Nonfiction Books: How to Read More and Recommending my Favorites

If you’ve been with me and my blog for a while, then it’s no secret that I 100% prefer fiction books to nonfiction. There’s just something about being swept away in the lives of people who don’t exist and fantastical lands that’s unmatched. That being said, I have read a good number of nonfiction books, whether it be for school or on my own and have actually enjoyed quite a few of them. I’ll also admit that memoirs are definitely my preferred sub genre within nonfiction as a whole, so there are more of those on this list of recommendations.

Although nonfiction books aren’t always the most enjoyable, they can be fun if you’re interested in the subject matter and want to learn more about things you didn’t know about before. That being said, there is no pressure at all to read more nonfiction. In the past, I’ve seen there being major prejudice against people who primarily read fiction and even have been told myself that I wasn’t a real reader because I didn’t read about real life things. That is just not true at all and over time I have learned that I 100% prefer nearly any other genre. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ All that being said, I do like to branch out occasionally from my comfort zone and have actually found myself liking some of the nonfiction books I’ve read. If you want to read more nonfiction and are not sure where to start, then this is the post for you!

Keep reading for tips on how to read more if you’re interested and some of my favorites!

TIP #1 | READ ABOUT A TOPIC YOU’RE INTERESTED IN

Whether that’s true crime, politics, a career field, or something else, reading a book about a topic you want to know more about is a really fun experience! I actually struggled with this for a while because I thought I had to read about stuff that was boring to me to “really” be reading nonfiction. It was a genre I only associated with smart people for a long time, and they were reading books about space or complex scientific theories that I couldn’t even read two pages of without getting a headache. Once I learned this wasn’t the case and there was so much out there, it opened up a whole new door for me!

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone // I got really interested in therapy a while back and started prioritizing my mental health first. This was a book I had heard a lot about and is written by a therapist about her experiences in the field and was a very insightful book.

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Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking // This is a book I actually read for school but the subject matter instantly drew me in to the point where every page I read held my attention really well. The author did a lot of research in this book about introverts and it was so eye-opening for me to read and relate to so much in this book. If you’re an introvert (or even if you’re not!) and want to learn more about the science behind it and what it means to be one, then I can’t recommend this enough.

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Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World // I picked this up on a whim one day after seeing it at the library. It’s been about 3 or 4 years since I read this so my memory isn’t totally fresh on the content, but I remember really liking it, especially as a feminist myself. It is a collection of short stories written by multiple authors which I loved because it provides a more diverse view into feminism.

TIP #2 | READ ABOUT A PERSON YOU’RE INTERESTED IN

Memoirs are a great way to learn about someone’s life, and if you’re nosey, like me, they’re especially fun 🀧 This can be a celebrity you saw on your favorite show, a comedian, or anyone else you admire! I have read a few books based off just the fact that I wanted to know more about the author’s life and most of the time I really enjoy them.

Talking as Fast as I Can // This is written by actress Lauren Graham who played Lorelei on the show Gilmore Girls and Sarah on Parenthood, which both happen to be some of my favorite shows. Her acting has always been my favorite, so when I heard she had her own book talking about her experiences and life, I had to check it out. Not only was I able to learn more behind the scenes information about the show I love and the actress in them, but there was lots of humor sprinkled throughout too.

Educated // So this one is a little different in the sense that the author isn’t a celebrity like Lauren Graham. That being said, I was just interested in learning more about her life based on the synopsis of the book. The author, Tara Westover, grew up in rural Idaho to very religious parents and did not step foot in a classroom until she was 17. Eventually she went on to go to Harvard and Cambridge, but her experiences growing up shaped who she became and it was just nice to read about someone in real life who grew up in a way I could not relate to at all.

I would also recommend All Boys Aren’t Blue in this category, which I have talked about a lot lately on my blog since it is a recent read for me. Here is the link to my full review if you are interested πŸ’™

TIP #3 | DNF, DNF, DNF

I cannot recommend this enough, but if you pick up a nonfiction book and are not interested within 25-30 pages, then it likely is not worth pushing through. I say likely because there are, of course, exceptions. But from my experience, you will probably get an idea of where the author is taking the story and their style of writing from the start. If it doesn’t resonate with you, then it probably won’t change later on in the book and it might completely even turn you off from other books in that genre.

For example, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a really well-known self-help book and has received a lot of praise. I tried reading it but gave up after a few chapters because I wasn’t really taking anything away from the book and also did not enjoy the writing style or tone. Normally with genres I am more inclined to, like fantasy or contemporary, I would give the book a longer time before not finishing because it’s a genre I read so often and know that there are chances of me changing my mind or finding elements that I do enjoy. Since nonfiction isn’t my main go-to genre, I am a lot more picky because when I do read it, I want to actually gain something and am reading it for a different reason then I do fiction. This is really just a personal preference, so find what works for you and go from there!

I hope those 3 tips were helpful! Here is also a link of my Goodreads shelf that has some of the other nonfiction books I’ve read (but I haven’t enjoyed them all) if you are interested.

I just think nonfiction can be a fun genre if you find exactly what you enjoy from it. I used to just absolutely stay away from it but it has honestly opened up so many new interesting stories to me which I love πŸ˜ŠπŸ’–

What are your favorite nonfiction books? Are any on your TBR?

Author: Aarushi @ aarushireads

Hi friends! My name is Aarushi (she/her) and welcome to my blog πŸ’– I’m a 19 year old reader and decided to start this so I’d have a place where I could write down all my bookish rambles and thoughts! In addition to reading, I love to write in my free time and am currently working on my YA Fantasy WIP. Found family, rivals to lovers, and a historical backdrop are just a few tropes I've added in. I love interacting with other readers and writers so be sure to leave your comments so we can chat! Thanks for being here <33 All my socials are aarushireads :) *profile pic created by prequel

23 thoughts on “Nonfiction Books: How to Read More and Recommending my Favorites”

  1. The only non fiction books I’ve read in a (long) while are books about wildlife and just one memoir, and I really wish I did read more non fiction books. I’m interested in Becoming by Michelle Obama – that book sounds great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you, i’m glad you liked these tips! finding the right nonfiction books can be a struggle but it’s so rewarding when you finally find them 😁 i hope you also love Maybe You Should Talk to Someone :))

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  2. I think collections of essays count as non-fiction, so one of my favourites is Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, which I read when I was 18. Then a lot of anti-racism books like Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race and anything by Angela Davis!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes essays totally count! i’ve actually heard a lot about Bad Feminist and i’m happy to hear you liked it. & anti-racism books are so important too! i read So You Want to Talk About Race a few months ago and found it very insightful so thank you for mentioning your recommendations as well.

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  3. aarushi, i thought this was such a great discussion because same here, i prefer fiction so much! definitely the advice about reading about a subject you’re interested in is great and ahh so glad to see educated here, it was truly a thought-provoking book! another of my favourite non fiction books would be know my name chanel miller, it’s quite a poignant tale but so powerful… great post as always and thank you for the recs! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks Cherelle ❀️ i’m happy to know you also enjoyed Educated, it was so interesting to read about! & oh the fact that you mentioned Know my Name is great because i am actually listening to that one on audiobook right now. it is definitely very powerful but emotional as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I never used to read Nonfiction, but started getting more into it in the past years, so I loved reading your guide! πŸ₯° I’m interested in psychology as well, so I loved reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone πŸ™‚ I might have to read Quiet, it sounds super interesting to me as a fellow introvert!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. same, it’s a genre i’ve just recently started getting more into! it’s great to know that you also enjoyed Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and yes, i would highly recommend Quiet as well, especially since you’re a also an introvert 😊

      thanks for the lovely comment πŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I prefer fiction books but nonfiction can be great too. I feel they just aren’t hyped much as compared to fiction. I for one used to think nonfiction is simply biographies/ autobiographies of famous people when I was around 12 (and I really didn’t enjoy them). But nonfiction books- especially anecdotes- can be fun too and not feel like a textbook. These are some great tips I’ll love to try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i prefer fiction too! & that’s a really common misconception about nonfiction books that i used to think too. luckily there’s so much more variety than that and i think we can all find something within the genre to enjoy πŸ’™ i’m happy to hear you found these tips helpful!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My favourite nonfiction is Sudha Murty’s books. They’re the ones that got me hooked. Sudha Murty is an Indian social worker who’s met amazing people. She writes about her own and others’ experiences. I really love her simple and straightforward language.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved reading this post and I’ve added some books to my list of non-fiction books to read! I definitely prefer fiction books but this year I’ve found myself reaching for a non-fiction read more often which has been really fun! A little out of my comfort zone but like you said, if you find a book on a topic you find interesting then it’s way more enjoyable. And DNFing if you don’t enjoy is something I am a big advocate for!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Emme, i’m glad this was helpful! i definitely agree, the hardest part is just getting out of your comfort zone and picking up a nonfiction book in the first place. & yes, dnf’ing is so important! happy reading 😊

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