Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction

November 2, 2015 Uncategorized 37

Nonfiction November 2015

Everytime I go to write about Nonfiction November, I have a hard time expressing how excited I am! This is one my favorite events of the year and I’m really looking forward to a full month of reading nonfiction, while chatting about how awesome it is with all of you. Today we kick off the event with our first topic, from Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness, taking a look back at our year in nonfiction.

Your Year in 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? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? 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?

Favorite Nonfiction Read(s)

I think my favorite nonfiction read so far this year is actually one I just finished, Prince of Darkness, which I’ll be reviewing tomorrow. It was a fascinating story and the author did an amazing job sharing his enthusiasm for the topic. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed Beauty and Chaos, a great collection of essays about Tokyo, and Stiff by Mary Roach. And Nagasaki and Ghettoside where both heavier books, but incredibly well done.

Most Recommended Book

I feel as though I’ve failed at this one, because I really don’t recommend books to people in person all that often! My blog is the only place I typically push books on people 🙂

Topic I Should

Like Kim, I feel as though I should be reading more books about social justice and I’ve been putting them off in favor of more fun topics. I’m glad we started the month with this question, because it’s made a difference to the books on my to-read pile!

Expectations for Nonfiction November

I just like talking to all you wonderful people about a genre I love! I think I’m probably going to read all nonfiction this month as well.

Bonus Question – What’s on your to-read pile for the month? Here’s mine 🙂


37 Responses to “Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction”

  1. Sarah's Book Shelves

    Jared Diamond…I’ve had Guns, Germs, and Steel on my bookshelf for probably 10 years and I just get intimidated to pick it up even though I’ve heard it’s really good. I’ll be interested to see what you think of this one!

    • DoingDewey

      I actually picked this one up because I loved Guns, Germs, and Steel so much! I remember it being interesting and very approachable. I’d definitely recommend picking it up 🙂

  2. Sophie

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Between the World and Me! I’m still waiting for my friend to finish it so that I can borrow it from her, haha. Is That A Fish in Your Ear? is also another book that I really want to read. 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Oh, it was so good! When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. I’m not sure where to start writing a review, but I’d definitely recommend it.

  3. Naomi

    Great stack! I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about The Third Chimpanzee and The Violinist’s Thumb. Happy Reading!

    • DoingDewey

      At the rate I’m reading, I’m not sure I’ll get to them this month, but if I don’t, I think I’m going to keep them at the top of my tbr pile. Planning for this month has gotten me started on a real nonfiction kick!

  4. Kelly

    Wow, great TBR! I didn’t plan well and don’t have a ton of time to read nonfiction this month, but am hoping to squeeze in at least one before the 30th. Maybe a nonfiction December for me? 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Thanks Kelly! I don’t think I’ll get through all of these books this month and I’m really excited about getting to them now, so it might a very nonfiction December for me too 🙂

  5. Laura Roberts

    I love Mary Roach! I read her book “Bonk,” but haven’t gotten to “Stiff” yet. I’m also looking forward to reading your “Prince of Darkness” review tomorrow – sounds like a super interesting read.

    • DoingDewey

      I actually have Bonk on my shelf and haven’t gotten to that one yet 🙂 I’m glad to hear that having read it, you’re excited about the author. That seems like a good sign!

  6. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    I think the main way I’m going to participate this year is by visiting all the posts and gathering books for my TBR. My slate is a bit too full to do reviews at the moment (though I may manage one or two). I am planning to do the I Am Malala readalong and I’m excited for that.

    • DoingDewey

      Thanks for joining in as much as you can, Lory! I’m excited you’ll be reading I Am Malala with us and I hope you have fun growing your TBR this month 🙂

  7. Brona

    Reading doesn’t always have to be fun – it can be enlightening, engrossing, curious, horrifying, disturbing, inspirational….as long as it moves you and excites you in some way. I treat it like fiction – if the writing style, the content and sometimes the timing of the book into my life isn’t working, I let it go.

    Life’s too short to read a book you’re not getting something out of. I think that NF sometimes gets stuck with the ‘worthy’ tag – you ‘should’ read this syndrome.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to rant!
    I’ve just read a few comments now about ‘should’ be reading and you only should if it’s something you’re really into or really want to learn about.

    Rant over – I’ll get down off my soap box now and sheepishly retire the stage 🙂

    I hope you enjoy your NF month of reading.

    • Ann @ Books on the Table

      Wow, Brona, I loved your rant — could have written it myself! I’m a bookseller and I feel like I say this almost every day. The only reason I read nonfiction is because I enjoy it. If it’s not working for me I put it aside. Like you, I treat it like fiction — not like a homework assignment. We “should” read whatever appeals to us and interest us. Thanks for getting on your soapbox!

    • DoingDewey

      Haha, no worries, I get what you’re saying. I think I both agree and disagree with you. I completely agree that reading should be engaging in some way, even if it’s not purely fun. Life is too short to slog through a book because you feel as though you ‘should’ read it. I just finished Between the World and Me, which is one of the books I felt I should get to, and while it wasn’t fun, it was so intellectually stimulating. I found it engaging and a great use of my time.

      Where I disagree with you is that I do have books I think I should read. Sometimes I want to do better about reading diversely or want to read more books on a particular topic and I don’t follow through on that desire. I just sometimes want to balance reading all the different things I want to read a little differently than whatever my current balance is. So I guess where I think I should read something is when I want to read it, which isn’t so different from what you’re saying after all 🙂

  8. Rachel

    Wow. That’s a large to-read pile. I’m currently reading Quiet, by Susan Cain and The Evil Hours, by David J Morris. I hope to finish I am Malala as well. If I’m really on top of things, I’ll read The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins.

    • DoingDewey

      It’s definitely an unrealistically ambitious to-read pile, but I’m excited to have options! I’ve heard so much about The Selfish Gene, I’d like to pick that up sometime too. And I really enjoyed Quiet, so I’ll be excited to hear what you think about it 🙂

  9. Tara @ Running 'N' Reading

    I was just commenting on Kelly’s (The Well-Read Redhead) post about The Emperor of All Maladies and noticed that you both mention Stiff; I need to check that one out! I love medically-related nonfiction (probably because I work in a hospital, even though I’m not a healthcare worker) and this one sounds very intriguing. Thanks so much for putting all of this together; excited to participate for the first time this year.

    • DoingDewey

      Stiff is a really fun read! Not at all the same as The Emperor of All Maladies, but it’s hilarious and has lots of interesting stories 🙂

  10. Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    I’m glad I’m not the only one feeling a bit of a push and pull between types of books I want to be reading. I do really want to read more on social justice, at least in part so I can make good recommendations to others interested in the topic, but a lot of times I just want to read easy and so I’ll go to something else. I am going to get through a tough book or two this month though, that’s a priority!

    • DoingDewey

      Yep, that’s where I’ve been! I know these won’t be “fun”, easy reads and I also think they’ll be harder to review. Like you, I’m going to try to get through a few this month anyway 🙂

  11. Carrie

    I hope you enjoy The Year of Living Biblically. AJ Jacobs is one of my favorite go-to authors. I especially love his The Know-it-All.

  12. JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing

    I’m feeling the pull to read more books about social justice, too. This afternoon I downloaded the audio version of Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates… it’s read by the author and is absolutely mesmerizing.

    Stiff was a favorite a couple of years ago and Ghettoside is on my wish list. From your tbr pile I have read On Immunity… which was good, but I was hoping more hard science. Good luck getting through your stack!

    • DoingDewey

      I just finished reading Between the World and Me and I thought it was amazing. It’s one of the more intellectually engaging books I’ve ever read and I’d love to re-read it as an audiobook. Something this personal is sure to be good read by the author.

      I think what I’m hoping to get out of On Immunity is a better understanding of anti-vaccers, so hopefully the lack of hard science won’t bother me. We’ll see though, since I do generally like some hard science 🙂 Good luck with your reading this month too!

  13. Amanda

    I feel like I have the opposite recommending problem — I find myself pushing books on people! But then again, I’m a librarian, and it’s just in my nature. 😉

    • DoingDewey

      I think I just don’t know enough people who read and talk about books! I think a lot of grad students do enough reading for work that they’re not excited to do it for fun too, so I don’t have many chance to push books on people. That’s part of why I enjoy my blog so much 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      I think it’s more about what accounts for talent (genetics, training, etc), rather than specifically focused on music, but we’ll see when I get to it 🙂 I hope you have fun with your reads this month too!

    • DoingDewey

      It’s so good! It’s obviously about a very tough topic, but the author managed to convey the tragedy of the situation in an interesting enough way that I enjoyed reading about it, even when the facts were depressing.

  14. Andi

    And Beauty and Chaos went straight to my wishlist. Thank you for always recommending such awesome nonfiction.

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