Beyond Bestsellers: True Stories

by Brian

For the month of August, the Beyond Bestsellers theme is true stories! If you are just joining us, read this post to learn details about participating. Beyond Bestsellers is a new reading challenge where we will be reading books from different themes each month. Participants can engage by creating lists in the new catalog and/or offering reading suggestions in the comments.

Who doesn’t like a true story?  The story may be one that you can relate to in your everyday life, about something you’ve experienced in a similar way. Or, the story may be so beyond belief you must read on to know all the details and circumstances that could have brought about such an incredible event. Either way, there is a draw to reading true stories.

True stories cover the gamut from family humor to adventurous outdoor sports. Some of the best true stories come from travel and journeys. When people connect, stories abound.

Try this quiz to see what type of true story you might be drawn to.



This month, read a true story. Suggest your favorite true story titles to community reading program participants. Create a list with your favorite types of true stories and have it featured in an upcoming Beyond Bestsellers blog post.

During the month of August we will have unlimited access to the ebook My Family and other Animals and the eaudiobook A Long Way Home. You can check out these books through OverDrive with no holds queue at anytime during the month of August! For additional titles available in other formats, you can also check out this list of true story titles.

I will check in again on Aug. 15 to see how it is going and what true story everyone is reading. Keep us updated in the comments and start creating those lists in the new catalog!

Don’t forget to:

  • Include Beyond Bestsellers in your list title
  • Like your favorite lists
  • Find more true story titles to add your For Later reading shelf

Tags: , ,


7 responses to “Beyond Bestsellers: True Stories”

  1. Erin says:

    I read “A Long Way Home” and loved it. Would recommend it to anyone who loved the movie “Lion”. I’m now reading “Hidden Figures” and love it too. Much more fact based than the movie with a great historical perspective from way before the movie starts. I think both the movie and the book are great ways to learn this important part of history. The book for the emotional impact and the characters and the book for the details and basic facts.

    • Brian Haight says:

      Erin, I was inspired to read “A Long Way Home” after seeing the movie Lion. I agree reading the book added to my enthusiasm for this incredible story. I liked reading about Saroo retracing his the fateful train trip as an adult and learning a bit more about his biological family in India. I’ve “Hidden Figures” on hold.

    • Erin says:

      I meant above “the movie for emotional impact and characters”.

  2. Lindsey says:

    For this month’s challenge I read “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex” by Nathaniel Philbrick. It’s about a Nantucket whaleship in the early 19th century that was sunk by a sperm whale, and the survival of the remaining crew. I had just watched the 2015 movie and wanted to know more. This book is pure narrative nonfiction. I read it in three days and I had a hard time putting it down. Philbrick writes in a gripping literary style that puts you right in the center of the action. He relies on a lot of firsthand accounts from sailors who worked on 19th century whaleships, but he also knows how to tell a good story. I learned a lot about the history of Nantucket, the mechanics of whaling and oil production, and the physical effects of starvation. None of this factual information detracted from the narrative. I highly recommend it!

    • Erin says:

      If you’ve never been to Nantucket I would recommend it. The history is literally right there in the streets (with flag stones used as ballast for incoming ships and then used to pave the streets). Also, the whaling museum would tie in with your book suggestion.

      • Lindsey says:

        I’ve never been to Nantucket, no! I remember visiting New England when I was sixteen but I wasn’t very invested in the maritime history then, and now I’m dying to go back. Thanks for that tip about the flag stones – that’s incredible!

  3. Debbie says:

    I just finished a book called We Crossed A Bridge and It Trembled: Voices From Syria by Wendy Pearlman. The author carefully collected first-hand testimonials from those impacted by the turmoil in Syria. Each voice is unique and, at times, heartbreaking. No matter where a person’s political viewpoints lie, it would be very difficult to read these raw stories and not be moved with compassion and even desperation for their plight. Wendy spent much of her adult life studying Arabic, so was able to comprehend the nuances of the language and needed no interpreter. She also lived for years among the Syrian people to gain an understanding of their history and culture. This book is a must-read for anyone with even a hint of curiosity regarding the problems Syrians face and their hope for a better tomorrow.

Leave a reply (comments are moderated before posting)