Non-Fiction November: Favorite Reads

November 5, 2013 Blogger Events, non-fiction 27


Today is my first post for Non-Fiction November, an exciting event celebrating non-fiction hosted by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness and Leslie at Regular Ruminations. Every Monday this month, a discussion question will be posted. Then each Friday there will be a link-up for discussion posts and non-fiction reviews, with each linky entry entered in a prize drawing at the end of the month! Today’s topic is

Nonfiction Favorite(s): What is your favorite piece of nonfiction? Or, if you can’t pick just one, share several of your best nonfiction reads.

Favorite books… always such a tough question! I think what all of my favorite non-fiction books have in common is that they tell a fascinating story about people in the past and/or  they’re about something of particular interest to me. If going to go add one book to your to-read list after you finish this post, my choice would be for you to add Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. This book included all of the things I look for in really good non-fiction about an issue relevant to  my life: personal stories, research-backed ideas, and actionable advice. I was shocked by the pervasiveness of (mostly) unconscious descrimination against women that still exists today and I’d love to see more people made aware of what they can do about it.


 Some other books I like include humorous women’s memoirs about problems relevant to me such as Some Nerve about being brave or How To Be a Woman about feminism…


Engaging histories like The Black Count about the real-life inspiration for The Count of Monte Cristo and the beautifully illustrated The Civil War in 50 Objects


And finally books on science that are tangentially related to research I do or have done, such as the surprisingly accessible books The Signal and the Noise on big data and The Emperor of All Maladies about cancer.


And there you have it – some of my best recommendations in the non-fiction genre. If you have a topic on which you wish I’d recommend something, just ask in the comments 🙂 Now, let’s all go forth and read non-fiction!

27 Responses to “Non-Fiction November: Favorite Reads”

  1. TracyK

    So are you sticking to all non-fiction, all month? or is it just posts to answer the questions? Either way, it will be interesting. I don’t read much non-fiction, so always interested in what you have found to be good.

    • DoingDewey

      I think both of the hosts are trying to really focus on reading non-fiction, but I think I’ll do my usual of about one non-fiction review a week. I love non-fiction, but it’s still nice to read some fiction in between 🙂

  2. Audra (Unabridged Chick)

    Oooh, great recommendations — almost all of these are my TBR. I don’t often read non-fic — I can’t race through it the way I can a novel — but there are so many fascinating books out there I can’t resist contemplating them!

    • DoingDewey

      I love non-fiction and read it frequently, but I still often find that it takes me longer to read then fiction! I hope you do end up getting to some of these eventually, since I thought they were all wonderful and am always excited to discuss them 🙂

  3. Juliana @ Epilogues

    Wow, such a great idea! I love your suggestions. The Emperor of All Maladies has been on my list for a while, so I’m glad to hear you liked it.

    Do you have a favorite time period that you like to read about?

    • DoingDewey

      Thanks! I was truly blown away by The Emperor of All Maladies, it was so thoughtful and incredibly well written. I actually don’t think I have a favorite time period. As long as there’s an interesting story and the book can make me feel like I’m getting to know some of the people involved, I’ll read it 🙂

  4. Birgit

    How’d I miss this event!? Oh never mind, I read so much non fiction anyway that it’s perfectly all right to resort to cozy mysteries right now! 😉

    P.S.: You’ve got some great picks/recommendations there!

    • DoingDewey

      There weren’t any previous sign-ups, so you can still jump in as little or as much as you want. Just link up any non-fiction reviews and post responses to any of the discussions that you find interesting 🙂 On the other hand, I think cozy mysteries are a completely acceptable alternative if that’s what your in the mood for. I’ve been a little off thrillers and mysteries lately, but hopefully I’ll be excited about them again in the future!

    • DoingDewey

      Thanks Rebecca! I really enjoy leading a wide variety of books and am always trying to get myself to read beyond my comfort zone. Waiting lists are just the worst! I hope you get to the top soon 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Thanks! I’m glad you liked Lean In too and will be excited to read your review. I was incredibly impressed by how interesting The Signal and the Noise was and while I could be biased since I work with big data, I think he did so in a way that would be interesting to everyone 🙂

  5. Charlie

    Loved The Black Count, so much information and you wonder where we were without it given the author Dumas’s fame! I’ve not read it, but How To Be A Woman seems to be one to read whether you reckon you’d like it or not – lots to discuss either way.

    • DoingDewey

      I think you’re right, How To Be a Woman would be a great book for a book club for instance, since it will definitely spark discussion. It was also really funny, so I think even people who disagreed with the author would probably have some fun reading it 🙂

  6. Aylee (@AyleeArgh)

    Wow, Katie – you’re like a nonfiction guru! Haha. (Says the girl who has never read nonfiction before). You’re definitely the person I would turn to if I ever wanted to really get into nonfiction – great recommendations!

    • DoingDewey

      Yes, me too! I really enjoyed reading Lean In for your book club and am enjoying Orange is the New Black this month too. I’d highly recommend Emperor of All Maladies. It one of my favorites, but also probably one of the objectively best written. It was very well done 🙂

  7. rhechristine

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about “Lean-In”, i’m intrigued now….I’m a huge fan of non-fiction. I was just talking about how I got off on a fiction side track…and I really miss non-fiction.

    • DoingDewey

      Oh, well this would be a great one to get back into it with. It’s not a hard read, but it was very thought-provoking and enjoyable 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Thanks Rebecca! I’ve really loved the non-fiction choices you and Allison have picked for your book club. Lean In is definitely going to be a go-to Christmas gift for me this year and I’m enjoying Orange is the New Black quite a bit too 🙂

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