favorite nonfiction books

February 20, 2014

I use Grammarly’s grammar check because although you might not be able to tell from the way I look when I drop Meredith off at daycare right now or the frequency of baths taken around here, I DO have some standards.

I read a whole lot more fiction than nonfiction, so when I do read it I try to make it the good stuff. A lot of the nonfiction books I read are faith-related, but since I’ve already written about my favorite books on faith I didn’t include any of those on this list. Here are the ones I absolutely loved.

favorite nonfiction books1

Nicholas & Alexandra by Robert K. Massie – This biography of the last Tsar of Russia and his wife really is a case where truth is stranger than fiction. So much drama and intrigue and I loved every word.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – The subtitle says this is “A World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption,” and that’s a perfect way to describe it. I cannot even believe what this man went through and the way that his life was transformed.

And the Sea Will Tell by Vincent Bugliosi – My husband is a true crime fanatic, so that means I don’t have to wade through all the junk (because a lot of that genre really is terrible) and can go straight to the good stuff. He says this is the best true crime book he’s ever read, and it was completely riveting to me too. It’s unique in that the author was also the defense attorney and the evidence was seemingly insurmountable.

favorite nonfiction books2

Great With Child by Beth Ann Fennelly – In a different vein, this is a memoir about motherhood in the format of letters written to an expectant mother that is gorgeous and poetic and just perfect.

Columbine by Dave Cullen – An account of the Columbine shootings, the boys that did it and their families, and the community. It was researched for ten years, the story is fascinating and in-depth, and the author is even witty. My eyes were opened.

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston – This might have been the first real nonfiction book I ever read. It’s the retelling of a near-outbreak of a strain of Ebola virus in the U.S. and I felt like it could have been the screenplay to a movie. It was intense and thrilling and for a long time afterward I was terrified of this disease.

Your turn! I have more fiction books on my to-read list than I know what to do with, but I’d love more nonfiction recommendations. What are your favorites?


This post was sponsored by Grammarly, but all opinions are my own.

Posted in: books & reading, books & reading, favorite books

Comments on favorite nonfiction books

  1. 1

    From Nora:

    I haven’t picked up Unbroken yet, but I do want to read it. Thanks for sharing!

    Lately I’m into fun fiction and even… romance novels. I know. BUT the plots are surprisingly intriguing and they are happy which is what I need right now. I’m currently reading “The Rosie Project,” which I am in love with and before that I read “The Perfume Collector,” which was stunning. I definitely recommend The Perfume Collector.

  2. 2

    From chris stagg:

    Hey Kat,

    Unbroken is being released as a movie soon!

  3. 3

    From Bree:

    It starts out really slow, but The River of Doubt by Candice Millard is excellent. It’s the story of Teddy Roosevelt’s trip down through the Amazon. I’m not much of a non-fiction reader, but I really enjoyed it. Like I said, it starts slow, but once they get on the expedition, it’s hard to put down.

    Thanks for your suggestions, I’ll be checking a few of them out!

  4. 4

    From kapachino:

    Oh I have heard good things about that one! Adding it to my list now.

  5. 5

    From Laura:

    I generally stick more to fiction, but you’ve given me a few more nonfiction to add to my to-read list. Thanks for posting about these!

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