Monday, November 16, 2015

Nonfiction November Week 3: Nontraditional Nonfiction

We’re halfway through Nonfiction November! This week our event is being hosted by Becca at I’m Lost In Books! This week our topic is Nontraditional Nonfiction!

This week we will be focusing on the nontraditional side of reading nonfiction.  Nonfiction comes in many forms  There are the traditional hardcover or paperback print books, of course, but then you also have e-books, audiobooks, illustrated and graphic nonfiction, oversized folios, miniatures, internet publishing, and enhanced books complete with artifacts. So many choices! Do you find yourself drawn to or away from nontraditional nonfiction? Do you enjoy some nontraditional formats, but not others? Perhaps you have recommendations for readers who want to dive into nontraditional formats.  We want to hear all about it this week!

I have to admit, I do so much of my reading on my iPad that I don’t even count an e-book as ‘nontraditional’! I do use the internet a LOT to learn more about what I read — Wikipedia and history websites. But I have two favorite nontraditional ways to ‘read more about it’. One of those is to watch documentaries on PBS, Netflix, Hoopla, or DVDs from the library. A few years ago, my book club chose to read A Perfect Union by Catherine Allgor, a nonfiction book about Dolly Madison. While I was excited about the book, we made the mistake of making it a selection just after the holidays, and it was a well-researched by hefty book. I just didn’t have time to read it. Luckily for me, PBS had created a documentary based on the book, and I was able to watch it and pick up enough information to participate in our discussion.

Another example is of how I used Hoopla to supplement my reading. I read The Lost Tribe of Coney Island by Claire Prentice for review. I really didn’t know much at all about Coney Island, so I decided to do some research before I read the book. I found that PBS (yay PBS!) had produced a documentary about Coney Island and that it was available on Hoopla. Now I have to stop and give a plug for Hoopla! It is like Netflix, available through your local library (if your lucky!) The collection isn’t nearly as extensive as Netflix, but it is FREE with a library card, and includes audiobook, music and ebooks!

The second nontraditional nonfiction resource I use extensively is podcasts. I LOVE podcasts for learning. They are so easy to listen to when I am driving or folding laundry. As an amateur genealogist, I have two favorite genealogy podcasts I listen to regularly; Genealogy Gems from Lisa Louise Cooke and The Genealogy Guys with George G. Martin and Drew Smith. I also have a favorite that I go to for history, Stuff You Missed In History Class with Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey. After reading I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe, I listened to their podcast about Sarah Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy. And after I read Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline, I listened to their podcast called...wait for it...Orphan Trains!

Your turn! Do you watch documentaries and/or listen to podcasts to supplement your reading? Which ones do you recommend?
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  1. Ooo, this is the first I'm hearing of Hoopla - definitely going to check it out!!

  2. I didn't even think of podcasts, Kim! Thanks for including!

  3. I'd never heard of Hoopla either. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Great idea to include podcasts, Kim! I'd like to start listening to more of them. I just recently learned about hoopla... the library I use in FL has it, and I'm hoping our local library gets it soon.

  5. You know, as much as I love audiobooks, I've never been a podcast person. Weird, huh?

    1. Ha! And I'm just the opposite. I listen to podcasts almost daily but I can't seem to stick with an audiobook.

  6. I love podcasts, Kim! Thanks so much for sharing these suggestions; I'm always looking for new ones to listen to while I'm out running. We have Hoopla through our library, as well; I keep saying I'm going to check out the selections, and I just haven't done it. Thanks for the reminder!!

  7. Ha! I don't consider e-books "nontraditional" either - because that's how I do 100% of my reading! Hoopla sounds interesting - thanks for sharing that - will need to check it out as my husband and I watch docs a fair amount!