One of these could be yours! We're giving away a mug each week to a commenter.
One of these could be yours! We’re giving away a mug each week to a commenter.

Each Tuesday we’re posting a new entry in our Online Book Club to share with you what you’re reading. Join in with the conversation! We’re focusing on a specific genre each week. Leave us a comment about what you’re reading or what you think about the genre, and you could win one of these super-cute reading-themed coffee mugs. We’ll pick a winner each week from the comments below.

If you’re a reader, don’t miss out on winning one of the great prizes at the end of the summer: we’re giving away a Kindle (courtesy of the family of the late Mrs. Bernice B. Franklin, a library trustee and long-time library supporter) to one lucky book reviewer, and the library system is also giving away an iPad (courtesy of the generous folks at Cobb EMC). All you have to do to enter to win the drawings is write a review. Get started today!*

Today we’re reading books in the Narrative Nonfiction genre, and today’s post is brought to us by Dorothy, a Reference Librarian at the Central Library.


Genre: Narrative Nonfiction (or Creative Nonfiction)

What is Narrative Nonfiction? Reads like a novel but this style of writing is based on actual people and events.

What do you like about this genre? For me it’s all about the storytelling. These are not dry, dusty textbooks. The plots are intriguing, the characters are memorable and there is dramatic tension.

What was your favorite book when you were young?  I discovered “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote as a teenager. It is still the scariest book I’ve ever read.

What was the most recent book you enjoyed?  “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson

Name one of your favorite books. I guarantee you will cry at least once before you finish the story of Louis Zamperini’s inspiring life in “Unbroken: a World War II story of survival, resilience and redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand.

Other books in this genre:

Behind the Beautiful Forevers” by Katherine Boo. The dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities. In this fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human. Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees fortune in the recyclable garbage of richer people. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a rural childhood, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to good times. But then, as the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed.–From publisher description.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. Documents the story of how scientists took cells from an unsuspecting descendant of freed slaves and created a human cell line that has been kept alive indefinitely, enabling discoveries in such areas as cancer research, in vitro fertilization, and gene mapping.

Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer. A history of Mount Everest expedition is intertwined with the disastrous expedition the author was a part of, during which five members were killed by a hurricane-strength blizzard.

Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, longtime New Orleans residents Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun are cast into an unthinkable struggle with forces beyond wind and water. In the days after the storm, Abdulrahman traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and helping those he could. A week later, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared– arrested and accused of being an agent of al Qaeda.

Have you read these books? Do you like the Narrative Nonfiction genre? Let us know in the comments below and you could win the a library-themed coffee mug!

*Limit of 10 entries per person for the Kindle; each person will be entered to win the iPad once.

Online Book Club: Narrative Nonfiction

9 thoughts on “Online Book Club: Narrative Nonfiction

  • June 18, 2013 at 10:43 am

    These are some of my favorite Narrative Nonfiction titles —

    “The Perfect Storm” by Sebastian Junger.

    In 1991, as Halloween nears, a cold front moves south from Canada, a hurricane swirls over Bermuda, and an intense storm builds over the Great Lakes. These forces converge to create the cruelest holiday trick of all, a 100-year tempest that catches the North Atlantic fishing fleet off guard and unprotected. Readers weigh anchor with sailors struggling against the elements; they follow meteorologists, who watch helplessly as the storm builds; and, by helicopter and boat, they navigate 100-foot seas and 120-mph winds to attempt rescue against harrowing odds.

    “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt.

    Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt’s sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction.

    “Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen” by Julie Powell

    This bestselling memoir has Julie Powell, nearing thirty and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, resolveing to reclaim her life by cooking in the span of a single year, every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child’s legendaryMastering the Art of French Cooking. Her unexpected reward: not just a newfound respect for eggs and aspic, but a new life-lived with gusto.

    • June 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Thanks for your comment! You’re entered into the drawing to win one of the prizes – and don’t forget to head over to to enter your reviews for a chance to win a Kindle or perhaps even an iPad as part of our Summer Reading Program!

      • June 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm

        I’ve already won a mug so please don’t enter me again. We’ll give someone else a chance this time!

  • June 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    True crime was developed by Truman Capote (who I think is the greatest American writer). I’ve read all but two of the books mentioned above (haven’t read Boo’s or Eggers’ books) and they were great. I highly recommend them.
    Your online book club is a great idea. I hope that it catches on. I also like how the library is reaching out to patrons through the Internet. Happy Reading!

    • June 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you Kathy!! We appreciate your comments and your support of the library’s ongoing efforts to reach out to people wherever they are – even online! We hope you’ve posted your book reviews over at… and we hope you’re enjoying your “I <3 Books" mug! You'll be entered into the drawing to win another one. 🙂

      • June 25, 2013 at 2:18 pm

        I posted a comment yesterday and don’t see it here.

        • June 26, 2013 at 9:44 am

          The comments sit in moderation until they’re approved – sorry for the delay!

  • June 24, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I read Devil in the White City and usually enjoy Narrative Nonfiction. I also enjoy comical nonfiction such as David Sedaris and Jen Lancaster.

    • June 26, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Thanks for the comment, Holly – you’ve won the mug! Please send an email to and let me know to which library location we should send it. Thank you, and congratulations!

Comments are closed.