Hooray, it’s Nonfiction November! This is a yearly event that a lot of us look forward to.
The topic this week is Your Year in Nonfiction, hosted by Leann of Shelf Aware: 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?
I made it a goal this year to read more nonfiction, and I did. I discovered many amazing books and learned so much.
Aside from memoirs, which are always a pull because I love to read people’s stories, I’ve been attracted to medical topics, books about trauma and recovery, and books about people with neurological or sensory differences. The standout was probably An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks. I’ll definitely be seeking out more of his books.
I have recommended The Body Keeps the Score to many people, and I will continue to do so because I think it is such an important book. We need to change our thinking about lots of things, and trauma is one thing that severely clouds our thinking. This book shows it is possible to find a way through, using the wisdom of the body to help.
Here is a list of the nonfiction books I’ve read since last November:
- Daring to Drive by Manal al-Sharif – Memoir, activism
- Ce n’est pas toi que j’attendais by Fabien Toulmé – Graphic memoir
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (plus her other memoirs)
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – Memoir
- The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk – Science (trauma and recovery)
- The World I Live In by Helen Keller – Essays
- I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong – Science (microbiology)
- Good Morning Monster by Catherine Gildiner – Psychology (patient stories)
- Inferno by Catherine Cho – Memoir of a psychosis
- Home and Home Work by Julie Andrews – Memoir
- My Invented Country by Isabel Allende – Memoir
- The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu – Spirituality
- In Pursuit of Disobedient Women by Dionne Searcey – Memoir, reporting
- Rudolf Steiner and Swedenborg by Gary Lachman – Biography
- An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks – Science (neurological case studies)
- Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic by Michael McCreary – Memoir
- Haben by Haben Grima – Memoir
- Lingo by Gaston Dorren – Language
- For the Benefit of Those Who See by Rosemary Mahoney – Memoir, experiences with the blind
- Toucher la vie by Thich Nhat Hanh – Spirituality
- Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L.Trump – family biography, psychology
What do I hope to get out of Nonfiction November? It’s always so interesting to see what others have been reading and to get ideas for my own nonfiction reading for next year. And I hope that others might be inspired by some of what I have to share too.
There is so much to learn and to discover in our world, and this event helps to keep me grounded in that activity when so much is flying out of control. We can always strive to keep our perspective, to see clearly, understand, and put together the disparate pieces of our experience. That’s what I’m trying to do, anyway.
What does Nonfiction November hold for you?