Armchair BEA: Non-Fiction

May 31, 2013 Uncategorized 16

Armchair BEA is a fantastic blogger event for all of us who are unlucky and missed out on BEA in NYC. If you follow me on twitter, you know I’ve been avoiding it. Too many people are having a fabulous time, and too many people are tweeting pictures of lovely ARCs. But alas! Armchair BEA was invented by some fantastic people, and has been such a blast. I’m so glad I decided to join. If you want to read my other posts, click here!

Today’s topic is non-fiction.

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge non-fiction person. In fact, apart from having to read biographies and historical books depicting a certain event for school, I don’t read it.

So why am I writing today, you may ask? I’m from the south and when the 1996 Olympics came to Atlanta, my 5 year old self could not have been more excited. I was an avid gymnast–as avid as a 5 year old can be–and was DYING to go see the US women’s gymnastics team. We lived in South Carolina at the time and ATL was only 4 hours away. So guess what, WE WENT! [insert elated 5 year old Christine here]

My two favorite gymnasts on the team were Dominique Moceanu and Dominique Dawes. The two Dominiques. Years later when Dominique Moceanu came out with her autobiography, OFF BALANCE: A MEMOIR, I just had to go read it! Even better, it was all about her days leading up to being a member of The Magnificent Seven.

I knew about the controversies and how hard it was to be the youngest member of an Olympic team. I also knew about all the drama surrounding the Karolyi’s. But hearing it coming straight from the mouth of Dominique? It literally catches you off balance. (See what I did there?). It’s raw, it’s emotional, and she leaves no detail out. Want to know how intense it is to reach your dream at such a young age? Dominique tells you straight forward here. Another interesting part of the memoir was discovering that she had another sister–who happened to be a gymnast, too–that her parents never told her about.

If you were obsessed with the ’96 Magnificent Seven, I highly suggest you read this! This is the only non-fiction book I have willingly read, and I absolutely loved it.

Do you read non-fiction? If you do, what are some of your favorites? Let me know!


16 Responses to “Armchair BEA: Non-Fiction”

  1. Sunny Duvall

    “catches you off balance” ha, I do see 😉 I’m grumbling whenever I see BEA tweets as well. I’m not a non-fiction fan, but I do love seeing inside Olympic-y things Great post!

    • Christine P

      It seems like all the BEA people decide to get on twitter at once! It’s the behind the scene stuff that is so interesting. All you see on tv is the glitz and glamour of it. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

    I do see what you did there 😉

    I could recommend nonfiction until the cows come home, it’s my favorite! Think of any subject that interests you, there’s sure to be a nonfiction way to explore that subject even more. I’m a history nut so I read quite a few historical nonfiction books.

    • Christine P


      That’s what I always forget about. That’s it’s not just biographies. I love history, too! What are you favorite time periods? Maybe I should branch out of my fiction cocoon and try something different 🙂 I’d be up for some recommendations!

    • Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

      I don’t there is a time period that I don’t like 😉 But I always enjoy reading anything about WWII. Not the battles so much as the human stories.

      There are some great nonfiction graphic novels. Persepolis and Maus are both fantastic!

    • Christine P

      I was talking about the same thing on someone else’s post. If it reads like facts or a textbook, no sir. I’m done with it!

  3. Books in the Burbs

    Loved Moceano’s memoir! I thought it was quite riveting and really detailed the sacrifices she made and the loss of not knowing about her sister, until much later in life. Great book!

    • Christine P

      You read it too? How awesome! I’m glad I’m not the only one who was dying to get an insider’s look at her life as a gymnast 🙂 I couldn’t imagine what that must have been like. I cried reading her sister’s letter and Dominique’s response after reading it!

  4. DoingDewey

    Narrative non-fiction is always a great place to start 🙂 If you like adventure stories, I’d try Mitchell Zuckoff and if you like historical fiction, I’d suggest Six Wives (about Henry the VII’s wives).

    • Christine P

      I think I would be much more inclined to read it if it told like a story. I didn’t really know such a thing existed until today haha! Thanks, Armchair BEA for exposing how sheltered I had been 🙂 Thank you for the recommendations! I do enjoy adventures, I’ll have to check out his work. Which one of his is your favorite?

    • Christine P

      Haha! It seems like it was forever ago. Which I probably shouldn’t have said either 🙂 Did you get to go? I wish I was old enough to have actually remembered the whole thing. I only can recall bits and pieces. It was very, very good! She wrote it with a lot of emotion and it reads like a novel. You feel like you are there with her. I’m honestly surprised she remembered so much from her younger years!

    • Christine P

      I feel terrible admitting that I didn’t really know that there was such a thing as narrative non-fiction. I had this preconceived notion that all non-fiction was were biographies and autobiographies that simply stated facts. I’ll have to go check that one out. I’m definitely willing to expand my horizons, now 🙂 I’ll go check out your post and see the other ones you listed! Thanks for stopping by!

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