Category: Narrative Non-Fiction

Goodwill Tour

December 11, 2013 Memoir, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction 7

17294909Title: Goodwill Tour: Paying It Forward
Author: Keith Maginn
Source: from author for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: This book was a ton of fun with its well-written story of adventure and compassion. I found it both very moving and very relatable.

While many of us dream of taking an unscheduled road trip and many of us dream of making the world a better place, author Keith Maginn did both. With his friend Emily, he traveled through the Southeastern US with stops to volunteer and give away money to deserving strangers. In Goodwill Tour, Keith tells their story and the stories of those they helped. Read more »

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Precarious Japan

December 5, 2013 History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Psychology 11

17264900Title: Precarious Japan
Author: Anne Allison
Source: from publisher for review
Fun Fact: Until the 1980’s when this was made illegal, many Japanese companies required that women leave work when they married or had children. 80% of women still follow this custom.
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Parts of this book read like narrative non-fiction and gave fascinating insight into the state of Japan, but other bits were full of sociology-speak and very hard to follow.

Currently in Japan regular employment is becoming scarcer, the population is aging, and recovery from the nuclear disaster of 3/11 is still underway. All of these factors have made life more uncertain in Japan. Many people feel a lack of belonging and connection to other people. The author, Anne Allison, addresses these issues both through social theories about Japan and her extensive interviews with Japanese citizens. Read more »

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Five Days At Memorial

November 6, 2013 Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction 9

17704902Title: Five Days At Memorial
Author: Sheri Fink
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: The author did a great job sharing enough information about each person to convey that these are real people, a talent that increased the tension of this harrowing story.

Five Days At Memorial is a reconstruction of the time following Hurricane Katrina that survivors spent at the hospital, largely without electricity and with decreasing supplies of food and water. Horrific mismanagement led to a situation so desperate and chaotic that later some doctors and nurses were accused of having euthanized some of their patients. The second half of the book deals with the investigation and trials following that accusation. Read more »

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Lost in Shangri-La

May 23, 2012 Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction 6

Title: Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of WWII
Author: Mitchell Zuckoff
Source: from publisher for a TLC Book Tour
Fun Fact:  By 1945, New Guinea was home to more missing air planes than any other country on earth.
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: An incredibly engaging story with a great human element supported by well-integrated primary sources.

Lost in Shangri-La was my first experience with narrative non-fiction and I think I may be in love. For those of you like me who haven’t read narrative non-fiction before, I would describe it as a novel in which personal lives are as well researched as the bigger picture and the whole thing is presented as a story.  In this particular story, we learn about a plane crash in New Guinea stranding three service men and women in the jungle with potentially unfriendly natives.  Due to their isolated location, finding them in the jungle was only the first challenge.  A daring and dangerous rescue mission was then required to get them out. Read more »

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