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Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should Read

There are countless Narrative Nonfiction courses, tutorials, articles available online, but for some, having a book is still a necessity to learn. This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction–from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between (2012)

 Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should ReadFrom “the godfather behind creative nonfiction” (Vanity Fair) comes this indispensable how-to for nonfiction writers of all levels and genres, “reminiscent of Stephen King’s fiction handbook On Writing” (Kirkus). Whether you’re writing a rags-to-riches tell-all memoir or literary journalism, telling true stories well is hard work. In You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, Lee Gutkind, the go-to expert for all things creative nonfiction, offers his unvarnished wisdom to help you craft the best writing possible. Frank, to-the-point, and always entertaining, Gutkind describes and illustrates every aspect of the genre. Invaluable tools and exercises…
Author(s): Lee Gutkind

2. Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing) (2012)

 Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should ReadFrom the work of the New Journalists in the 1960s, to the New Yorker essays of John McPhee, Susan Orlean, Atul Gawande, and a host of others, to blockbuster book-length narratives such as Mary Roach’s Stiff or Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City, narrative nonfiction has come into its own. Yet writers looking for guidance on reporting and writing true stories have had few places to turn for advice. Now in Storycraft, Jack Hart, a former managing editor of the Oregonian who guided several Pulitzer Prize–winning narratives to publication, delivers what will certainly become the definitive guide to the methods and mechanics of crafting…
Author(s): Jack Hart

3. Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University (2007)

 Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should ReadThe country’s most prominent journalists and nonfiction authors gather each year at Harvard’s Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism. Telling True Stories presents their best advice—covering everything from finding a good topic, to structuring narrative stories, to writing and selling your first book. More than fifty well-known writers offer their most powerful tips, including:• on the emotional core of the story• on writing about private lives• on the limits of profiles• on narrative writing and screenwriters• on telling the story and telling the truth• Dozens of Pulitzer…
Author(s): Mark Kramer, Wendy Call

4. For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai’s Story (Encounter: Narrative Nonfiction Picture Books) (2016)

 Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should ReadShe grew up in a world where women were supposed to be quiet. But Malala Yousafzai refused to be silent. Discover Malala’s story through this powerful narrative telling, and come to see how one brave girl named Malala changed the world….
Author(s): Rebecca Ann Langston-George, Janna Rose Bock

5. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania (2016)

 Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should ReadOn May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner,…
Author(s): Erik Larson

6. The Elements of Narrative Nonfiction: How to Write & Sell the Novel of True Events (2009)

 Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should ReadName some of the huge bestselling books over the years–“”In Cold Blood; All the President’s Men; The Perfect Storm; Black Hawk Down; Longitude; Jarhead””–and they all have one thing in common; they all read like novels. Author and agent Peter Rubie shows the reader how to join journalistic research with riveting, character-driven prose to create narrative nonfiction. This is the only book to focus on writing and marketing the narrative nonfiction “”novel.”” (An earlier version of this book was published under the title “”Telling the Story: How to Write and Sell Narrative…
Author(s): Peter Rubie

7. To Tell the Truth: Practice and Craft in Narrative Nonfiction (2008)

 Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should Read This text engages with current conversations in the popular field of creative nonfiction, which ranges across memoir and biography, the essay, and literary journalism.  Designed to meet the growing need resulting from a burgeoning interest in narrative nonfiction, To Tell the Truth emphasizes key elements common to all three major branches of the genre.   It assists creative nonfiction writers in developing a writing practice modeled to their unique needs, it addresses the practical tasks of applying elements of craft in the actual process of generating,…
Author(s): Connie D. Griffin

8. Liberating Scholarly Writing: The Power of Personal Narrative (2004)

 Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should ReadIn this provocative volume, Robert Nash argues for the validity of an exciting, alternative approach to doing scholarly writing that he calls the “scholarly personal narrative” (SPN). The result of 35 years of supervising student papers, theses, dissertations, and publications, this practical book:…
Author(s): Robert J. Nash

9. Life at the Cell and Below-Cell Level: The Hidden History of a Fundamental Revolution in Biology (2001)

 Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should ReadThe author’s biggest concern is that the association-induction (AI) hypothesis has not yet replaced the membrane-pump theory in high school and college curricula (Ling doubts cells have the energy to pump). He outlines the rise and slow fall of the membrane and membrane pump theories, and the growth of AI. Ling who has written several books published by Blaisdell, Perseus, and Krieger is an employee of the Fonar Corporation, makers of MRI devices and the parent company of Pacific Press, whose only book this is to date. The volume’s production values and editorial standards are not first rate,…
Author(s): Gilbert N. Ling

10. US: A Narrative History, Volume 2: Since 1865 (2011)

 Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should ReadFor your classes in American History, McGraw-Hill introduces the latest edition of , part of the acclaimed M Series. The M Series started with you and your students. After extensive market research to gain insight into students’ learning behavior and instructor’s desired course outcomes, we learned that students want text programs with visual appeal and content designed according to the way they learn. Instructors desire greater student involvement in the course content without compromising on high quality content.From a known and trusted author team, U*S: A…
Author(s): James West Davidson, DeLay History Professor, Brian, et al.

11. The Anatomy of Narrative: Analyzing Fiction and Creative Nonfiction (2012)

 Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should ReadBook by DEBORAH L. HALL…
Author(s): DEBORAH L. HALL

12. Hedy’s Journey: The True Story of a Hungarian Girl Fleeing the Holocaust (Encounter: Narrative Nonfiction Picture Books) (2018)

 Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should ReadIt is 1941. Hedy and her family are Jewish, and the Jew-hating Nazi party is rising. Hedy’s family is no longer safe in their home in Hungary. They decide to flee to America, but because of their circumstances, sixteen-year-old Hedy must make her way through Europe alone. Will luck be with her? Will she be brave? Join Hedy on her journey-where she encounters good fortune and misfortune, a kind helper and cruel soldiers, a reunion and a tragedy-and discover how Hedy is both lucky and brave. Hedy’s Journey adds an important voice to the canon of Holocaust stories, and her…
Author(s): Michelle Bisson, El Primo Ramon

Best Narrative Nonfiction Books You Should Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some narrative nonfiction books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Narrative Paths: African Travel in Modern Fiction and Nonfiction

Author(s): Kai Mikkonen
Publisher: Ohio State University Press, Year: 2015, Size: 5 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1624065

Storycraft : the complete guide to writing narrative nonfiction

Author(s): Jack Hart
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, Year: 2012, Size: 825 Kb, Download: epub
ID: 2335463

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Nonfiction: Essential information on researching, organizing, and writing narrative nonfiction

Author(s): Christina Boufis
Publisher: ALPHA, Year: 2012, Size: 980 Kb, Download: epub
ID: 2501872

Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction

Author(s): Jack Hart
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press, Year: 2011, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1055424

Please note that this booklist is not final. Some books are really chart-busters according to Washington Post, others are drafted by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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