books · discussions · shanti · Uncategorized

Reflections on Non-Fiction

Hi Virtually Readers! I hope you’re having a wonderful Easter Sunday. If you don’t know, this is the day Lent ends, which is great, because now I can read fiction. I spent the last month and a half ONLY reading nonfiction books, which was an interesting experiment. Here are some things I learnt from it.


One: I learnt a lot about my interests. I read several books about psychology, several memoirs about grief, one book about economics, several books about language, one book about human history, one book about smart girls, one book of poetry, and a book about sewing (which I didn’t really read so much as use for a project which is still in the works. I did include the caveat that I could read classics, but this didn’t really happen; my only fiction was school related stuff and audiobooks (like 1 audiobook totally) From this list, I glean that I’m just really interested in people and how they work. My standout books were Lingo, When Breath Becomes Air, and Smart Girls. I was not a big fan of Drunk Tank Pink or Fun Science, mostly because the writing style didn’t work for me (at some point when I’m less busy there will be reviews.

Two. I read less. This might have happened anyway, because I had a very busy six weeks (seriously, this week I had exams + 10,000 words of essays because I’m an overachiever who thinks that wordcount limits are AGENTS OF THE OPPRESSION and I still felt very stressed and unsuccessful and like I didn’t have enough time…) but still, it was harder to pick up a book, and most books took me a week + (but I had several on the go at once).

Three. I learnt many interesting things. This sort of goes without saying, but I really think that this challenge forced me to learn a lot about the world, which was exciting, and it may have made me think a bit differently about certain issues, or even just become aware of things I didn’t know about before. For example, there used to be a town called Embarrass in Wisconsin, and Scottish Gaelic doesn’t use letters in a very logical way, and all sorts of other trivia that will undoubtedly make me look weird in conversations for years to come.

Four. I want to read more non-fiction. I want to read more stuff that isn’t YA, full stop. YA will still be my main genre for the foreseeable future—there are so many wonderful things about it that make it a genre I love SO MUCH. But there’s a lot about the world that I don’t know, and I don’t think YA has all the answers. I don’t think any one genre has all the answers, so I really want to read as diversely as I can, while still making reading something I love.

So all in all, it was a worthy experience. I have a month a a half left of high school, so hopefully in the second half of the year I’ll be reading A LOT (also my new kobo is coming soon YAS). I thought I’d just talk about some of the books I want to read soonish.

In the next two weeks

-Literally by Lucy Keating

-The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne (reread)

-The Host by Stephenie Meyer (reread)

-Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (and maybe Illuminae, we’ll see)

Before I Graduate

-reread The Lunar Chronicles

-reread Protector of the Small

-reread Harry Potter

-The Star Touched Queen

-Strange the Dreamer

-reread Chaos Walking

-reread The Montmaray Journals

And the non-fiction I didn’t get to (for *sometime* in 2017)

– I know Why the Caged Bird Sings

-the Elements of Style

You may notice a lot of rereads on this list. I don’t know. I guess I’m just in the mood for some nostalgia, because some of these books have really informed my high school experience and matter a lot to me, so I want to read them one last time.

How’s your Easter weekend? What’s a nonfiction book you love? do you try to read in different genres? tell me in the comments!



4 thoughts on “Reflections on Non-Fiction

  1. What an interesting reflection! I think nonfiction sometimes has a reputation among fiction readers for being dry and boring, but most contemporary fiction isn’t like that at all; it’s written to engage and appeal to a mainstream audience. I’ve enjoyed books like Nabokov’s Favorite Word is Mauve, which uses data analysis to study what makes writing and books “good,” but I’ve also been presently surprised by genres I thought I had no interest in, like memoirs.


    1. Yes, there’s so much great non-fiction! And even if you do have to work a bit more for it, there are such specific books, and it’s great to learn about the real world too sometimes. I’ve heard of Nabokov’s Favourite Word is Mauve, it sounds really cool. Memoirs can be interesting too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I reckon reading fiction and reading non-fiction are totally different things. you can’t replace one with the other- your brain has a fiction lobe and a non-fiction lobe. The ‘novel’ I’m reading now is non-fiction masquerading as fiction and my brain does not know which lobe to process it in.


    1. They are different, but it’s still about people. A good book, fiction or non fiction, is good at capturing people. But novels have an ability to tranport that nonfiction doesn’t; it’s good to be grounded in reality and fiction.


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