Prompt 1: Your Year In Non-Fiction
I’m so excited that Nonfiction November has kicked off (yeah, I admit, i’m kind of a dork). Typically I try to read 1-2 non-fiction books a month – but that just depends on what else is going on in life and around me. For this post (My Year in Nonfiction) – I went back through my Goodreads records to identify the books that i’ve read since NF November finished last year. Its always an insightful kind of exercise
Dec 1, 2019 to October 31 2020 Non-Fiction Book List
- Memoir – The Quarter-Acre Farm: How I kept the patio, lost the lawn, and fed my family for a year
- Memoir/Animals – Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero
- Memoir/Graphic Art – Prison Island: A Graphic Memoir
- Memoir – Love Is a Mix Tape
- Memoir/Social Justice/Social Movements – I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
- Memoir – I Have Something to Tell You
- Memoir/Social Justice – When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
- Memoir/Graphic Art – They Called Us Enemy
- Memoir – From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home
- Biography – A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival
- Biography/Books About Books – Bowie’s Bookshelf: The Hundred Books that Changed David Bowie’s Life
- Biography – Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- Biography/History – Jefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America
- True Crime – The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Secrets of Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI’s Original Mindhunter
- True Crime – The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia
- True Crime – Mrs. Sherlock Holmes
- True Crime – Hell in the Heartland: Murder, Meth, and the Case of Two Missing Girls
- True Crime – American Predator
- Gender Studies – Men Explain Things to Me
- Gender Studies – Three Women
- History/Gender Studies – Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court
- History/Military – Joe Rochefort’s War
- History/Significant Events – The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland
- History/Sports – One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season
- History/Social Movements/Social Justice – Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America
- Economics – Free: The Future of a Radical Price
- Cookbooks – Cook Once, Eat All Week: 26 Weeks of Gluten-Free, Affordable Meal Prep to Preserve Your Time & Sanity
- Self-Help – Päntsdrunk (Kalsarikänni): The Finnish Path to Relaxation (Drinking at Home, Alone, in Your Underwear)
What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
This is always a hard question for me to answer because I read such a diverse range of books and topics. If i had to pick (like really twist my arm kinda pick) – then I could narrow my favorites down to 2. Joe Rochefort’s War (Elliot Carlson) and One Shot at Forever (Chris Ballard). – I just finished up Joe Rochefort’s War in October – if you are interested in military history, especially World War 2/ war in the pacific, then this is a book that would likely interest you. CDR Joseph Rochefort was the Officer in Charge of Station Hypo in Pearl Harbor and was key in identifying where the Battle of Midway was going to take place. If you have seen either the new 2019 Midway movie or the older one – he is depicted as wearing a dressing gown and slippers (and per his biography he did because the space was so cold and clammy). – As I was reading One Shot in Forever (while stuck on pre-deployment COVID restriction of movement in Italy) – the thought that kept running through my mind was how has this not been turned into a Disney movie yet? If you like movies like McFarlane USA and Miracle, then this is a book you may enjoy.
Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?
In general, I’ve maintained my pretty diverse range of non-fiction reads. Memoirs and Biographies have typically been top of my most read list over the last few years; followed close behind by True Crime. I think the one topic this year that hasn’t been as present in previous years is the the Social Justice/Social Movement type books – this had definately not been a topic that I had really explored in the past – beyond reading Just Mercy a couple of years ago – but with the events of 2020 and the ongoing civil unrest related to deaths of African American citizens by police – its definately something I wanted to become more informed about. Locking Up Our Own was probably one of the more insightful about racial profiling; and then reading When They Call You a Terrorist by one of the founders of Black Lives Matter highlighted huge gaps in my awareness of ongoing issues.
What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
Nonfiction seems to be my least recommended books in general – likely because most places where I make recommendations are heavy with genre readers. That being said – i’ve definately recommended One Shot in Forever to a couple of people, including one person who blogs sports books (he’d actually already read it – but that counts right?) I’ve also recommended American Predator and Killer Across the Table (as audiobook listens) to a few people – I mean King George himself (aka Jonathan Groff) narrates Killer Across the Table).
What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
What i always want to get out of Nonfiction November – most books added to my already huge TBR pile. Ha! But there is some truth in that – i like seeing what other people are reading and recommending – and I tend to keep a running list of books that catch my eye – either mentioned on Goodreads, Twitter or Blogs (I mean, i do this during the year, but on average I add probably double the books during this month). I also like finding books I can recommend to my local library system to buy (in a perfect world, I would love a job buying books for a library but alas….)