Here we are, the final week of another incredible month of nonfiction reading. At the beginning of the month, I was struggling with the remnants of a truly heinous reading slump. I’d had two back to back months of so-so reading and was really missing my favourite thing to do! I was hopeful that reading nonfiction all month and connecting with other nonfiction readers was going to kick the slump to the curb for once and for all.
And guess what? It totally did! I managed to finish 13 nonfiction books this month and pretty well all of them were incredible (not The Fact of a Body, I hated that one). Some of them were recommendations from other bloggers this month that I managed to get my hands on right away, so thank you! (I will tell you which ones below.)
So to wrap things up, Jaymi @ The OC Book Girl is hosting and wants to know what books have made it onto your TBR?
This year I added more books to my TBR because of Nonfiction November than I have in any of the other 5+ years I’ve participated. And like I mentioned, I’ve already read some which has never happened before! This year I added:
Nowhere Girl: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood by Cherie Diamond thanks to Jaymi @ The OC Book Girl who said it’s the kind of book that’s easy to forget it’s nonfiction. I love books like that!
Unacceptable: Privilege, Deceit, and the Making of the College Admissions Scandal by Melissa Korn and Jennifer Levitz, also came to me from Jamie! She got me talking about how sad it was to read about the kids’ reactions when they realized that their parents didn’t think they could get into the schools on their own. I’ve already read this one and I really enjoyed it. It’s verrrrrry thorough but they did a good job making it about the people in the system and not getting bogged down in legalese.
The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede: Carol at Reading Ladies put this one on my radar. She called it one of her favourites of the year and since I’d recently read The Only Plane in the Sky, this seemed like a good companion read. I’ve read this one too, just finished it the other day, and I can see why it was a favourite. I cried through the entire thing – mostly happy tears, but some heartbreak for sure. It’ll reinstate your faith that humanity is essentially good. Or we were, at one time, anyway.
Sitting Pretty: The View From My Ordinary, Resilient, Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig: I found this one on Based on a True Story and since I’m always looking for more books by disabled authors, I was excited to see this. I read this one this month and loved it. It’s a memoir in essay form, about love, sex, education, working, accommodations, how the kindness of strangers often infantilizes and angers her. Definitely recommend this one.
The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore: Kate Moore wrote Radium Girls which I loved so when I saw this one on Book’d Out, I barely thought about it before adding it to my list. This is the last one that I’ve already read this month and I loved it so much. SO MUCH. It made me so angry and I cried and I was so proud of Elizabeth and all she accomplished in her life. This one is about Elizabeth Packard, a married mother of 6 who starts questioning the doctrines of her husband’s church (namely she finds that slavery should be abolished) and so her husband puts her in an asylum. He’s completely legally allowed to do so and she has no way to get out. So begins her crusade to not only free herself, but to make it illegal for other husbands and fathers to lock away their ‘troublesome’ wives and daughters.
Shelley Rae @ Book’d Out also put How to Fake Being Tidy by Finella Souter and The Schoolgirl Strangler by Katherine Kovacic on my list.
Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era by Laurence Leamer: Julie @ Julz Reads added this to my list. I read and LOVED Melanie Benjamin’s The Swans of Fifth Avenue and have been looking for the nonfiction counterpart ever since. I’ve read The Kennedy Men and The Kennedy Women by Leamer already so I feel confident that he would have done them justice.
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed by Men by Caroline Criado Perez: I’ve seen this one floating around on instagram, but it was Unsolicited Feedback that got it on my actual TBR. This one looks at the harm done to women because of a critical data gap.
Jorwerd: The Death of the Village in the Late Twentieth Century by Geert Mak: I am always on the lookout for books about the Netherlands (I was born there) but they’re not easy to find in English. Marianne @ Let’s Read had this on one of her lists and I hope I can find it here because the story of how this one village in Friesland changed because of how we work and interact together is one I really want to read!
Based on a True Story came through with two more books for my TBR (although of a darker tone than Sitting Pretty was!): Devil in the Grove and Beneath a Ruthless Sun, both by Gilbert King. These ones, about murder, sexual assault and police corruption, should scratch the true crime itch.
Finally, Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction? really went out of her way to beef up my TBR this year:
First, she added the food memoirs, Save Me The Plums by Ruth Reichl and The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty in Week 3.
Then, last week, she convinced me to add The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vailiant, about a cannibalistic tiger in Siberia, something I never thought I would want to read about. But she didn’t stop there. She also had Twilight of Empire: The Tragedy at Mayerling and the End of the Habsburgs by Greg King and Penny Wilson and Stealing Sisi’s Star by Jennifer Bowers Bahney ready for me. We have since discovered that we are both fascinated with (borderline obsessed by) Empress Sisi and our mission is to bring her story to the North American masses. Truly, read about her, you won’t be disappointed!
So that’s a wrap on Nonfiction Novemer 2021, I guess! Thanks to our hosts, Katie @ Doing Dewey and Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction are back as hosts and three new hosts are joining: Veronica @ The Thousand Book Project, Christopher @ Plucked From the Stacks, and Jaymi @ The OC Book Girl for doing such an amazing job running this event this year! And thanks to all of you for sharing your favourite nonfiction reads this year!
See you all in 2022?