My Year of Nonfiction

As I’m taking a look back at what I’ve read so far this year, I realize that my tastes have leaned greatly toward nonfiction. Yes, there has been the occasional mystery book and more than a smattering of graphic novels, but by-and-large I have been reading biographies and memoirs. I’ve already told you about a few of the books in a couple of blog posts and at least one staff pick. Here are some of the others that I have been fortunate enough to pluck from the shelves thus far in 2015:

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes – Do you love The Princes Bride movie? Of course you do! (If you don’t, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.) And with these stories from behind the scenes, you can love it even more. Did you even think that was possible?!? The yarns I enjoyed most were about Andre the Giant. He used a pitcher for a beer mug; they provided him with a special golf cart to get around the set; and he once got so drunk that he passed out in a hotel lobby and was too heavy to move, so all the guests had to go around him. Now, there was a man who lived life to the fullest!

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris – The fantastic NPH shares his life, up to this point, in true Gen X style – as a “choose your own adventure” book. You, the reader get to decide which decisions Neil makes at critical junctures in his life. Does he take that role and become television’s iconic kid doctor or not? Does he choose to reveal details about his personal life and sexual orientation or stay in the closet? The life of NPH is up to you! (BTW, If you’re like me and the thought of not reading a book sequentially, page-by-page gives you hives — no worries, with very little continuity issues, this book can be read the regular way too.)

Dancing Girls of Lahore: Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan’s Ancient Pleasure District by T. Louise Brown – It took me about 50 page to realize that I’ve read this book before. It must have really appealed to me, for me to pick it up twice, years apart. But read it a second time, I did. I like using books to explore lives vastly different from mine. (If everyone was like me and had my life, the world would be very boring indeed.) This book is the result of the author spending many months and years visiting and staying among the women in the “red light” district in Lahore, Pakistan. The culture and class system that this book explains are so foreign to my experiences that I can’t get enough of reading about them. And, of course, I want to save everyone.

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life by Sophia Loren – I never knew that Sophia Loren grew up in such poverty or without her father in her life. So many hardships were endured by this international film legend. I feel inspired knowing about her childhood during World War II, her journey to stardom and life in general. Sophia Loren is so much more than a pretty face. Her substance and style are more than skin deep. What a classy lady!

And here’s what’s on my TBR pile at home:

Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household by Kate Hubbard.

A Spoonful of Sugar: A Nanny’s Story by Brenda Ashford.

Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days by Bill Whitfield.

The Glitter and the Gold: The American Duchess – In Her Own Words by Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan.

VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave by Nina Blackwood.

Now, go forth and read some biographies!

-Melissa M.


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5 responses to “My Year of Nonfiction

  1. Beth L

    PBS just launched a new Biography series “In Their Own Words” which looks interesting. Last night was Queen Elizabeth II.

  2. I don’t think I will be able to sleep unless I can get my hands on As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

  3. rhoffnagle

    I hardly ever read nonfiction, but three of the books you mentioned are on my TBR list: As You Wish, NPH, and Serving Victoria! Might just have to move them further up now : )

  4. “As You Wish” is definitely on my wish list. If only I was able to meet Cary Elwes on his book tour–but of course he was in Chicago on Valentine’s Day! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  5. Pingback: September 2015 Recap | Eleventh Stack

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