Nonfiction November: Nontraditional Nonfiction

nonfiction november 2015

This week for Nonfiction November, we're talking about nonfiction in nontraditional book formats: e-books, audiobooks, comics, enhanced books, etc. Though the majority of my nonfiction reading comes in traditional paper books (I really, really like to underline things, and no amount of e-reading highlights can ever change my mind on that), there are a few types of nonfiction books that call to me in less traditional formats:

Audio Memoirs, Narrated by the Author

amy poehler yes please tina fey bossypants linda tirado hand to mouth h is for hawk helen macdonald
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Nonfiction generally doesn't work for me on audio. I lose my place, let my mind wander, realize 15 minutes later that I have no idea what's going on. (I know lots--most, even--other readers tend to feel exactly the opposite and have these issues with fiction, but apparently my brain listens differently. Go figure.) But memoirs--particularly those narrated by their authors--really click for me when narrated. Yes Please by Amy Poehler; Bossypants by Tina Fey; Hand to Mouth by Linda Tirado; and H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald; and anything by David Sedaris are all stand-outs in this category. I'd love to hear others that people recommend--or other ideas for nonfiction that might click for me on audio?

Graphic Stories

I was tempted to call this section "graphic novels," but then realized how inaccurate that would be when talking about nonfiction. I'm a relative newcomer to the world of comics and graphic novels, so haven't yet read any nonfiction in this format. I'd absolutely adore some recommendations. Comic-loving friends: thoughts? (Andi, I'm looking at you.)

Enhanced Books (Illustrated, With Documents, etc.)

the food lab lost recipes of prohibition charles dickens

The most heavily illustrated books I read are cookbooks, which I rarely read cover to cover (The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt being this year's exception to that norm). But I love nonfiction books enhanced with additional documents, like The Lost Recipes of Prohibition, a collection of Prohibition-era recipes complete with scans of original documents (and cocktail recipes from modern bartenders). There's a great 2012 biography of Charles Dickens (called, not-so-helpfully-for-search-purposes, Charles Dickens) that is chock full of playbills and manuscripts and photographs, which is my preferred way to absorb biography (unless listening to the soundtrack of Hamilton on repeat is an option; in that case, I choose the latter). 


How do you prefer to read your nonfiction picks?

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