Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Nonfiction Picks

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is the best nonfiction for every X to read. This is where my lack of breadth might just come out to embarrass me, but let's see....

1. For every aspiring writer: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. Goldberg's book, which combines writing prompts and thoughts on writing practice with meditations on Zen Buddhism, first came out in 1986. Shambhala Library has published a beautiful, nearly pocket-sized new hardcover edition.
2. For anyone who wants to remember to value the present moment: Everyday Matters: A Memoir by Danny Gregory. Even if you don't consider yourself an artist, Danny Gregory convinces the reader that one of the best ways to slow down and savor the daily experience is to really pay attention--by drawing. Written in the form of a visual diary/graphic memoir, Everyday Matters is unexpectedly moving and inspiring.
3. For thinkers, philosophers, nature-lovers, and minimalists: Walden and Other Writings by Henry David Thoreau. Most of us couldn't live the way Thoreau suggests--even he couldn't do it all the time. But this classic book will make you think about how you live and why.
4. And more of the above: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer tells the story of what happened to Chris McCandless when he tried to live as Thoreau did, but with disastrous results. Absolutely riveting.
5. For a little history and a little murder: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. The story of the Chicago World's Fair and a serial murderer.
6. Still the best book on Columbine: Columbine by Dave Cullen. The place to start if you want to understand what happened.
7. If you can't get enough of The Great Gatsby: So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and How It Endures by Maureen Corrigan.
8. For those who are obsessed with Our Author (Anthony Trollope): Oxford Reader's Companion to Trollope edited by R.C. Terry. I got my edition from a used bookseller. I love it, and it is an indispensable part of my library. I consult it every time I read Trollope, or when I am reading about him.
9. Introverts and seekers of solitude. Most readers probably know about Susan Cain's Quiet, but you might not be familiar with May Sarton and Journal of a Solitude. The diary of a highly creative woman (novelist, poet, and nonfiction writer), Journal of a Solitude is a beautiful meditation on the necessity of solitude for the artist.
10. For the aspiring poet, seeker, or for anyone who questions how to move forward in life: Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Do you have nonfiction recommendations for a certain kind of reader or a certain situation? Share in the comments section--I'd love to know what you're thinking....


Lisa said...

Thanks for some new nonfiction reads to add to my list!

Anonymous said...

I've been really into memoirs lately. I just finished one by Fang Lizhi, who was a famous Chinese activist-- it was okay, but slightly slow. But I also finished When Breath Becomes Air, my review is going up on Thursday, but I can tell you in advance that it was pretty great.

bibliophiliac said...

@Lisa-Glad to be of service! :)

bibliophiliac said...

@brownbooksandgreentea-I will have to check out When Breath Becomes Air!