10 Nonfiction Books I Can’t Stop Recommending

10 Nonfiction Books I Can't Stop Recommending

  1. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

    It works for so many reading situations and interests. Enjoy reading about history? Interested in sports history? Narrative nonfiction? Nonfiction that reads like fiction? Just looking for a great book? Boys in the Boat!

  2. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

    At the slightest opportunity to promote this look at Introverts, I take it. Introverts needing to understand themselves, extroverts needing to understand the “other side” – it works for all. I’m eager to read Quiet Power, her version for children, as well.

  3. The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway

    A thought-provoking memoir, which touches on so many topics. It’s marvelous for book clubs, and it’s not nearly as well-known as it should be. Anyone looking to expand their usual reading choices should take a close look at this as a possibility.

  4. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin

    Recommended when someone isn’t afraid of a book with some heft. It may be over 800 pages, but it’s a marvelous account of Lincoln’s presidency. She has a gift for bringing the past to life and making me care about things I never expected to (like Lincoln’s cabinet).

  5. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
    It’s an easy introduction to the epistolary style and is a great follow-up read to so many books (but especially The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society). It’s also short enough that it works well as a recommendation for anyone looking for a quick read.
  6. Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
    Yes, it’s the third of her memoirs, so you should probably read the other ones first, but this one was the most interesting, as it looks at her life as restaurant critic for The New York Times. I’ve never wanted to be a restaurant critic, but this book made me wish I was friends with one and could go out to eat with them occasionally.
  7. In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
    It’s actually a toss-up between this and another Bryson title, A Walk in the Woods. Both combine memoir with history and geography in a humorous travelogue that always makes me feel like I’m traveling with him. In addition, these are both excellent as audio books.
  8. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
    Speaking of audio books, at the slightest query for a great audio book I mention Elwes’ memoir. I don’t even like celebrity memoirs, but this isn’t so much an account of Elwes’ life, as it is a look back at the making of the movie The Princess Bride. And as much as I enjoyed reading it, listening to it is even better. The familiar voice of Wesley, along with brief appearances by Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin, Rob Reiner, and more. Spectacular!
  9. Give Your Child The World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by Jamie C. Martin
    Not only for homeschoolers, although I do bring it up regularly in that context. For anyone wanting to introduce children to the world, it’s an amazing annotated listing of books by geographic region, organized by age range (4-6, 6-8, 8-10, 10-12). There’s also a helpful index by time period in the back.
  10. 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy
    I suggest this title ALL THE TIME for anyone thinking of homeschooling, wondering where to start if they want to homeschool, and of course for those looking to consider particular curriculum options. What isn’t so obvious from the title is that the book includes a fabulous introductory section, describing types of homeschoolers, and helping parents figure out their child(ren)’s learning style(s). If you are homeschooling or thinking of homeschooling, you should read this book.

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  1. As You Wish on audio really is just so good.

    And Garlic and Sapphires is the only Reichl I’ve read, actually, so I can attest that it works well as a standalone. 😉

  2. The only one of these I’ve read is The Boys in the Boat, and I so agree with you on that. I’ve been trying to up my nonfiction reading, so am going to be taking a closer look at some of these.

  3. Thanks so much for including Give Your Child the World here!!

  4. I really enjoyed 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, and the sequel as well.

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