Jess Kovacs: A Non-Fiction Lover?
Learning is one of my favourite things (just ask my three university degrees) but when it comes to my non textbook reading, I’ve been pretty loyal to fiction. That doesn’t mean I don’t spend hours researching and reading about random topics on the internet, searching for content like you would find…you guessed it, in a non-fiction book. There’s no explanation for twenty something years of nonfiction avoidance. I am the go to Sci-Fi/ Fantasy librarian at work and I’ve been happy there. I’ve always been drawn to the escapism of fiction, despite the fact that sitting down to watch a documentary provides the same amount of intrigue to me. Earlier this year I found myself questioning this weird phenomenon when I was assigned a book talk all about popular non-fiction. It is at this point that I realized the last thing I read that was even remotely like non-fiction was Andre the Giant: Life and Legend the graphic novel biofic. So I resolved to read at least one non-fiction book a month until the end of the year. The year isn’t done yet but I’ve already way surpassed my original goal of one per month.
So for all you fellow non-fiction avoiders…here are my favourite so far:
Depression: The Comedy by Jessica Holmes
This one may be specific to those battling depression but it’s also hilarious and contains a lot of content anyone would find useful.
Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital by David Oshinsky
Mildly disturbing (okay really disturbing) but fascinating look at Bellevue and how it shaped the early years of American medicine and found its way to be the revered public hospital it is today.
House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg
As a massive Anne of Green Gables fan (some would say aficionado) this obviously had to be on my list. Not only is the cover absolutely stunning but it is well researched and written. Keep in mind that House of Dreams is targeted toward a YA audience but I think that is what makes it so wonderful. It makes the amazing story of L.M. Montgomery accessible to so many.
Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence
Kind of non-fiction, kind of a creative writing exercise, kind of an ode to books…whatever it is, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is hilarious. I cried, I laughed, I forced everyone to sit through me reading it to them. I have so much love for Dear Fahrenheit 451, as both a librarian and an avid reader. There’s not much more to say, just go read it. Especially if you work in Library Science.
And finally, I just finished We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir
by Samra Habib
Habib could have gone deeper but it was still a really beautiful story of self discovery and perseverance in many aspects of life. A unique perspective that many multi generational Canadians may not have considered.
Heads up though: mentions CSA, references to domestic violence, references to state-sponsored terrorism, Islamophobia, and misogyny.
Other notable favourites: Alone on the Wall by Alex Honnold, The Push by Tommy Caldwell, Gorilla and the Bird by Zack McDermott, and Supergods by Grant Morrison.
And now back to my regularly scheduled fiction featuring The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang.
Happy reading fellow book humans!
Until next time,