#NonficNov: Stranger Than Fiction

November 23, 2021 Uncategorized 22

Sorry to be a little late posting this. Believe it or not, we are already kicking off week 4 of Nonfiction November. Thanks so much to everyone who’s already participated by sharing discussion posts and reviews or by joining our Instagram challenge! This week we have a fun new prompt talking about nonfiction that’s almost unbelievable, hosted by Chris at Plucked From the Stacks. If you have a response to the prompt or nonfiction reviews to share, that’s the place to do it this week.

Here’s the full text of this week’s prompt:

Stranger Than Fiction: This week we’re focusing on all the great nonfiction books that *almost* don’t seem real. A sports biography involving overcoming massive obstacles, a profile on a bizarre scam, a look into the natural wonders in our world—basically, if it makes your jaw drop, you can highlight it for this week’s topic.

The first book that came to mind for me for this prompt was Bad Blood. That’s probably partly because it’s one of my all-time favorite nonfiction books. It covers the Theranos scandal, in which a blood testing start-up was able to fake having a working product for a disturbingly long time. The corporate underhandedness felt like something right out of a thriller.

The Lady’s Handbook For Her Mysterious Illness didn’t quite feel unbelievable to me, but I certainly wished it were fiction! The way doctors dismissed the author’s pain and sometimes caused her more pain through a refusal to take her seriously made them feel like really poorly developed villains, with no motive but to be evil.

Last but not least, another medical memoir that almost couldn’t be believed. In Susannah Cahalan’s Brain on Fire, the doctors aren’t evil, just bewildered. The fact that she even survived and was able to write this book feels completely improbable. Many people with similar problems don’t have them solved until it’s too late.



I’m sure there are a ton of other great books that could be included in this post. Nonfiction is constantly surprising me and making me want to share fun facts with everyone around me. I can’t wait to see what books you’re all talking about for this one!

Instagram Challenge and Discussion Link-Up

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 Chris at Plucked From the Stacks. You can also join Jaymi at The OC Book Girl for the Instragram challenge every day. The hashtag there and on twitter is #NonficNov.

22 Responses to “#NonficNov: Stranger Than Fiction”

    • DoingDewey

      Oh, I think it’s fun you picked up a book specifically for this one! I really enjoyed the prompt and I think I’d probably enjoy most books that fit this category.

  1. Helen C Murdoch

    I recently read Bad Blood and did keep saying, “how is this woman getting away with all of this?” Charm, confidence, and good looks apparently get one far with older men. 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Indeed! I think something investors should learn from this is also that having only famous board members, not scientifically inclined ones, should be a huge red flag at a science company. But yeah, I couldn’t believe how long she got away with this for either!

    • DoingDewey

      Oliver Sacks is one of those authors I’ve heard of and haven’t yet gotten too. While part of me feels bad thinking about how few books I’ll read in my life, I also really love that there are so many good books out there that I’ll never run out 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      Lady’s Handbook may be one of those depressing stories that should fall into the ‘shocked but not surprised’ category, but yeah – I couldn’t believe the lack of empathy from some of the doctors she interacted with. Truly wild.

  2. Bridget Ryan

    I freaked out a bit when I saw the 3 books you picked for this post, since Bad Blood and Brain on Fire are 2 of the 3 books the book club I run at work (for a healthcare research company) has picked so far!

  3. Molly

    These are amazing picks! I love that you have a woman that should not have been believed and two woman that no one would listen to – the dichotomy!

    • DoingDewey

      Ha! I have to admit that I hadn’t noticed that, just my inadvertent medical scheme, but you’re right – that makes me enjoy this pairing quite a bit more 🙂

  4. Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks

    Even though I haven’t read it yet (I’ve seen the documentary), Bad Blood sprang to mind immediately, and I’m surprised more people haven’t featured it this week. Just an absolutely wild story.

    I’ve seen the cover for The Lady’s Handbook For Her Mysterious Illness a lot, but I think this is the first time I’ve taken a moment to read what it’s about. Definitely adding it to my TBR pile.

    • DoingDewey

      I’ve not seen the Bad Blood documentary, but I really should! I followed a lot of the story in industry newsletters and am fascinated by the whole thing. It really is unbelievable.

      I think I picked up The Lady’s Handbook after seeing it on Rennie’s blog, so I’m happy to pass that recommendation along 🙂

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