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message 1: by Anne (new)

Anne | 10 comments Do many of you read nonfiction? I think of myself as someone who prefers the fiction world, though looking back on my 2007 reading list, I realized about a quarter of the books I read were non-fiction. Well, many were the memoirs that were all the rage last year, so maybe those don't totally count. But, I read some great biographies and books by Malcolm Gladwell. Last night I started reading Jeffrey Toobin's "The Nine" about the US Supreme Court, and I'm really enjoying it. I do enjoy having at least one fiction and one non-fiction going at the same time for some variety...but just wondering what others think - and if you have any good non-fiction suggestions.

message 2: by Ed (new)

Ed | 237 comments Mod
I agree--I think of myself as a reader of fiction but I usually read at least one-fourth to one-third non-fiction. I'm reading a book called the Language of God by a scientist with a last name Collins. So far so good--at least an intelligent answer to the latest round of books by dawkins about the existence of God. Let me know how the Nine is....listening to Toobin being interviewed it seemed pretty interesting.

message 3: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (Target) | 10 comments I have a few non-fic books, but they mostly just take up room on my shelf. I think I've read two, and am reading Glenn Beck's An Inconvenient Book. Other than those I'm all fiction all the time.

message 4: by peg (new)

peg (mcicutti) | 1 comments I like to try to keep a balance between fiction and non-fiction reading. I am usually reading one of each at any given time.

message 5: by Ed (new)

Ed | 237 comments Mod
and sometimes fiction is more real to me than non-fiction and vice-versa.

message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 13, 2008 07:38AM) (new)

I, too, love to read both fiction and nonfiction at the same time. I especially enjoy memoirs. I'm not sure what you are interested in, Anne, but Joan Didion's *The Year of Magical Thinking* is very good. If you are insterested at all in religion or spirituality, Karen Armstrong is your writer. I read her books *Through the Narrow Gate* and *The Spiral Staircase* about her time as a nun in the 60's and the aftermath when she left the convent. I couldn't put them down.

message 7: by Halle♥ (last edited Jan 13, 2008 01:42PM) (new)

Halle♥ | 13 comments I also read both. Most of the non-fiction books I read are informational. But, though I like both, I think I'll always be a bigger fan of fiction. =]

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Halle, did you like the Armstrong books?

message 9: by Pam (new)

Pam | 5 comments I do this too. I usually have 2 books going and read one fiction and one non-fiction. I might get caught up more in one and read 2 or 3 fictions to one non-fiction if it gets boring but generaly I have both going and watch TV too. Pamela

message 10: by Rebecca (last edited Jan 13, 2008 06:26PM) (new)

Rebecca I also average about one-fourth non-fiction. Right now I'm read The Year of Biblical Living by A.J. Jacobs. A.J. Jacogs lives by the bible literally every day for a year. He grows his beard the entire time. It's a great book so far. I have added a lot more non-fiction books to my to-read list in the past few months than I have fiction books. I don't really know why, it's just what seems to have drawn me. I also have read The Nine and really enjoyed it. I read it late December 2007.

message 11: by Ed (new)

Ed | 237 comments Mod
I'm reading the Language of God...an interesting book by a scientist discussing the various proofs of God's existence....a very thoughtful book.

message 12: by Karen (new)

Karen Michelle is right, Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking" is wonderful! She was so honest about what she was going through. While some people have written on Goodreads that they thought she was at times selfish and/or spoiled sounding, but I thought of her as being honest about her feelings. I haven't read anything by Karen Armstrong but I'll have to try them, the two you mentioned sound great.

message 13: by Beth (last edited Jan 14, 2008 11:17AM) (new)

Beth I love Karen Armstrong, too, Michelle. The Spiral Staircase was amazing. I enjoy Malcolm Gladwell and Joan Didion, also. One of my favorite non-fiction writers is Tracy Kidder, with his best work being a book called Mountains Beyond Mountains. Kidder is the master of taking an ordinary subject and making it the most fascinating thing you've ever heard about. Right now, I'm reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, which is a great non-fiction choice. Jon Krakauer's books are great. I am also a sucker for a memoir of any type. Oh, and Oliver Sacks, too.

message 14: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I love memoirs too. Has anyone else read "A Piece of Cake" by Cupcake Brown? What a story. Cupcake is now a lawyer, but her journey to get where she is, is unbelievable.

message 15: by Ed (new)

Ed | 237 comments Mod
I really enjoyed The Omnivore's Dilemma...discovered it from a slate book club podcast.

message 16: by Anne (new)

Anne | 10 comments Thanks so much for all the suggestions! I really did enjoy The Year of Magical Thinking - and I love Krakauer. I'm reading The Year of Biblical Living right now. I have never read anything by Tracy Kidder - but have heard good things, so I will check him out, as well as Oliver Sacks and Karen Armstrong who I hadn't heard of before.

Ed - if you liked The Omnivore's Dilemma - check out Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle on a similar topic.

For those who do like memoirs, I recommend The Glass Castle.

message 17: by Salma (new)

Salma No- I usually veer toward fiction (unless they're Dylan memoirs :-p)). That said, I'm in the process of reading Marie Antoinette, and I'm liking it so far. Next I want to read Devil in the White City. Oh, I do like poetry, though. 'cept I don't read it as often as I should.

message 18: by Ed (new)

Ed | 237 comments Mod
I'll have to check that out...sounds very interesting...animal, vegetable ..what is the miracle?

message 19: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I finished "A Year of Biblical Living: as Literally as Possible" by A.J. Jacobs yesterday. It was excellant. Very funny and quite informative. Anyone else reading this?

message 20: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 11 comments I like to mix it up. Right now I'm reading a doctor's Iraq war story written by Richard Jadick entitled "On Call in Hell" and finding it fascinating, maybe because I have a medical background. I'm also half way through Barak Obama's "Audacity of Hope" and I just finished a book on the the Cajun culture. I kind of go in spurts and will probably dive back into fiction after I finish the Iraq book. There are just so many intrigueing real people and events to read about it's hard for me to stay with fiction all the time, even though I love it.

message 21: by Marina (new)

Marina I love to read both fiction and non-fiction. Sometimes an equal amount, sometimes I go through cycles of time where I only read one or the other. I'm reading 4 non-fiction books now! Which is alot for me. So I'm looking for a good novel to read next :)

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

In the past I've read a lot of non-fiction. Also, after evaluating submissions for ePress-online, and trying to find those authors and submissions that fit the ePress stable of books, I wrote and published a non-fiction to provide writers with the nuts and bolts of fiction- writing. It also teaches how to self-edit to polish a manuscript before submission.

Check it out: The Sense-ible Writer at http://www.epress-online.com

message 23: by Ed (new)

Ed | 237 comments Mod
Almost any subject by Jon Krakauer is interesting.

message 24: by Cindy (last edited Jan 25, 2008 03:28PM) (new)

Cindy (cookiejarprincess) I definitely fall in the both catagory. I love fiction but I'm also a true crime nut and I've been reading a lot of memoirs in the past several months as well. I've also gotten into reading more "textbook" like books on subjects that interest me such as serial killers and the mafia. I'm probably about 50/50 fiction/non.

message 25: by Ken (last edited Jan 25, 2008 03:44PM) (new)

Ken I prefer fiction, though I'm a guy and thus supposed to prefer non-fiction (really... they've done studies on this sort of thing). OK, maybe I'm in touch with my feminine side (um, my left?), or maybe it's because I majored in and teach English (hey, it's the only language I speak... if you don't count "Franglais" and "Spanglish," that is).

When I go for non-fiction, it's to read nature books like Rick Bass's Winter. And I have another of that ilk, whose title eludes me (I know it's hiding out in the well of my bedside table, but I'm too lazy to get up and fetch it). Anyway, lone wolf in the wilderness type stuff. That's me in non-fiction. I tell my wife I could do it and she believes me. I mean, I love company, but I love solitude as well.

Oh. This is a non-fiction v. fiction thread, not a company v. solitude thread. Off-topic...

message 26: by Anne (new)

Anne | 10 comments Becky - just finished Year of Living Biblically - I agree it was funny, though I got tired of it about 2/3 of the way through. Just picked up his first one, The Know-it-All (about his reading of the encyclopedia) at the library this morning.

message 27: by Prabha (last edited Feb 03, 2008 07:20AM) (new)

Prabha | 29 comments I love fiction, and I'm also a fan of fantasy books. Sometimes what i find so intriguing about fiction/fantasy stories are the elements that link it to fact. The non-fiction undertones of fiction... this sounds totally off-topic!

message 28: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Anne-I have Know it All on my to-read list. Please let me know what you think when you're done.

message 29: by Anna (new)

Anna (lilfox) | 53 comments I like reading non-fiction - especially about WWII.

message 30: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 100 comments I like to read both nonfiction and fiction. I especially like historical fiction (this year Pillars of the Earth and World Wtihout End). As for nonfiction I am particularly drawn to biographies and memoirs.

Anne, I thought Glass Castle was really well done.

message 31: by Harlequin (new)

Harlequin Historical (historical) Anna wrote "I like reading non-fiction - especially about WWII. "

Have you tried Captain Cool yet? It is about a paratrooping dr. who gets captured behind enemy lines and he escapes from his concentration camp. I met the man the book was about and he had some incredible stories.

message 32: by Holli (new)

Holli I also like memoirs and biographies for nonfiction. The Glass Castle was a wonderful memoir but I didn't care too much for The Red Leather Diary.

message 33: by Liz (new)

Liz (hissheep) Fiction is for "reading" as I commute 40 minutes one-way to work; non-fiction (which includes memoirs, biographies, self-help, inspirational, etc.) is for quiet times at home. Love both.

Sometimes truth IS better than fiction!

message 34: by Ed (new)

Ed | 237 comments Mod
I like both...often truth is stranger than fiction.

message 35: by Beth (last edited Jan 05, 2009 07:34AM) (new)

Beth I’m a fiction reader through and through. But I have to read non-fiction for work (something, anything about money laundering, terrorists, terrorist financing, organized crime, financial crime, human trafficking, etc.).

I took a couple months off toward the end of 2008 but will start back on my one non-fiction book a month rule soon. Next up will be the 9 11 Commission Report. It’s over 500 pages and from what I’ve heard, the first part isn’t too bad but the second half is a real snoozer. ::Yawn::

message 36: by Heather L (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) I admit I read very little non-fiction, usually no more than a few titles a year, and only read one in 2007: Warm Springs, by Susan Richards Shreve. I have both the Joan Didion and Randy Pausch somewhere in the TBR pile.

message 37: by Liz (new)

Liz (hissheep) Rebecca wrote: "I finished "A Year of Biblical Living: as Literally as Possible" by A.J. Jacobs yesterday. It was excellant. Very funny and quite informative. Anyone else reading this?"

It's on my bookshelf ... looking forward to it thanks to your comments.

message 38: by Jim (new)

Jim | 41 comments I read more nonfiction by 2 to 1 ratio but like fiction as much

recent non fiction that was very interesting and mind expanding was THE WORLD WITHOUT US by ALAN WEISMAN -
talks about what would happen if humans just disappeared and other species re-established themselves

goes to places on Earth I never heard of/knew anything about and discusses what has happened to date and what will/may happen in the future with/without us humans

message 39: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 100 comments Welcome Isabella.

message 40: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (chaoscat60) | 37 comments I average about 10-15 non-fiction books a year. Memoirs, history or spiritual.

message 41: by Anne (new)

Anne (annecurrin) | 17 comments I love both non-fiction and fiction. Most of the non-fiction I am currently reading is about the American Civil War. I am reading anything I can find on all sides, aspects, etc. I also enjoy true crime...not sure why, as I sometimes get pretty scared reading about the stuff!!

message 42: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I used to be a fiction person. But towards the end of 2008, I started buying more and more non-fiction. I'm going to try to read a fiction, a non-fiction, and pace myself on a really long classic (War and Peace for starters) this year. I guess I'm mostly into memoirs and biographies for non-fiction.

message 43: by Anne (new)

Anne (annecurrin) | 17 comments Lori actually "reminded" me of another type of non-fiction I like to read....biographies. Geez, how could I forget that?!?!

message 44: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker What Civil War books have you read? I really like the Civil War (Gone With the Wind is my favorite book and movie). I don't know why it's taken me so long to get into non-fiction; I love history and leaning more about people's lives.

message 45: by Anne (new)

Anne (annecurrin) | 17 comments Hi Lori,
I just sent you a comment about Gone With The Wind...LOVE that book!!! I have recently read, This Republic of Suffering (its about all the suffering, the death, and what happened to the bodies of the soldiers on both sides, good book!)and am currently reading Dixie Betrayed, and Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly. I too love history!!! My favorite subject when I was in school. What have you read recently?


message 46: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Anne,

I've not yet read any CW non-fiction. The last non-fiction books I've read were about the Kennedys and they were quite good. They were All Too Human and Grace and Power. If you like the Kennedys, I'd recommend them.

message 47: by Anne (new)

Anne (annecurrin) | 17 comments Oh my gosh...I LOVE books on any of the Kennedys! Last week I stopped at a thrift store on the way to work to look at their books. I found a couple, and I was checking out, I noticed a book inside the glass counter. The lady saw me looking at it and asked if I wanted to see it outside the case. Of course I did. I ended up buying it! For $4.00 I got a first edition titled "Kennedy" by Theodore C. Sorenson. I checked Amazon when I got home to see if I got a deal....they were selling a copy for $137.50!! My copy is in perfect condition. Can't wait to read it!! I have a list of other CW non-fiction I want to read I will send to you in a day or so. Some are recommended by a good friend who reads non-fiction CW books all the time. Have a great evening!

message 48: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (sandraspeaks) | 1 comments I rarely read fiction. I like memoirs (true ones-not Oprah endorsed fake ones), topic related books (like leadership, success, etc.) and other learning styled books. If I do read fiction, I prefer a great story and a good ending. Normally I buy my books at thrift stores, goodwill, or online at amazon or B&N, even ebay at times. :) Oh and I LOVE books on Amish people and their lifestyle. --sandra and dolly (if you add me don't forget my dog's name.)

message 49: by Heidi (last edited Jan 06, 2009 05:48PM) (new)

Heidi  | 23 comments I'd say only 10 percent (or less) of my reading list is non-fiction-- and when I do stray from fiction it's usually memoirs (also loved Glass Castle), biographies and the occasional comic venture (love David Sedaris).

Since I spend the better part of my job writing feature articles, news releases, etc, I prefer to spend the rest of my time "escaping" from the facts...

message 50: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker Anne, I love finding great buys like that! Unfortunately the used bookstores in my area are pretty eh. But I once found a Prada bag with a missing strap fastener thing for $6... I almost bought Kennedy by Sorenson the other day at Borders. Looking forward to getting the list! Have a great day.

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