Friday, May 31, 2013

Armchair BEA: Non-Fiction

Design credit: Sarah of Puss Reboots
When I’m looking for a book to read I don’t normally reach for non-fiction. In fact, I could probably count on one hand the number of non-fiction books I’ve read in the last couple of years. OK, I just created a non-fiction shelf for Goodreads and it appears I have read eight non-fiction books in the past two years. Because there are so few titles I thought I’d list them for you! (Links lead to my reviews.)

Under the Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes
Bitter is the New Black – Jen Lancaster
The Book of Awesome – Neil Pasricha
Mick Jagger – Philip Norman

They’re all pretty similar, right? Some travel, memoirs, biographies with a couple research type books thrown in there too. Obviously I don’t really stray from what I like when it comes to non-fiction. Which, I suppose I sort of knew when it comes to wandering bookstores. I’ll always look in the same few sections.

One of the reasons I don’t read a lot of non-fiction is because I’m really slow at reading them. This is odd and frustrating because I’m such a fast fiction reader. About half of the above books took me forever to read, even though I liked the majority of them. The ones that I gobbled up were The Tall Book, Happier at Home, and The End of Your Life Book Club. (The Book of Awesome is one of those books that I read a few pages at a time over a few months but it could easily be read in an afternoon.) I loved The Tall Book because it was interesting and relatable to me (I’m 6’ tall!) and was full of interesting stats and research. I love the way Rubin writes and combines her research with personal experience and have thoroughly enjoyed both her Happiness Project books. The End of Your Life Book Club was such a moving story and I highly recommend it to everyone.

What I discovered with Mick Jagger was that I’d rather read memoirs than biographies. It also didn’t help that I didn’t like the way Norman wrote or that Jagger didn’t have anything to do with the book. Sure, memoirs may not be super objective but I didn’t feel like this particular bio was objective either (Norman thought the sun rose and set with Mick, I think).

So those are my thoughts on non-fiction! I know I was very specific in titles but I think it does show what kind of books I like when it comes to non-fiction. What about you? Do you read any non-fiction? What are some of your favourite titles?


  1. Nonfiction tends to slow me down a little as well. I think it might be because of all the facts? I want to make sure I get them filed away in my brain correctly.

    Nonfiction books are my favorite to read. I've had so many recent favorites. The World's Strongest Librarian is a fantastic memoir :)

  2. The Austen book looks good-will have to look for it! I also read The End of Your Life Bookclub really fast!
    Kerri @ Turn the Page Reviews

  3. I saw The End of Your Life Book Club on goodreads and thought it sounded interesting. I think I'm going to add it to my TBR. The Tall Book sounds really interesting, but I am not tall so it would probably just make me wish I was, haha! I need to read more non-fic! I always mean to but end up getting more fiction instead. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I really really really need to read The End of Your Life Book Club just because I could do with a good book-cry.


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