Monday, November 3, 2014

My Year in Nonfiction (#NonFicNov)

Hello, reader friends!  In case you haven't heard, November is officially Nonfiction November, as declared by its co-hosts, Becca, Katie, Kim, and Leslie.  I'm very excited to be participating in the event this month (for reasons you will see below).  Nonfiction November includes weekly discussion posts, as well as a nonfiction book readalong, so head on over to any of the hosts' blogs to find out more.

This week's Nonfiction November discussion focuses on 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?

Here's where the sad admission comes in: I've only read TWO nonfiction books in all of 2014!  I didn't even realize this atrocity until I heard about Nonfiction November and took a look back at my reviews for the year.  I read Sous Chef by Michael Gibney back in March, and Pooja Mottl's The 3 Day Reset in June, and that is IT.  So not only have I not read much nonfic at all, but I've also limited myself to food-related nonfiction.  FOR SHAME, ME.

Therefore, my obvious goal for Nonfiction November is to...read more nonfiction.  I have no real explanation for why I've strayed from it this year.  I do enjoy nonfiction, though I tend to favor fiction overall for the entertainment value.  However, I rarely have an imbalance between the two that is this large.  So I will be doing some work on that this month!  

Even though fiction may win for entertainment value, I love nonfiction because I feel like it feeds my brain.  I have learned some of the most random, fascinating factoids through nonfiction reads.  And some nonfiction authors are so good at their craft that you often feel a level of suspense that is usually reserved for a fiction novel as you're reading their work (examples would be Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff, or In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson).

So, what exactly am I reading this month?  Well, as we know, I'm not a very fast reader these days, so I can't set the bar too high.  However, I am going to try to read a few nonfic titles that have been sitting on my at-home TBR for quite a while.  Possibilities include:
1776 by David McCullough
At the Mercy of the Mountains by Peter Bronski
Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul by Jack Canfield, etc
The Road Ahead by Bill Gates
Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster
The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain

That's just what I have on hand though.  I sparked a little Twitter discussion the other night regarding reader's recommendations for the best nonfiction, and I got a TON of great responses!  A library trip may be in order!

What say you, friends?  Will you be participating in Nonfiction November?  What types of nonfiction do you gravitate towards the most?

28 comments:

  1. I haven't read any of the books on your lists, but I listened to Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, and it was a lot of fun. As for non-fiction that is so well-crafted it has the suspense of a novel, In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides is a great one.

    I've only really started reading non-fiction (besides memoir) recently, but I love the kind of books that have colorful writing and make me turn to the boyfriend and say "hey, did you know?" every five minutes.

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    1. I loooove Kitchen Confidential! The Nasty Bits is one of his only books that I haven't read yet. Thanks for the recommendation as well. Yes, my husband probably gets a little tired of all the factoids I throw at him during nonfic. And I usually start them with, "You should read this book! You would love it! Let me tell you this part..." and by the end, he's like, "Why do I need to read it? You told me the whole thing..."

  2. I haven't read as much nonfiction as usual either. I will be trying to make some headway in November, AND I just downloaded Bourdain's The Nasty Bits last night!

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    1. Oh nice! I'll check out your blog to see if you review it, I'm hoping to get to it after the one I'm reading now.

  3. I don't read a lot of non fiction, but I'm going to try to sneak in a book or two during November. Unofficial lazy partial participation is my jam.

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    1. Haha I am the BEST at that. See: Armchair BEA, pretty much every time.

  4. I'm not participating, but I cannot recommend highly enough Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist and Eula Biss' On Immunity. Both were absolutely fabulous.

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    1. I am SO VERY interested in On Immunity. Nothing gets me more riled than a good immunization discussion! :)

  5. Nonfiction definitely does feed the brain :) Those sound like interesting reads, I've not even heard of any of them! Hope you enjoy!

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    1. Thanks! I've gotten so many good recommendations for this month, I'm sure I won't get to many of them. :)

  6. I've read, and adored, both Frozen in Time and In the Garden of Beasts. However, I haven't read any of the books on your list. My wish list has already exploded from hopping around reading these intro posts, ack! :)

    Good luck this month!

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    1. I hear you about the exploding lists! Plus, I posted about it on Twitter and got about a million amazing responses. Gah.

  7. I'm trying to combine AusReading Month & Non-Fiction Nov in the hope that I will finally finish the 2 NF Aussie titles I've been browsing through all year!

    I'm so glad I found this meme. I've already found so many new titles & I feel more inspired to tackle the ones I already have.

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    1. Ah, I love it when books overlap between challenges! :) I agree about this meme. I needed something to kick my nonfiction reading back into gear.

  8. I'm hoping to find some great nonfiction titles this month... Sous Chef is one I'm considering!

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    1. I hope you get a chance to check it out! It's very interesting and reads like a fiction novel.

  9. I haven't read much nonfiction so far this year either . . . I'm sure participating in Nonfiction November will add to our TBR piles! 1776 is great, of course--you can't go wrong with David McCullough.

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    1. I am in the midst of 1776 now, and loving it. I wish all my high school history texts were written like this!

  10. I've been putting books on my library list all day today! So many great recommendations. 1776 has been on my shelf for years. Not sure if I'll get to it this month but I keep hearing good things about it. Enjoy!

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    1. I've had my copy for probably 7 or 8 years now. So glad I'm finally diving in! A long read but very absorbing.

  11. I love nonfiction like Frozen in Time, where the author turns a real story into a suspenseful tale. It's one of my favorite styles. I'm glad you'll be joining us, and I hope you read some great nonfiction this month!

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  12. Oh I love foodie non-fiction! Sous Chef was quite a read. Another food-related NF I loved was Relish by Lucy Knisley. I'm hoping to read more historical nonfiction this month!

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation! Foodie nonfic is arguably one of my favorite genres. I am always adding to my list.

  13. McCullough is awesome. But looooonnnnggg. Still though, it's worth it to read his works.

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    1. Yes, I am in the midst of 1776 now and loooong for sure. But so good!

  14. I love nonfiction for the fun facts too! I hope you find some good books during your nonfiction reading this month! :)

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    1. Yes, I've found a ton of great ones already! Thanks for co-hosting :)

 
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