If You Like Nonfiction That Feels Like Fiction

If You Like… is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love. This week’s post includes recommendations for page-turning nonfiction that demonstrate once again that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.


If you like nonfiction that feels like fiction, you might like

Books and Movies

Recommended by April @ Good Books and Good Wine:

  • Columbine by Dave Cullen: It’s narrative non-fiction and is all about an event most of us remember – the tragic school shooting at Columbine
  • Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickham: Have you seen the film October Sky? No? DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND NETFLIX IT. Rocket Boys is the book that the film October Sky is based off. It definitely reads like fiction and is about Hickham growing up in Coal Country, becoming determined to leave and become an astronaut. It’s SO GOOD.
  • A People’s History Of The United States by Howard Zinn: This book is absolutely essential for anyone who has a strong interest in US history. We always learn all about the ‘great, white men’ of history, but rarely about regular people, about poor people, women, people of color, etc. In this book Zinn tells a history that’s not about the victors. It’s excellent, but may get a little boring if you don’t have a history degree (holla!!).
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey: It’s kind of an autobiography but more like a series of true vignettes. You guys, don’t read this physically, get the audiobook, it takes the experience of this book to level 10 and is one of the FUNNIEST audiobooks I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to.
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris: Don’t read this book in public as you will be prone to fits of giggles. Seriously, this was my first Sedaris book but not my last, and holy WOW, SOOOO FUNNY.

Maybe you like your non-fiction in graphic format. Two excellent graphic novels:

  • Persepolis by Marjanne Satrapi: About a young girl growing up during the Iranian revolution
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman: About the Holocaust w/ lots of symbolism.

Recommended by Tahleen @ Tahleen’s Mixed-Up Files:

Recommended by Jessica @ Jessica Love Writes:

Recommended by Me:

  • Science Fair Season by Judy Dutton: A fascinating looks at the lives of kids entered into a high-stakes science fair.
  • A Class Apart by Alec Klein: Interested in what it’s like to go to a school where academic competition is far more fierce than competition out on the football field? Check out this profile of Stuyvesant High School.
  • The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids by Alexandra Robbins: A look at the dark side of overachievement and competition among American teens.
  • Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Three by Mara Leveritt: The West Memphis Three case is definitely an example of a real murder investigation so crazy it’s hard to believe. This is a case well worth learning about if you’re interested in the justice system. The current books about it are all pretty out of date, but Leveritt’s is a great starter to get the details of the case. There will be plenty more books soon enough that cover the aftermath. I’d also recommend watching the Paradise Lost documentaries.

What are your favorite nonfiction books, documentaries, and tv programs? Please share your own recommendations in the comments!


If you would like to get involved in future weeks of “If You Like…” please contact me for more information. You can check out past weeks of If You Like posts here.
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5 Responses to "If You Like Nonfiction That Feels Like Fiction"

  • Post Secret books and I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets

    1 Jennifer from YABookNerd said this (November 7, 2011 at 7:37 AM)


  • I totally second anything by Bill Bryson. His travel narratives are AMAZING. And Persepolis is a great nonfiction graphic novel.

    2 Tara said this (November 7, 2011 at 7:41 AM)


  • Recs from @benharkin:
    Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (Hunter) and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (Wolfe)

    3 Melanie said this (November 7, 2011 at 8:22 AM)


  • I haven’t read it, but The Devil in the White City is supposed to be really good and engrossing.

    4 Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said this (November 7, 2011 at 12:46 PM)


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