Non-fiction recs SVP
December 18, 2012 10:04 AM Subscribe
I am a reader of fiction. I read a lot, and I read all sorts of fiction genres. I do not, however, read non-fiction because the couple of times I tried to I found them desperately dull. I am sure that can’t be the reality for all non-fiction books… right? Teach me something interesting and make me learn to like non-fiction please. Specific requests inside...
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to education (83 answers total) 215 users marked this as a favorite
I consider myself a bright, intelligent person and I really like knowing things, if you know what I mean. I like being able to be involved in conversations on a wide variety of subjects. Knowledge for knowledge’s sake gets me all excited, and I get excited when I know the reasons behind things or when I found something that I believed before was wrong. I tend to have a fairly broad set of knowledge about science-based things, but when it comes to history I am pretty uneducated so maybe that is a good place to start? I find history fairly dull, so the challenge comes in trying to find a historical non-fiction that doesn’t put me to sleep.
I’m open to books that
- are focused on one specific topic that they explore in depth so that I would come away knowing just about all there is to know about that subject. (ie. A detailed history of buttons)
- address a larger topic and gives you the broad strokes of the whole picture so that later on I could possibly search out more books that explore particular parts of the larger topic. (ie. A book about a war, and later on I could find books about specific battles or individuals involved)
- challenge my existing beliefs and understandings of how things work/are. (ie. creationist vs evolutionist, why a paleo diet is brilliant/stupid)
- follow a particular perspective on something (ie. the real story of someone who got drawn in to a cult, their experiences there, and how they got out)
- whatever other form non-fiction takes... ?
I am LESS interested in
- memoires (since in many cases it is bordering on fiction and they are often ghostwritten)
- contemporary true crime type things, especially if it relates to someone who harmed or killed people. (ex. Jack the Ripper is fine, but a book about Jeffrey Dahmer would be out)
- books that focus on the worst parts of humanity (ie. the Holocost)
As long as they are written intelligently, they respect the reader’s intelligence, and they are interesting, I’m game. I usually gravitate towards more science based things. Even the fiction that I read tend to have a science/sci-fi aspect (Dune, Ender’s Game, American Gods, etc), so maybe a more science based one to start is safer, but finding something that is more historically based to help fill in those gaping holes in my knowledge isn’t a bad idea either.
So help me fill my Kindle with some non-fiction books. I’m looking for books that will
1. Keep my attention
2. Help me to learn something
3. Based on mostly fact, not as much opinion
4. Develop an appreciation of non-fiction books