the one about nonfiction

06 March 2018

Initially, thinking about nonfiction has a lot of negative connotations. Nonfiction is for school, not for pleasure. They're boring and dense and take forever to get through. Why would someone choose to read a nonfiction book when there's so many incredible fiction books to choose from?
This has always been how I've felt about nonfiction. It's difficult to find nonfiction books that are really interesting and captivating, that can give the same effect as reading a fiction book, while also teaching so much more about the real world. It's easy for readers to scare away and become intimidated of nonfiction books. I was definitely one of those readers until recently, but I've come to realize that it's very important to give nonfiction a try.

People tend to lump all nonfiction books together as if it were one genre, but, like with fiction, there are so many sub-genres that fall under the category of nonfiction that it doesn't make any sense to try to group them like that.
That's probably why I've always been hesitant to pick up any sort of book that isn't fiction. I never stopped to look and explore how many options there are in the nonfiction world.

I made it one of my reading goals for the year to read more nonfiction, and I'm finding it to be a little easier than I expected. The trick to reading nonfiction is the same as reading fiction. You need to find the sub-genres you like best and explore what it has to offer.
As for me I have found that biographies are my absolute favorites! Not memoirs or autobiographies, but beautifully written biographies that expose and humanize the people from history I admire. Two biographies I've read have made it onto my all time favorites list of books, which I never thought possible for nonfiction. Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie (which you've all heard me obsess over plenty) and most recently, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand have changed the way I've read nonfiction and have opened me up to a whole new world of literature.

Nonfiction is actually a beautiful thing. Whether they're biographies, commentaries, journals, essays, or self-help, it's definitely a collection of books that needs more recognition and love, and I'm excited to read more!

What are some nonfiction books I should read? Have you ever read a nonfiction book for fun?


  1. Okay, I may or may not have just admitted that I do not like reading non-fiction last night BUT YOUR POST HAS ME CHANGING MY MIND. I guess it just means I have to be *interested* in the subject in order to enjoy the book. I really enjoyed reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. SO GOOD. I highly recommend it to anyone. I've also enjoyed reading some poetry books. I loved Connor Franta's book Note To Self. It was so creative and deep and I just loved it. The thing with poetry though, I feel like you have to relate to it in order to like it? Maybe that just applies to me though.

    I loved this post! <3 I should actually try to read more non-fiction. :}

    xx Kenzie

    P.S. Oh! The Diary of Anne Frank?? Amazing.

    1. Ahhh Kenzie yes! Read the nonfiction, it'll greatly improve your reading life, I guarantee! I'll be sure to check out your recommendations!

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  4. Oh my goodness, I'm so glad you did this post because I love, love nonfiction! I didn't always though (younger me thought nonfiction was boring and stale). But through the years, I've grown to appreciate it more and more, and now it's almost always equal with fiction on my bookshelves. I have actually thought about doing a post on all my nonfiction favorites.

    I absolutely agree: not all nonfiction books are interesting to read. But if you can find interesting sub-genres (like you said), reading it becomes 10x more enjoyable. I love reading essays, books on creative living, and biographies (oh yes, and Unbroken is amazing!).

    I second what Kenzie said above: Big Magic is a great read. Liz Gilbert's podcast on creativity is stellar also (she used the ideas in the book to help real creative people, and coach them through their doubts + struggles).

    I know this is a long comment, but I have one biography suggestion for ya. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (it's long, but it's so so good). Oh, and now that I think about it: Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxes - is also a great read (I really want to read his Bonhoeffer someday).


    1. Nonfiction is more of an acquired taste than fiction. It takes more exploring to find the ones that interest you, but I feel like it's a more rewarding experience when you finally find a nonfiction book that grabs you and is able to actually teach you something.
      I actually have Alexander Hamilton collecting dust on my bookshelf. Your comment makes me want to pick it up right now! (along with all your other recommendations!)

  5. I'd really like to add some more nonfiction to my tbr!

  6. I really like reading memoirs! The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls is a really good one!

    1. Oh I've heard so many good things about The Glass Castle! I definitely need to read it ASAP!

  7. I definitely love well written non-fiction! Read the "Family Nobody Wanted" if you can find it. THAT was a cute non-fiction book <3!!!
    Also, I tagged you over on my blog :)!

    Rejoicing in Hope,
    Bri from