Reads Like Fiction (Rennie @ 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?


I love narrative nonfiction.  I definitely read nonfiction faster when it flows like a fiction novel.  More scholarly approaches slow my reading but that doesn’t mean I enjoy them less.  My husband and I have had this argument before.  He is snobby about nonfiction.  If it was too enjoyable he gets grumpy.  He acts like reading needs to be like homework to be worthwhile.  I point out books he enjoyed where he learned things and he has to concede the point which doesn’t make him happy either.  

Crime stories come to mind as the easiest to make read like fiction.  They tend to have a “stranger than fiction” element that keeps you coming back to see what really happened.

For nonfiction books that don’t read like novels, I need to be learning a lot.