Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Narrative Non-Fiction: True Tales That Read Like Novels

Narrative non-fiction in its simplest definition is "non-fiction that reads like a novel."

Edward Humes says It is hard to imagine a more vibrant genre, combining the immediacy of journalism and the power of true accounts with the texture, read, drama, emotional punch and broad themes of a novel.

I don't tend to read much non-fiction myself, having some left-over baggage from college, I think, that makes me feel I might be tested on the material. I do read gardening books, and biographies of authors and movie stars without any such problems for some reason. I like the idea of narrative non-fiction telling the facts in a more interesting, yet factual way.

Many of the titles on this list have been wildly popular with our customers for long periods of time. Word of mouth is that these are MUST READS, wonderful books!

The titles are culled from the depth of the Web. The Floating Lush, my partner in booklist-making crime, had quite a few suggestions as well.

Read more about narrative or "creative" non-fiction:

Edward Humes Narrative Non-Fiction page

Welcome to the Hinterlands: a Narrative Non-Fiction Blog

Riverteeth: a Journal of Non-Fiction Narrative

About Alice/by Trillin, Calvin

An American childhood/by Dillard, Annie

Among schoolchildren/by Kidder, Tracy

Angela's ashes : a memoir/by McCourt, Frank

The bell jar/by Plath, Sylvia

Book of the courtesans: a catalogue of their virtues/by Griffin, Susan

Bringing down the house : the inside story of six MIT students who took Vegas for millions/by Mezrich, Ben

Byron in love : a short daring life/by O'Brien, Edna

Candyfreak : a journey through the chocolate underbelly of America/by Almond, Steve

Coal : a human history/Freese, Barbara

Crazy for the storm : a memoir of survival/by Ollestad, Norman

The devil in the white city : murder, magic, and madness at the fair that changed America/by Larson, Erik

Devil's gentlemen: privelege, poison, and the trial that ushered in the twentieth century/by Schecter, Harold

Dispatches/by Herr, Michael

The dogs of Bedlam Farm : an adventure with sixteen sheep, three dogs, two donkeys, and me/by Katz, Jon

Down and out in Paris and London/by Orwell, George

Driving like crazy : thirty years of vehicular hellbending, celebrating America the way it's supposed to be-- with an oil well in every backyard, a Cadillac Escalade in every carport, and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank mowing our lawn
by O'Rourke, P. J.

Eggs in the coffee, sheep in the corn : my 17 years as a farmwife/by Douglas, Marjorie M.

The executioner's song/by Mailer, Norman

Expecting Adam : a true story of birth, rebirth, and everyday magic/by Beck, Martha

Fast food nation : the dark side of the all-American meal/by Schlosser, Eric

Fear and loathing in Las Vegas : a savage journey to the heart of the American dream/by Thompson, Hunter S.

Forger's spell: a true story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the greatest art hoax of the twentieth century/by Dolnick, Edward

Funny in Farsi: a memoir of growing up Iranian in America/by Dumas, Firoozeh

Galileo's daughter : a historical memoir of science, faith, and love/by Sobel, Dava

A heartbreaking work of staggering genius/by Eggers, Dave

Hiroshima/by Hersey, John

The hot zone/by Preston, Richard

In a sunburned country/by Bryson, Bill

In cold blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
by Capote, Truman

Into the wild/by Krakauer, Jon

Into thin air : a personal account of the Mount Everest disaster/by Krakauer, Jon

Isaac's storm : a man, a time, and the deadliest hurricane in history/by Larson, Erik

It's not about the bike : my journey back to life/by Armstrong, Lance

Kick me: adventures in adolescence/ by Feig, Paul

Life and death in Shanghai/by Cheng, Nien

Man bites log : the unlikely adventures of a city guy in the woods/by Alexander, Max

The man who mistook his wife for a hat : and other clinical tales/by Sacks, Oliver

Midnight in the garden of good and evil : a Savannah story/by Berendt, John

A million little pieces/by Frey, James

Mistress of the Elgin Marbles: a biography of Mary Nisbet, Countess of Elgin/by Nagel, Susan

Nickel and dimed : on (not) getting by in America/by Ehrenreich, Barbara

Notes from a small island/by Bryson, Bill

Notes of a native son/by Baldwin, James

The omnivore's dilemma : a natural history of four meals/by Pollan, Michael

Panic in level 4 : cannibals, killer viruses, and other journeys to the edge of science/by Preston, Richard

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek/by Dillard, Annie

The professor and the madman : a tale of murder, insanity, and the making of the Oxford English dictionary/by Winchester, Simon

Reading the OED: one man, one year, 21,730 pages/by Shea, Ammon

The right stuff/by Wolfe, Tom

Seabiscuit : an American legend/by Hillenbrand, Laura

The $64 tomato/by Alexander, William

The soul of a new machine/by Kidder, Tracy

The spirit catches you and you fall down : a Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures/by Fadiman, Anne

Stiff : the curious lives of human cadavers/by Roach, Mary

The things they carried : a work of fiction/by O'Brien, Tim

Traffic: why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us)/by Vanderbilt, Tom

Will in the world: how Shakespeare became Shakespeare/by Greenblatt, Stephen

A Voyage long and strange: rediscovering the new world/by Horowitz, Tony

A Year in Provence/by Mayle, Peter

The Year of living Biblically: one man's humble quest to follow the Bible as literally as possible/by Jacobs, A. J.

No comments:

Post a Comment