Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction

It’s here!!! Nonfiction November is finally here!


Nonfiction November is a month-long celebration of nonfiction, a genre that just doesn’t seem to get the same kind of love as fiction! This year, Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness), Julie (JulzReads), Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves), Katie (Doing Dewey), Rennie (What’s Nonfiction)  are all hosting. Each blog will take a turn hosting a prompt and we can all jump in and talk about all the great nonfiction we have been and are reading.

Sounds awesome right?

Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness is taking on the first week so be sure to hop on over to her blog to read her post as well as find links to lots of other bloggers playing along this year. We’re looking back at our year in nonfiction so far!

Overall, it’s been a decent nonfiction year – 19 books, 28% of my book total. I’ve definitely been looking for books with shorter page counts, or ones that I could read in drips and drabs.

These are all the nonfiction titles I’ve read this year:

What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

Picking a favourite book at any time is like asking to pick a favourite child. The books that had the biggest impact on me, the ones that I thought about long after I finished them were:

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara. I honestly could not read that book in the dark or if I was alone, it spoke to my fears so exactly. And when I read it, they didn’t yet know who he was. It was such a unique experience to have read the book and then have a lot of questions answered literally weeks later.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. I had a baby this year, so this was another one that was super specific to my own experience. I appreciated that Gaskin’s approach to childbirth was free of fear, that it was a natural process. I think it made a massive difference to my own experience.

Educated by Tara Westover. This memoir was just unlike anything I’d ever read. It reminded me a lot of The Glass Castle.

Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?

I think that I’ve been shying away from heavier content like never before. In the past, I’ve used nonfiction reading to educate myself on important social issues. I have a hard time doing that right now – it all feels kind of futile. At least when I read about history, those things are safely in the past. I’ve also been reading more true crime than normal and I think that’s me being drawn to things with a resolution (now true of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark).

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

Tie between I’ll Be Gone in the Dark and Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. They could not be more different eh?

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

I’m hoping that I will put a dent in the ridiculous amount of nonfiction books that are currently staring at me from my shelves. I buy so much of it but I don’t always read it – I reason they are too heavy (literally and figuratively) or will take too long to get through. Or I plan to save them for this month!

I’m also really looking forward to connecting with other nonfiction readers! Talking to other readers who appreciate great nonfiction is such a highlight for me.

Are you participating this year?


31 thoughts on “Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction

  1. I hadn’t actually planned to participate in this, but just coincidentally, I posted a nonfiction book review today and I am posting another one on Monday. So, I’ll go over and post a link.

  2. Man. I think I am like the last person to read the Glass Castle – but if you feel like Educated reminds you of that one maybe I need to break down and seek it out.

  3. Educated reminded me of The Glass Castle, too, and is one of the most memorable books I’ve read in a very long time. I also see several books here I’d like to read, but not I’ll Be Gone in the Dark… think it would scare me to death!

    • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is TERRIFYING. But maybe it would be different reading it now that they have found him?? If you find yourself thinking about taking the plunge, maybe just read it in bright sunshine when other people are around?

  4. I had Shrewed from the library, but had to return it after only reading a few pages. Do you think it’s worth getting back out sometime?
    Your descriptions of Educated and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark are tempting me, but I think I’ll pass on Ina May! 😉
    I hope you get to read lost of good NF this month!

  5. Do you ever listen to audiobooks of nonfiction? I found that this makes a big difference for me, especially if it’s a tough topic. I’m not sure why just yet, but I know that it’s been true. I also tend to remember what I heard more than what I read, so if the goal is to learn something from nonfiction, for me audio books is the way to go.

    • I really understand this. What he did was so heinous, such a violation and it’s hard to kind of bring that into your world. But McNamara did an incredible job telling this story, it was so personal to her (and her obsession likely contributed to her death) that it was worth the fear. PLUS, they got him. So it has a resolution now. Maybe save it for next summer?

    • Hey, no shame here for Bachelor Nation. I unironically enjoyed that one. It was really illuminating and absolutely contributed to my desire to watch Bachelor in Paradise for the first time this summer. What a trainwreck of delights!

  6. I am totally with you on buying lots of nonfiction and then not reading it – I’m hoping to put a bit of a dent in my pile this month! Sounds like you’ve had a good experience reading lots of nonfiction this year.

  7. It’s interesting that you enjoy podcasts but don’t enjoy listening to non-fiction. I’m not sure I’ve ever listened to non-fiction on audiobook – oh, a literary biography once, but it’s still unfinished – but maybe that’s simply a reflection of choosing fiction more often and rarely choosing audiobooks either. I’m looking forward to your other recommendations!

      • I’ve heard of people who listen on their phones at 2x speed. With some narrators I could see that working rather well. Those narrators might be offended at the thought too. 🙂

  8. Even though we don’t watch The Bachelor & Bachelorette franchise, do watch Bachelor in Paradise. So silly but very fun.

    I loved EDUCATED. Have you read Ruth Wariner’s SOUND OF GRAVEL? Very similar as Ruth also pulled herself out of the mire to become a successful person.

  9. You had so many good ones this year! Farewell to the East End is related to Call the Midwife, right? I’ve been wanting to read that one even though I couldn’t really get into the series.
    I’m with you on I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, such a fantastic book.

  10. Pingback: #NonFicNov wk 5 Thanks for sharing your books! | NancyElin

  11. Pingback: Non-Fiction November: new to my tbr – Bookish Rita

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