Category Archives: Book Blogging Events

Nonfiction November – New to My TBR


Nonfiction November is in its last week (boo), and Week Five is a round-up of new nonfiction books we have added to our TBR this month. Lory at The Emerald City Book Review asks the question:

It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!

I’ve added quite a few new books to my TBR thanks to the recommendations of my fellow bloggers.

  1. SPQR by Mary Beard – I can’t remember whose blog featured this book, so please let me know if it’s yours so I can link to you!
  2. The Novel of the Century by David Bellos – Recommended by Nick at One Catholic Life and Emma at Words and Peace
  3. How to Raise a Wild Child by Scott Sampson – Recommended by T.J. at My Book Strings
  4. Modern Mindfulness by Rohan Gunatillake– Recommended by Kazen at Always Doing
  5. The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan – Recommended by Allison at Mind Joggle
  6. Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn – Recommended by Catherine at The Gilmore Guide to Books

I had a lot of recommendations for other authors on the topic of mindfulness, so thank you to everyone who suggested those. I also ended up reading one book this month that I saw recommended on several different blogs–The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkle–and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so thank you to those who featured this book.

I hope you had some great recommendations for nonfiction books to add to your TBR pile. Nonfiction November, see you next year!


Nonfiction November – Nonfiction Favorites


Doing Dewey is hosting the link-up for this next-to-last week of Nonfiction November (sniff). The prompt:

We’ve talked about how you pick nonfiction books in previous years, but this week I’m excited to talk about what makes a book you’ve read one of your favorites. Is the topic pretty much all that matters? Are there particular ways a story can be told or particular writing styles that you love? Do you look for a light, humorous approach or do you prefer a more serious tone? Let us know what qualities make you add a nonfiction book to your list of favorites.

This is an interesting question, because it’s not easy for me to define what makes a nonfiction book a favorite. My favorite book of all time, Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand, is nonfiction. When I think about what made me fall in love with that book and other nonfiction works, it comes down to three main things:

  1. A good story. I believe it’s true that fact can be more interesting than fiction, and I love nonfiction that really tells a story instead of just relating information.
  2. An inspiring subject. Some nonfiction might tell a good story but have a subject matter that just isn’t relate-able or inspiring. Just as with fiction, I have to be drawn to the subject matter for it to hold my attention.
  3. An engaging writing style. I think it all comes down to how a writer tells a story, and this is particularly true for nonfiction. I never would have believed that I would fall in love with a book about a racehorse, but Hillenbrand tells the story in such a way that you can’t help but be fascinated and emotionally invested.

What about you? What makes particular works of nonfiction your “favorites”?

Nonfiction November – Become the Expert


For this third week of Nonfiction November, Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness is hosting the link-up post ‘Be the Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert’. The prompt:

Three ways to join in this week! You can either share three or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).

I’ve decided to combine ‘Become the Expert’ with ‘Ask the Expert,’ as I already have several books to read on a topic but would love additional suggestions to add to my list. My topic is raising children with an awareness and understanding of nature. Basically, I want to figure out how to cultivate our family’s relationship with nature. We go hiking and live in a rural area but aren’t really “outdoorsy,” and this is something that I feel is even more important to stress as my children are getting older and as we’re becoming more disconnected.

The books I currently have on my shelf on this topic include:


Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

by Richard Louv

I’ve had this book on my shelf for a looong time and yet somehow never managed to do more than read the first chapter or so. Since it came out almost ten years ago, this is obviously a subject that has been on my mind for a while. I really need to read this one.


Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World

by Ben Hewitt

I’m not looking to home school or unschool my kids, but I’ve heard good things about this book that recounts one family’s experience getting back to living in tune with nature. Even if it doesn’t replace a traditional classroom, the natural world has so many lessons to teach (for kids and adults).

Portage: A Family, a Canoe, and the Search for the Good Lifeportage

by Sue Leaf

I ordered this book recently after reading a review of it on Kim’s blog. It recounts different outdoor trips that the author’s family takes over the course of 35 years. I’ve read the first few chapters already and I can safely say that Sue Leaf is way more of a outdoorswoman than I am, but I still think there are things I can take away from this one.

What about you? Are you an expert on a topic that you can share about? I would especially appreciate suggestions on my topic!

Nonfiction November – Book Pairings


For this second week of Nonfiction November, Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves is hosting the link-up of post highlighting fiction and nonfiction pairings. The prompt:

It can be a “If you loved this book, read this!” or just two titles that you think would go well together. Maybe it’s a historical novel and you’d like to get the real history by reading a nonfiction version of the story.

I love this question because I do this kind of reading all the time. In fact, it’s rare that I don’t have a fiction book and a non-fiction book going at the same time, and if one can help me to understand or get more out of the other, all the better.

Here are a few pairings that highlight books I have on my to-read list:




What about you? Do you like to read fiction and non-fiction that complement one another? What are some of your favorite book pairings?

Nonfiction November – Introduction


Nonfiction November is one of my favorite blogging events on the year, both because it’s hosted by some of my favorite book bloggers but also because I just love good nonfiction. I always get great recommendations and inspiration from taking part in this event. Week One asks us to look back at our year in nonfiction reading 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?

My favorite nonfiction read of the year is Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. Noah’s biographical account of growing up in South Africa is fascinating, managing to be heartbreaking, funny, and inspiring all at the same time. I learned a lot about a time and place that I had only really studied in history classes. I found it particularly interesting how Noah describes the different groups that exist in Johannesburg based on class and racial segregation and how he ultimately has to choose where he belongs because he doesn’t really fit in anywhere. This is also the book that I have recommended the most!

Looking back, all of the nonfiction I’ve read so far this year are autobiographies. This wasn’t a conscious choice on my part, but I’ve noticed that I tend to read this type of nonfiction cover to cover, whereas with other types of nonfiction I might just skim or skip around in. For this reason, those books might not show up on my ‘read’ shelf even if I read some of them this year.

One type of non-fiction that I would like to read more of is self-help (because I clearly need it, ha!) Seriously, I have an interest in exploring different aspects of Buddhism, meditation, and mindfulness. I’m currently reading Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment by Robert Wright and I’m finding is very useful and interesting.

I look forward to reading everyone else’s responses and talking more about nonfiction next week.

Nonfiction November: New To My TBR

cork w booksSo it’s the last week of Nonfiction November (sigh) and the topic for discussion this week is:

New to My TBR: It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!

I like this week’s topic because it gives me a chance to give a shout-out to all the bloggers who have inspired me with their nonfiction recommendations. I love adding new books to the TBR, even if it will take me a lifetime to read them all!

Here are some that have caught my eye this month:

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff (Sarah’s Bookshelves)

Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble by Marilyn Johnson (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

Quiet by Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Capricious Reader)

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed (River City Reading)

The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster by Tim Crothers (Bibliophilopolis)

And two that I can’t remember where I saw them recommended, but that I’ve added to the TBR this month nonetheless:

Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World by Ben Hewitt

They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan
by Benjamin Ajak, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak, Judy A. Bernstein, Benson Deng

I hope you’ve all enjoyed Nonfiction November as much as I have, and I look forward to seeing what else I can add to my TBR this week. 😉

Nonfiction November: Diversity

cork w booksI’m trying to get my post up earlier this week–yay for Monday morning, um, afternoon! This week’s topic, hosted by Becca at I’m Lost in Books, is diversity in nonfiction writing.

Diversity and Nonfiction: What does “diversity” in books mean to you? Does it refer to book’s location or subject matter? Or is it the author’s nationality or background? What countries/cultures do you tend to enjoy or read about most in your nonfiction? What countries/cultures would you like nonfiction recommendations for?

Diversity in books is something I’ve given quite a bit of thought to mainly because I feel like my reading isn’t diverse enough. It’s something that I’ve gotten better about since I started a book blog, though, because the more I keep track of what I’m reading, the more aware I am of the choices I make. To me, diversity means reading across genres as well as reading books that present different world views. I love reading about people and places that I know nothing about and opening myself up to an author’s/narrator’s point of view. However, I will say that I’m not completely open-minded when it comes to choosing a book; I’m not interested in reading the work of someone whose political or religious ideology is distasteful to me. Life is too short.

I particularly enjoy reading books about Africa and Asia, because the foreign-ness of those cultures is fascinating to me. I’m also interested in Eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism and so enjoy delving into works that reflect those philosophies. I think it comes down to what I have an affinity for, although I’m open to reading about other people and places as well. I prefer to read books that are written by natives to the places they write about, even as an outsider’s point of view can be interesting, too. See, diversity! 🙂

I would love to have further recommendations for nonfiction works about Africa and Nigeria in particular.

What about you? Do you read “diversely”? What does the term mean to you?