Nonfiction that reads like a novel

I have just finished the book Love and Ruin edited by Evan Ratliff. I loved it and I HATE non-fiction. Or I thought I did, but I enjoyed learning real facts even as I appreciated the essays for their smooth and quick fiction-like language. Where can I find more non-fiction that reads like really good fiction?

--Expanding My Horizons

Expanding My Horizons,

Welcome to the world of wider reading! There are a lot of really satisfying non-fiction books written in an accessible style, even about heavy topics like death, disease, war, and astrophysics! I am providing a smattering here of pleasurable reads that also feed the brain as a muscle. Hopefully at least one or two of these are on topics that excite and written in a way that you want to gobble it up like you did the whale and hippo tales in Love and Ruin!

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach is another wonderful book by this author that brings a scientific topic down into terms and experiences that tickle your funny bone and spark your synapses. It is about the objects created and tested on earth for use in deep space. Some odd stuff!

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker begins to answer some of sciences longest-standing mysteries about why we spend a lot of our living hours in semi-unconsciousness. This book is not a snoozer! Brain and sleep science has come a long way and Mr. Walker, a sleep specialist of the highest order, describes the delicate workings of our brains and bodies while sleeping.

Endurance by Scott Kelly has gotten a lot of press and is a very recent book you may have to put on hold and wait to get at the library, but it worth the wait. Scott Kelly has spent a year in space and is probably still being tested for the effects, but his perspective from space on space and on life on earth are all well-articulated.

Undeniable by Bill Nye explains with Bill Nye humor the science behind the changes in organisms over time and the meaning of life and life-changing events that have formed the world and living things we see and why.

Grunt by Mary Roach. Yes, this is the same author as the first item in the list: hint, she really has a way with describing scientific topics we are curious about in ways that make the pages fly by. In this book she gives the reader a lot to think about as regards the very many consequences of shipping human beings around the world to fight battles that in almost every way test the limits of human endurance: physical, mental, emotional, and more.

Finally I can suggest Dead Wake by Erik Larson. It is strictly speaking a fiction novel as he creates characters and conversations for persons on the ill-fated boat, but his researching is meticulous and you cannot but almost swear by the end that this must be exactly as it all went down (pun intended). Scenes from this book will likely ebb into your thoughts long after you have read it.

ChristineD of Ravenous Readers