And here we are! November 1st! I look forward to this date every year because it is the beginning of a whole month of nonfiction reading and talking about nonfiction.
Let’s get into it!
This week Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction is hosting us!
Week 1: (November 1-5) – Your Year in Nonfiction with Rennie at What’s 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? Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
Looking back on my year in nonfiction reading, it’s been pretty good! Normally I roll into NFN with around 29% of my reading being nonfiction. This year I’m coming in at 35%. I attribute this completely to my newfound love of audiobooks, since I only listen to nonfiction.
I’m not sure that I can say that I have ONE favourite nonfiction read this year. Andre Leon Talley’s The Chiffon Trenches stands out because it was the very first audiobook I listened to and I still hear his voice telling me his life story. It was gossipy and I learned a lot but it was also incredibly reflective. I didn’t expect to meet the real Andre Leon Talley, you know what I mean? I felt the same way about Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile (bonus, she sings on the audio version!) and Jonathan Van Ness’ Over the Top.
Year Book by Seth Rogen and The Wreckage of My Presence by Casey Wilson both made me actually cry and cry from laughing so hard. Would also put Colin Jost’s A Very Punchable Face on this list.
I loved loved loved Notes From a Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi, Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner (which I got from Nonfiction November last year so thank you if that was you!), and I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O’Farrell. Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen, about Audrey’s experiences in the Netherlands during WWII, and Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zimmer were both so very good. And it doesn’t feel right to say I loved The Only Plane in the Sky by Garret M. Graff but it’s a book that has stuck with me since I finished the last page.
I’ve definitely been more drawn to reading about experiences that are not my own. That’s what was drawing me to Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong, What Doesn’t Kill You by Tessa Miller, The Education of Augie Merasty by Joseph Auguste Merasty and David Carpenter, Transgender History by Susan Stryker, and Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter by Heath Davis Fogg, the latter of which gave me a lot to think about in terms of what changes could practically be made in my workplace to make everyone feel respected and included.
But I think that I’ve recommended Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May the most. I listened to it on audio and it was so comforting at a time when we’re in this prolonged grief and anxiety about what the world looks like now and what is coming. I am already ready for a re-read so I think I need to buy a physical copy. I’ve also pushed Brandi Carlile on audio and told anyone who lives in/grew up in Vancouver that they need to read Seth Rogen’s book. I’ve definitely also talked about The Housewives by Brian Moylan a lot. I love the Real Housewives, unapologetically. And reading Moylan’s book was a JOY.
I was having a really great reading year until September. Since then I have been struggling to find my reading joy. So I’m hoping that all of your energy will spur me on to get back to it! I love getting to talk about nonfiction with all of you and I can’t wait to see what new books I add to my list!