Doomy Gloomy Non-fiction

My colleague teases me about my liking for books about disasters, terrorism, wars and various other horrors. But the National Book Critics Circle Award feeds my habit … The National Book Critics Circle consists of nearly 700 active book reviewers, and their annual literary prizes have some brilliant non-fiction of a doomy nature.

Heart like waterThis year’s finalists have just been announced and they include:

Winners in past years have included the following essentials if you like your non-fiction emotionally weighty:

Two other books I recommend if you want to read something sad and well written: Five minutes past midnight in Bhopal is the story of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal in 1984 when a cloud of toxic gas escaped from the American pesticide plant and killed16,000-30,000 and injuring half a million people. This book explores the processes that lead to this industrial disaster and human tragedy.

A time to dieHeroic behaviour saves books like these from being utterly depressing, and the story of the Kursk disaster A Time to die: the Kursk disaster certainly demonstrates bravery and the triumph of the human spirit.  In 2000, one of the largest and most technologically advanced nuclear subs in the world, carrying a crew of 118 Russian sailors, crashed to the ocean floor in the Barents Sea.

One thought on “Doomy Gloomy Non-fiction

  1. mingle 26 January 2008 / 11:34 am

    I remember reading the 1998 winner “We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families” by Philip Gourevitch and being riveted, unable to stop reading about the horror, horrified that this is real, this is the account of people’s lives, and realising that it isn’t over.

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