November!!! A time for Pumpkin Pie! Or if you’re me, pecan pie with bourbon and chocolate filling. Mmmm! Really, I’m not sure how it’s November (I say stuff like this a lot), but I’m partially glad it is because the lovely ladies Kim, Becca, Lu, and Katie are hosting Nonfiction November.
What’s Nonfiction November? Well, Becca has a pretty good introduction on her blog, but basically it’s a celebration of all things nonfiction. Plus there will be readalongs, if you feel so inclined, and weekly discussion topics. For the most part I’ll be likely using my Sunday Salon post or Top Ten Tuesday for the weekly discussions (except the next Sunday Salon, which will be my 100th and a celebration of its own!).
I’m really excited about Nonfiction November because
a) I love nonfiction
b) I haven’t been reading enough of it this year
c) I don’t have anything else planned for this month (yeehaw Free Range Reading)
Your Year in Nonfiction
Week One Discussion is hosted by Kim of Sophisticated Dorkiness (she’s also the Nonfiction Blogging Queen)
Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? (I’ll post about this later in the week) What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
This year I’ve read 12 nonfiction titles. So amend item (b) up above. I think it feels like I’ve read less than that because half of the nonfiction titles I’ve read have been graphic novels and they’re so quick and delicious that I could gobble them up in a day.
My favorite graphic memoir this year is Relish by Lucy Knisley. While I wasn’t blown over by French Milk, I loved Knisley’s frank enthusiasm in Relish. It’s one that foodies will adore! My least favorite of the bunch is Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel. After loving Fun Home, this follow-up was a large disappointment.
Incidentally, Kristilyn of Reading in Winter is hosting a Graphic Novel Week from November 24-28 of this month! Grab up some of these graphic memoirs and join the fun. I know I’ll be taking a trip to the library for graphic memoirs I can read during that week.
My favorite non-graphic nonfiction read is a toss up between Bad Feminist, Quiet, and In a Sunburned Country. They’re all so incredibly different but entertaining and informative and intriguing in their own ways. Spirit Boy, Apowida’s memoir of growing up in Nigeria is a very worthy read, but neither Good Chinese Wife or Heaven is For Real did much for me. As a side note, three of these books were actually listens. I love listening to nonfiction titles on audio!
What Topic Do I Want to Read More?
History. Absolutely history. I have memoirs and travelogues and randomness pretty well covered, but history is always an area that I skip. In an effort to read more history this month, my first read will be The Crimes of Paris: a True Story of Murder, Theft, and Detection by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. It takes place at the turn of the 20th century and so far I’m learning all sorts of sordid details about the Belle Époque.
Other historical nonfiction titles I have on my shelf that I’m interested in reading are 1776 by David McCullough, The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi, Stalin’s Children by Owen Matthews, and Old Man River by Paul Schneider. (And yes, I do recognize that these are all by men. Boo hickey on the lack of diversity on my shelves!)
What are my hopes for Nonfiction November?
Weeeeeell, obviously I’d love to get some nonfiction reading accomplished this month! I think that this themed month is a great excuse to listen to Gulp by Mary Roach, and I’m also looking forward to Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. I won’t be participating in the readalongs because I have too many books on my own shelves, but I’m looking forward to the weekly discussions. And of course, I’m looking forward to learning about new-t0-me nonfiction titles.
I always get a little bit sad when people say they don’t like to read nonfiction because there are so many great books. Hopefully you’ll join in this month and find some new-to-you nonfiction!
What’s your favorite nonfiction title?