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My Progress:

13 / 30 books. 43% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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My Progress:

35 / 51 states. 69% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

29 / 50 books. 58% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

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50 / 52 books. 96% done!

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29 / 40 books. 73% done!

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11 / 25 books. 44% done!

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17 / 26.2 miles (2nd lap). 65% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

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30 / 100 books. 30% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

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74 / 104 books. 71% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

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50 / 52 books. 96% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

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84 / 165 books. 51% done!
Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Because If I'm Going to Read Non-Fiction, I Want It to at Least Read Like Fiction

First off, congratulations to Cheri, who won my 15th Blogoversary Giveaway for a free book.  Enjoy your prize!  Thank you to her and to all of you for being loyal readers of BBB.  I appreciate it more than you could possibly know.

Today's TTT topic is Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time.  It's a fine prompt, but one that is just not inspiring me today.  Time to go rogue?  Yes, yes it is.  

I've always been a lover of fiction, with little to no interest in reading non-fiction.  Occasionally, an inspiring self-help title would catch my eye or I'd dive into a biography of a fascinating person, but for the most part, it was all fiction, all the time.  Lately, though, I've developed a growing appreciation for narrative non-fiction because, you know, if I'm going to read non-fiction I want it to at least read like fiction!  I've especially enjoyed listening to these types of books on audio while I drive or do housework.  In an effort to find more great titles in this genre, I'm going to share my favorite examples and ask you to recommend yours.  Deal?  

Before we get to that, though, I have to give a shout-out to our host.  Click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl to learn more about TTT and to give Jana some love!

Top Ten Favorite Non-Fiction Books That Read Like Fiction   

1.  Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer—I've read a couple books by this author, but this one is my favorite by far.  It details Krakauer's harrowing climb up Mount Everest during a terrible storm in May 1996 that killed five people.  The riveting account is replete with Everest history, lore, and firsthand knowledge of what it's like to scale the beast.

2.  Dead Wake by Erik Larson—I just finished listening to this book on audio.  It tells the story of the Lusitania's last voyage, explaining how and why it sank.  Larson makes the tragedy personal by featuring various passengers and their experiences on board.  It's fascinating!

Speaking of Larson, a lot of people rave about his The Devil in the White City, which is about a serial killer who preyed on women during the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.  While the story is intriguing, I couldn't stomach the grisly details and had to stop listening.  I do plan to read his other, less disturbing books, however. 

3.  Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand—Another engrossing read, this one recounts the experiences of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner turned World War II soldier.  He experienced so much heartache and trauma during the war that it really is a miracle he survived.  This is an inspiring read on many levels.

4.  The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin—Lark from Lark Writes...on Books and Life recommended this one, which describes a freak storm that occurred in the Midwest in 1888 right as schoolkids were being let out for the day.  The unexpected blizzard wreaked deadly havoc on a lot of unprepared people, many of whom were children.  It's a sad read, but a gripping one.

5.  Columbine by Dave Cullen—This is another sad one, but it's also a fascinating and illuminating recounting of the horrific school shooting.  Very thought-provoking.

6.  The Lost Family by Libby Copeland—As a family history fanatic, I love learning about genealogical research, DNA, nature vs. nature, adoption, and many other related topics.  This book uses the story of a woman who got unexpected results back from a DNA test to ask probing questions about who we are and how our genetics and biological families affect our identities.

7.  Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand—By the author of Unbroken, this may have been the first book I read that really qualifies as narrative non-fiction.  Even though I know nothing about horses and horse racing, I found it to be a very compelling read.

8.  The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming—Like many people, I'm intrigued by the mystery of Anastasia Romanov.  This book discusses the murder of her family and the circumstances that led up to it.  Fleming uses real letters to contrast the Romanovs' luxurious lives with those of the common Russian during that period, making for an especially thought-provoking read about the lives of this royal family.

9.  The Cold Vanish by Jon BillmanLark and I share an affinity for survival stories set in remote locations, so I get all kinds of great recommendations—like this one—from her.  This book talks about the many people who go missing from America's national parks every year and what's being done to bring them home.  It's a fascinating read.

10.  The Third Pole by Mark Synnott—Okay, this one's a cheat because I just started this book today.  It's riveting, though, so I predict it will become a favorite.  The book talks about Synnott's expedition to Mount Everest in 2019 in which he and his team hoped to find the camera George Mallory and Sandy Irvine purportedly had on them when they died trying to summit the mountain in 1924.  If photographic evidence exists, it could prove that they were actually the first to top Mt. Everest via the North Col, not the Chinese team who famously did it in 1960. 

There you have it, ten narrative non-fiction reads that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Have you read any of them?  Which non-fiction-that-reads-like-fiction books have you loved?  Which would you recommend?  I'm especially interested in those that explore historical disasters, natural or otherwise.  True crime is too much for me, unless it's of the less-graphic variety.

Happy TTT!      

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