Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction

cork w books

It’s the first week of Nonfiction November, and I’m really excited about joining in this event for the first time. I enjoy nonfiction but it tends to get pushed to the bottom of my to-read pile, so it’s time to pull some my nonfiction reads up to the top and dig in. I have several nonfiction books lined up to read this month which I’ll highlight at the end of this post.


This week’s discussion topic focuses on our past year of nonfiction reading.

Your Year in Nonfiction: Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

1. What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

Are you ready for a shocker? I haven’t read ANY nonfiction this year. I’ve checked out a few and skimmed through them, but I can’t say there’s anything I’ve sat down and read cover to cover. This is pretty unusual for me so I’m not sure what it says about this past year except that I have maybe needed to escape to the world of fiction a bit more than usual.

2. What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

Most of the nonfiction I’ve enjoyed have been big bestsellers (so noone really needs me to recommend them!) but Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand is one of my favorite books of all time. I also loved Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.

3. What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?

I’d like to read more history. I’ve really slacked off in this department since finishing my history degree many moons ago.

4. What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

I’m hoping to put more of a focus on nonfiction, as I’ve obviously sadly neglected my nonfiction reading this year. I have several books lined up to make up for the lack, including:

– While the Gods Were Sleeping by Elizabeth Eslin – I’m reading this one at the moment. It’s a long overdue review book, and it tells the story of an American anthroplogist living in Nepal. So far I’m enjoying it.

– Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman – I saw this one recommended on another blogger’s site and immediately requested it from the library. I’m hoping it will help me to prepare for my daughter entering middle school next year–scary stuff.

– An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield – I love reading Hadfield’s tweets about space and astronomy on twitter, and he did this AMAZING video cover of ‘Space Oddity’. I’m not sure exactly what to expect from this book but it sounds promising.

– Liar, Temptress, Solider, Spy by Karen Abbott – I’ve had a request in for this one ever since I heard about it at the Decatur Book Festival back in August. Luckily, the timing worked out for me to get it in November. I can’t wait to dig into this account of four women working undercover during the U.S. Civil War.

So that’s my month of nonfiction as it stands now. I look forward to seeing what everyone else is planning to read. There will also be new discussion topics each week, so stay tuned for more nonfiction talk!

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19 thoughts on “Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction

  1. Sarah's Book Shelves

    You and I are in the same boat! When NN rolled around, I realized I’d read 2 nonfictions that weren’t cooking books or memoirs this entire year!! That’s not like me! I, too, loved Seabiscuit and I recommend Boys in the Boat since you liked Seabiscuit….different topics, but reads similarly. I also really liked Wild and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, is my favorite nonfiction of the year so far and I’ll be posting my review later this week as part of NN.

    Reply
  2. amymckie

    *shock* none at all yet?! 😉 I know that is normal for most people, so I suppose that is fine. heh. I just can’t imagine it! Really interesting list that you’re working on now. I’ve seen so many people recommend Wild… one of these days I might have to give it a try.

    Reply
  3. My Book Strings

    I’ve only read Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, and it is one of my top non-fiction reads for this year. I’m curious to read Karen Abbott’s book; I’ve heard quite a bit of buzz about it. I only have time for one non-fiction read this month; it is about the fall of the Berlin Wall. Good luck with your reading this month!

    Reply
  4. bookmammal

    I keep hearing about Liar Temptress Soldier Spy, so I really think I need to check into that one!
    Don’t worry– if you’re looking for more NF suggestions you’ve come to the right place this month! 🙂

    Reply
  5. Trish

    I don’t plan to read it this month, but I also have Queen Bees and Wannabees on my list (of more parenting focused topics) so I’ll look forward to seeing what you think of it. Liar Temptress Soldier Spy has definitely been getting a lot of buzz lately!

    Reply
  6. Iris

    Karen Abbott’s book is receiving many mentions so far, which has made me very curious! And I am not shocked at all. I am not very good at nonfiction reading for the blog, but hey, this month is all about making an effort to change that, right?

    Reply
  7. ebookclassics

    I loved Seabiscuit and I’m actually very close to finishing Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand for Nonfiction November (I started a little early). I recently read Wild by Cheryl Strayed and I didn’t love it, but thought it was a good book. I would really like to read Liar, Temptress, Solider, Spy as the consensus seems to be it’s very good.

    Reply
  8. Leila @ Readers' Oasis

    I read Queen Bees a few years ago, for the same reason you mentioned. Yikes, right–middle school is a frightfest. I’m not sure if I found the book helpful, or if it just reinforced my worries about how awful mean girls can be.

    Reply
  9. Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    You’ve got a great pile of books to choose from! I’ve had the Hadfield book on my shelves for awhile, but haven’t gotten to it yet. Same with Seabiscuit, although I did really love Unbroken. Thanks for joining us for Nonfiction November!

    Reply
  10. Sophie

    I have Seabiscuit on my bookshelf and I don’t know why I haven’t read it yet!! I love horse books, and I just discovered horse nonfiction recently. I’ve heard good things about Wild so I need to get on that one too! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth and Queen Bees and Wannabees. 😀

    Reply
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  12. Lu

    An Astronaut’s Guide to Life is on my list to read this month and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, but I don’t think my hold is going to come in on time. I hope you have lovely Nonfiction November and thank you for joining us!

    Reply
  13. janceewright

    Seabiscuit definitely wasn’t my favorite ever, although maybe I would appreciate it more with a reread. It’s been a looong time since I read it. I also want to read the Hadfield book – even though I won’t get around it in November, it’s staying on my radar for soon.

    Reply
  14. Christina

    Yes, please, read Queen Bees and Wannabees! My mother and I both read it when it was first published and it helped me tremendously when it came to surviving middle school.

    Reply
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