#nonficnov – choosing nonfiction



(All the details for Nonfiction Nov are here)

Choosing Nonfiction:

What are you looking for when you pick up a nonfiction book?

Sometimes I pick up nonfiction after reading a fantastic work of fiction. So I think the answer to that would be that I pick up nonfiction as a distraction from the fiction I’m reading. I know that’s not really the kind of answer the question is looking for, but that’s my answer!

Do you have a particular topic you’re attracted to?

I like books about travel, diaspora and immigration. And also, foodie nonfiction! Sometime this year I started listening to celebrities narrate their own audiobooks and really like that – like Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, and Yes Please by Amy Poehler.

Do you have a particular writing style that works best?

I like narrative nonfiction. I like when the writer’s personality is very much infused into the book. Like in The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries by Jessa Crispin, who is writing about historical figures, but also very much about herself, her relationship and her own ‘exile’ of sorts to Berlin. Oh and I like when books are funny (but not necessarily funny as in written by comedians), like Mary Roach’s works.

When you look at a nonfiction book, does the title or cover influence you? If so, share a title or cover which you find striking

Smoke gets in your eyes  is for the title. While the other two are for the covers.


  1. I’ve listened to a couple of celebrities (I Must Say by Martin Short and Wildflower by Drew Barrymore) narrate their own audiobooks this year, too, and the jury’s still out for me as to whether it’s something I’ll continue.


  2. Celebrities narrating their own books is something I can get behind!
    These are really interesting questions that I never considered before, but for nonfiction, I am drawn by interesting titles because nonfiction tends to have very long titles. The more creative or intriguing, the better!


  3. I really like hopping back and forth between fiction and nonfiction. I think it can help with book hangovers and it can also get me out of reading slumps 🙂


  4. Oh I agree! I use fiction/nonfiction to distract from each other absolutely. I need to try audiobooks narrated by celebrity authors because I’m always curious. I just never know when I’d really listen. I really want to try Neil Patrick Harris’ or Cary Elwes both for example.


  5. My original goal for this year, to read more books from my own shelves, worked against my other more-quietly-stated goal (more like a general wish) to read more non-fiction, because I don’t buy as much non-fiction as fiction and, then, once I got back to reading from the library, I’ve forgotten all about the whole non-fiction thing. Guess I’ll have to make a louder more determined goal if I want to work more of it into the stacks!


  6. I’m with you on turning to nonfiction after a particular great novel…kind of like a recovery book or something different that won’t directly compete with that winning novel you just read!


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