Nonfiction 101

From Facts to Fascination: A Dive into Nonfiction

by Shelby D., Evening Supervisor

Welcome back to Fiction 101 – or more accurately for this month, Nonfiction 101! Fiction 101 is our monthly blog post about the various genres of fiction, nonfiction, and more. We’ll talk about fantasy, romance, thrillers, and everything in between. Last month we talked about books with TV show adaptations – this month, I want to dive into nonfiction.

Nonfiction books are supposed to be based on true events, real people, and facts. This can include memoirs and personal essays that authors write about their own lives. A popular sub-genre of nonfiction is creative nonfiction or narrative nonfiction. Narrative nonfiction is a category of nonfiction where the author lays out the story in the same way they would structure a novel. Narrative nonfiction reads like fiction but is based in fact. Another popular sub-genre of nonfiction is true crime, which talks about crimes in the past and usually focuses on the investigation to solve them.

For more insight into nonfiction, we spoke to Libby, the Library Assistant who runs our Adult Non-Fiction Book Club. When choosing a nonfiction book to read, Libby focuses on topics she’s feeling curious about more so than searching for specific sub-genres of nonfiction. Topics that interest her are history, STEAM, econ-finance, and politics/current events. She tries to look for authors who are experts in their fields. Don’t miss the next Adult Non-Fiction Book Club meeting on Tuesday, June 25th at 6:00pm in Meeting Room B. Copies of June’s book, The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life, by Francis Parkman Jr. are available at the reference desk at the Morgantown Public Library.

Read on for some nonfiction book recommendations:

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
Mary Roach’s books are funny and quick reads. Packing for Mars answers the real questions about what space travel entails for the astronauts who embark on it. She also wrote Fuzz, a previous Adult Non-Fiction Book Club pick, that examines the history of humans and animals (including various times people have tried animals in court).

The Crossword Obsession by Coral Amende
One thing about me is that I love crosswords — I do them everyday. This book provides insight into the history of the crossword puzzle. And if that’s not exciting enough, there are also puzzles you can do throughout!

Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas
This book is about the real life unit the TV show Criminal Minds is based on, which is a show that I love. The unit was founded by the author and the book talks about John Douglas’s career catching, interviewing, and studying some of the most notorious criminals in America.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
This is a book about a murder in Savannah, Georgia. It reads like a novel and shows a unique look into southern living.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
If you are looking for something light-hearted and uplifting, then this is the book for you! Dewey the cat was found in the return slot at Spencer Public Library in Spencer, Iowa. According to the cat distribution system, kittens find you when you need them the most. And according to Vicki Myron, Director of Spencer Public Library, that’s what Dewey did.

Nonfiction is a great way to explore new perspectives and learn new things! Next month, join me for our Fiction 101 where I’ll be talking about adventure fantasy books in honor of this year’s Summer Reading Program (SRP) theme “Adventure Begins at Your Library.” For more information about this year’s SRP for adults, check out our website.