While I normally reach for fiction, I picked up a couple of excellent nonfiction books last year, including The Astronaut Wives Club and 10% Happier. While I was looking for suggestions of what to read next, I came across several reviews of nonfiction titles on a reader’s blog. So I asked if she’d be willing to share her current favorites here! Lucky for me — and for you — she agreed.
Read on for Jordan’s nonfiction picks…
Hello, my name is Jordan, and it’s an honor to contribute a post about my favorite 5 nonfiction books! I’ve been a devoted follower of PJ’s for almost a year now, and I’m excited to share with you these memoir and self-help titles.
When I think how I like to spend my free time, the first thing that comes to mind is reading. After tiring out my 7-month-old puppy, I flop on the couch and catch up on one of the many books I’ve gathered from the library — or splurged on at the bookstore!
For the past couple of years, I’ve been a huge fan of autobiographies, and the flame for them has certainly not burned out. In fact, more than half of the books on my list below fall under that category. I love learning about a person from their own point of view and find that many have a unique voice in their writing.
While my list mostly features celebrities, my fascination for people spans far beyond just those in the spotlight. Recently, my focus was on strong, independent, and quirky women, but I plan to read about different types of people this year.
Enough about me! Let’s get on with 5 nonfiction books I think you should read this spring:
1. Then Again by Diane Keaton
I’ve always loved Diane. Who doesn’t? She has starred in some phenomenal movies. But her true artistry, I believe, is her writing and her passion for design (you’ll discover more of this in her second book).
Centered around her relationship with her mother, Diane Keaton writes about growing up in her first memoir. She shares how her mother’s journals shined a light on their similarities and differences. The way she describes her life is so genuine and spunky that you won’t be able to put down this book and will quickly find yourself running to the bookstore (or library) for her follow-up.
2. Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty by Diane Keaton
I don’t think I even waited a day between finishing her first book and grabbing this one. In this memoir, Diane Keaton tackles the subject of beauty, taking a humorous and nontraditional approach at defining it. She challenges your ideas of beauty and makes you think differently about what that may look like in her same beautiful writing style.
3. Wildflower by Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore chronicles her roller coaster of a life and discusses her dedication to be a strong female role model for her daughters in Wildflower, a series of personal essays. Her writing is so fun, fresh and casual that it reads as if you were sitting in a cafe talking with a friend. She sounds like the type of fascinating, resilient, fun, and smart woman you’d want in your tribe.
4. Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe
Psychologist Laurie Helgoe tackles the myths of introversion while helping introverts understand that they are (silent) rockstars in this self-help book. If you’re an introvert looking for support, read this book. If you have people in your family who don’t understand you and if communication is rough, have them read this book.
My relationship with my parents (specifically, my mom) improved significantly after we all passed this one around. I can’t say enough good things about this book. A true game-changer.
5. This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
In a weird twist of fate, I stumbled upon Ann Patchett’s bookstore, Parnassus, here in Nashville, and it’s now one of my favorite places to visit. I could quite literally spend hours there and put my month’s rent towards books.
This book features a wide collection of Ann’s nonfiction writing with topics ranging from friends to family to work. Ann is a warm, strong, knowledgeable, and talented writer, and one of her stories was so relatable and hilarious that I actually read it out loud to my mom and aunt!
Jordan and I would love to know what nonfiction books you’ve recently read and loved. Please leave your suggestions in the comments below!
Jordan, a resident of Nashville, is very new to the South. She recently graduated from the University of Oregon and spent a year as an AmeriCorps member. She now works full time in sales support and loves on her 7-month-old dachshund, Phoebe. Some authors on her list of nonfiction books to read in 2016 include Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown, Martin Short, Kate Clifford Larson, and Lara Casey.
(Top photo: Edie Campbell photographed by Matt Jones for i-D magazine’s Fall 2012 issue via Tumblr)