Category Archives: Nonfiction

Consider the Lobster

David Foster Wallace has been on my list for a long time, but to be perfectly honest, I’ve been a bit skeptical about reading him. He’s one of those Gen-X white-dude heroes, and in my experience they have a tendency … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 12 Comments

The Unspeakable

In the introduction to this essay collection, Meghan Daum writes that our societal discourse is “largely rooted in platitudes” and that her goal in the book was to get beyond the platitudes to discuss “the unspeakable thought many of us … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Short Stories/Essays | 12 Comments

A Small Place

Jamaica Kincaid’s short book (long essay?) A Small Place is about the ravages of colonialism on the small island of Antigua. It’s about perception versus reality, and the importance of opening the privileged eyes of those who might never have … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 6 Comments

The Darkest Jungle

In Todd Balf’s book The Darkest Jungle, he explains that by 1854, after the spectacular and expensive failure of the Franklin expedition, the search for the Northwest Passage was sliding off the front pages. The new great hope was Panama. … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, History, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 4 Comments

Iphigenia in Forest Hills

When I began reading Janet Malcolm’s book about the murder trial of Mazoltuv Borukhova, accused of hiring a man to kill her ex-husband Daniel Malakov, I don’t think I had any particular leaning regarding her guilt or innocence. The fact … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 2 Comments

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography

The well-known and much-beloved Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder began their life as a single-volume autobiography. In the process of seeking a publisher for the autobiography, Wilder’s daughter, the writer Rose Wilder Lane, realized that parts of it … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir, Nonfiction | 13 Comments

Suffragette: My Own Story

Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903. The group had a single focus: Votes for Women. And they were willing to do whatever they had to to get that vote. They spoke up against those who … Continue reading

Posted in History, Memoir, Nonfiction | 14 Comments

The Opposite of Spoiled

There are a lot of decisions to make when you’re raising a kid. Everyone knows about the ones that have been magnified into giant issues (cloth diapering! babywearing!) but it’s the day-to-day decisions that can wear you down: no, you … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction | 10 Comments

My Own Country

Born in Ethiopia to Indian parents, Abraham Verghese decided, after finishing his medical training, to settle in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he had been a resident a few years earlier. It was the mid-1980s, and Johnson City was seeing an … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction | 8 Comments

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

“What sorts of things do you read?” people ask me, when they find out that reading is almost my only hobby. “Almost anything,” I tell them. “All sorts. Horror, romance, literary fiction, mysteries, religion, biography, history, psychology, science writing. Well … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Religion | 15 Comments