A true story: One of my first jobs was working in one of the biggest book stores in America… or maybe just one of the biggest in New York. It’s big though. Countless times people came in and asked for the nonfiction section. In this humongous, massively enormous bookstore. Like it’s so simple and straightforward: “Excuse me, where’s nonfiction?”
You’re going to have to be more specific. Anything that isn’t fiction is by definition…non-fiction, right?
Back then, I read almost exclusively fiction (an easier section to pinpoint). But in recent years, I found the opposite was becoming true, and I preferred nonfiction, in its many different iterations, to anything fictional. But when I tell people I only read nonfiction, they sometimes look disgusted, nose wrinkle and all, like I have no imagination or can’t appreciate fine literary art. Or they think I spend my free time reading exclusively how-to manuals and self help books.
But there are so many fascinating experiences and beautiful writing to be found in all-too-true stories. There’s so much to learn about (I sound like a PBS special, I know) and often, there’s the bonus of writing that’s well-crafted, eloquent and page-turning.
This site collects my reviews of nonfiction titles I’ve read, to share ideas, opinions and recommendations. I love and focus on narrative nonfiction, memoir, history, Americana, literary true crime (trying to avoid the sensational, trashy kind), women’s issues, social topics, tales from the Second World War, and my biggest love: Russian history of all eras (but especially Soviet and contemporary). Currently very interested in titles on current political and socioeconomic topics and on memoirs or current affairs from the Middle East.
I do try to mix up what I read, but I have favorite genres and topics that definitely get much heavier coverage than others. It’s worth pointing out that these are all my personal choices, interests, and opinions, and I’m not paid for this.
Happy true story reading!