Non-fiction books get a bad rap. I often tell people that's what I like to read and I always get weird looks back like I've grown two heads. From there I have to justify why I read them, which leads me to being known as the person with weird interests. But that's all okay because non-fiction books are filled with endlessly fascinating stories and can cover subjects of all kinds so things never get boring. Whether you’re looking for a pleasure read, a guide to learning a new skill, something to help you understand the world around you, or even just a book of ghost stories. There really is something for everyone and most (if not all) of the books aren’t written like a dry history textbook.
The best part of having a variety of subjects is that you can really discover some interesting and funny stuff. I’ve recently been spending a lot of time with the non-fiction collection and am finding all sorts of things to take home with me. It’s not all self help and history books (although those are fun and valuable resources). Memoirs are often entertaining ways of experiencing something you may never have the chance to and seeing the world through someone else's eyes. Like Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood, how many of us grow up with a Catholic priest for a father? She offers a unique and interesting perspective on the church and on life in general. Memoirs not for you, more of a person who wants to use their hands? That's great, because there are so many books about sewing, knitting, cooking, and all sorts of crafts and how - to books so just pick a subject and go to town. Here’s one I think looks particularly fun! Crafting Authentic Paper Flowers
I guess what I’m getting at is that reading historical events or sociological studies can be fun and a lot of them read like a good fiction book you can’t put down. Except these are real stories, or at least real to someone, and there is something unifying in that. Plus reading non-fiction has the potential to make you the breakout star of your trivia team! Too many interests and don't know where to start? Take a look at some of these titles that have crossed my path in the last few weeks that have inspired my curiosity.
This is a book about cats and magic. Moreover this is a book about cats being magical and how you can interpret that and use it to your cat loving advantage. Some highlights are: a tail guide showing you exactly what different tail positions mean and how that can affect you and your cat's future, and a fun little insert of a feline divination board so you can speak with your cat. This book just makes me happy and is an entertaining way of understanding your cat better. Plus the illustrations are adorable!
Here's one that peaked my attention right away. It is such a niche subject, which I love, but it’s also an important read to understand our society a little better. The week is as you may have guessed, a history of the modern week in the United States and how this societal structure has not always been in place. So how did it get here and why did it stick? Give me a good history book on a unique and specific subject any day of the week!
This is a book of haikus about life written by some hilarious comedians. Not only are they insanely relatable they will have you laughing out loud. Something akin to shower thoughts and comedic observations, this book of Haikus will help lift your spirits even if you didn't know you needed them lifted.
If I didn't make it clear earlier, I love a good book about history from a unique lens. There are so many brands we know and love that have weird dark pasts and obviously I want to read all about that. More importantly I want to wow my friends and family with the origins of frosted flakes.
Okay, you caught me, I love reality TV. Its fun and dumb and just good background noise. I was instantly drawn to this book because I have a penchant for talking about pop culture like I’m an academic and this book gets it. True Story is all about the sociological aspect of reality TV and how its contents reflect on our society. I told my sister about this book and we’re going to have our own little book club with it.
I’m sensing a pattern here because it’s yet another book about a very niche history topic. This time it’s all about Postcards! While you may think about postcards as things of the past, they once were a thriving and easy way to communicate with loved ones all across the world. This book details that rise and fall and I for one want to read all about it.
While these may not be your cup of tea, my hope is that they’ve given you an idea of what kind of fascinating things are just waiting for you in the nonfiction collection. Pick a subject, any subject, and see if there is a book that matches. You might just find your next great read!
-Mary Gomer is a Cataloging Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.