I realized that I only make lists at the end of the calendar year when I’m looking back at what I have accomplished, but there are so many other times when a list of awesome things would be appropriate. I know I’m always finding cool bookish things that I want to share with you all, so I’m starting this Top 5 series to highlight some of those items. This month, in keeping with Non-Fiction November, I’m highlighting the Top 5 Non-Fiction Books that I have read thus far – and boy was that list hard to narrow down!
5. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
I have always been interested in crime stories, since I was a criminal justice major in my undergraduate work. I loved how Larson integrated a true crime story with that of the process of creating the St. Louis World Fair. The juxtaposition and how it all came together was seamlessly done. I would read anything that Larson writes.
4. Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson
Funny that I was just talking about how I would read anything by Larson! Isaac’s Storm was the first book that I had read by Larson and that really started my love of his style. The narrative of this epic natural disaster was frenetic and dramatic and I found myself sucked into the world of early weather forecasting in a way I NEVER expected.
3. The Circus Fire by Stewart O’Nan
This was the first non-fiction book that I can remember being truly passionate about. It consumed by life during the weeks in which I was reading it. It was all I told my husband about every day after listening to it on my ride home from work. It didn’t hurt that I was working and driving through the areas being featured in this book at that time. It was so reverently written. This was the first non-fiction that I can remember crying about while reading.
2. Rebel Yell by S.C. Gwynne
The top two books were a real struggle for a decision and not much at all separates them in my book. Rebel Yell is a book that I highly recommend to everyone I know. It is a book that made me truly feel compassion for a member of the Confederacy. S.C. Gwynne creates a man, not just a stereotype. It was so well researched and I again couldn’t stop telling my husband about this book and I cried at Jackson’s death. I couldn’t put the book down!
1. Destiny of the Republic by Candace Millard
Presidential fiction has always fascinated me and the awesome thing about this book is it brings to life the man who was among our shortest serving presidents and one of those who was sadly assassinated. To say that I learned SO much is an understatement. But beyond the life and death of the president, Millard tied in a wide variety of other pertinent topics as well: the process of antiseptic sterilization and the medical care (or lack there of) that President Garfield endured and how the process of the telephone and Alexander Graham Bell factored in. It was just a well written piece about an undervalued subject. I was emotionally tied to this book and could tell that Millard was invested in her subject.
Really these top 3 books were interchangeable in my mind and could easily be in the top spot depending on what elements I was analyzing. If you are looking for a non-fiction to read, I could HIGHLY recommend all of these books in a heartbeat.
Do you have a favorite non-fiction book?