Your Own Favorite Nonfiction Books
I hereby open this blog to a discussion of Your Own Favorite Nonfiction Books of this past year. You are free to roam down to concept books — Betty has often spoken eloquently about the greatness of Byron Barton’s My Car, stray over to pop-ups, range through middle grade, up to YA. I suppose, in honor of the Alex and BBYA, I would even say you can include adult books that you think have a special reason to be included in this list. And as a subset, yes, historical fiction is allowable — and, if you have seen the Lucy and Steven Hawking book, George’s Secret Key to the Universe, you might call that science fiction, but not in the space opera sense, more fiction than includes real science, the way historical fiction is (often) fiction meant to recount real history. Same with any book that is, in a way, about math, but includes fictional elements.
I only ask one thing – since we are overcoming resistance to NF, and since, I hope, some of those fiction readers may stray over here to eavesdrop on us, please take a moment to talk about what makes the fave (or faves) you have selected special. Book talk the selections — give us a great quotation, describe some terrific art, wax eloquent about an appealing use of design — help us to envision what is so exceptional about this book.
I like the idea of making this an annual selection, just like the ones over at CCBC and elsewhere. To add a twist to our discussion, some of the most interesting NF I saw this year were a series of books I looked at in France this summer — books that opened up philosophical questions — what is freedom, what is liberty, what is equality — to primary school readers. I loved how the books stayed close to the intended reader, yet stretched the reader’s mind, pushed the reader, invited the reader to question, compare, contrast ideas. So range as widely as you want, and — to follow yet another suggestion of Jeannine’s feel free to gush.