Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Non-Fiction That Reads Like Fiction

A lot of fiction readers won't read non-fiction and vice versa.  Personally, I enjoy both--probably because I love history--but I really just like a good story.
There are several authors that you can always count on to write a good non-fiction book.  Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods), Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers), and Simon Winchester (Krakatoa) are sure bets for keeping you entertained and teaching you something at the same time.
For all of you fiction-only readers who want to broaden your horizons, then try one of the following.  These are great stories that just happen to be true.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt--murder mystery in Savannah.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote--one of the first and best true crime books.

The Lost City of Z by David Grann--search for a mysterious city in the jungles of the Amazon.

The Aviators by Winston Groom--three legendary aviators and their lives.

Seabiscuit: an American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand--small racehorse that brought hope during the Great Depression.
Unbroken: a World War II Story of Survival... by Laura Hillenbrand--runner, soldier, POW, and inspirational survivor.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer--young man's tragic journey.
Into Thin Air: a Personal Account... by Jon Krakauer--disaster on Mt. Everest.

Shadow Divers: The True Adventures... by Robert Kurson--scuba divers risk everything to solve a WWII mystery.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness... by Erik Larson--a serial killer on the loose at the 1893 Word's Fair.

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt--memoir of an Irish lad with a hard childhood.

Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard--President Garfield's life, murder, and legacy.

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi--an inside look at women's lives in Revolutionary Iran.

Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Ghost Soldiers: the Epic Account... by Hampton Sides--a daring mission behind enemy lines to rescue American POWs in the Philippines.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot--is it legal or ethical to take a person's tissue without their consent or compensation?

Wild by Cheryl Strayed--a woman alone, hiking the Pacific Coast Trail.

My favorites are Unbroken and Into Thin Air.  What are some of yours?

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