Nonfiction November – My Year in Nonfiction

It’s time for Nonfiction November, starting with my ‘Year in Nonfiction’, hosted by Shelf Aware.

Strictly speaking, I should call it Memoir November (Memvember?!) – doesn’t have quite the same ring but it is more accurate in my case, given that the majority of my nonfiction reading is memoir (specifically, I’ve read 13 memoirs, and eight other nonfiction titles this year).

Leann has set some questions:

What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

No thought required – Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe is not only the best nonfiction book I’ve read this year, it’s also one of the best I’ve ever read.

Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?

As mentioned, I’m a sucker for memoir. Highlights this year have been some ‘lighter’ memoirs – This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay made me laugh out loud, and Wham! George and Me by Andrew Ridgeley was a thoroughly delightful walk down memory lane.

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

Apart from Say Nothing, I have been pressing Stasiland by Anna Funder on anyone who was late to the party, as I was.

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

As always, the ‘book pairings’ posts are my absolute favourite, and usually the happy cause of a growing TBR stack in November. I’ll also be on the look out for memoir recommendations.

49 responses

  1. I need to find more good memoirs, I think. Not a single one on my favorites list for the year (but lots of wonderful books from other genres). I’m adding several of these—I haven’t read or even heard of any of them—to the nonfiction TBR list I’ll post at the end of November.

    • There are so many memoirs out there it’s difficult to choose. I avoid the self-published, but otherwise pick things that have themes of my other interests (hence why the ones I choose are usually about grief and mental health as opposed to sport, adventure or mountain climbing!).

    • Yes, your Goodreads feed is almost 100% responsible for all the additions in my memoir/ medical categories 🙂 (not complaining, of course!). I also sometimes dip into nature, travel, and other science writing.

  2. I’ve been wanting to read Stasiland ever since this time last year, when my bookclub read Confession of Blue Horses, a story about the time when the wall came down, but of course, a certain virus, waylaid many a reading plan this year!

    I have it is as my reward though – if I actually finish ALL the half-read Aust non-fiction books by my bed during AusReadingMonth and NonficNov, then I will be able to start Staisland!

    • I’m confident you’ll enjoy it. I read it at the same time as Confession, and on reflection, it meant that I didn’t enjoy Confession as much as I might have (because I kept wondering if the author of Confession had used Stasiland as one of research sources!).

  3. Yes yes yes to Say Nothing! That was my favorite nonfiction read last year. So so so good. I love me a good memoir. Usually a good portion of my nonfiction reading each year is devoted to memoirs!

  4. Yes yes yes to Say Nothing! Best book I read last year. I have not heard of Stasiland. I will have to look it up.

    Memoirs are always on my list each year. I’ve read a couple of really good ones this year.

  5. I hear such great things about Say Nothing! I started it as one point, but I don’t think I had the mental energy for it at the time (it’s been that kind of year). I’ll go back to it one of these days.

    • You do need to devote some solid reading time to get into Say Nothing – a lot of the names and places are introduced at the beginning, but once I was a quarter of the way in,I couldn’t put it down.

    • I went into Say Nothing not knowing lots about it and then quickly found myself telling my family to leave me alone while I read! That rarely happens 🙂

      I’ll enjoy checking out everyone’s favourites.

  6. I’ve been curious about This is Going to Hurt but not actually heard much about it. Glad to read that you recommend it strongly. I’ll be checking it out. I’ve also been reading memoirs this year but of the graphic variety. I didn’t plan for it – it just seemed to form a bulk to my reading this year.

  7. Pingback: My Year in Nonfiction (Thus Far) | Bookish Beck

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