Week 3: (November 15-19) – Be/Ask/Become the Expert with Veronica at The Thousand Book Project:
Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books
on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert),
you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that
you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own
list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).
I am currently reading a book about the Tulsa Race Massacre. The book is crammed with great information and yet I can hardly make myself read it. I decided that the flat nonfiction style of the text would have been enhanced had the author chosen to write it as narrative nonfiction -- tell me a story while you are cramming in the facts.
That got me thinking, what are some of the best narrative nonfiction books I've read over the years? With the help of this little gem, 100 Great Narrative Nonfiction Books, I set to work to identify some of my favorites. If I reviewed it there is a hyperlink on the title so you can read more about the book.
Favorite Narrative Nonfiction, by category:
- The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
Science and Technology:
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
- Grunt: the Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Travel and Adventure:
- The Lost City of Z by David Grann
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Stayed
- In a Sun Burnt Country by Bill Bryson
- Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
- The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
- Radium Girls: The Scary But True Story of the Poison That Made People Glow in the Dark by Kate Moore
- Gulp by Mary Roach
- Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder
- The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
- Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
- The History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage
- The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America by Timothy Egan
- Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
- Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
- Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth by Rachel Maddow
- Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
- Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
What are some of your favorite narrative nonfiction (they tell a story!) books?
Note: Prior to 2017 when I retired I rarely reviewed the adult books I read. I thought I needed to focus on YA titles for my students. Now I wish I'd done it in reverse -- reviewing the adult titles for sure and getting to the YA titles if I had time. Sigh.