Monday, May 17, 2010

Poll Results Are In!

Thank you to the 39 brave souls who voted in the last poll in which I asked:

It's time to read that one non-fiction book you swore to read this year. What type of non-fiction is it going to be?

From the rather anemic response (compared to most other polls), it's easy for me to picture many readers who, upon seeing the dreaded phrase "non-fiction", curled their lips in disdain and didn't bother to vote. Which is one of the reasons why I posted the question in the first place. But let's face it-- Casa Kittling isn't the place most people are going to come to in order to find the latest and greatest non-fiction tomes!

How did the votes break down? Let's take a look.

  • Tied for first place with 9 votes apiece (23%) were Memoirs and Social/Cultural History. For some reason unknown to me, I've never been overly fond of memoirs, but I certainly do enjoy well-written social history. I love learning people in other eras and cultures.
  • In second place with 8 votes (20%) was Biography. If I may be allowed to think as I type, I believe the reason why I normally choose biography over memoirs is that I find the biographer's editing preferable to the person writing his memoirs. Is that a diplomatic way of saying the biographer may give a more complete or truer portrait of the subject? Why yes, I suppose it is!
  • In third place with 4 votes (10%) was Travel/ Exploration. I have to admit that when I was composing this question, my mind was roaming through my own TBR shelves. I could think of at least 4 books on exploration that I would enjoy reading, so this was the selection that got my vote. Like social history, learning about a landscape gives me even more insight into the way people lived.
  • Tied in fourth place with 3 votes each (7%) were Art History and Did I swear that? One of my favorite classes in college was art history. I think you can tell I like art by my "The Reader's Artist" that's always on my sidebar. I love the fact that 3 people actually voiced their disbelief that they'd said they would read non-fiction!
  • Tied at the bottom with 1 vote (2%) each were Military History, Maritime History, and Natural History. I think military history has been hanging around at the back of the pack when it comes to accessibility. When I read non-fiction that's as dry as dust, chances are still very good that it's military history. There are notable exceptions to that, of course, but with so little interest shown in the topic, I'm going to leave it alone. Maritime history can be so much fun if you choose the right book. Joan Druett has written several excellent books on the subject that also have a women's history viewpoint. In addition she writes an historical mystery series that takes place at sea. So you can take your history with a bit of salt and still enjoy it! Speaking of enjoying-- it's also possible to read about the world around you and enjoy it, too.
Many of you say that you want to read out of your comfort zone a bit. Why not try non-fiction? There are plenty of book blogs out there to help you make informed choices!


  1. Hooray for non-fiction books! Here's a non-fiction book I just reviewed: MNaking a Case for Life: teaser Tuesday

  2. I read a lot of non-fiction in my twenties but somewhere in my early thirties I stopped - it was quite sudden and I always expected I'd come around to it again but it hasn't happened yet and I'm now 42 - I still buy it occasionally - especially social/cultural history - I just don't read it

  3. OK, I'll confess. I was one of the ones who said "did I really say that"? I'm not a non-fiction reader at all. I only read it rarely and usually only as a book group must-read. LOL

    Give me stories, fictional stories, every time!

  4. Interesting...I voted for Biography.

  5. I was a nerd in high school and apparently still am. I usually alternate fiction and nonfiction. I love biographies, memoirs, and American history especially.

  6. "If I may be allowed to think as I type ..."

    Permission granted. It's good to be different from many other bloggers.

  7. I think I chose memoirs because I feel like the story would flow better and keep my interest. Most biography's I've read are heavy on facts and can be a dry read and take me forever to get through. I might just have to branch out into other non-fiction though....maybe next year I should make that a non-fiction that is out of my comfort zone. hmmm...

  8. Harvee-- I'm definitely going to stop by and take a look. Thanks for the link!

    Bernadette-- I stopped for quite a while, too, and although I still read it, it's a very small fraction of what I read. Thankfully more and more non-fiction writers are learning how to tell a tale with all their facts.

    Kay-- To each his own! :)

    Cheryl-- Reading these comments and writing my post makes me want to pick up a non-fiction tome RIGHT NOW. LOL

    Barbara-- Ever read any of Sally Gunning's novels set in colonial America?

    Charlie-- Do you want a saucer for your cream? ;)

    Kris-- Like I said to Bernadette, more and more non-fiction writers are learning that, to sell their books, they need to leave the dust behind and tell an interesting story with all those facts. I for one appreciate it!


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