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: