I have to say, being unplugged from blogging is both liberating and depressing. I love having time to read and hang out and not worry about the blog, but I also miss writing about books and keeping in touch with all of you.
I’m not quite back from being unplugged just yet — my plan is to “officially” be back on Sunday — but got inspired for a short post thanks to a Twitter conversation this morning about The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman.
Both Care (Care’s Online Book Club) and Jeanne (Necromancy Never Pays) said The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down was a book they wanted to read because I’ve been so enthusiastic about it. Enthusiastic is probably a nice way of putting it — it’s a narrative nonfiction book that I’m a little bit evangelical about.
See, nonfiction can be very topic focused, which means a particular book could be well-written and interesting and engaging, but not work for someone because the topic is so far off their radar. I’m a reader that loves learning about a huge variety of things, but not everyone is like that.
When I read and recommend nonfiction, I always try to think about the topical-ness of the book — whether I think the book is so good anyone could enjoy it or whether it’s better for an audience already interested in that topic.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down squarely falls into the “anyone could enjoy it” category. It’s one of those universally awesome books that has become my default nonfiction recommendation for people who are nervous or skeptical about reading nonfiction. I think it is that awesome. In fact, if I had to pick just one book that I would want everyone to read (or just try to read), then this would be the book.
Which brings me to my question: What is one book (of any genre) that you wish everyone would read?