Thursday, June 1, 2017

Do You Read Nonfiction?

Gocce di pioggia sui vetri
via photographer Mia Felicita Bertelli on Flickr
As we enter the season of mid-year reflections, I want to think about nonfiction. I didn’t expect I’d like to read nonfiction—as a kid, my awareness of nonfiction led me to believe it was all just books on finance and health. Neither of those things interest me much.

Since entering college, though, I’ve found that reading nonfiction can be just as rewarding an experience as reading fiction. In the year of 2017, a little more than a fourth of my reading has been nonfiction. Some of that is my school reading, of course, but more than two-thirds of the nonfiction I read, I read for fun. Odd, huh?

Other fun facts: I’ve read 29 nonfiction books so far this year. Thirteen of those books (45%) were about women’s and gender issues. Nine of those books (31%) were memoirs from people in the entertainment industry. And five of those books (17%) were about race in America. Obviously, I am slacking on my race books, but I still have time to fix that.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few book bundles to describe the most interesting nonfiction I’ve read as of late.

via Goodreads
The Feminism Books: Faithfully Feminist by Gina Messina-Dysert, Jennifer Zobair, Amy Levin; Virgin: The Untold Story by Hanne Blank; Missoula by Jon Krakauer

It’s a little difficult to highlight the similarities between these books. Faithfully Feminist contains a wide range of memoirs and reflections from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim women, and it is pretty fantastic, man. Virgin might be the most interesting nonfiction I’ve read ever. Did you know there’s no medical definition of virginity? And Missoula is a case study of rape cases in a college town. It is depressing and angering. I guess you could say I ordered these books by the amount of joy they brought me, greatest to least.

via Goodreads
The Race Books: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander; Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Playing in the Dark by Toni Morrison; The Crunk Feminist Collection by Brittney C. Cooper, Susana M. Morris, Robin M. Boylorn

These are not necessarily fun books, but they’re all important. The New Jim Crow deals with this as Alexander examines American prison systems; Coates delivers a more personal reflection on criminalization. Playing in the Dark discusses race in literature (#Englishmajor). And The Crunk Feminist Collection is also great: it is a compilation of blog posts that discuss social issues and personal experiences. It was informative, funny, and insightful—I feel like I got a lot out of it, even though I am not in its intended audience.

via Goodreads
The Star Trek Books: Star Trek Memories by William Shatner, Beyond Uhura by Nichelle Nichols, I Am Spock by Leonard Nimoy

The other entertainment memoirs didn’t fit together as well as these ones did. These are not the highest literature to be had, but I did like getting to look at the lives and careers of these actors—especially Nimoy and Nichols. Did you know Nichelle Nichols was kidnapped and abandoned in the woods one time? Bruh. Also, Nichols throws some shade at Shatner in her book (with some justification, methinks). It makes me wonder what it’s like to be so famous that you conduct all your disagreements via memoir.


There you go: ten good books. Or, if they are not always joyous, ten important books. And here’s to finding ten more by the end of the year.


Have you read any good nonfiction books lately?


10 comments :

  1. Yesss, I love nonfiction! My favorite nonfiction author is Nathaniel Philbrick, who writes about the American Revolutionary War and the Age of Exploration. I love reading most anything about the Revolution or the Dark Ages, though :)

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, that sounds really cool! I liked reading about the Revolution, too, mostly when I was in APUSH. Those are very interesting eras to explore, though. :)

      Delete
  2. I am reading more from different genres this year. I only read one non fiction which was Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee which is about the author's previous life in North Korea. A quick and fascinating but sad read.

    I also plan on reading I Know why the Caged Bird Sings and Malala's book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That does sound like it would be a sad read. Still, especially since we don't always get good information on what is going on in North Korea, I imagine that it is important.

      I've read both of those! I Know Why is a great, poetic book, and I hope you like that one. Malala's book was also pretty good (I listened to it on audiobook) but I also felt like its message was a little oversimplified. Still, I'd read more from Malala if she kept writing.

      Delete
  3. I used to not read nonfiction, but I think it's good to broaden my horizons. Recently I read Girl Code, about two girls who coded a game called Tampon Run to raise awareness about the menstrual taboo. It was easy to read, discussed important issues like feminism and women in tech, and I learned a lot. I also read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? which was fun, although I'd never heard of Mindy Kaling before I got it from the library, which was a bit strange. I still enjoyed it though!
    I want to read more non-fiction, and some of those (especially Faithfull Feminist) sound really interesting. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds really interesting—I'd love to read that book. It is especially interesting to me because I have a sister who will be entering the tech field after college. I've heard of that book, and I've thought about reading it. I might. :)

      Yeah! Faithfully Feminist was an excellent read—it definitely gave me a lot more confidence in my religion than my church has done in a long time. XD

      Delete
  4. I've definitely got more into nonfiction this year, especially because I did a non-fiction challenge for Lent which was pretty awesome. So fare this year about 16 of the 80 books I've read are non-fiction. And I love it. It's made me realise how interested I am in language (like, I'm now seriously considering doing linguistics in uni). I also LOVED the book Smart Girls by Shauna Pomerantz, which is about the female experience of education and intelligence. I also enjoyed When Breath Becomes Air and Lingo. So yes to more non-fiction and some of these look excellent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, yeah, I remember that. That was a really impressive Lent sacrifice you made—I am not so hardcore. XD You should definitely consider linguistics! My best friend is about to start getting her Master's in linguistics, and she loves it. :)

      I definitely would like to read Smart Girls—that sounds totally up my alley! Thanks for telling me about it.

      Delete
  5. I read some non-fiction from time to time. I've read writing craft books and I read this one book about introversion which really helped me feel more comfortable in my skin. I love Leonard Nimoy and Nichelle Nichols. I've only heard good things about them from the people I know who've met them. ^ ^

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *nods* Writing craft books were probably the most common nonfiction I was going to pick up in high school. Books on introversion are also nice. I should look for one. And nice! I'm a little jealous, but also not surprised. From their books, they sound awesome.

      Delete

Check it out, comments and stuff. I love to hear from readers, and I always respond to commenters! Here's the fun part—if you leave a link to your blog I'll show up and comment back. I have just one rule down here: Don't Be a Problem. This spans the entire umbrella of rudeness and crudeness, so I reiterate: Don't Be a Problem. Thanks for stopping by!