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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

As I’ve matured, I’ve found a new love for nonfiction books that I didn’t have as a kid. Over time, I developed a disinterest in reading fiction, and it became more enjoyable to read memoirs, essays and first-hand accounts that I could relate back to my own life.

However, I realized that I was limiting myself to so many great books, and since then, I’ve discovered some great fiction books to please nonfiction lovers like myself. Here are four recommendations if you want to get out of your comfort zone and explore some new reads

THE BREAK by Katherena Vermette

The Break follows the interconnecting stories of residents in Winnipeg’s North End and their individual perspectives when a violent crime occurs in their neighbourhood. With each chapter following the perspective of a different character, we learn about their connections to the victim and just how deep familial ties can reach. 

Despite the plot, the book is not necessarily centred on the crime itself but on how each character is impacted in one way or another. Following mothers, daughters, aunts and uncles, contrasted by police officers and social workers, Vermette stitches together their voices to uncover this tragic story and the trauma that can resonate throughout a community.


Slouching Towards Bethlehem is a collection of essays chronicling writer Joan Didion’s time in California during the late 1960s. Although not a traditional piece of either fiction or nonfiction, Didion blurs the line by combining her writing of real stories with the poetic nature of things as she sees them.

From chronicling movie stars to fatal car wrecks and drug-fueled rants, Didion recounts her experiences as a journalist with the abstract of human relationships. She discusses human vanity and morality while examining counter-culture, generational disconnect and the overall disillusion of American life. If you’re looking for a bridge between fiction and nonfiction, Slouching Towards Bethlehem is a great option.

DUBLINERS by james joyce

Dubliners is a collection of short stories from Irish novelist James Joyce, presenting intimate stories of love, family and typical middle-class life in Dublin in the early 20th century. Similar to the above recommendations, Dubliners has a diverse range of stories with no need to follow a traditional plot, which gives the book the feel of a nonfiction novel.

1984 by George Orwell

1984 is a novel by George Orwell focused on life in a future dystopian society with a totalitarian government. The narrative’s common themes consist of freedom, power and control.

The novel follows the protagonist, Winston Smith, and the chaos that ensues from human curiosity and the will to break free from the systems within the book. 1984, while fictional, contains themes that remain relevant in the world we live in and are a good option for fiction books with real-world contexts.

Saoirse McDonald-Lepur is a first-year Journalism student at Toronto Metropolitan University. Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, she moved to Toronto after studying abroad to focus on her passions in journalism. She hopes to involve herself in as many fields within journalism and beyond as she can, and continue to gain more passion and insight into the world we live in.