What are you looking for when you pick up a nonfiction book? 

I am the ultimate mood reader. I pick out books to read right when I want to read them. I can’t make a list of books that I want to read, say over the next two months, and have any expectation of reading them in order. If I buy a book and don’t read it right away, I’ll never read it. Something shinier will come along. So how do I find books?


The main way I pick nonfiction to read is by browsing the Libby App. My library has a good selection of ebooks so I quite enjoy browsing the app to find the latest nonfiction books they have in.

I tend to put a lot on hold and then – not read them when they come in. I have several that I keep telling the library to send to someone else and offer them again to me later. These are usually books that I would probably like but that I just don’t feel like reading right at that moment.

Social Media

I used to get lots of recommendations from Twitter but I’ve been off there for a year. The only social media I use now is Mastodon, which has a pretty good book community. I also get some recommendations there from news sites like NPR.

I also follow a lot of book blogs through my WordPress Reader. I’m adding a lot just from these Nonfiction November posts.

My Goodreads TBR

This is a wild thought, huh? I recently was going back over some of the books that I had put in my TBR and then forgotten all about. Past me picked some interesting books. I’m going to make a point of picking some books from there and actually reading them.


I only use Netgalley to get foodie books. I browse their Cooking and Food section and get a lot of good cookbooks and memoirs from there.

What am I looking for in a nonfiction book? I want a book that tells a good story. I don’t want it to read like an academic textbook. I’m looking for entertainment with my learning. I’ll read about pretty much any topic. I’m especially a sucker for histories of something offbeat and specific. One of my all time favorite nonfiction books was about the history of bananas, after all.

I also like it when the author inserts themself into the story. If they are going off to research something and the books turns partially into a travelogue about their research, I’m all in.

I also like memoirs of people who aren’t necessarily famous.

Head on over to Volatile Rune to see what everyone else is looking for in a nonfiction book.