My gradual love story with nonfiction | Nonfiction November

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Nonfiction has been something that I didn't think readable for a long time. By the time I started blogging, I may have read enough nonfiction to  count on just one hand. It was mostly due to a combination of not wanting to deal with reality and not wanting to be bored with nonfiction. Over the years since, I have added a lot more nonfiction to my read list - first due to blogger reviews, then through some review requests, and finally thanks to audiobooks.

I guess I can state definitively that if it were not for blogging, I would not have attempted to explore the nonfiction genre. Isn't it interesting how your reading tastes can change just by talking or writing more about books and reading or listening to fellow readers' opinions on books?

For the most part, I stick to narrative nonfiction and graphic memoirs. Occasionally, a book of essays will find its way into my hands, but not too often. Narrative nonfiction still remains one of my favorite categories of books. I'm not very surprised by this - I spent a big part of my teenage years reading the many real-life stories in Reader's Digest. In fact, I often prefer narrative nonfiction to even fiction. Just the fact that something is real can change how I perceive certain things.

For instance, would I have loved Unbroken as much as I actually did if it were fiction? Probably not. I would have felt manipulated if Zamperini's war experience and torture was just a figment of an author's imagination. But as a piece of nonfiction, it feels surreal, impossible, hard to stomach, and powerful.

Still, despite how much I liked nonfiction, I didn't start reading enough of it until two years ago, when I discovered that nonfiction makes for great listening in the car. I still continue that convention - right now, I am listening to The Emperor of All Maladies during my daily commutes, and I have a couple of nonfiction books lined up next.


What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

This year, almost half of my nonfiction reads were audiobooks. The other half were graphic memoirs. I have had some really good listens this year - Missoula, Expecting Better, and Stuff. But the one book that I loved the most is the only non-audiobook non-graphic memoir nonfiction on my read list this year - Lean In.


What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?

I keep wanting to read more history, as in more American Revolution or Balkan Wars or the Medieval period. I find myself fabulously entertained by such histories when I read about them in passing and always intend to read more about them, but then I find myself passing over them if I came across a book in that category. I could do audiobooks for these kind of books but I'm sure I'll miss a lot of the names and time periods mentioned in the book.


What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

An exploding TBR pile, I believe. Maybe I can find the perfect book in the history category - one that I will pick up right away.



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