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Good nonfiction books – Armchair BEA

This entry is part 7 of 17 in the series Armchair BEA 2013 - 2014

Take the plunge and try some good nonfiction booksGood non-fiction books are everywhere. While many people think of nonfiction more in the way of how-to books, they are so much more than that. The nonfiction genre is deep and wide with many categories.

Maybe you’re someone who hasn’t really tried nonfiction. Why not take the plunge? Read something different. You might find your taste buds tingle and discover a whole new genre waiting for you. Here’s a few nonfiction titles that have captured and held my interest.

Travel narratives are good nonfiction books to read

Travel narratives are good nonfiction books and fun to read.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Travel narratives contain many popular and good nonfiction books. These books have entertained readers for several centuries thanks to Robert Louis Stevenson. Yes, that one. Best known for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and  Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. You may be surprised to learn he started out as a budding travel writer.

Thanks to Stevenson’s first books, Inland Journey and Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes, today’s intrepid armchair travelers have a marvelous array of travel narratives, good nonfiction books. In fact, travelers today still make the same trip Stevensen took trekking through the mountains of Cevennes.

Good nonfiction books about science and nature


Oliver Sacks is one of my favorite writers who delves into the vast ocean of science writing. I came across his writing when he first published The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales. His books are fascinating and really open up the interior view of human beings. I’m looking forward to reading his latest book Hallucinations.

One of the best really good nonfiction books a writer can read is Diane Ackerman’s A Natural History of the Senses. Hands down. This book should be on every writer’s bookshelf. Without a doubt, Ackerman is a writer’s writer. There is so much for writers to learn not just from the content but from the writing.

Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines, hidden under the weedy mass of many years and experiences. Hit a tripwire of smell, and memories explode all at once. A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.” — A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman

One of my favorite odd good nonfiction books


Sometimes you run across a book that simply fascinates you from the concept right down to the last word on the last page. That’s how it was and is for me with The Mummy Congress: Science, Obsession, and the Everlasting Dead by Heather Anne Pringle. The author learned about an extraordinary event called the Mummy Congress when she was working on an article for National Geographic Magazine. The next congress became the subject for her book.

How about you? Do you read nonfiction? What type interests you? Share your thoughts and suggestions below. If you’re enjoying Armchair BEA, do say hello and share your thoughts about good nonfiction books that have crossed your path, too.

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Series NavigationLiterary genre types in fiction – Armchair BEAHow picture book writing helps writers – Armchair BEA
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  • Jennifer Hartling

    Yes! Please take the plunge! Nonfiction is my absolute favorite. You can learn about almost anything under the sun. That’s my favorite thing about reading :)

  • AH@badassbookreviews

    Those are really interesting choices. I’ve never heard of the Mummy Congress. I’ll have to look into that. AH@Badass Book Reviews

  • http://www.downthewriterspath.com/ Vikk Simmons

    I’m with you. I’ve always enjoyed nonfiction. I don’t see that many nonfiction book bloggers, do you?

  • http://www.downthewriterspath.com/ Vikk Simmons

    I found Mummy Congress so interesting and unusual. Glad you liked the books.

  • Jennifer Hartling

    No, not many! Kim @ Sophisticated Dorkiness reads a lot of nonfic and always has great recommendations. And of course I do on my blog too ;)