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What to Read: Nonfiction November

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November 19, 2019

If I am being totally honest, sometimes I think, “Nonfiction? Ew. Sounds boring.” I don’t know why I think that! I’ve read a lot of nonfiction books that I’ve loved—from entertaining, comedic memoirs, to intriguing recounts of historical events, to poignant and inspirational self-help books. Still, I don’t necessarily gravitate toward the nonfiction section. So, I thought this November, I’d look outside of my niche and consider: what are some great nonfiction titles that might appeal to fans of different genres? Here are few I thought might fit the bill:

 

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1. Early Readers This Is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe

This nonfiction book for early readers follows seven children from around the world during an ordinary day, delving into how schools, meals, and play are different, and yet, the same.

 

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2. Middle Grade – Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

In this poetic middle-grade memoir, Jacqueline Woodson reflects on growing up, both in the north and the south, and the moments of her childhood that led her to pursue a career in writing. This book has won numerous awards, including the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Coretta Scott King Award, an NAACP Image Award, and a Newbery Honor.

 

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3. Young Adult – We Are Here to Stay by Susan Kuklin|

This nonfiction book for teens introduces readers to nine undocumented young adults who have immigrated to the United States from all over the world (Colombia, Mexico, Ghana, Independent Samoa, and Korea) and tells their stories of loss and hope whether they were fleeing violence, escaping poverty, or seeking an education.

 

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4. Adult Western – Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides 

Beginning with the Mexican-American War, historian Hampton Sides tells the story of America’s westward expansion by following legendary frontiersman Kit Carson. This book transports readers to the American West where it introduces both information and drama.

 

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5. Adult Comedy – Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell

Historian Sarah Vowell combines history and humor as she explores the Marquis de Lafayette’s involvement in the Revolutionary War.

 
 

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6. Adult Romance – Fall in Love Like a Romance Writer edited by Amelia Grey

This anthology contains the real-life romances—both loves found and loves lost—by 67 of the top writers of romance.


 

 

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7. Adult MysteryMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil takes readers to the grandest mansion in Savannah, Georgia, in 1981 and hinges around the four trials of Jim Williams, a prominent antiques dealer who was accused of murdering Danny Hansford. This immersive work of nonfiction reads like a novel with an interesting cast of characters!

 

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8. Adult Science – Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval N. Harari

The author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind expands his exploration of humankind into the future, considering the implications of scientific advancements from overcoming death to creating artificial life. In Homo Deus, Harari poses the question: where do we go from here?

 

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9. Adult ThrillerCatch and Kill by Ronan Farrow

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow takes readers through his investigation of Harvey Weinstein and the layers of corruption that were in play to protect Weinstein and other serial abusers. Throughout his investigation, Farrow discovered a multitude of sinister and threatening elements that attempted to silence victims and reporters.


 

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10.  Adult Comedy/MemoirDear Girls by Ali Wong

Actress and comedian Ali Wong shares glimpses into her childhood in San Francisco, her life in comedy, her attempt to reconnect with her Vietnamese heritage, and her experiences as a parent. Through letters addressed to her daughters, Ali Wong provides wisdom and advice for “living your best life.”


Now it’s your turn! Are there any nonfiction books you would enthusiastically recommend?

Katrina H.
Oak Grove Branch

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