The following column was written by your local bookseller Marisela Santiago, of Watchung Booksellers, at 54 Fairfield St.
I noticed recently that when folks ask for recommendations for books, one of the first questions I ask is whether they are “fiction” or “nonfiction” types. Usually people feel pretty strongly about this, and whether they admit to crossing over once in a while, they are generally pretty comfortable categorizing themselves (or the person they are buying for) as one type or the other.
I am generally in the fiction camp.
Great family sagas, grizzly mysteries, steamy historical romances – I’ll read anything. But once in a while comes that nonfiction book that reads, well, like fiction. As in, "Nope, you can’t make that stuff up!" As in, "I could not put it down!"
Okay, sometimes that elusive nonfiction page-turner is a Hollywood biography. But sometimes it’s a book full of anecdotes that makes you find a new way to relate to the world, such as "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking" by Susan Caine; or makes you laugh out loud, like "Drop Dead Healthy" by A.J. Jacobs; or reveals a fascinating scientific principle through a fabulous story, such as "The Wave" by Susan Casey.
I guess what I’m saying is next time you are considering that next great read, go on and cross over, you might be pleasantly surprised!
Here are some of Marisela Santiago's other favorite nonfiction reads:
- "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand
- "Devil in the White City" by Eric Larson
- "Freakonomics" by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
- "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed
- "Packing for Mars" by Mary Roach
- "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court" by Jeffrey Toobin
- "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief" by Lawrence Wright
Stop by Watchung Booksellers during normal business hours, Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (973) 744-7177.
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