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Captivating Nonfiction

March 20, 2023

Let me be clear: it takes a lot for me to pick up a nonfiction title. It's not that I don't like nonfiction. I love a good collection of humor essays and I am constantly looking for new poetry to devour. But when it comes to traditional nonfiction, I need something that grabs me, whether it be the topic or the writing itself. These are just a few of my recent reads that have grabbed on tight and won't let go.

Women and Other Monsters by Jess Zimmerman

I read this book and immediately bought it. Zimmerman's work is delicious: it's both deeply personal and yet all too relatable. Each essay links a classic Greek monster to the experience of womanhood and how women are often made out to be monsters when they defy societal norms. Her work challenges me to rethink how I hold myself and dares me to be a little more monstrous. It even has me writing my own stories again, which is perhaps the greatest gift of all. It's a call-to-arms, it's a love letter, and it's a reminder - don't be afraid to bare your teeth.

A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister

I have a confession to make: I read this book twice last year. I never do that. Ever. So you know this book is worth it. Kate Lister is so much fun, and it shines through in her work. The book is thoughtful, engaging, and downright interesting. I'm a big fan of anatomy/medical histories in general, so this scratches the metaphorical itch for me in the best way possible. I'm partial to the chapter on "gland larceny" but really the whole book is a joy. You'll walk away tickled, amazed, and chock full of excellent tidbits.

Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make - and Keep - Friends by Marisa G. Franco, PhD

I'm only halfway through this book at the moment, but I know this is going to stick with me for a long time. Dr. Franco explores the importance of friendship and how difficult it can be to make friends as an adult. Whether it's the reminder that friendship does require effort or the comment on how platonic relationships have depreciated over time, I know that I am going to keep bringing up this book whenever I can. Sorry in advance, folks. The writing is conversational, but matter-of-fact, and I can't wait to see how it ends.

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Emily is the Branch Services Specialist at the Main Library. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and playing with her dog, Fern.