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December 6, 2012

Favorite Nonfiction of 2012

These are the nonfiction books I have most recommended to family and friends this year.

All links go to the authors' contributions to the Book Notes series or the book's page at Amazon. I have reposted my original review below each book.

What was your favorite nonfiction book of 2012?


Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz

Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz by Cynthia Carr

Thoroughly researched and skillfully told, Cynthia Carr's Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz is one of the year's most impressive biographies, a book that not only covers the artist's life but also the vibrant East Village art scene of the 1980s.


Love Goes To Buildings On Fire

Love Goes To Buildings On Fire by Will Hermes

In the mid-1970s, New York City was in turmoil, facing financial bankruptcy, blackouts, a recession, and rising crime, but the music scene was thriving. Love Goes To Buildings On Fire's Will Hermes captures the city's evolving music scenes of the era from hip-hop to punk, salsa to rock and roll.


A Queer and Pleasant Danger

A Queer and Pleasant Danger by Kate Bornstein

Kate Bornstein's memoir A Queer and Pleasant Danger can be loosely described by its subtitle, "The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She Is Today," but that does not do the book justice. Bornstein shares her struggles and triumphs in a conversational tone that connects directly to the reader in this brave and heartbreaking story of her life. Big issues like religion and gender are successfully explored in one of the year's most important books.


A Sense of Direction

A Sense of Direction by Gideon Lewis-Krau

Gideon Lewis-Kraus's A Sense of Direction is an always smart and often funny memoir. The book's subtitle, "Pilgrimage for the Restless and the Hopeful," serves it well, this is a book about pilgrimages physical, intellectual, and emotional.


Things That Are

Things That Are by Amy Leach

Amy Leach's Things That Are is an enchanting book, an essay collection that lyrically covers the natural world from the terrestrial to the celestial.


Wild

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Simply the year's stellar memoir, moving and skillfully told.


also at Largehearted Boy:

online "best of 2012" book lists

Largehearted Boy favorite nonfiction of 2011
Largehearted Boy favorite nonfiction of 2010
Largehearted Boy favorite nonfiction of 2009
Largehearted Boy favorite nonfiction of 2008

Largehearted Boy favorite novels of 2012
Largehearted Boy favorite short story collections of 2012

previous lists at Largehearted Boy
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
52 Books, 52 Weeks book reviews


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