I know we’re only six days into Nonfiction November, but I am already loving it. I just finished my first book, Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson, and it was SO GOOD. I’ve always been fascinated by archaeology, and this book provides some great insight into what being an archaeologist is really like. But anyway, on to the discussion!
This week’s Nonfiction November discussion is hosted by Kim of Sophisticated Dorkiness.
What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay! I want to put a copy into the hands of every person I know. Her essays about feminism, race, and culture are just so smart and thoughtful and provocative, and everyone needs to read her.
As for nonfiction with a more historical bent, In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides was fantastic. It chronicles the USS Jeannette’s doomed 1879 attempt to be the first naval expedition to reach the North Pole. It’s unputdownable nonfiction that reads like a novel.
What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. (Raise your hand if you saw that one coming.) I have so much love for this collection of Strayed’s best Dear Sugar columns for The Rumpus. I’ve written about it quite a few times and given away copies on the blog twice. (And when I met Strayed briefly, I was a hot mess.) While I was living at home after college, I might have written out a paragraph from this book and taped it over my desk, where I read it over and over, like a mantra. It has gotten me through some tough times, and I really believe it has something (or many somethings) for everyone.
I also find myself telling everyone to read Packing for Mars by Mary Roach pretty frequently. So. Much. Fun.
What is one topic of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?
Oh man, so many. I’ve only started broadening my nonfiction horizons in the last few months. Before this year, almost all of the nonfiction books on my shelf were memoir. I loved reading the stories of interesting people, and I was afraid history books would be dry. (I still kind of have that fear.) Recently, though, I’ve been discovering tons of interesting nonfiction on fascinating subjects. I really want to read more popular science-type books, contemporary feminist works, books about women in history, and literary takes on history. (I realize this is more than one type of nonfiction, but I never promised to play by the rules.) I love the kind of book that makes me turn to the boyfriend and say, “hey, did you know?!”
What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
TBR explosion. I’m hoping to get some great recommendations! And also to dive into some of the nonfiction titles that have piled up on my shelves.