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Saturday, February 24, 2024

5 Nonfiction Books to Read This Fall

I learned to read when I was four, and I have not stopped reading since. Anyone who knows me knows that I always carry a book. Whether it be a book on spirituality, psychology, or the new popular psychological thriller, I am always reading. Sometimes more books than I can actually handle. 

So allow me to recommend some non-fiction books that I believe you will enjoy. These are the perfect companion to the chilly fall weather and a warm cup of joe. 

“Talking to Strangers” by Malcolm Gladwell

I first read a Malcolm Gladwell book when I was in high school, and now I own his whole collection. And it is hard not to be a devoted fan. He writes about such interesting and complex psychological concepts in such a fun and entertaining way; you will be surprised about how much you have learned with every passing chapter. 

His newest book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t know, does not disappoint. In this book, Gladwell analyzes the errors many of us make when we interact with those we do not know. He weaves in and out between important pieces of research on the subject and historical examples that emphasize the concepts studied. And it is a lot of fun to read. 

You will catch yourself wondering about what you truly know about someone next time you engage in a small-talk conversation. 

“Blue like Jazz” by Donald Miller

This is one of those books that I did not want to end. Written in what felt like a letter to a friend, this collection of personal essays and reflections answers questions about God and spirituality that you were not even aware you had. 

It introduces you to fun people that teach you what true Christian spirituality should look like. By being such a personal book, you will not want to reject the invitation for reflection that Donald Miller makes you. 

It’s fun; it’s sweet; it’s theologically sound. It is not an accusatory sermon, but rather a telescope into the fun interstellar mind of its writer. 

“Hillbilly Elegy” by J. D. Vance

You might have already seen the trailer for Netflix’s upcoming Oscar-bait adaptation of this heartfelt memoir. But before the movie is released, I encourage you to read the book. 

Written by J. D. Vance on a personal account of his life, this exquisite memoir explores the societal and economical issues that surround many individuals who grow up in the hillbilly culture. His narration highlights the troubled ways of thinking that contribute to the growing problems. And by being told through experiences Vance lived with his family and friends, the emotional weight of his words leave a heavy print on the reader’s mind. 

Your heart will break, and you will cheer, and you will understand more about this culture, all while anticipating the film with even more excitement. 

“The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile 

Few books have made me feel understood as this one. This Enneagram book of self-discovery is an eye-opening journey that will make you realize a lot about yourself. As weird as it sounds, the book kind of reads you. It unearths a lot of your fears, motivations, and deep desires. 

And since every chapter analyzes a different personality type, you will better understand those around you as well. But prepare yourself, for you might discover some ugly truths you had not faced. 

Ian Morgan Cron’s deep vulnerability also adds to the sentiment of the book. You feel accompanied by him and Stabile as you turn the pages of the book. Remember that you cannot grow unless you truly know yourself. So I ask, are you ready to dive in?

“Into the Wild” by John Krakauer 

There is a reason this book has been so wildly popular for such a long time. 

Written by Jon Krakauer, this heavily-researched book retraces the last couple years of young explorer Christopher McCandles’ life before his untimely death in the Alaskan wilderness. Through pages of McCandles’ personal journal and eyewitness accounts of different people, Krakauer pieces together a dignified and lively story without many open questions. And be prepared to critically think, for it’s deep philosophical inquiries are sure to leave you with a lot to ponder. 

But by being such a haunting tale, it is important that one is emotionally ready to read it, for it is sure to break your heart in more places than one.



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