Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. And sometimes the very best stories are true.
There may be nothing nicer than getting lost in the throes of a great novel, but lately we’ve noticed a pretty equal number of non-fiction books sneaking into our library. In fact, we’re falling a little in love with, well, facts.
The great thing about the recent crop of non-fiction is the stories are told with the same beauty and attention to detail that fiction usually receives. Here are some literary pairings to inspire the reading of books we wouldn’t want you to miss:
If you loved We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, the Man Booker shortlisted story of an unlikely pairing of a chimp and a child, try Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight or Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, Alexandra Fuller’s memoirs of growing up wild and wonderful in South Africa.
If you loved We Were Liars, a truly excellent Young Adult book everyone should read, try The Liar’s Club, 1185 Park Avenue, A Memoir or Oh The Glory of it All for other stories of seemingly gilded lives.
If you liked Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, try Truman Capote’s masterpiece In Cold Blood or Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me for a similar sense of dislocation and uncertainty about who really dunnit.
If you loved any of the 50 Shades of Grey, then The Sexual Life of Catherine M may appeal to you – a memoir of a woman who lives for sexual intrigue. Or, you may like A Round-heeled Woman, the true story of a woman of some advanced years who decided it’s never too late to be a “bad” girl.
If you liked Lovers and the Chameleon Club or The Paris Wife, give the Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas a try. Actually written by Gertrude Stein, it’s the insider’s inside look at creativity, talent and the foibles of the Paris moderns, those gifted few who created culture – including Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Matisse and more.
If you loved The Regeneration trilogy, or the poignant and excellent Birdsong, then try Goodbye to All That, Robert Graves’ superb account of his life from his childhood and desperately unhappy school days at Charterhouse, to his time serving as a young officer in the First World War that was to haunt him throughout his life.
These are just a few recommendations, but each offers a story well told. True.