Posted in Readathons-Challenges-Memes

#NonFicNov ~ Why I Read the Nonfiction that I Read

Hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, Lory at Emerald City Book Review,
Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves, Rachel at Hibernator’s Library, and Julz at Julz Reads

Welcome to the second week of Nonfiction November! This week’s topic is:
What are you looking for when you pick up a nonfiction book? Do you have a particular topic you’re attracted to? Do you have a particular writing style that works best? When you look at a nonfiction book, does the title or cover influence you? If so, share a title or cover which you find striking.

Roughly, what nonfiction books I choose fall into two categories, one fairly specific and one very broad. The two books I have on my stack for November are fairly illustrative.

Judas: The Most Hated Name in History The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer

Authors: The Specific Category. As with fiction choices, there are certain nonfiction authors that I keep an eye out for. Erik Larson, Mary Roach, Jim Steinmeyer, Tom Standage, Michael Lewis, and probably a few others I can’t remember are all on this list. So is Peter Stanford. I’ve never given Judas much thought, but I will. They all write knowledgeably about their subjects. That, over tone, is probably what I value most from them.

Subjects: The Big, Vague Category. There are just certain subjects I want to know more about. Statistics, economics, and death have had periodic appearances in my reading stacks. The history of  magic and spiritualism is a big subject for me. Technologies, innovations, and the people behind them is another. While I’ve read a bit of David Leavitt’s fiction, Alan Turing is the reason I chose The Man Who Knew Too Much. Why these subject? Pft. I don’t know. I find a weird selection of things fascinating.


Writer, publisher. Hobbies include reading, studying magic & illusions from a historical/theoretical perspective, and playing ultimate frisbee.

9 thoughts on “#NonFicNov ~ Why I Read the Nonfiction that I Read

  1. Erik Larson is definitely one of the authors I always look out for too. Also, Julia P. Gelardi and J. Randy Tarraborrelli (I like initials?) when I’m looking for biographies that are amazing. I see that I have a whole list of authors that I need to start looking out for – your list is intriguing seeing as you started with my All Star, Larson.

    I think the great thing about non-fiction is that there is such a lot of weird stuff on offer. And it really is the odd stuff that makes for the best reading!

  2. There are certain authors I’ll read no matter what subject they choose. Since Erik Larson and Mary Roach are both on my list, I’m going to check out the others you mentioned. Thanks.

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