Nonfiction Rocks

Recently, I finished reading the book ONE ON ONE by John Feinstein. My interest was piqued when I heard him interviewed on the Jim Rome radio show. He told a couple of stories, was funny and informative, and briefly outlined the book. I went straight to Amazon and ordered it “for my husband”, but as often happens with snorkel gifts, I read it first.

ONE ON ONE chronicles Mr. Feinstein’s successful and interesting career as a sports writer. A Duke graduate, he began journalism at a young age, finding national success with his groundbreaking first book, A SEASON ON THE BRINK. Throughout ONE on ONE, he mixes stories of famous athletes and coaches such as Bobby Knight, Mike Krzyzewski, David Duval, Tiger Woods, Jim Courier, John McEnroe, and Mary Carillo with college athletes and amateurs. He revisits many of his former subjects including the young men he wrote about in THE CIVIL WAR, an insider’s peek into one of college football’s most enduring rivalries, the Army Navy game. While the book does cover some familiar ground, there are enough new stories and updates to satisfy most sports fans. Call it the “Best Of” John Feinstein. It’s worth reading.

After finishing the book, I started thinking about the number of books I’ve read in the last few years and realized that list included a lot of nonfiction. While I admit, some of those selections were book club picks (ZEITOUN and THE GLASS CASTLE for example), many were simply because I was interested. I’ve also realized in speaking to friends and other readers, I am not alone. Nonfiction, as a genre, has gotten better and as a result, more popular. Today, nonfiction books read more like novels (i.e. Michael Lewis’ books THE BIG SHORT and THE BLIND SIDE). Memoirs are better, too, whether telling the life story of a “regular” person or a celebrity. Throw in the true adventure books and a reader has everything they need. It’s no wonder this category of books rocks!

If you’re looking for a nonfiction book club pick or just interested in a good book, here’s a brief list to check out:

  • ONE ON ONE by John Feinstein
  • SHADOW DIVERS by Robert Kurson
  • LIFE by Keith Richards and James Fox
  • OPEN by Andre Agassi
  • THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT by Robert Goolrick
  • SKELETONS ON THE ZAHARA by Dean King
  • BLACK HAWK DOWN by Mark Bowen
  • DON’T LET’S GO TO THE DOGS TONIGHT by Alexandra Fuller
  • ZEITOUN by Dave Eggers
  • THE GLASS CASTLE by Jeanette Walls
  • THE BIG SHORT by Michael Lewis
  • THE BLIND SIDE by Michael Lewis
  • ONE TRAIN LATER by Andy Summers
  • WISHFUL DRINKING by Carrie Fisher
  • HAVE A LITTLE FAITH by Mitch Albom
  • WONDERFUL TONIGHT by Patti Boyd
  • THE MIDDLE PLACE by Kelly Corrigan
  • THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS by Rebecca Skloot

You can also check out these websites, Book Club Queen and Goodreads, for more discussion and recommendations. Currently, my club is reading UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand.

Are there more? Of course – lots I haven’t heard of or gotten to yet. So, if you have a great nonfiction recommendation for me or any book club out there, please send it on. Nonfiction rocks!

3 Replies to “Nonfiction Rocks”

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