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Nonfiction November 2022: Stranger Than Fiction

Nonfiction November is chugging along and it’s my week to host. So welcome to the wild, odd, jaw-dropping world of Stranger Than Fiction week. Brace your shelves, folks.

Stranger Than Fiction (November 14-18): This week we’re focusing on all the great nonfiction books that almost don’t seem real. A sports biography involving overcoming massive obstacles, a profile on a bizarre scam, a look into the natural wonders in our world—basically, if it makes your jaw drop, you can highlight it for this week’s topic.

I love this topic. I am always on the lookout for unique nonfiction—books that skirt the line between fact and fiction and make me question if what I’m reading is even true. And when the author backs it up with verification? Oh, now that’s a good read.

Here are seven of my strangest recent favorites.


Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park
by Andy Mulvihill and Jake Rossen

I’m a big fan of theme parks, but Action Park is in a category all to itself. In a place with seemingly no rules, anything can happen … and it usually goes wrong.


Carnivorous Nights: On the Trail of the Tasmanian Tiger
by Margaret Mittelbach and Michael Crewdson

Attempting to track down an extinct animal isn’t all that strange. But a group of Americans traipsing across Tasmania with seemingly little idea of what they’re doing all for a Tasmanian Tiger no one’s seen since the 1930s? Now that’s interesting.


DisneyWar by James B. Stewart

Business books are often stuffy, but this remains one of the most fascinating glimpses into the entertainment industry I’ve ever read. It’s not all red carpets and parties. It’s a lot weirder.


The Radioactive Boy Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor
by Ken Silverstein

I was never worried about my neighbors building a nuclear reactor in their backyard until I read this book.


Sealand: The True Story of the World’s Most Stubborn Micronation and Its Eccentric Royal Family
by Dylan Taylor-Lehman

Ever wanted to rule your own kingdom? Take control of an abandoned sea fort and you can! Hoist your flag and try not to annoy the country that actually owns the place.


A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts
by J.W. Ocker

Salem and Halloween have practically become synonymous, but it wasn’t always that way. This is a fascinating examination of what happens when a holiday and history collide.


The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron
by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind

With current financial stories breaking, I’ve found myself returning to this classic book about one of the worst scandals in American business history.


What are some of your favorite stranger-than-fiction reads? Feel free to share your link through here:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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And if you’re on Instagram, Jaymi @theocbookgirl is hosting a ton of fun stuff. She’s also the one who made all of the amazing Nonfiction November graphics, which you can find and share from here.

42 responses to “Nonfiction November 2022: Stranger Than Fiction”

  1. These are all awesome, but The Radioactive Boy Scout sounds incredible 😀 Great selection!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a wild story. Like, the situation just keeps escalating in such an absurd way. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Week 3: (November 14-18) – Stranger Than Fiction: This week we’re focusing on all the great nonfiction books that *almost* don’t seem real. A sports biography involving overcoming massive obstacles, a profile on a bizarre scam, a look into the natural wonders in our world—basically, if it makes your jaw drop, you can highlight it for this week’s topic. (Plucked from the Stacks) […]

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  3. Those are all great ones and you’ve reminded me about Sealand, which I must add to my wishlist, giving me content for Week 5, too! I like this one and found four unusual books to talk about, though I’ve used one in Pairings, as well! Hope your part of the Month goes well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sealand is such a fun book—and I hope you enjoy it if you get around to it! I still find myself checking to see what’s going on there every few months.

      Like

  4. Enron was such a shock to all of us who live in the Houston area. I’d love to learn more about that event.

    Thank you for hosting Nonfiction November, Christopher!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It must have been wild living in that area at the time. It’s shocking any time a powerhouse goes down like that, but the local impact often gets overlooked.

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  5. Sealand looks like mad fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I want to read Season of the Witch – I visited Salem before I left New England, and would love to know more about it. These all look wackily fascinating though.

    I can’t say I’ve read anything so offbeat this year — maybe You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey, which has some jaw-dropping stories about racism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Season of the Witch sat on my TBR pile for years, and my only disappointment was how long it took me to pick it up. Ocker has a really interesting way of framing the city.

      I hadn’t heard of You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey, but it sounds fascinating.

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  7. […] Three of Nonfiction November is all about nonfiction books that almost don’t seem real. Our host, Christopher from Plucked from the Stacks, tells participants, “Basically, if it makes your jaw drop, you can highlight it for this […]

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  8. […] were your favorite Stranger Than Fiction reads this year? Don’t forget to link your picks up with Chris all […]

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  9. […] to Week 3 of Nonfiction November hosted by Christopher @ Plucked From The Stacks. The topic this week is Stranger Than […]

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  10. […] Week 3: (November 14-18) –Stranger Than Fiction with Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks […]

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  11. […] This month just gets better and better! The stranger than fiction week in Nonfiction November is hosted by Christopher @ Plucked From the Stacks. […]

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  12. Such fun topics here! I honestly don’t know how you find all of these. The Tasmanian Tiger book is immediately on my list, and I’m considering the JW Ocker one too. I really enjoyed his book Cursed Objects, maybe from last year? He has a great storytelling style and sense for the kooky and weird. I noticed he has a bunch of others too, surely up your alley as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I swear, I think I’m a magnet for weird books. Put me in a library, and I will walk out with the strangest selection. But I do think you’d like Carnivorous Nights. Some reviews are mixed because of the style and lack of expertise from the authors, but … it’s honestly so fun none of that matters.

      And A Season with the Witch constantly made me laugh and open up Google so I could double check what he was talking about. Actually, there’s a whole section about psychics and him trying to get a crystal ball reading that made me think of you.

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  13. […] revisiting one of our newer discussion prompts this week with host Christopher of Plucked From the Stacks and talking about nonfiction that you’d find too unbelievable if it were fiction. This prompt […]

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  14. I am currently reading Into the Forest about Polish Jews who lived in the forest for several years to avoid slaughter by the Nazis. Horrible dangers there as well from the weather, starvation, disease, and the Russians. I keep wishing it was fiction, but unfortunately it is nonfiction. Some of your choices above seem a lot more “fun.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually own a copy of Into the Forest I’m holding off on reading until I have the time it deserves. As you say, absolutely a story I wish was fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Intriguing picks, thanks for hosting this week

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wow, so many interesting titles. They all seem a lot more interesting than many novels.

    Here is my Stranger Than Fiction post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s part of why I love nonfiction. When a book has all the entertainment value of fiction but it’s all true? That’s a great read.

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      1. Those are the best.

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  17. Disney War sounds very intriguing to me! Thanks for hosting us this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for participating! Disney War is a great book. I didn’t think the business side of Disney would be so fascinating, but Eisner’s way of handling almost any situation was fascinating.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. […] This week it is looking at non-fiction that is stranger than fiction. This week’s host is Christopher from “Plucked from the Stacks“ […]

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  19. […] This week we’re focusing on all the great nonfiction books that almost don’t seem real. A sports biography involving overcoming massive obstacles, a profile on a bizarre scam, a look into the natural wonders in our world—basically, if it makes your jaw drop, you can highlight it for this week’s topic. Hosted by Christoopher @ Plucked from the Stacks. […]

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  20. thecontentreader Avatar
    thecontentreader

    That was a few intriguing books, and such variety of topics. Great. I have not read, or heard about any of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading! It’s always my goal to highlight some books people might not be as familiar with.

      Like

  21. […] this week’s Nonfiction November prompt, “Stranger than Fiction,” hosted by Christopher at Plucked from the Stacks: “This week we’re focusing on all the great nonfiction books that almost don’t seem real. A […]

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  22. Some great titles there – particularly interested in the story about the Tasmanian devil and Sealand. Thanks for hosting and mine can be found here .https://www.bookshelfdiscovery.com/blog/non-fiction-november-week-3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those two are so much fun. Sealand is just fascinating. The idea of seeing a sea fort and just going, “Yeah, that’s mine now.” Love it.

      Like

  23. […] This week in Nonfiction November it’s “Stranger Than Fiction”. This week’s host is “Plucked from the Stacks”. […]

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  24. […] This week is hosted by Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks. […]

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  25. The Enron book the Radioactive ones catch my eye.

    Thanks for hosting week 3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would highly recommend both of them! Thanks for participating this week.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. As always you have found some really interesting, wacky and bizarre titles! This is such a great topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you liked this one! I was hesitant about suggesting it again this year just because I wasn’t sure if returning participants would feel like they had enough books to include. But there have been a lot of fun books highlighted by everyone. So glad to be hosting with you again!

      Like

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