By VolunTeen

This blog post was created by EVPL McCollough VolunTeen Caroline H.


Have you always struggled to read anything that wasn’t fiction? Does it always feel like a boring chore reserved for school projects? I know I’ve felt that way. For years, I refused to touch any nonfiction book that the people in my life recommended. They were too boring, too bland, and they could never live up to the fantasy novels that I loved so much. Recently, my perspective has changed. I was introduced to a world of nonfiction books that were so interesting, I couldn’t put them down. It was like fantasy, but with the understanding that all of this was real. 

Since then, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for nonfiction books. They can transfer you around the world, to different points in history, and help you gain an understanding of people who are different from you. Nonfiction is a tool to broaden horizons, break borders, and make us grow, even if it’s uncomfortable. For that reason, here are nine books available at the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library that are as true as they are interesting and can provide a gateway into an otherwise daunting genre.

Nonfiction Titles

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

A fascinating, easy-to-read history that spans everything from the Big Bang to the human takeover of Earth. 

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

A revolutionary retelling of the destruction of Native American life in the West, from the perspective of the natives. 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The biography of one woman’s remarkable “immortal” cells, and the scientific breakthroughs and fallout from it.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

A harrowing retelling of a tragedy on Mount Everest, written by the climber who witnessed it first-hand.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

In comic form, Marjane Satrapi retells her early life growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution and war in Iraq. 

Night by Elie Wiesel

The short, yet emotional autobiography of Elie Wiesel’s experience as a teenage Holocaust survivor. 

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

In a memoir about his life growing up mixed race in South Africa’s apartheid, Trevor Noah describes both his childhood struggles and triumphs, all in a witty, honest, and unforgettable book. 

Alive: The Story of Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Reed

The heart-wrenching story of a team of rugby players, stranded in the Andes Mountains and fighting for their lives in an unforgivable landscape. 

Maus by Art Spiegelman

A graphic novel from the perspective of the son of a Holocaust survivor, who doesn’t shy away from sharing the horrors of his life in Nazi Germany.



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