Nonfiction November: Diversity and Nonfiction

Nonfiction November 2014

For week three of Nonfiction November, this week’s host Rebecca (I’m Lost In Books) suggested we look at a topic that is getting a lot of attention in the literary world, diversity. Rebecca asks:

Diversity and Nonfiction: What does “diversity” in books mean to you? Does it refer to a book’s location or subject matter? Or is it the author’s nationality or background? What countries/cultures do you tend to enjoy or read about most in your nonfiction? What countries/cultures would you like nonfiction recommendations for? What kind of books besides different countries/cultures do you think of as books of diversity?

What immediately comes to mind when I think about diversity in nonfiction is all of the things Rebecca mentioned – the setting, the subject matter, the author’s experience.  I tend to think of it as a reading experience that broadens one’s horizons and understanding of something (a country, a subject matter) that one may not have considered before or gained an appreciation for.

I thought that I would share some books I’ve read that I would consider to meet the diversity in nonfiction criteria. In looking through them, there are quite a few of the same themes. Women’s issues. AIDS. Food. Parenting. Special Needs. Politics.  (I could probably do well to expand my horizons (there I go, practicing what I preach) on the fiction front, too, but that’s a different post.)

That said, a few “diverse nonfiction” books that might be worth adding to your TBR list, if you haven’t read them already (links take you to my reviews):

And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, by Randy Shilts

Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife, by Francine Prose 

Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard, by Liz Murray

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot 

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One thought on “Nonfiction November: Diversity and Nonfiction

  1. Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a great recommendation for this topic, both because it’s a great book and because of the way Skloot writes about the treatment of the Lacks family. It’s incredible and sad that their experience with the medical establishment could be so bad and so different from the experience that most white Americans (or maybe just middle class Americans) have had.

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