#NonficNov: Your Year in Nonfiction

November 1, 2021 Uncategorized 35

Hello all and welcome to the first week of Nonfiction November! I can’t wait to chat about nonfiction with you all month long. Our first discussion will be hosted by Rennie at What’s Nonfiction, so visit her if you want to share a response to this week’s discussion prompt or any nonfiction reviews. The prompt for this week is:

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? Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

Favorite Nonfiction

I’ve decided to always approach this challenge by sharing several favorites. The first, Seed Money, was a fantastic blend of the specific history of the chemical company Monsanto and bigger picture events. The Only Plane in the Sky is a book you all have been recommending through the last two Nonfiction November events and this incredible, clear, well-researched oral history totally lived up to your reviews. The last, The Code Breaker, was a great biography which explained the science clearly, asked thoughtful philosophical questions, and really humanized a brilliant scientist.

Topics Of Focus

I’ve read a ton of great science books that are related to genetics and genomics this year. This is a topic that’s interested me as long as I’ve been reading nonfiction, so it was nice to make it a focus again after a bit of a break. I also read two histories of 9/11, a couple of books on how to make friends/host good gatherings, and several books on evil corporations.

Most Recommended Book

I’ve been recommending Seed MoneyThe Monsanto Papers, and The Code Breaker pretty frequently. When I enjoy books that relate to biotech, I often end up recommending them to lots of friends and co-workers.

Hopes for Nonfiction November

As always, my favorite part of the event is getting to interact with other people who are excited about nonfiction. This year, I’m also hoping to get back to reading and reviewing 2 or 3 books a week, instead of the 1 that’s become my new normal. We’ll see!

Thank you all for joining us for another year of Nonfiction November! Don’t forget to link-up your discussion prompt responses and nonfiction reviews with Rennie at What’s Nonfiction this week. You can also join Jaymi at The OC Book Girl for the Instragram challenge every day. The hashtag there and on twitter is #NonficNov.

35 Responses to “#NonficNov: Your Year in Nonfiction”

  1. Angela

    So glad this event is back! It’s so fun to see what other nonfiction books people are reading, since the topics are endless!

  2. Jen at Introverted Reader

    One of the things I love about Nonfiction November is finding books that I would otherwise completely dismiss. Seed Money would never have hit my radar but you’ve piqued my interest. The other two are more of my usual fare so I’ll be sure to check them out too.

    • DoingDewey

      That’s a good point! I feel like books on almost any topic can turn out to be favorites for me, but there are some I’m unlikely to pick up based on description alone. Recommendations are the best for finding those 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Glad to put that back on your radar! Writing this post actually reminded me about wanting to get to more biographies by the same author 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      We’re definitely in this together!

      I couldn’t believe how good The Only Plane in the Sky was. I should make more of a point of reading oral histories, because I’ve really enjoyed the few I’ve picked up.

      Most of the books I’ve read about evil corporations have involved some sort of punishment for the company. At a minimum, they’ve obviously been exposed, since there’s a book. And some have been recent enough that the company might yet be punished, like Bad Blood. So these stories are a lot less infuriating to me than books on sexism or racism, which I do have to psych myself up to read, since those are still such ongoing problems.

  3. JoAnn @ Gulfside Musing

    The Only Plane in the Sky has been on my list since it was published, but I keep waiting for the “right” time. I’d thought it might be for the 20th anniversary, but I still didn’t feel ready. I just need to pick it up and read it!

    I got interested in code breaking after reading Code Girls earlier this year and hope to read Code Breaker soon.

    • DoingDewey

      I definitely get not being ready to read that one! I picked it up spontaneously from a display for the anniversary, so I didn’t have time to talk myself out of reading it.

      I should warn you that Code Breaker is about a woman who worked on gene editing, despite the title sounding like it’s another one about women who decoded secret messages. Along those lines though, I’d highly recommend The Woman Who Smashed Codes 🙂

  4. Rennie

    My ebook library hold of The Only Plane in the Sky came through pretty quickly so now I just need to get to it this month. I remember it came up a lot last year during Nonfiction November too. Thanks for motivating me to finally get to it!

    And I love your evil corporations reading trend!

    • DoingDewey

      So many people suggested The Only Plane in the Sky last year! I’m glad I got to it in time for this event 🙂

      I do feel like some of the books you’ve really enjoyed also fit into the evil corporations category. I really need to get to some of the recent ones on the Sackler family, for example.

  5. NancyElin

    Excellent suggestions for my love of “investigative journalism “…this time in science.
    The Monsanto Papers will be available as e-book in The Netherlands on 16 November
    ….and I just ordered Seed Money for my Kindle. Thanks so much for bring these books to my attention.
    NancyElin recently posted…#NonFicNov 2021 week 1My Profile

    • DoingDewey

      Yes, investigative journalism is such a good subgenre! I particularly enjoy when it involves companies being exposed for sneakily doing evil, although I enjoy it more when the companies are appropriately punished and that’s rarer than I would like.

  6. Laura Frey

    I’m interested in The Code Breaker. I read Doudna’s book A Crack in Creation, and a few others around CRISPR, mostly because my kids were fascinated by it and I wanted to get on their level. The science sometimes gets a little too complex for me. I’d love to see a “be the expert” on this!
    Laura Frey recently posted…Novellas in November 2021 TBR & Research Round UpMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      I thought The Code Breaker was more readable look at this topic than Doudna’s own books and I felt like I got to know at least as much about her, so it’s definitely one I’d recommend 🙂

  7. Lisbeth @ The Content Reader

    Lovely, that you are co-hosting this annual event. Looking forward to week 2.

    I see The Code Breaker is popping up with several nonfiction readers. I have to look into it.

    I mostly read history, but have been adding a few other themes this year; travel, mindfulness and evolution. Will not have time to read them all this month, but there are other months to come. I am also in a slow reading pace for the time being.
    Lisbeth @ The Content Reader recently posted…Nonfiction NovemberMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      Thanks! I always enjoying helping to host this one.

      I’m glad to see The Code Breaker getting so much attention. I picked it up because I’m particularly interested in CRISPR, but I hear great things about all the author’s biographies.

      I’ve been reading pretty slowly myself, although I’m trying to pick it up at least a little for this event with mixed success. Your new themes all sound fascinating; books on evolution, especially, are my type of thing 🙂

  8. Melissa

    The Only Plane in the Sky was so amazing and was my #1 book I read last year! I’ve added The Code Breaker to my list and look forward to it.
    Overall, the nonfiction I’ve read hasn’t been quite as fabulous as previous years, but this year my favorites have been Empire of Pain, Being Mortal, and They Called Us Enemy. (I also re-read All Creatures Great and Small, Lab Girl, and Into Thin Air, and they were as amazing as I’d remembered.)

    • DoingDewey

      Sorry to hear that your nonfiction reading year hasn’t been quite as good. I loved Being Mortal and Lab Girl. Empire of Pain is on my list; I’ve heard only good things about it and it seems like a timely topic.

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