Too Cool for Non-Fiction books? - These 6 Categories are for Every Reader!
Do you read non-fiction? If you had to choose between reading fiction or non-fiction only, for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Honestly, I’d probably choose fiction. Lately, though, I’ve read a few engrossing non-fiction reads. So, at least now I understand the hype of good non-fiction.
If you’re not a massive non-fiction buff, you might find that you prefer a certain type of this genre. I’m the same way. I particularly hate those overly-inspirational self-help books with cliche buzzwords on every page.
However, I enjoy memoirs and self-help with personal stories sprinkled throughout. So, basically, you’ll catch me where the stories are. Thankfully, there are all kinds of non-fiction for all kinds of people.
I’m sharing six of my favorite categories, with a few examples to help you choose your next non-fiction read, no matter what kind of reader you may be.
The Celeb Memoir:
Most non-fiction readers start off reading these kinds of books. If you have a celeb whose “Behind The Scenes” you’d like to learn more about, these are the books to gravitate towards. Still, celeb memoirs aren’t just fluff, you often find a few gems in many of them and they’re the kind to inspire without being overwhelmingly cliche.
There are a lot of celeb memoirs on the market, so which ones are GOOD? Well, personally, I’ve read three memorable celeb memoirs. I rarely was bored or felt the need to skim or skip pages while reading these three and I actually found quotes I still remember. The three I would recommend are Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please, Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes and Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime.
All three are also fantastic on audio, so they’d be great practice for your audiobook listening skills! If you’ve read those three, bravo! Maybe try Issa Rae’s The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl or Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me?
2. Business & Finance Simplified:
I’ve always viewed business and finance as serious, boring topics completely inaccessible to me. But, in the last few months, I’ve been making the effort to be more financially savvy - budgeting, spending intentionally, and saving more.
With running a business and freelancing, it became clear to me how clueless I was about so many things money and business related. While I get a lot of my “education” from podcasts about business and entrepreneurship, I’ve found a couple of business and money books quite helpful and easy to understand for a beginner like myself.
I stumbled upon Otegha Uwagba’s Little Black Book last year and it was such an eye-opener! She discusses everything from productivity to getting paid what you deserve and even has comments from working women and entrepreneurs including Chimamanda Adichie. Another great starter, if you’re new to the world of finance, is Chelsea Fagan’s The Financial Diet which I started reading this month.
3. The Literary Memoir:
I’m not even entirely sure what the term “literary” means, but I guess the genre would be perfect for anyone open to a more “serious” piece of non-fiction. Most likely non-fiction not by a celebrity, but by someone identified first as a writer, before a celebrity.
My favorite memoir this year, and really the only one that comes to mind for this category is a moving book, All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung. Nicole Chung is a Korean-American, put up for adoption by her Korean parents after being born prematurely. She was then adopted by a white American family. Her memoir follows her journey to find her birth parents and biological siblings.
I highly recommend this one, because it really portrays adoption, especially transracial adoption in a new light and creates a lot of important conversations about the topic.
4. Self Improvement:
The classic “self-help” genre has many redeeming books, even if you’re not particularly a fan. If you are a fan of the genre, you’ll enjoy both of these recommendations.
My first recommendation is the author and social researcher Brene Brown. I’ve read all but two of her books. Her work focuses on dealing with shame and embracing vulnerability in our lives and all her books feature example scenarios from her life to help you understand and apply her advice. She also has the research the back up her claims. My personal favorites are Rising Strong (really good after the first two chapters of science-y stuff) and The Gifts of Imperfection.
Most recently, I’ve discovered Gretchen Rubin and am loving her writing! I’ve been reading her book, The Happiness Project, based on Rubin’s year-long project to increase her happiness levels by changing things in her work life, family life and all-around. I find her writing enjoyable and you may find some practical advice to improve your happiness levels.
5. Personality Nerds:
Do you care much about whether you’re an introvert or extrovert? Do you know your Myers-Briggs Personality type? What do you know about the Enneagram? I love personality tests and I’m always happy to do a new BuzzFeed quiz!
Still, I understand why some people may be afraid to label themselves or put themselves in a box marked “INTROVERT” or “EXTROVERT.” For me, it helps me understand my actions better and find ways to harness personality strengths.
I enjoyed reading Anne Bogel’s Reading People . She basically breaks down ALL the personality tests, while sharing her own story about learning her personality type and how it changed her. Knowing her personality and her husband’s also changed their marriage and relationship for the better! After reading this one, you’ll be off to do allll the tests!
Ah, the power of a good laugh. Maybe you’re not interested in self-improvement and you’re already a business and finance guru, and you just want a good laugh. I’ve got you covered.
Earlier this year, I interviewed the author of +234 - An Awkward Guide To Being Nigerian, Atoke on Book'd, and I remember laughing so hard at her responses, that I decided I had to read her book! In her book, Atoke discusses Nigerian quirks with a dash of humor!
If you have Kindle Unlimited, you can actually read her book for free!
There you have it, six kinds of non-fiction books for every reader! Whether you’re a sucker for those celebrity memoirs, looking for your next literary memoir, trying to be better emotionally and all-around, trying to improve your business and finance skills or just looking for a good laugh, you’re covered!
This is far from all the kinds of non-fiction books and I’d love to hear some of your favorites, whether in these categories or not! So tell me in the comments!