Book Review 112: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

    • Lynn

      I’d have to agree, Terri. Devil in the White City was good. The fact that it read more like fiction helped me get through it. Even the creepy parts.

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