Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction

Every year there are so many book blogger events that I totally want to participate in and every year, I don’t.

Part of it is that I’m not naturally a joiner, at all. I prefer to observe rather than participate. The other thing is that these events always seem to require more dedication than I can give.

But the Nonfiction November thing seems manageable. Plus, I LOVE non-fiction and this is another opportunity to preach about it.

If it sounds like your thing, jump on over to Doing Dewey for the schedule!

Let’s do this.

What has your nonfiction year looked like so far? This is the part of the year where I am super thrilled to have kept track of all of this via the coolest spreadsheet ever. Overall, this year my non-fiction reading doesn’t feel as strong as other years. Only 21% of my reading has been non-fiction. So this really comes at a great time. Part of that might be that this year, the non-fiction that I’ve been drawn to has been more serious. Biographies, books about race and gender and memoirs from people with something to say. I’ve read a lot fewer celebrity memoirs or the kind of lighter cultural stuff that I normally love.

Favourite Non-Fiction Title of the Year? I have read so much great non-fiction that it’s really, really hard to pick. Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol probably had the biggest impact on my life. But Bad Feminist got me looking at the world in a whole new way – it sent me reading a lot of books I might not otherwise have. Missoula blew my mind and Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation was full of the kind of information that I Love. So…I can’t pick.

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? Probably a toss up between Bad Feminist, Missoula, and Tiny Beautiful Things. Depending on the person, each of those books has so much to offer. Right now, I think Tiny Beautiful Things might be just the book that a lot of people need.

 What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? Books on race. I’ve found that this year, I’ve finally felt brave enough to read books about experiences that aren’t mine, that are critical of my place in the world. Feminism is an easy cause to champion for me, but what good is it if there is no intersectionality with those that are oppressed by the colour of their skin or their religion? I’ve been grateful to the voices of Roxane Gay, Phoebe Robinson, Bryan Stevenson, Ta-Nehisi Coates and others for helping to educate me.

What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November? I just really like that it’s an excuse to read more non-fiction. I thought my numbers were stronger than 21%!

Thanks to Sarah @ Sarah’s Bookshelves for encouraging me to finally do this!

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25 thoughts on “Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction

  1. So glad you’re joining! I loved Missoula too and finally read Tiny Beautiful Things this year and have been recommending it tons!

  2. I feel the same way about joining events – they all sound fun, but I usually just end up observing. No pressure that way, either. But this event is perfect for you!

    • I am so looking forward to finding out about books I might not otherwise have heard about! Non-fiction can still feel kind of niche – so many people go “I don’t read non-fiction.” It’s great to connect with a community that loves it.

  3. I read Missoula this year, too… a tough read, but so important!! Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book was my most recommended last year, and I read Just Mercy a few weeks ago. That’s my favorite nonfiction this year and one I’ll be recommending for a long time.

    • Missoula was such a tough read. Just Mercy was really hard to get through – it was mind blowing how bad it actually was. You hear the statistics but to read the stories affecting real people and how most of them didn’t have a happy outcome…was hard. But again, an important book for folks to actually read.

  4. I owe you so much for the Flappers recommendation! That was awesome. I seriously need to go down a Zelda path in my reading next year. That’s a 2017 goal for sure.

    • Flappers was so good. One of those books I regret taking out from the library. I think of it often. And I’m so glad that it was one that you loved too! Always pressure when you recommend books that others might not feel the same…

    • Thank you for this recommendation! I’m reading a memoir from Jen Lancaster right now (who I normally love) and all I can keep thinking is “this is the whitest, most privileged thing I’ve ever read.” The Good Immigrant sounds like a good antidote. Going on my list right now.

  5. I’m so glad that you’re doing Nonfiction November, too! I’ve seen several other nonfictioneers (whatever, it’s a word now) recommend ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ as well so I guess I should probably give into peer pressure and find a copy, huh?

    • You probably should. I held off for a long time and now I wish I’d read it sooner. There’s just something really special about a book that offers its readers so much.
      I can’t believe this is the first time I’m doing this!

  6. Pingback: Nonfiction November Week 1 Wrap-Up | Doing Dewey

  7. If you’re interested in books on race perhaps you should watch what the Social Justice book club over at Entomology of a Bookworm is reading. They’re starting again in January reading In the Dark, by Rebecca Solnit, but I think I lot of their choices are about race.

  8. Pingback: #NonFicNov ~ New to My TBR – The Writerly Reader

  9. It sounds like you’ve been reading some incredible books on social issues! I’d like to do more of that myself in the new year. I’d also like to do a better job tracking my stats. It is nice to be able to be thoughtful about your reading and I think stats tracking can really help!

    • Tracking your stats makes a huge difference. I’d been logging the books I’d read for a while now – in a journal, on goodreads, the 50 Book Pledge, even here. But it wasn’t until I set up a spreadsheet (that I got from Leah @ Books Speak Volumes – let me know if you want me to email it to you) that looked at where authors were from, if it was considered a diverse book, was the author male or female, that I started to see that I was reading a lot about/from white people. I never want to limit what I read by saying “I will only read women/POC/from this one list” but I did want to make the effort to read more conscientiously.
      The social issues reading is something that kind of happened accidentally. I’m not sure I noticed it until you pointed it out! I am just drawn to those kinds of books even though it means I spend a lot of time being outraged!

  10. Pingback: Blogging in 2017 | The Paperback Princess

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