I've missed two weeks, but I'm back for the 4th week of Nonfiction November! This week is hosted by Doing Dewey, and the question is:
Nonfiction Favorites: We’ve
talked about how you pick nonfiction books in previous years, but this
week I’m excited to talk about what makes a book you’ve read one of your
favorites. Is the topic pretty much all that matters? Are there
particular ways a story can be told or particular writing styles that
you love? Do you look for a light, humorous approach or do you prefer a
more serious tone? Let us know what qualities make you add a nonfiction
book to your list of favorites.
I like a nonfiction book to be pretty serious, but not too serious. It's helpful to have interesting anecdotes or witty comments! I've read some books that were just heavy theory all the way through, and they're quite difficult to read without some leavening. There is a line, though; if an author is spending too much time on frivolous asides, fluffy filler, or self-analysis, I'm out.
The current style in non-fiction is to be pretty exhaustive. Few respectable non-fiction books come in at under 400 pages, it seems, and there is always lots of background provided: history, biographical information, and so forth. All well and good, but it all too often turns into unfocused filler. I would really like to see more concision in non-fiction!
As for topics, I have many favorites! History, textiles, social issues, women's history/issues, travel, biography/memoir, literary analysis, religion, science.... I love 'em all and will read anything that catches my eye.