The Non-fiction five

So I am joining another challenge. But I will say this in defense of my overweening listiness of spirit: this challenge doesn't start for several months, giving me plenty of time to worry away at the Chunkster challenge, my Year of Down Under, and my other varied New Year's resolutions. This time I am committing myself to the intriguing Non-Fiction Five Challenge started by Thoughts of Joy. Joy challenges us to read one nonfiction book a month from May to September, for a total of five, with a particular exhortation to vary the types of nonfiction you read and push the boundaries of genres you normally encounter.

My preliminary list (subject to change before the end of April) for the challenge is as follows:

1) "Send in the Idiots" by Kamran Nazeer
2) "1599: A Year in the Life of Shakespeare" by James Shapiro
3) "Commonwealth of Thieves" by Tom Keneally (overlap with my Year of Down Under)
4) "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote
5) "This Boy's Life" by Tobias Wolff

Extra credit/Alternates:
* "Freakonomics" by Steven D. Levitt
* "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson
* "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser
* "Reading Lolita in Tehran" by Azar Nafisi
* "Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century" by Barbara Tuchman
* "Watching the English" by Kate Fox

9 Responses so far.

  1. kookie says:

    'In Cold Blood' is an excellent choice. Grim, but beautifully written.

    I've got to go back and read your archives since I was inspired to start my blog after I read '1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die', too. (I had already read about 100, now I'm up to about 120.) I had a different reaction to it, however. My thought was, "I can come up with a better list than that". I'm still working on it.

  2. It is true that lists like the "1001" series seemed particularly designed to inspire argument. I find myself keeping a parallel list of "outrageous omissions."

  3. Anonymous says:

    I'm in this one too! Great list you have here.

  4. kookie says:

    If you ever finish that list (of outrageous omissions), I would love to see it. ;)

    Can never have too many good reading suggestions, can you?

  5. Joy says:

    Hi! Welcome to the Non-Fiction Five Challenge! I'm glad you are joining in on the fun. I actually recognize many titles on your lists. :) My husband is currently listening to IN COLD BLOOD. He's "enjoying" it.

    Happy Reading!

  6. Sarah says:

    It's an interesting list. Reading Lolita in Tehran is a wonderful portrait of young Inranina women studying great works of literature. The only problem is that it makes you want to read or re-read all of the books they discuss!

  7. Love the choices! I've read three of them! :D

  8. I've read four of these and might I just say--you have some excellent choices! :D

  9. Fast Food Nation is good, but it can be heavy going at times. Its also a little depressing, reading about just badly the fast food industry treats the emplioyees - most of who are high school kids.

    I started my copy a few weeks ago, and still have not finished it. In fact I'm about half way through. I tend to read one chapter at a time. I find I have to put it down and read something else before I can come back to it.

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