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Love that nonfiction!

June 24, 2009 by PatLeach

I've heard a few comments from readers who are SO EXCITED that our list of One Book One Lincoln nominees includes nonfiction titles, "The Color of Water" by James McBride, and "River of Doubt" by Candice Millard.

My annual reading of the Notable Books list over the years has shifted my preference toward nonfiction. Every year the nonfiction section of that list includes  titles that are true pleasures to read, with the added bonus of imparting information. I've re-structured my former reading groove of choosing fiction almost exclusively. I appreciate the way that nonfiction sometimes reads differently. I so admire writers who take technical information and make it available and meaningful to non-experts.

In the arena of youth reading, some experts have pointed out that many boys prefer nonfiction, and yet many classroom book collections emphasize fiction for recreational reading. Michael Sullivan refers to this issue in "Connecting Boys with Books 2." We need to recognize the diversity of reading tastes in young people as well as adults. School Library Journal devotes a monthly blog and column to highlighting nonfiction reading for children.

What's your preference? Do you lean strongly one direction or the other? What have you learned from going outside of your usual reading groove? And what inspired you to do so?


Tagged in: Good Reads, nonfiction, "One Book One Lincoln",

Comments 3

Jerry said:
Mostly non-fiction. But I've been reading more fiction as time goes by. Like Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O'Connor, and lately, Michael Chabon.
Marcia said:
I used to read a lot of fiction, but lately I prefer nonfiction, especially narrative, or story-like nonfiction. I've been reading several books about Sir Ernest Shackleton's voyage, and I'm amazed at the way the crew was able to survive in those horrible conditions and the way he and a few men went for help. I also enjoyed Dewey, the Small Town Library Cat That Touched the World, And Once Upon a Town (about the North Platte Canteen). Currently I'm listening to the audio book Time Bandits about commercial fishermen in Alaska. I find these books more interesting than fiction, and I can learn something at the same time.
Rebecca said:
I love nonfiction. I try to read fiction because it usually makes me happy, but there's just too many good topics of nonfiction out there and not enough time. I like memoir and essays too. Recently I picked up The Quality of Life Report by Meghan Daum. . . I've liked her columns for the Los Angeles Times that the Journal Star sometimes runs. Turns out it's a novel and kind of not so great. . . I hate starting books and not finishing them, but this time--what with there being so little time--I might slip it back into the drop box sooner than later.

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