Thursday, November 2, 2017

Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction

It's November and we all know what that's time for Nonfiction November. 

I'm a huge nonfiction reader, and I'm always looking for more good reads in nonfiction. I can't think of a better way to discover new nonfiction reads than to talk to those of us who love nonfiction. 

So here I am.

Your Year in Nonfiction: Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions....

More Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience *****

The Battle for Room 314: My Year of Hope and Despair in a New York City High School ****
Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders *****
The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia ****
The Monks and Me: How 40 Days in Thich Nhat Hanh’s French Monastery Guided Me Home ***
From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books ***
But What If We Are Wrong? Thinking About the Present as If It We’re the Past ***
You’ve Got to Reach Them to Teach Them: The Hard Fact about the Soft Skills of Student Engagement ****
The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived ***
Books for Living ***
Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life ****
When in French: Love in a Second Language ****
Strangers in a Strange Land **
March: Book 1 *****
March: Book 2 *****
March: Book 3 *****
Read Your World: A Guide to Multicultural Children’s Books for Parents and Educators ****
The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well ***
Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma ***
Utopia Drive: A Road Trip Through America’s Most Radical Idea ****
H is for Hawk ****
Life From Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness****
Art of the Pie *****
My Love Affair with England: A Traveler's Memoir****
Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith****
The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot****
Stand Up and Sing: Pete Seeger, Folk Music, and the Path to Justice*****
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis***
On Living by Kerry Egan ****
The Moth Presents All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown*****
The Rules Do Not Apply***
White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World****
My Life With Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Book, Plot Ensues****
The Not-Quite-United States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA****
The Moth by Catherine Burns*****
Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy *****
Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult ****
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World ****
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie ***
A Walk in New York ****
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption *****
The Ultimate Guide to Gardening ****
This is New York by Miroslav Sasek *****
The Five Invitations: Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully ****
Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship ****
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women *****
Creative Pep Talk: Inspiration from 50 Artists ****
The Story Cure: A Book Doctor's Pain-Free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir ***
Bleaker House: Chasing My Novel to the End of the World ***
Yoga Bodies: Real People, Real Stories, and the Power of Transformation ****
Tiny Book of Tiny Pleasures *****
All Day: A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids at Rikers Island, New York's Most Notorious Jail ****
Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids ****
Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille ****
Pop-up Paris ****
Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy ****
The Little Pleasures of Paris *****
The Madeleine Project ****
At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails ****
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land ***
Journaling Toward Wholeness by Molly Totoro *****
Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time *****
Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries ****
Stuff Parisians Like ****
Imagine Wanting Only This *****
Curiosities of Paris ****
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong ***
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century ***
Pocket Pema Chodron *****
The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron *****
101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up ****
The Physics of Everyday Things ***
Thrive by Arianna Huffington ****
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir ****
The Blue Zones of Happiness *****
Ageless Soul **
Talking to God: Prayers for Children by Demi ****
It's All Relative by A. J. Jacobs ****
Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Great Writers *****
When the Sky Breaks: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and the Worst Weather in the World *****
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui *****
The Nordic Theory of Everything ****
Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown ****
Nomadland: Surving America in the Twenty-First Century ****
It's Easier Than You Think by Sylvia Boorstein ****
Why Poetry ***
Find Happiness Now ****
A Thousand Bells at Noon: A Roman Reveals the Secrets and Pleasures of His Native City ****
Happiness is an Inside Job ****
That Fine Italian Hand ****

Whew! That's quite the list, isn't it? That's ninety-two nonfiction reads this year. A lot of books.

As usual, I read a lot of books about Paris and New York, a lot of books-about-books, a lot of books about teaching, and a lot of books about happiness. I started my first few books about Italy, too.

What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? I had several. I loved the second collection of letters, More Letters of Note. These letters are fascinating. All four of the March books were excellent reads, important books to read. I devoured The Moth collections of true stories, and I can't wait for more. It always makes me happy to read a new Anne Lamott, a new A. J. Jacobs, and a new Brene Brown. And, finally, I was happy to discover happiness philosophers Sylvia Boorstein and Pema Chodron.

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? I've recommended The Radium Girls and Just Mercy to lots of people.

What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? I'll never get tired of reading books-about-books, books about happiness, and travel narratives. 

I have done a terrible job of challenges lately, but I decided to at least post the Instagram challenge. Maybe I'll join in a couple of times this month....

What nonfiction have you read this year? What nonfiction are you recommending? 
I'd love to hear your thoughts.

For more of Nonfiction November, take a look at the welcome post at Julz Reads.



  1. Wow you read a lot of non-fiction this year! I'm not as strong in my reading of non-fiction as fiction so this definitely gave me some recommendations.

  2. Wow that HUGE list of books made me dizzy!! Well done that's impressive. I look forward to seeing what you read this month 😊

    PS you link at Julz's blog doesn't work.

  3. Wow. 92 Nonfiction books so for this year! That's huge. Can't wait to see what you add to it this month.

  4. I am in awe of your nonfiction reading this year... actually, who am I kidding? I am in awe of ALL of your reading! Just Mercy was my most recommended book last year and I'm still telling people to read it. Need to try Radium Girls, too.

  5. I love non-fiction, and I love this list! Thanks for adding to my already extensive To Read list. I really enjoyed Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life (Warren) and Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards (Hatmaker), and in youth non-fiction, I liked Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz (Bornstein) and A Celebration of Beatrix Potter.

  6. Amazing list of books! The March books also rank high for me and last year Just Mercy was one of my favorites.

    1. Those are the kind of reads that build empathy for both sides in our current conflict.

  7. I think my favorite nonfiction for the year was The Best of Us, a memoir by Joyce Maynard about battling her husband's terminal illness with him. It was not depressing, although it tugged at my emotions.

    I see several on your list that I might have to check out. Enjoy your new Nonfiction November...and thanks for visiting my blog.

  8. I think there are some gorgeous travel memoirs in that list. Amazing list.

  9. Amazing list!! You are rockin' the nonfiction this year, aren't you?! I have two going right now (High Tide in Tuscon - Barbara Kingsolver - reread; Travels with Charley - John Steinbeck - reread), but it's rare for me to read a lot of nonfiction. I've only read four so far this year and three of those were on audio.

  10. Hmmm...I need to try out this November non fiction challenge! Lots of great books you got there!

    Here’s my Sunday Post!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog and join in this week’s Book Photo Sundays!

  11. I love nonfiction, but I’m skipping Nonfiction November because I have some giant novels to get through. My favorite nonfiction book so far this year is Most Dangerous. It’s about the Vietnam War and US politics, but it’s not boring.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  12. I'm feeling thoroughly ashamed... I cannot recall having read a SINGLE non-fiction book this year! Isn't that dreadful?? I loved looking through your list and at some stage when I'm not so crazily busy, I will get around to reading at least ONE of the excellent books I have on my own shelves. Have a great week!

  13. I read so little nonfiction that I can't even make a list (assuming that a list has more than one item on it.) I looked at the March books but didn't get a chance to read them before I retired and moved away from my school media center. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  14. WOW! I am a MASSIVE nonfiction reader, so this list made my heart sing! I wish wish wish that more caregivers/librarians/teachers saw nonfiction as a recreational reading option. A lot of kids who think they "don't like reading" could fall in love with nonfiction!

  15. That is seriously a lot of non- fiction. I could probably count on one hand what I read in that area in a year. Although one of my last ones about women and quilts in the 1930's I did enjoy the history of it.

  16. You certainly read a lot of nonfiction this year. Good job! I hope you enjoy your books this week.

    My It's Monday! What Are You Reading? post.

  17. Non-fiction was my least favorite genre (I consumed novels voraciously) until I met you! Your posts led me to branch out into things like Lab Girl and The Devil in White City, etc. I try consciously now to read one non-fiction book for every three novels; that's my compromise. Do memoirs count as non-fiction?

  18. Wow, that IS a huge list! I would also recommend The Radium Girls. Truly hope that one wins the Goodreads award this year.

  19. I agee with Evelina...that's a huge list. It's okay about the challenges. I'm sure you made some progress and that's a good thing.
    sherry @ fundinmental


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