Narrative Nonfiction

The Death Class book cover.For some people, nonfiction might seem like a genre of writing that is only helpful when you need to write a paper or want to learn more about history. Narrative nonfiction, however, reads more like a story than a textbook. Also called creative nonfiction, narrative nonfiction tells a story that is well-written but also informational.

Check out one of the books below from the JMRL catalog if you’re interested in reading a true story that will keep you entertained:

The Death Class: A True Story About Life by Erika Hayasaki – A journalist details how Norma Bowe, the professor of a popular class on the stages of dying, death, and bereavement at Kean University in New Jersey, shows her students how to truly heal and live their lives through contemplating the end.

Death in the City of Light by David King – Documents the World War II effort to catch a physician serial killer in Paris during the Nazi occupation, describing the contributions of Homicide Squad Commissaire Georges-Victor Massu and the covert information network he built with mobsters, nightclub owners, Resistance fighters and numerous others throughout the investigation.

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown – Traces the story of an American rowing team from the University of Washington that defeated elite rivals at Hitler’s 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of such contributors as their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder and a homeless teen rower.

The Lost City of Z by David Grann – Interweaves the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett, who vanished during a 1925 expedition into the Amazon, with the author’s own quest to uncover the mysteries surrounding Fawcett’s final journey and the secrets of what lies deep in the Amazon jungle.

Dead Wake by Erik Larson – A chronicle of the sinking of the Lusitania discusses the factors that led to the tragedy and the contributions of such figures as Woodrow Wilson, bookseller Charles Lauriat, and architect Theodate Pope Riddle.

The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs – Traces the history of the presidential fraternity conceived by Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover during Eisenhower’s inauguration, exploring the ways in which the nation’s Presidents depended on, sabotaged and formed alliances that had world-changing impacts.

For more recommendations, visit the Narrative Nonfiction page of the JMRL Wiki.

This list was created by Reference Librarians Hayley Tompkins and Margarete Gillette.

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