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Monday, November 1, 2021

Nonfiction November: Week 1: Your Year in Nonfiction


Week 1: (November 1-5) – Your Year in Nonfiction with Rennie at What’s 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?




What nonfiction books have you enjoyed the most this year?

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown

The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Doug Tallamy

Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good? by Michael Sandel

The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It by Robert Reich

A Swim in the Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders

Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Disappearing Spoon and Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements by Sam Kean

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

Fred Rogers: The Last Interview and Other Conversations by Fred Rogers

Yes, and…Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr


Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? 

Native Americans...nature...writing...political systems...and spirituality


What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? 

Yes, and...Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr



What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

I hope to read at least a few out of the stack of nonfiction I've accumulated this year:

What's So Special About Dickens? by Michael Rosen 

The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs by Tristan Gooley

Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City by Andrea Elliott

Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch

Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide by Tony Horwitz

7 1/2 Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett

She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer

The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death by John Kelly

On Animals by Susan Orlean

Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need by David Platt

I also hope to find some great new-to-me nonfiction books.

31 comments:

  1. Barbara Tuchman is a personal favorite author. She is an amazing author. My dad gifted me all of her books - and I've read them at least once. Probably need to pull a couple off the shelf to read again. Great collection, Deb.

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  2. Good luck! I hope you're able to get through your TBR stack. I'll have my nonfiction book recommendations up tomorrow. Halloween threw off my blogging schedule. :)

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  3. We are on a similar journey of reading Native American nonfiction!

    I am so glad that you loved James Herriot. He has been a favorite read of mine since I was a kid.

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  4. All the books you mentioned are pretty unfamiliar to me so I have lots to discover!

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  5. I haven't read as much nonfiction this year as usual, but my favorite would be Nomadland. When you mentioned James Herriot, I realized how long it has been since I've reread those books--they are some of my favorite books of all time! Best of luck on your nonfiction selections!

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  6. Your list is incredibly impresive. I'm readin g"James Herriott's Yorkshire" right now -- lots of photos along with his commentary on the areas in this beautiful region!

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  7. You've done really well with nonfiction reading this year! And, a very ambitious list for the month of November... I hope they are all interesting good reads.

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  8. Oh good, you've listed more than one favourite! I've got my post coming out tomorrow and felt a bit naughty doing that! Hope you have a lot of good reading this month!

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  9. I love all the variety in your nonfiction reading! Enjoy your November reads!

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  10. I've had The Guns of August on my TBR forever -- I need to get to it!

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  11. All Creatures Great and Small--all of those books are lifelong favorites of mine now. The Guns of August, like Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie, was a gateway book for me into serious nonfiction reading back in the 1970s.

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  12. Bury My Heart was one I read many years ago now, but it has stayed with me all that time - a definite must-read. And I remember my time with James Herriot very fondly - the TV show from the 80's and the books - truly delightful.

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  13. I also plan to get to the Susan Orlean book On Animals, and perhaps Daughters of Yalta. Enjoy.

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  14. I love the daily mediations from Richard Rohr, I get them by email. There is always something helpful there. I'd like to read a book on Fred Rogers, he was a big influence on my childhood. Happy NonFicNOv!

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  15. You have quite a variety of books up your sleeve for nonfiction November. I see some favourites there, like Barbara Tuchman. I also have The Disappearing Spoon which I have just started. A good choice for this November. I will write my post soon and see what I come up with. For me it is mostly history. However, I might venture into the personal mind of meditation, organising your life, and work. I think I have a few books on my shelves to help mer out here.

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  16. The Disappearing Spoon is one I’ve wanted to read for a while.
    I like the variety of the books you are planning to read this month, I’m looking forward to reading what you think of them.

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  17. The only one I've read in your list is All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot.

    Good Luck with your TBR stack!

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  18. You're the second person who has mentioned The Guns of August. I'm enjoying The Splendid and the Vile and like the idea of reading a book that focuses on a short segment of a specific war. I'm adding Tuchman's book to my TBR list. I may not get to it this year, but maybe before next year's challenge! Thanks, Deb.

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  19. I added The Disappearing Spoon to my list after reading your review earlier this year... definitely my kind of book! Hope I can get to it before too much longer.

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  20. What a fantastic collection! I have had the Disappearing Spoon on my TBR for far too long. Maybe this is the year I finally read it!

    Have a great NonFiction November!

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  21. All Creatures Great and Small - brings back so many great memories. I read all 4 of the books in the series, and then fell in love with the original BBC series and then fell in love with the remake.

    Guns of August - I listened to this a few years ago, and learned so much. I especially loved the opening chapter with the monarchs of Europe gathering for the funeral of a relative before they started slaughtering each others citizens.

    The Great Mortality was also really good.

    I'll have to check out What's So Special About Dickens--I'm only 2 books away from having read all his novels, and it's always interesting to read what others think about the giants of the canon.

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  22. Fascinating selection of books Deb. I have had Bury my heart on my TBR since our first time of living in the USA in the early 1980s. I'd love to read it but it seems so long that finding time for it is a challenge.

    You are the second blogger to say they've read All creatures great and small this last year. What got it suddenly into the zeitgeist? I read it when it came out and loved it. I guess you could call it nature writing? Well, it's about animals anyhow!

    I love that what you want to get out of the month is to read all those books. How many will you get read?

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  23. Fascinating selection of books Deb. I have had Bury my heart on my TBR since our first time of living in the USA in the early 1980s. I'd love to read it but it seems so long that finding time for it is a challenge.

    You are the second blogger to say they've read All creatures great and small this last year. What got it suddenly into the zeitgeist? I read it when it came out and loved it. I guess you could call it nature writing? Well, it's about animals anyhow!

    I love that what you want to get out of the month is to read all those books. How many will you get read?

    (Sue from Whispering Gums - the Name/URL option for signing comments no longer seems to work on Blogger?)

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  24. I love how varied your nonfiction reading is. I really need to spread out more. Good luck with your TBR - even if you manage to read a few, odds are your TBR will grow during this month, with all the wonderful recommendations! 😉

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  25. Impressive list, well as usual, lol.
    We have one book in common! https://wordsandpeace.com/2021/11/05/nonfiction-november-my-year-2021-in-nonfiction/

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  26. Gathering Moss - I hope you'll be pairing that with The Signature of All Things next week!

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  27. I tried SWIMMING by Saunders but couldn't get into it. Now that I've read Lincoln in the Bardo and have a new respect for the author, maybe I'll give it a second go.
    Do you have any ideas as to why Native American stories don't seem to warm my heart as they do other people's?

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  28. You've already had a great nonfiction reading year and sounds like a lot of great possibilities ahead. I love that there are a lot of variety of topics. Enjoy your nonfiction reads!

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  29. Gathering Moss sounds fascinating! Definitely adding that to my TBR pile.

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  30. I love your wide variety of nonfiction reading!! I loved Bury My Heart when I read it, although I remember how devastating it was too. I've been kind of on the fence about A Swim in the Pond in the Rain - I love anything Russia-related but I'm not a fiction reader so wasn't sure how much I'd get from it. But it does sound like it's about so much more. I loved the book The Anna Karenina Fix, which was a very lighthearted and humorous look at life lessons from Russian literature, so maybe a more meaningful one could be good as well :)

    And The Disappearing Spoon has been on my list forever and I still haven't gotten to anything by that author although all of his sound so good. Looks like you've had a wonderful reading year so far and hope you're finding lots of great reads already this month!

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  31. Ok, I just read your Goodreads review of A Swim in A Pond and it's immediately going onto my list, that convinced me. Thank you!

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