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Breaking into NonFiction

I'll choose a novel over a memoir or history book any day of the week, but I've come to love nonfiction nearly as much in the past few years. Both can entertain, inspire, and teach things that would otherwise take years to learn.

If you have a hard time getting caught up in a nonfiction book, see if one of these recommendations can hook you:

Let There Be Night: Testimony on Behalf of the Dark

There's nothing as powerful as looking into the Milky Walk on a clear night, but less and less people have had this experience. This book talks about the importance of darkness, and how we can protect it.

A Universal History of the Destruction of Books: From Ancient Sumer to Modern-Day Iraq

If you love novels, why not start with a book about books? From the tragedy of the Library of Alexandria to the banned books of today, this microhistory is sure to give you a deeper appreciation of literature.

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

Yeah, you've heard of this one. But it's so worth the read. Take the teenage dream of "finding yourself" and mix it with a woman who's had some hard knocks in life. It's surprisingly insightful, inspirational, and has moments of absolute hilarity.


Another well-known one, but still worth picking up. Imagine you were raised by doomsdayers, never trusting anything but the church and despising all public services (hospitals, schools, basic safety laws). What does that sort of life look like? And how can it end in an Ivy League school?

Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marks

For all the geeks out there: do you know how we got the ampersand? The brackets and parenthesis? You're about to find out.

Underland: A Deep Time Journey

I can't recommend natural literature enough, and Underland is a great place to start. What world lies beneath our feet? I put this book down and felt like I'd arrived to a new planet. Hopefully you will, too.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking Introverts are people too, or so this book says. Written by a psychologist, this is a great look into both the benefits and limitations of being an introvert. Even if you're not one yourself, it's a great insight into the other half of the population.

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