Week 4: (Nov. 18 to 22) – Nonfiction Favorites (Leann of Shelf Aware): We’ve talked about how you pick nonfiction books in previous years, but this week I’m excited to talk about what makes a book you’ve read one of your favorites. Is the topic pretty much all that matters? Are there particular ways a story can be told or particular writing styles that you love? Do you look for a light, humorous approach or do you prefer a more serious tone? Let us know what qualities make you add a nonfiction book to your list of favorites.

I’ll read nonfiction about any topic.  Sometimes I think that the topic is the least important part for me.  If the book is well done, I’ll be interested in a topic that I never considered interesting before.  So what does make a nonfiction book a winner for me?

Bring the author along for the ride

I love books that chronicle the way the author learned about the topic.  I don’t just want to read a treatise on the history of honey when I can get a story about a woman driving around the country learning about honey.

Make truth stranger than fiction

I love books that make me sit up and say, “What now?”  I still count almost swerving off the road at a key point in the audiobook version of Devil in the Grove as one of my favorite reading moments.  If I’m compelled to tell the next person I see all about what I just learned, you have a hit book.

Tell me something I don’t know about what I do know

I feel like I’m pretty well educated on the high points of history but there is so much that slips through the cracks.  I like hearing “the rest of the story.” (Yep, showing my age there.)

10 Replies to “Nonfiction November – Nonfiction Favorites”

  1. Narrative nonfiction tends to be my favorite sort of nonfiction, and that tends to involve interweaving the story of something along with some sort of memoir, I think. Lots of my favorites are like this.

  2. You sold me on the microhistory of Honey! I always get something great from your list. That will be your second to make my week 5 list this month! High five, Heather!

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