There’s no other way to say it: I would not call myself a nonfiction reader. At all.
When a nonfiction book receives praise left and right, I still don’t read it. I tend to ask friends, bloggers, colleagues, and other readers what they thought of this book and what it was about, but I never actually read it myself.
Now that completely changes when it comes to something I’m passionate about. Literary parodies, facts pertaining to the making of Harry Potter (movies and books), historical references on my favorite writers and their works — yes. I’ll read those, hands down.
There are three nonfiction books this holiday season I think many readers would be interested in receiving as a gift. If you’re stuck in a rut, why not get that special someone one of these books?
Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg
From Homer to Harry, Oliver Twist to Katniss, Daisy to Buchanan to Nancy Drew, this book has it all! Watch Hamlet procrastinate, see just how twisted Lord Byron could get, experience the yellow wallpaper all over again — Texts from Jane Eyre is the perfect parody for literary folks. Like a certain Shakespeare play, Victorian poet, or famous character? He, she, or it is probably in here, and you’ll laugh right along with Ortberg’s playful handling of their personality and situation. My favorite was John Keats, my father enjoyed Oliver Twist, and my mother couldn’t stop laughing over Sherlock Holmes. My brother, who isn’t much of a reader, laughed at all the books parodied he’d read for school. Good fun for the whole family!
Harry Potter: The Creature Vault by Jody Revenson
Are you a Harry Potter fan? What about your friends and family? You’re going to want to get multiple copies of this book. It’s incredibly insightful and full of so many behind-the-scenes facts about the filming of the Potter movies. Not to mention all the stunning artwork — it was both fascinating and frightening seeing the visual conception morph from one interpretation to another, resulting in the final product. It really sheds light on just how dark the children’s series really is. All those mermaid, goblin, and dementor drawings are quite haunting. Anyone interested in design, film production, art, CG effects, and Potter in general would want this gem.
Jane Austen Cover to Cover by Margaret C. Sullivan
This isn’t just for Janeites! Jane Austen Cover to Cover is a brilliant blend of graphic design and publishing history. It’s also a neat insight to social and cultural changes. The covers that enticed readers in the 1950s are vastly different from those that entice readers today. With beautiful quotes, historical facts, and stunning cover exposures, this is a great gift for anyone interested in learning more about design and publishing. (And for those who already hoard multiple editions of books…)
Which nonfiction book are you planning to give to someone this holiday season?