This month, Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness and Leslie at Regular Rumination are co-hosting an event called Nonfiction November and have invited other book-loving bloggers to join them in blogging about nonfiction books. As someone who tends to lean more to the fiction side of the reading spectrum, it's an interesting challenge for me to think about what kinds of nonfiction I gravitate toward.
After a quick glance at my bookshelf, here's a sampling (in no particular order) of ten nonfiction books I love. All of these are books I'd give four or five stars out of five.
On Writing by Stephen King
Just Kids by Patti Smith
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan
Who Are You People? by Shari Caudron
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe by Laurie Lisle
Love Is A Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
There isn't necessarily any common thread tying them all together. I do tend to be drawn to books about artists/writers/musicians and the creative process, and I also like to read about people immersing themselves in new places or subcultures. A pop culture angle can be a plus sometimes.
Mostly, though, as with any book, it all comes down to the writing. None of the books on this list would be so compelling without the authors' skillful storytelling and passion for their subjects. Although I'll always be a bigger fiction fan, when a nonfiction book is well done, it can be just as much of a page turner as any novel.