Tuesday, January 09, 2024

2023 Nonfiction

 When did I become such a nonfiction girl? The answer starts from decades back. In second grade and part of third grade, I was an avid reader of fairy tales. Then in third grade, the girl sitting in front of me told me about Helen Keller, and I found myself in the biography section on Library Day that week. Once I was there, I saw other names I recognized Daniel Boone! Geronimo! Florence Nightingale! Amelia Earhart! and that began my second bookish obsession. The Little House series, that beautiful and problematic bonnet string tangle of fiction and fact, was still two years in my future.

 As an adult, Tracy Kidder seems to have been the author that helped open the nonfiction door wide for me. Two years in graduate school led to reading that was almost exclusively nonfiction, and added polish and confidence to my reading self. (Surprisingly, I found myself swooning over tomes about linguistics. Steven Pinker. Sigh.) 

Age has also helped because I've acquired a good amount of background knowledge about  historical and cultural events, so everything feels connected in some way. Is schemata the word I'm looking for?

 I'm convinced that 2024 will be yet another year in which nonfiction dominates my reading.

Let me also mention the Who Was...? books, because they are very much a part of my reading list. The Spawn is always finding new books in the series for me to read. (My current one is about Salvador Dali.) The series can be uneven -- a little bit like the little girl with the curl -- some are very very good (World War I) and some are horrid, (Hello, Kitty) but I'm always eager to have a new one in my hands. I wish that those books had been around for eight and nine-year-old me.

So anyway, below is list of nonfiction read in 2023. I've noted my favorites in green.

1. The Man Who Invented Christmas

2. Who was Michelangelo?

3. Opening the Road: Victor Hugo Green and His Green Book

4. Who is Shaquille O'Neal?

5. Starring Steven Spielberg

6. Ducks

7. Spare

8. Last Rampage

9. Hey, Kiddo

10. The Year of Less

11. Who was Alex Trebek?

12. Who was Maria Tallchief?

13. The Rainbow Comes and Goes

14. Who is LeBron James?

15. What is the Story of Nancy Drew?

16. Forget the Alamo

17. Ice Cream Man

18. Library Girl

19. A Perfect Fit

20. Blast Off!

21. The Brilliant Calculator

22. What was The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921?

23. Happening

24. All You Can Ever Know

25. Shy

26. What is the Story of Anne of Green Gables?

27. What was World War I?

28. Who was Frank Sinatra?

29. Who was Jim Thorpe?

30. Scrappy Little Nobody

31. Sharp

32. Napoleon vs. The Bunnies

33. Jerry Changed the Game!

34. Who is Simone Biles?

35. Who is Nathan Chen?

36. The Wager

37. Good Books for Bad Children

38. What is the Story of the Headless Horseman?

39. Five Days at Memorial

40. Who is Harry Styles?

41. What Do We Know About the Winchester House?

42. Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy

43. Who was Betty White?

44. You Could Make This Place Beautiful

45. What Do We Know About the Children's Blizzard of 1888?

46. Hollywood: The Oral History

47. Madly, Deeply

48. Abridged Classics

49. How to Keep House While Drowning

50. The Man Who Loved Books

51. Ambition and Desire: The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte

52. What was The Donner Party?

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