Top Ten Tuesday: So You Wanna Try Some Nonfiction…

Posted on Updated on

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Ten Books Every ____ Should Read.

The goal here is to fill in that blank. Now, these kind of topics are hard for me, mostly because while I (like most of you reading this) read A LOT, I don’t feel qualified to give general advice like this. So I spent a lot of time thinking on this topic, and finally came up with one that is actually kind of long: Top Ten Books Every Person Who Doesn’t Think They Don’t Like Nonfiction/Memoir But Want to Give it a Chance Should Read.

Like I said, rather long, but a good topic for me, since I’m not really a huge nonfiction fan myself, but in the last couple years have discovered several books (mostly biographies and memoirs) that I have enjoyed. (Plus, I’ve been on a nonfiction kick lately.)  I’m sure there are many others out there who have felt the same way about nonfiction as I have, so this list is for you.

Top Ten Books Every Person Who Doesn’t Think They Don’t Like Nonfiction/Memoir But Want to Give it a Chance Should Read:

  1. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – This is a great book for writers, or anyone interested in writing. My favorite chapter was one titled “Shitty First Drafts” that made me feel so much better about my writing, and how bad I feel my original drafts are. Plus Lamott has a great sense of humor that makes this a fun and quick read.
  2. Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster – Despite many personal recommendations from people I know, I avoided reading for quite some time because I saw her as just another “chick lit” type author and at the time I thought I wasn’t interested (I’m learning to branch out more now). However, when I finally gave Lancaster’s first book a chance I loved it immediately. Her sense of humor and the way she tells anecdotes from her life make this such incredibly fun reading, plus I picked this up at a time when I really needed a good laugh.
  3. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King – This is as much a book about writing as it is a memoir of King’s life. This book is a must read for any aspiring writers as well as any King fan. It gives a fascinating look into the life of the man himself, as well as touching on the accident that nearly killed him – which occurred while he was in the middle of writing this book. It’s a fairly quick read and I highly recommend it.
  4. Maus by Art Spiegelman – This is a perfect choice for graphic novel fans who want to add more nonfiction to the bookshelves. I admit I’ve only read the first volume at this point, but I really enjoyed it and hope to get to the second part soon. Despite the characters being drawn as animals, I think something about the story being portrayed in a graphic novel format just makes it so much more real – you can see the images instead of just picturing it in your head. This is a very powerful read.
  5. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – This is another fantastic non-fiction graphic novel, and much like Maus, reading it in this format just makes the story that much more powerful, in my opinion. I have several other nonfiction graphic novels on my TBR that I can’t wait to read, simply because these two were so well done, and the medium is such a fascinating choice for sharing about someone’s life.
  6. The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes – I thought about making this list all books every writer should read, but really it would have come down to just the three of this list, because I haven’t read many myself. But if you’re going to read one book about writing, make it this one. I loved the way Keyes wrote, it was so simple and straightforward, and felt like everything he was saying was spoken directly to me. It really helped me overcome my fears of my writing not being “good enough.”
  7. The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacey Schiff – I know I’ve already promoted this book several times on my blog, in addition to posting a review, but I just really loved this book. I will admit to some bias because it’s always exciting to read about one’s own ancestors, but Schiff’s writing is just so readable – it’s not like reading a history book at all. This is probably the very first nonfiction history book I’ve read from beginning to end and I loved it. I really liked how Schiff wasn’t trying to solve the mystery, or lay blame on anyone, she was simply trying to make the stories of all the women from that time period heard.
  8. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes – This is an absolute must-read for fans of The Princess Bride. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time and I really enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the movie. The best part is, it’s not just Elwes recollections (which are quite often humorous) but he also includes comments and memories from other cast members, producers, etc. who worked on the film. This is definitely a great read.
  9. All About Love: New Visions by bell hooks – This was a recent read for Our Shared Shelf and it may be my favorite selection so far. I have never read anything by hooks previously, but I really enjoyed her style of writing and everything she had to say in this book.
  10. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler – After reading this book I really wanted to be Amy Poehler’s new best friend. I already loved her from Parks & Rec, but this just made me love her even more. So much of her humor and personality shines through in this book, and there were several laugh out loud moments.

That’s just a sampling of the nonfiction and memoirs that I have read and enjoyed, and thanks to these books I’ve been discovering more and more that I actually do enjoy reading nonfiction more than I thought I did. In fact, I am currently reading three other nonfiction books (Living History by Hillary Clinton, An Outsider in the White House by Bernie Sanders, and Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinem) that I may not have even considered picking up if it hadn’t been for my enjoyment of some of these books first (and I have a lot more on my TBR).

So, what good nonfiction have you been read and would recommend to someone who thinks they aren’t interested in nonfiction? Share those recs and/or links to your own TTTs in the comments!

 

17 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: So You Wanna Try Some Nonfiction…

    Jackie G. said:
    April 17, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Ya know, I think it’s about time I pick up a copy of On Writing by Stephen King. I remember reading a brief excerpt of it during a high school class, and I did not enjoy it, but I suspect that’s because we had to analyze the passage for my AP Composition class. I think so many people praise this book that I should give it a chance.

    Like

    alicerosesimmons said:
    April 13, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Great topic choice – this is perfect for me! The Witches: Salem, 1692 sounds really interesting as well as On Writing: A Memoir – I’ll have to add both, as well as some of the others on this list, to my TBR soon!
    Heres my TTT

    Liked by 1 person

    Karen C said:
    April 13, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Thanks for the recommendations! My husband and I are big readers and I have been desperately trying to get him into non-fiction recently. He gets bored so quickly so I am always looking for interesting reads that he will enjoy too. Thank you! He recently finished a prison memoir that I’m now reading entitled “Real Men Wear Beige” by Don Alfredano (http://realmenwearbeige.com/). I think it could be added to this list for sure. The book follows the author’s stay in various prisons throughout New York (including Rikers Island). I think the author does a really great job at exposing some shocking truths about prison life as well as sharing his fears and emotions throughout. The book reads like fiction and it’s hard to put down. It’s a must read for sure especially for those who are hesitant to enter into the “nonfiction” world. Thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

    Zezee said:
    April 12, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    I have The Witches on my TBR. I assumed that it would be a bit boring but I am curious about its topic. I’d like to try The Courage to Write. I could use some.

    Liked by 1 person

      CJ Dawn responded:
      April 13, 2016 at 8:50 am

      I was worried about it being boring too, because I don’t read a lot of nonfiction history for that very reason. However, I really liked Schiff’s writing style and the way the book was structured. It still took me longer to read than an actual novel would have, but I enjoyed it and it wasn’t nearly as boring as I expected.

      Like

    Carrie said:
    April 12, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Adding The Witches to my TBR … and yes — I so want to read As You Wish! It’s been on my list forever. I NEED MORE TIME!! (I know, i know… i’m always saying that lol) My TTT

    Liked by 1 person

      CJ Dawn responded:
      April 13, 2016 at 8:49 am

      There’s never enough time to read everything! That’s how I end up reading 4 or 5 books at a time, because I just can’t wait to start the next one! lol.

      Liked by 1 person

    Amanda said:
    April 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    As you Wish! I’m so glad you reminded me of this one! I need to get that on my library holds!

    Liked by 1 person

    Erika @ Booksthething.com said:
    April 12, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I don’t read much non-fiction, but I see 2 (The Witches and On Writing) here that have been on my TBR pile for a while. Hopefully I’ll get to them soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    curiousdaisy said:
    April 12, 2016 at 11:47 am

    I almost featured Yes, Please on my list this week though. Changed my mind in favor of Mindy Kaling’s book at the last minute hehe. Happy reading! https://ireadboooks.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/top-ten-tuesday-audiobook-recommendations/

    Liked by 1 person

    SciFi and Scary said:
    April 12, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I might be interested in reading the King book. In general, I avoid nonfiction like the plague! I did my mine on Ten Hard Sci-Fi Books.

    Liked by 1 person

      CJ Dawn responded:
      April 12, 2016 at 10:13 am

      I used to be the same way, then I discovered a few memoirs I enjoyed and it all went downhill from there. Now I’m really trying to branch out from memoir into other areas of nonfiction.

      Liked by 1 person

        SciFi and Scary said:
        April 12, 2016 at 10:15 am

        My stance is: I read to escape, so why would I want to read about real things?! lol

        Liked by 1 person

    bftreviews said:
    April 12, 2016 at 9:17 am

    This is a great topic choice! I didn’t know there was a Princess Bride memoir!! I’ll have to read that right away! Great list 🙂
    My TTT

    Like

      CJ Dawn responded:
      April 12, 2016 at 9:26 am

      Yes, if you’re a fan of the movie you definitely have to. I loved it so much! And then I immediately had to watch the movie again.

      Liked by 1 person

        bftreviews said:
        April 12, 2016 at 9:48 am

        I’ve even read the book even though it was a little strange haha. Still the movie was awesome too!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s