Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction

Week 1 of Nonfiction November asks us to take a look back at our year of nonfiction and to reflect on the following questions:

What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

I’m never a fan of choosing a favorite but one book that I haven’t stopped thinking about since I read it back in February is The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. I thought I knew quite a bit about the Dust Bowl. I was wrong. The author combined history with personal narratives to craft an exceptional book that was heartbreaking and incredibly informative.

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? 

This question made me realize that I don’t recommend nearly enough nonfiction to my family and friends. I’m trying to figure out why. Am I afraid that people won’t be interested in books unless they are fiction? I think I could be underestimating people and I’m going to start being a bit more of an evangelist for my favorite nonfiction reads.

I’ll start now by saying that you MUST read Mao’s Great Famine by Frank Dikötter. That book nearly broke my soul. Read it. Please.

What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?

I’d like to read more nonfiction about science. For instance, I’ve been hearing about the wonderfully accessible works by Mary Roach forever but haven’t gotten around to actually reading any of them. 

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

I’ve read less nonfiction this year than most and I’m hoping that this event will give me the impetus to sneak a few more in before the end of 2014. I’m really excited to see the book blogging community talking about nonfiction books and I’m looking forward to adding more titles to my impossibly long wish list. 

Here’s to Nonfiction November. Let’s go learn some stuff!

58 thoughts on “Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction

  1. I love Mary Roach. I read her book about the history and study of sex, and it was fantastic. I've been meaning to read more of her stuff, but I just haven't made it there yet. In the same vein, I love Sarah Vowell.


  2. Mao's Great Famine is definitely going on my to-read list – thanks for the recommendation! I also haven't read a Mary Roach book, but it will happen eventually, haha. And as to recommending nonfiction to friends and family, I'm lucky in that my parents also really enjoy nonfiction and most of my friends are willing to give it a try. You might be surprised by how many people are willing to try nonfiction though when they see how much YOU enjoy them. 🙂


  3. I've read less nonfiction than most years this year, too, so I'm glad November is finally here! Though honestly I've spent more time reading these great posts and adding to my TBR than reading nonfiction. No regrets about that, though! The Worst Hard Time sounds like just the kind of book I'd be interested in reading. I'm especially interested in reading more history books. Thank you for the recommendation and thank you for joining in Nonfiction November this month!


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