ALA — Great Nonfiction Read-Alikes

The Great Nonfiction Read-Alike

If you like this, you’ll LOVE that!

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Alene E. Moroni

Manager, Selection and Order, King County Library System

“Historical true crime: be glad you weren’t there.”

Touchstone Books:

  • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson, Knopf, 2004, 9780375725609
  • In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences by Truman Capote, Knopf, 1994, 9780679745587

Frontlist Read-Alikes:

  • Black Fire: The True Story of the Original Tom Sawyer – and of the Mysterious Fires That Baptized Gold Rush-Era San Francisco – Robert Graysmith (2012) Crown, 978-0307720566
  • Cemetery John: The Undiscovered Mastermind Behind the Lindbergh Kidnapping – Robert Zorn (2012) Overlook, 978-1590208564
  • Desert Reckoning: A Town Sheriff, a Mojave Hermit, and the Biggest Manhunt in Modern California History – Deanne Stillman (2012) Nation Books, 978-1568586083
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President – Candice Millard (2011) Doubleday, 978-0385526265
  • The Fall of the House of Walworth: A Tale of Madness and Murder in Gilded Age America – Geoffrey O’Brien (2011) Henry Holt, 978-0312577148
  • Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender – Steve Miller (2011) Berkley, 978-0425240342
  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin – Erik Larson (2011) Crown, 978-0307408846
  • LA ’56: A Devil in the City of Angels – Joel Engel (2012) Thomas Dunne, 978-0312591946
  • Life After Murder: Five Men in Search of Redemption – Nancy Mullane (2012) PublicAffairs, 978-1610390293
  • The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Impostor – Mark Seal (2011) Viking, 978-0670022748
  • Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China – Paul French (2012) Penguin, 978-0143121008
  • The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars – Paul Collins (2012) Broadway, 978-0307592217
  • People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo – and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up – Richard Lloyd Parry (2012) FSG 978-0374230593
  • The Savage City: Race, Murder and a Generation on the Edge – T. J. English (2011) William Morrow 978-0061824555
  • Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy – Paul Thomas Murphy (2012) Pegasus 978-1605983547
  • Slaughter on a Snowy Morn: A Tale of Murder, Corruption and the Death Penalty Case that Shocked America (2012) Icon Books 978-1848312166

Backlist Read-Alikes:

  • American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, and the Birth of Hollywood and the Crime of the Century – Howard Blum (2008) Crown, 978-0307346940
  • The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe and the Invention of Murder – Daniel Stashower (2006) Dutton, 978052594981
  • Death at the Priory: Sex, Love and Murder in Victorian England – James Ruddick (2002) Grove, 9780802139740
  • For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb and the Murder that Shocked Chicago – Simon Baatz (2008) Harper, 9780060781002
  • The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science – Douglas Starr (2010) Knopf, 9780307279088
  • The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Hans van Meegeren – Jonathan Lopez (2008) Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780151013411
  • The Murder of Helen Jewett: The Life and Death of a Prostitute in Nineteenth-Century New York (1999) Vintage, 9780679740759
  • The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief – Ben MacIntyre (1998) Broadway, 9780307886460
  • Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed – Patricia Cornwell (2002) Little, Brown, 9780399149325
  • Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art – Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujood  (2009) Penguin, 9781594202206
  • Rothstein: The Life, Times & Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series – David Piegrusza (2003) Carroll & Graf, 9780786712503
  • Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys and the Battle for America’s Soul – Karen Abbott (2007) Random House, 9780812975994
  • Strange Piece of Paradise: A Return to the American West to Investigate My Attempted Murder – and Solve the Riddle of Myself – Terri Jentz (2007) Picador, 9780312426699
  • The Wrong Man: The Final Verdict in the Dr. Sam Sheppard Murder Case – James Neff (2001) Random House, 9780679457190

Anna Mickelsen

Reference Librarian, Springfield City Library

“Sports books – If you don’t have a colon in the title you’re doing it wrong!”

Touchstone Books:

  • Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger, Da Capo Press, 1990, 9780306814259
  • Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, W.W. Norton, 2003*, 9780393057652

Frontlist Read-Alikes:

  • Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2’s Deadliest Day by Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan, W.W. Norton, June 2012, 9780393079883
  • The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation by Elizabeth Letts, Ballantine, 2011*, 9780345521088
  • Illegal Procedure: A Sports Agent Comes Clean on The Dirty Business of College Football by Josh Luchs and James Dale, Bloomsbury, Mar 2012*, 9781608197200
  • Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports are Played and Games are Won by Tobias Moskowitz and Jon Wertheim, Crown Archetype, 2011*, 9780307591791
  • Muck City: Winning and Losing in America’s Last Football Town by Bryan Mealer, Random House, Oct 2012, 9780307888624
  • One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season by Chris Ballard, Hyperion, May 2012, 9781401324384
  • Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey–and Even Iraq–Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski, Nation Books, May 2012 (Revised and Expanded Edition)*, 9781568587011
  • Swim: Why We Love the Water by Lynn Sherr, PublicAffairs, April 2012, 9781610390460
  • Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales, Little, Brown, 2011*, 9780316043007
  • You Let Some Girl Beat You?: The Story of Ann Meyers Drysdale by Ann Meyers Drysdale with Jodi Ravenna, Behler Publications, May 2012, 9781933016788

Backlist Read-Alikes:

  • Ball Four: The Final Pitch by Jim Bouton, Bulldog Publishing, 2000 (includes 1970 original and subsequent updates)*, 9780970911704
  • Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink by David Margolick, Knopf, 2005, 9780375726194
  • Counting Coup: A True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn by Larry Colton, Warner Books, 2000, 9780446677554
  • Fall River Dreams: A Team’s Quest for Glory, a Town’s Search for its Soul by Bill Reynolds, St. Martin’s, 1994, 9780312134914
  • Ice Time: A Tale of Fathers, Sons, and Hometown Heroes by Jay Atkinson, Crown, 2001, 9780609809945
  • In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle by Madeleine Blais, Warner, 1996, 9780446672108
  • Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association by Terry Pluto, Simon & Schuster, 1990/2007 (updated introduction), 9781416540618
  • A Season on the Brink: A Year with Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers by John Feinstein, Simon & Schuster, 2011 (25th anniversary ed.), 9781451650259
  • The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America by Joe Posnanski, HarperCollins, 2007, 9780060854034
  • Tales from Q School: Inside Golf’s Fifth Major by John Feinstein, Little, Brown, 2007*, 9780316014304

Notable Ebook Read-Alikes:

  • After Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger, Byliner, April 2012
  • Marathon Crasher: The Life and Times of Merry Lepper, the First American Woman to Run a Marathon by David Davis, Macmillan, June 2012

*Audio version available

Stephanie Chase

Systemwide and Virtual Information Services Administrator, Multnomah County Library

“My So-Called Screwed Up Life”

Touchstone Book:

  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Scribner, 2006, 9780743247542

Frontlist Read-Alikes:

  • Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel, Houghton Mifflin, May 2012, 9780618982509
  • Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner by Lily Raff McCaulou, Grand Central, June 2012, 9781455500741
  • Fiction Ruined My Family by Jeanne Durst, Riverhead, 2011, 9781594488146
  • Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats Crown, June 2012, 9780307955630
  • Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson, Amy Einhorn/Putnam, April 2012, 9780399159015
  • On the Outside Looking Indian: How My Second Childhood Changed My Life by Rupinder Gill, Riverhead, May 2012, 9781594485770
  • The Receptionist: An Education at the New Yorker by Janet Groth, Algonquin, June 2012, 9781616201319
  • Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son by Anne Lamott & Sam Lamott, Riverhead, March 2012, 9781594488412
  • Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson, Grove/Atlantic, March 2012, 9780802120106
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, Knopf, March 2012, 9780307592736

Backlist Read-Alikes:

  • All Over But the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg, Vintage, 1997, 9780679774020
  • Blankets by Craig Thompson, Top Shelf, 2003, 9781891830433
  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2006, 9780618477944
  • A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel, Crown, 2002, 9780767915052
  • Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller, Random House, 2001, 9780375758997
  • The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr, Penguin, 1995, 9780143035749
  • (also Lit: A Memoir, Harper, 2009;  9780060596989)
  • The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance by Elna Baker, Dutton, 2009, 9780525951353
  • The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway, Vintage, 1989, 9780679724360
  • Stitches: A Memoir by David Small, W.W. Norton, 2009, 9780393068573
  • Stop-Time: A Memoir by Frank Conroy, Penguin, 1967, 9780140044461
  • Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table by Ruth Reichl, Broadway, 1998, 9780767903387


Kaite Stover

Director of Readers’ Services, Kansas City Public Library

“Pop! Goes the Culture: Pasties, Stilettos, Joy Sticks, and Some Really Mag Weed, Dude”

Touchstone books:

  • Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion’s World Series of Poker by James McManus, Picador, 2004, 9780312422523
  • Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America’s Soul by Karen Abbott, Random House, 2008, 9780812975994

Frontlist Read-Alikes:

  • Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup by Mark Haskell Smith, Broadway Paperbacks, 2012, 9780307720542
  • Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto by David Kushner, Wiley, 2012, 9780470936375
  • Otaku Spaces by Patrick W. Galbraith, Chin Music Press, 2012, 9780984457656
  • Ritual America: Secret Brotherhoods and Their Influence on American Society by Adam Parfrey & Craig Heimbichner, Feral House, 2012, 9781936239146
  • Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can’t Look Away by Eric G. Wilson, FSG, 2012, 9780374105334
  • Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital by Eric Manheimer, Grand Central, 2012, 9781455503889
  • Women from the Ankle Down: The Story of Shoes and How They Define Us by Rachelle Bergstein, HarperCollins, 2012, 9780061969614
  • Summer of ’68: The Season that Changed Baseball—and America—Forever by Tim Wendel, DaCapo, 2012, 9780306820182
  • Taco: How Mexican Food Conquered America by Gustavo Arellano, Scribner, 2012, 9781439148617
  • Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes, Avery, 2012, 9781583334348
  • What Do You Want to Do Before You Die? by The Buried Life, Artisan, 2012, 9781579654764

Backlist Read-Alikes:

  • Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern by Joshua Zeitz, Broadway, 2007
  • Fried Twinkies, Buckle Bunnies, & Bull Riders: A Year Inside the Professional Bull Riders Tour by Josh Peter, Rodale, 2006
  • Hitless Wonder: A Life in Minor League Rock and Roll by Joe Oestreich, Lyons, 2012
  • Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip—Confessions of a Cynical Waiter by Steve Dublanica, Harper Perennial, 2009
  • Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangsters in the Public Library by Don Borchert, Virgin, 2007
  • Lego: A Love Story by Jonathan Bender, Wiley, 2012
  • Brothel: Mustang Ranch and Its Women by Alexa Smart, Ballantine, 2002
  • Other People’s Dirt: A Housecleaner’s Curious Adventures by Louise Rafkin, Plume, 1999.
  • The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide by Eva Talmadge, Harper Perennial, 2010

Robin Nesbitt

Customer Experience Director, Columbus Metropolitan Library

“Fun Science Reads – No, Really!”

Touchstone Book:

  • Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them by Donovan Hohn, Penguin, 2011, 9780670022199

Frontlist Read-Alikes:

  • The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks, Random House,  9780812979374, 2011
  • Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are by Katherine Sharpe, Harper,  9780062059734, June 2012
  • Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us by Joe Palca & Flora Lichtman, Wiley,  9780470638699, 2011
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do by Charles Duhigg, Random House, 9781400069286, 2012
  • Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, M.D. and Kathryn Bowers, Random House,  9780307593481, June 2012
  • Inflight Science: A Guide to the World from your Airplane Window by Brian Clegg, Icon Books, 9781848312418 2011
  • Shakespeare’s Tremor and Orwell’s Cough: The Medical Lives of Famous Writers by John J. Ross, M.D., St. Martin’s Press,  978-0-312-600761, Oct 2012
  • Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects by Amy Steward, Algonquin,  9781565129603, 2011
  • Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum, Ecco/Harper, 9780061994937, June 2012

Backlist Read-Alikes:

If you like…

  • The Social Animal, try Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton, Pantheon, 9780375420832
  • Coming of Age on Zoloft, try Healing of America by T. R. Reid, Penguin,  9781594202346
  • Annoying, try How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker, Norton, 9780393045352
  • The Power of Habit, try Made to Stick by Chip Heath, Random House, 9781400064281
  • Zoobiquity, try Winter World by Bernd Heinrich, Ecco, 9780060197445
  • Inflight Science, try To Conquer the Air by James Tobin, Free Press,  9780684856889
  • Shakespeare’s Tremor, try Math and the Mona Lisa by Bulent Atalay, Smithsonian, 9781588341716
  • Wicked Bugs, try Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart, Algonquin, 9781565126831
  • Tubes, try Fatal System Error by Joseph Menn, Public Affairs, 9781586487485
  • Moby-Duck, try Deep Blue Home by Julia Whitty, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780618119813