Today’s Armchair BEA topic is one that’s near and dear to my bookish heart. I love non-fiction! And why love non-fiction you ask? As Jennifer at The Relentless Reader recently put it… because then you can know ALL THE THINGS! I love learning and I feel like knowing a little bit about a variety of topics can really help in life. It makes me think more creatively and helps me come up with ideas for my research when I least expect it. It keeps me humble about what I know and aware of all the amazing things I don’t know but can read about (I adore my library… just sayin’). And it can make for surprisingly good party conversation, especially when you get stuck talking to the one person not in your major – but know the right questions to ask about theirs.
My favorite non-fiction I’ve read lately includes:
- The Botany of Desire – very approachable and will make you view plants in a totally new light
- The Signal and the Noise (review to come) – what can I say? I love me some data analysis
- and Frozen In Time – narrative non-fiction, otherwise known as non-fiction for the fiction lover, about an amazing adventure story
Do you read non-fiction? What you love about it? Any non-fiction book recommendations?
Biography and history and sociology-type books are my favorite non-fiction. The Professor and the Madman (about the creation of the OED), Salt (the history of everything through the lens of salt), and Devil in the White City (about a serial killer at the Chicago Worlds’ Fair) are all recommendations.
Thanks for the recommendations! I’ve been hearing good thing about The Professor and the Madman a lot lately, so that’s definitely another one for the TBR pile 🙂
I like the sound of your suggestions! I don’t think of nonfiction as a genre because it can range so widely, but maybe narrative nonfiction is a better description of readable nonfiction! I just read Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo and thought it read like fiction.
I’ve never heard of that, so I’ll have to look it up! I definitely agree with you about how broad a category non-fiction is and have noticed a lot of people mentioning specific niches that really like. Narrative non-fiction is definitely one of my favorites 🙂
Michelle @ In Libris Veritas
I haven’t heard of these but Frozen in Time sounds good! I love narrative nonfiction.
I absolutely fell in love when I discovered narrative non-fiction. I find it’s more likely to have the entertainment value of fiction than some other non-fiction categories and is extra awesome because it really happened 🙂
I’ve heard about The Botany of Desire, but haven’t read it yet. The thing I love about nonfiction is how it opens me up to new topics and learning possibilities, even though I’m done with school now.
I’m still in school, but I love non-fiction for the same reason. Micro-histories in particular always remind me how much there is to learn even about things that seem like small topics!
This is a great post about the greatest of books: Nonfiction! Frozen in Time was fantastic and I’m looking forward to reading more of his work 🙂
Thanks for the shout-out!
Of course! I thought you did a great job expressing exactly why non-fiction is so awesome 🙂
Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)
Great recommendations! I loved Frozen in Time, and I am looking forward to reading The Signal and the Noise (and reading your thoughts about it).
A small spoiler for my review – it was awesome! I’d definitely suggest picking it up 🙂
thanks for sharing. debating whether to read Botany of Desire or not. Yes I read a lot of non-fiction: http://wordsandpeace.com/2013/05/31/armchair-bea-2013-non-fiction/
Awesome! I love meeting other non-fiction lovers 🙂 I liked Botany of Desire enough that I’ll be looking to read more of Pollan’s books, so I would recommend it.
thanks for the recommendation