Thanks to Kim over at Sophisticated Dorkiness and Leslie over at Regular Rumination, and their Non-Fiction November event, I feel like sharing some of my favorite non-fiction reads. Generally speaking, I am a fiction reader, but there is a place in my heart for well written, narrative non-fiction. Instead of discussing my all time favorite non-fiction book, I’ve decided to compile a list of really great non-fiction that has come my way in the last little while. Links go back to my original reviews.
1. Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno. I just finished this book last night. I loved it. Aside from providing some fascinating insight into one of the most obscure American writers of our time, it was written in a very unique and effective way. I highly recommend this to those who like either Salinger or a great literary biography.
2. The Juggler’s Children by Carolyn Abraham. This book is short-listed for the Canadian Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction and really deserves to win. At first glance it appears quite simple. Abraham wants to look back into her family history and employs new DNA technology to trace her ancestry. The thing is, she has a wild set of characters from all over the world looming darkly in her past: A Chinese juggler, a roving ship’s captain and a series of strong women. I loved it.
3. Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan. Here is another doozie of a book that got a lot of press when it came out. Cahalan is a young journalist starting her career when she starts loosing her mind. To make matters worse, doctors are not all that sympathetic to her case. As it turned out, she had a rare virus and her brain was literally on fire Great writing, fascinating tale.
There you go, my top three non-fiction reads of the last year.