Non-Fiction-y Goodness


True, true… I tend to be an “all fiction, all the time” kind of girl, but in the last few years, I’ve tried to branch out into more nonfiction… and here’s what’s crossed my path lately…

–Marissa

Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things by Amy Dickinson is just such a sweet, gentle, lovely memoir that spoke to me in so many ways. Amy – of “Ask Amy” fame – moves home to her tiny town in New York state to be near her aging mother, and in the course of taking care of her and settling into her small-town life, falls head over heels in love with Bruno, whom she marries and begins a blended family with. Her writing is so accessible and warm, and I was rooting for her and Bruno (whose relationship has echoed my own of late), while also feeling the pain and sadness of her mother’s decline. Recommended!

My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul rang ALL my bells. Bob, of course, is Paul’s “Book of Books” – her list of all the books she’s read since high school, dutifully recorded in the same notebook since then. She details her travels, her relationships, and her growing up through the lens of books… and some of the passages so echoed my own feelings about books, I keep writing them down for myself to keep. I have the same visceral feeling about books that Paul does – I can remember places and circumstances based on the book I was reading at the time (I know what I was reading the day Mum died, I know where I was when I finished The Other Boleyn Girl for the first time, etc…), just as Paul does. If you are a book lover, this memoir is not to be missed.

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance was SO the right book at the right time for me. Smart, funny, horrifying, thought-provoking, and sharp, this is Vance’s view of growing up in Eastern Kentucky, and not only his own journey, but what life is like in that part of rural America, and how hard it is to break out of the “hillbilly” mold. I couldn’t stop talking about this book after I read it – it just made me THINK about so many things. Recommended!

I’ve also recently reread The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (I listen to her podcast each week, so a reread was in order!)… plus, a few other (fiction, of course!) titles… The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey (zombie-novel-turned-movie)… Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo (another great entry in the Kate Burkholder series!)… This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston (great young adult suspense novel)… and The River At Night by Erica Ferencik (totally eh)…

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