Last week was Week Three of Nonfiction November—a celebration of all those totally true and fact-filled books out there. I’m running a little late late, but I’m still excited to explore last week’s question from Leann at There There, Read This because it’s all about some of my favorite nonfiction.
Week 3 (Nov. 18 to 22) – Nonfiction Favorites: 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.
It’s usually impossible for me to pick bookish favorites—I read what I like and I like what I read, so many books I stumble across end up becoming favorites in their own ways.
Yet every once in a while there’s a book so exceptional that I can’t get it out of my head. Whether I’m left laughing, seething, hopeful, appalled, or otherwise, these are the books I turn to time and again for rereads and recommendations. There’s nothing especially obvious that connects them—just solid reads by solid authors. Here are some of my favorite nonfiction books that have kept me thinking about them long after the last page.
- 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
- Ascending Peculiarity: Edward Gorey on Edward Gorey by Edward Gorey
- Columbine by Dave Cullen
- I Was Told To Come Alone: My Journey Behind the Lines of Jihad by Souad Mekhennet
- Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson
- Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System from Crisis — and Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin
- Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir by Amy Tan
What’re some of your own nonfiction favorites?