Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Top Ten All-Time Favorite Non-Fiction


The ladies at Top Ten Tuesday have asked us this week to make a list of our top ten all-time favorite books of any particular genre. I've been thinking about a list of non-fiction favorites for a while so this one is easy-peasy (as my sister would say)! In no particular order:

1. Empress Of All Russia: Catherine The Great by Iris Noble - this is the first non-fiction book I ever remember reading for pleasure. I must have been eight or ten? Why did I love it so much? 40+ years later I remember being enthralled by the story of a woman who ruled a country.

2. Cocktail Hour Under The Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller - adventure, family, humor, history, Africa. I loved Fuller's account of her family's time as British colonists.

3. Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn - I loved the story of Flinn's school but most of all I loved the kick in the butt to make things from scratch, to use what you already have, and to be creative. This one lives with my cookbooks.

4. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot - I have never read  a book about science that so pulled me in. Skloot did such a great job of blending the story of this one woman, the family she left behind, the ethics of medical research, and the actual science. I would read it again.

5. This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett - where I discovered non-fiction essays and loved them. I love Patchett's writing and her honesty and humor in these stories about her life where wonderful.

6. Orange Is The New Black by Piper Kiernan - opened my eyes to life in prison for a woman, which is saying something considering both of my parents-in-law and sister-in-law all spent some time working in the Nebraska women's penitentiary. It's very disheartening..

7. Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi - horrifying murders, incredible stories of the people involved, the workings of the criminal and judicial systems. Started me on a whole new sub-genre.

8. Eleni by Nicholas Gage - opened my eyes to the tragedies of wars in other parts of the world and the terrible toll they take, before I'd ever read a book about World War II.

9.  In The Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White - leprosy. In the United States. Recently. I had no idea. White opens eyes as he writes about his life was changed when he was imprisoned in a building that also housed lepers.

10.  I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron - because Nora Ephron is always funny, but it turns out her own stories can also make me ugly cry. In my car. I loved it so much, I plan to pick it up in print one day so I can keep a copy.

Now that I've finished, I feel that I've made this list before. I wonder if I can find it and see what's changed on it. What would you have on your list?

12 comments:

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    1. Me, too. As soon as I finished it, I started thinking of other books I might've included instead!

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  2. I read Nora Ephron's book too and it was wonderful. I laughed and laughed in parts. And other parts were more sobering. She was a great talent for sure!

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    1. I listened to that one & was literally sobbing in my car when she was talking about her friend who had cancer.

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  3. I always feel impressed with myself when I have read a few of the books on these types of lists, and yours is no different. I totally agree about In the Sanctuary of Outcasts. I had no idea it was a thing outside of Hawaii all those years ago. So eye-opening.

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    1. What was weird about Sanctuary was that a couple of months earlier I had read about a leper colony in Louisiana in a work of fiction which I assumed was made up.

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  4. I almost did non-fiction for my list, but went with Victorian novels because it was easy-peasy for me! Great books on your list--Orange is the New Black was surprisingly good, and I really enjoyed Story of a Happy Marriage. I have got to find time for Henrietta Lacks!

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  5. I haven't read any of the books on your list, but a few are on my TBR pile. Orange Is the New Black (I'm finally caught up on the show) and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in particular.

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    1. We still need to get caught up with OITNB!

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  6. Nonfiction is fast becoming my favorite category to read so this is a great list for me right now. Definitely need to read more Nora Ephron now that I read and loved I Feel Bad About My Neck. I also want to read that book by Ann Patchett.

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    1. Didn't you grow up thinking nonfiction was all dry and boring, like textbooks?! There are just so many different kinds of nonfiction writing and all of the topics in the world to cover - so fun to learn about so many different things!

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