Nonfiction November – Be the Expert

Put your ‘expert’ hat on, it’s Week 3 of Nonfiction November.

This week, What’s Nonfiction asks us to share a bunch of books on a particular topic (be the expert). I’ve picked a topic that I think will be an instant winner with my audience – books about reading!

There seems to be loads of books about reading lately, so I’m focusing on books about the healing power of reading.

This year I’ve read two – The Details by Tegan Bennett Daylight and Dear Reader by Cathy Rentzenbrink. Both memoirs explore how books provided comfort and guidance at critical times during the authors’ lives. But my go-to book in this category is the glorious volume, The Novel Cure by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin – it basically has a literary solution for every problem you might have, from jetlag or indecision to regret and haemorrhoids. For anyone suffering existential angst this year (and aren’t we all?), the recommendation is Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha.

Two on my reading list that fit this category are The Reading Cure by Laura Freeman and The Innocent Reader Debra Adelaide – any other recommendations?


25 responses

  1. I’ve dipped into The Novel Cure, now and again, and enjoyed what I’ve found there, and I loved Deart Reader. The Reading Cure was one of the shortlisted titles for Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year when I shadowed it. I think you’ll find it interesting.

  2. I adore The Novel Cure! Earlier in the year I pulled out a few from my shelves that they prescribed for Loneliness (Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, which I’ve had as a bedside book) and put on “The Ten Best Novels to Lower Your Blood Pressure” (Your Presence Is Requested at Suvanto by Maile Chapman & The Waves by Virginia Woolf — I haven’t read these yet). I’m reading Dear Reader at the moment.

  3. If I’m honest I often find this topic frustrating because they all seem to focus on the same ‘classics’ or highly literary works. I’m going to give The Novel Cure a try in the hopes it’s is different. Thanks for your expert recs!

  4. Not quite ‘on message’, but one of my favourite reads last year was Lucy Mangan’s ‘Bookworm: a Memoir of Childhood Reading’. She and I share similar childhood favourites, though she is from a younger generation than me. A most restorative read!

  5. I just love this topic. I don’t have any books precisely to recommend but I do collect book recommendation books. Books about books are some of my favorites.

  6. Excellent theme and excellent suggestions. Have gifted The Novel Cure to a lot of colleagues! Have some recs too — What Makes this Book so Great by Jo Walton, The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman, Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer, and maybe even The Idealist’s booklist by Alessandra Pigni.
    Okay, will stop here. Happy NFN!

  7. Great theme! I have a ton on my list too. I’m adding the ones on yours. I read The Library Book by Susan Orlean. It’s a bit off topic but it’s one I really enjoyed.

  8. An inspired choice of topic. I’ve recently read Dear Reader and enjoyed the “behind the scenes at the bookshop” sections. It was also refreshing to find someone who read so widely and didn’t have a snobbish attitude, so just as happy reading a classic as a “popular’ novel.

    One to add to your list – The Year of Reading Dangerously by Andy Miller. It;s about. how he found his love of reading again after many years

  9. Oh I love books about books and reading. Have you read When Books Went to War? It’s about how books made a morale difference in the lives of soldiers during war. It’s not super long but it was so interesting. I also recently read The Enchanted Hour about the impacts of reading aloud, not just to children, but to adult as well.

  10. Yes! You’re right on with the topic and the audience. Like a lot of the other commentors, I also love a good book about books. I’d like to get into to more reading of literary criticism and other books where people share their thoughts on books, in hopes it will help me get better at writing reviews myself 🙂

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