I have become spoiled by this genre called Narrative Nonfiction, the style of writing that presents factual information in an entertaining form similar to that of a novel. Looking back, I realize that the Landmark books I loved as a child are in this genre, presenting history in a compelling manner.
Possibly my first introduction to the newer generation of NN authors, at least being aware of the genre, was “The Map That Changed the World” by Simon Winchester, followed by his pair of books on the creation of the Old English Dictionary, the eruption of Krakatau, and the San Francisco earthquake. I read “The Right Stuff” by Tom Wolfe in the 1980s and at the time thought it was a novel because it was so much fun to read.
Recently I read “Maphead” by Jeopardy whiz Ken Jennings and “Guitar — An American Life” by Tim Brookes. When I tried to follow those with a nonfiction book written in the style of a college text I had trouble with its dry tone despite it being something I want to study. I set it aside for later, not writing it off but not in the mood for it at present. I am reading a dry book about the history of the alphabet, but I am also reading the Landmark book about Paul Revere mentioned in my previous post.
Here are two articles about NN:
http://www.writersandeditors.com/narrative_nonfiction_57378.htm — On this one, check the list of outstanding books.