Nonfiction November – New to My TBR

I can’t believe that it’s the end of November already! Not only are we thisclose to Christmas, but it’s the end of Nonfiction November, a month-long celebration of all things nonfiction hosted by Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness), Julie (JulzReads), Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves), Katie (Doing Dewey), and Rennie (What’s Nonfiction). A huge thank you to all of you that hosted and work to make this event such a success every year! I’m already looking forward to November 2019 (even though I will be back at work – boo).

For this last week, Katie @ Doing Dewey is hosting the final prompt:

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!

Reading through so many great posts, getting to chat with a bunch of nonfiction lovers, my instinct was to add ALL the books to my TBR. But, I actually want to read some of these by the time this event rolls around next year so I’ve had to be selective. Here are the ones I actually wrote down with links to the blogger who sold me on it.

And every single book on this Janeite list from I’d Rather Be At Pemberley

So that’s that! Thank you to every one of you that participated this year – it’s always so much more fun when lots of people get into it.


Antilibrary Liberation

A couple of weeks ago, Naomi @ Consumed by Ink posted this article on her facebook.

I can never resist bookish content so I immediately clicked on it and read it.

I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

The article basically gives permission to have stacks and stacks of unread books in your house. The idea of an “antilibrary” is basically to show you all the things that you have yet to learn, to reinforce the idea that you don’t know everything, which makes you a smarter person in the long run.

I had been feeling BAD about all the books that had been piling up around my house. Since we’ve moved, I’ve been driving to work instead of taking transit and I’ve lost about 2 hours of reading time every day! So the unread books have been accumulating much more quickly. I’ve been mostly avoiding the library and trips to the bookstore didn’t hold the same joy because they just made me think about all the books I already had that needed reading.

Since I’ve read this article I’ve been released from that guilt. I’ve been adding books to my stacks at an alarming pace. Don’t believe me?

These are the books I’ve brought home since reading the article just over a week ago:

  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
  • The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson
  • Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure by Amy Kaufman (yeah, I did)
  • Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  • The Girl in the Woods by Camilla Lackberg


If you’re wondering how I died, just know that being crushed by all the things I didn’t know was the way I’d always hoped to go.


TBR Pile Challenge: The Tipping Point

The TBR list that I carry around with me had one book on the top of it for the past couple of years: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I cannot describe the profound satisfaction I felt when I finally got to cross that off this week.

I’ve been an admirer of Gladwell’s work for a long time now. I’d read every one of his books, except for The Tipping Point. I think this is one of those cases of not reading a book until you are ready for it. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have cared about this book as much if I had read it earlier.

I knew putting it on my list for the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge would get it read!


The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference looks at just that: the little changes that had massive impact. To illustrate his point, Gladwell looks at various epidemics to see if he can pinpoint the little thing that made something blow up. What made Airwalk go from a $16 million company in 1993 to a $44 million company in 1994 and a $150 million company in 1995? How did murder rates drop 64.3% over 5 years in New York City? These are relatively small periods of time that saw massive change- how did that happen?

I love Gladwell’s style. He takes these giant concepts and frames them in a way that make sense to the rest of us. All of a sudden the suicide epidemic among young men in Micronesia totally makes sense when it’s framed within the context of the epidemic of teen smoking that was prevalent at the time of writing (The Tipping Point was published in 2000).

I always finish Gladwell’s books with a deeper understanding of things that I didn’t know I cared about. For example, in The Tipping Point Gladwell looks a bit at corporate culture. He warns that large corporations are missing out on some crucial benefits of smaller companies when they cross the critical threshold of 150 employees. Apparently the company that makes Gore-Tex (a massive company responsible from manufacturing everything Glide dental floss to filter bags and tubes for the automative, semiconductor and medical industries) adhere very strictly to the rule of 150. As soon as any one of their buildings reaches the 150 mark, they split the teams into groups. They have found that things start to get clumsy and fall apart when you hit that 150 mark, so they build their new plants with only 150 parking spots and the square footage is designed to only accommodate around 150 people. They find that this way they don’t really need a hierarchical structure, everyone knows everyone else and they work together to get things done.

All this time I thought working at bigger companies was a good thing but actually, this explains a lot!

And that’s what Gladwell is good at doing. He makes sense of the things you didn’t know you wondered about.

Oh I guess you’re still wondering about the drop in the murder rate and the success of Airwalk. The murder rate thing came down to dealing with graffiti on the subways and the success of Airwalk came down to pin pointing trends that would become mainstream later on but would appeal to a select group of individuals in the meantime. You should just read the book, it makes more sense when Gladwell is explaining it.


Where does the time go?

I’ve been embarrassingly quiet on the blog front over the past week or so. Let’s all take a moment to blame Shirley for that because that book took way too long to get through! Trying to slog my way through Shirley during the day and attempting to finish Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix under the watchful (read: impatient) eye of my significant other who, despite years of dismissing these books as childish, had finally actually read them and wanted to get started on book 5 as soon as possible.

But I’m happy to report that I finished the fifth Harry Potter *and* Shirley and am now free to pursue other literary treats.

While I was bemoaning the stall in my reading life, a blogging milestone of sorts snuck up on me: you are reading my 200th post.


In the grand scheme of things, 200 posts isn’t that many. But it feels big. Since I haven’t read anything that’s grabbed me in what feels like a while, I thought that I would use this milestone to run down some of the things I’ve learned since I started this book blogging thing.

Canada loves to read. I can’t tell you how many of the book bloggers that I’ve connected with are Canadian. Hint: it’s almost all of them. It’s not just the online book bloggers though – since I started this blog I’ve become hyper aware of readers in the real world and on the West Coast, there are a lot. Canada just can’t get enough of the written word.

YA Fiction doesn’t suck. This is a more recent development but I think that posting here and connecting with other readers online has made me more open minded about what I will read. Eventually this meant opening my heart to YA fiction and I kind of dig it.

I will never make a dent in my TBR list. No really – I will never make any progress. It feels great to cross a book off my list but if I take another look I will see that one crossed off book makes no difference if when I do it I simultaneously add 5 more to the bottom.  This is probably the number one book nerd problem to have and I don’t think we’d have it any other way. If I finished my TBR list what would I even do with my time?

Reading is a group sport. I know – I’m surprised that I’m good at a sport too. Before I started blogging, reading felt like a solitary activity, like I was constantly being anti-social. I’ve since discovered that reading is a conversation starter, a commonality, the beginning of a friendship. And then I come here and spew my opinions all over the internet and find people that agree enough with me to comment.

People are always looking for a good book. It doesn’t matter if they are hardcore book nerds (me), casual readers or those people that claim they don’t like to read – we’re all looking for that next book that makes us fall in love. It’s especially important for those that believe they don’t like reading; as soon as they find that book, reading love is born.

If you’re a casual Paperback Princess reader, a regular commenter, a devotee (Thanks Mom) – I thank you all. You’ve all bumped my love of reading up a level I didn’t know existed.  And I promise to get some proper reading done soon so I can give you the posts that you deserve.