Musings From A Bookmammal

N is for NONFICTION–The April A-Z Challenge/Day 14


NWelcome to Day #14 of the April A to Z Challenge, where participants are challenged to create a post every day (except Sundays) corresponding to the appropriate letter of the alphabet. If you’d like to learn more, hit the badge on my sidebar.

I’ll be posting about bookish topics each day of the challenge. Here’s today’s post about my favorite categories of nonfiction:


I love reading nonfiction! According to my Goodreads account, 18 of the 32 books I’ve read so far this year have been nonfiction titles. I’m a curious person by nature, and when I want to learn more about something or someone, my first instinct is to read about it.

Here are the top ten categories of nonfiction titles that are represented the most on the many bookshelves in my home. There’s some overlap here, and  there’s a common theme of enjoying nonfiction books that go “behind-the-scenes” to dig deep into the story of a particular person, profession, or historical event. Ready? Let’s go!

1. BOOKS AND WRITING: I love reading books about books—books about collecting them, writing them, selling them, publishing them! My favorites in this category include essays about what and why people read, memoirs by people who have worked in the publishing industry, books written about people who have owned their own bookstores or who have worked in one, and books by writers about HOW they write. (For a list of my favorites in this area, check this post.)

2. FOOD AND COOKING: I love to read and I love to cook—so what could be better than reading about food? I’m not including cookbooks in this category, although I have a lot of those, too. Instead, these books include essays about food and cooking, books by and about chefs and other restaurant employees, and books about how the act of preparing and sharing food influences family and culture. Many of these books include recipes throughout the text, but they wouldn’t be considered straight cookbooks. (You can read about my Top 10 books in this category here!)

3. SPORTS: I do not “do sports.” I am possibly the most un-athletic person you would ever meet.  But—I absolutely LOVE reading about sports! Not biographies so much, but “behind the scenes” books about a particular team or sport.

4. AMERICAN PRESIDENTS/FIRST LADIES: I enjoy history, especially historical biography, and I really like reading biographies and autobiographies of U.S. Presidents and their families. I’m most interested in their day-to-day lives, and their lives before and after living in the White House.

5. THE KENNEDYS: I guess this is a subset of the above genre, but I have a whole shelf of biographies and other books devoted to this enormous American political family. I find the Kennedys fascinating. I certainly don’t admire everything about all of them, but I find them endlessly interesting.

6. EDUCATION: As a former teacher, I love reading books written about “a year in the life of a teacher”, as well as topics such as the pros and cons of single sex education, homeschooling, and what schools are like in other countries. (You can find my previous post about favorites in this area here.)

7. AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY: I’ve always been interested in the civil rights movement, and I also enjoy reading biographies of key African American leaders and about African American culture.

8. TRUE CRIME: The only thing I love more than a good fictional mystery is a good TRUE mystery! I read some current true crime, but I really enjoy historical accounts. The downside to reading these books is that some of them are so well written that they keep me up at night!

9. JOURNALISM: I like reading books made up of collections of newspaper columns or magazine articles by journalists I admire. I love seeing how their work changes over time, and how they tackle current events.

10. ORAL HISTORIES: I love books that are a collection of first-person accounts from a variety of people about a common topic or event. I think it’s so interesting to compare the remembrances and language choices of different individuals. (Guess what my “O” post will be about tomorrow?)

How about you? Are you a nonfiction fan?  What types of nonfiction do you enjoy? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

11 thoughts on “N is for NONFICTION–The April A-Z Challenge/Day 14

  1. I’ve recently been thinking about grabbing some non-fiction books to propel me out of my reading rut. This is a great post!

    • Thanks!
      I tend to go in spurts with reading nonfiction–I’ll read book after book of nonfiction, and then I’ll crave a good, juicy novel.
      Hope you can find some great NF to help you get out of your rut!

  2. I’ve got a few memoirs on tap for my audible account. I can’t wait to have credits to pick them up!

  3. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, but I have read a few memoirs that I enjoyed. I love reading books about writing. Great post, as always.

    • I like reading books about writing, too. Two of my favorites are Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott and On Writing by Stephen King.

      • I have On Writing by Stephen King on my bookshelves. Love it!

        I haven’t read Bird By Bird, but that is on my list of nonfiction writing books to get my hands on.

  4. I started reading this thinking I never read non-fic, but then realized I’ve read books in half the categories you mentioned! So I guess I DO read non-fic! lol
    Lexa Cain’s Blog

    • That’s funny!
      I think a lot of people associate reading nonfiction with reading textbooks, and that’s not the case! There is so much wonderful narrative nonfiction out there.

  5. That’s a lot of nonfiction! Haha. I like reading memoirs or biographies of people I’m interested in, and also self-help books. The one I’m currently reading is called The Book of Awesome, and it’s a book about the awesome little things in life, it helps me appreciate life more and be a little more grateful overall 🙂

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