Nonfiction November – My Year in Nonfiction

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

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 16 memoirs, and nine other nonfiction titles this year).

What’s Nonfiction? has set some questions:

What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

Some standouts for different reasons – Fathoms by Rebecca Giggs because it is astounding how much can be written about all aspects of whales. Rosie by Rose Tremain because of the fascinating parallels between Tremain’s lived experience and her fiction. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey because he’s bananas.

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

As mentioned, I’m a sucker for memoir. As well as Rosie, I can recommend Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, and Stray by Stephanie Danler.

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

I’ve told my oldest friends to read Everything I Know About Love for the bits about friendship and the university memories. I’ve also pressed Witness by Louise Milligan on people – it’s an important book and I hope it gets a wide audience.

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.

30 responses

  1. I love your comment about Fathoms. What can you write about whales, really? Well, Herman Melville could, but it was not always interesting. However, I read a book about eels and it was absolutely fantastic. A personal account and a history of the lives of eels. It is probably how the author nears his/her subject that decides the outcome. If it all works out, I guess you can write about anything and make it interesting.
    Your choices are varied and interesting.

    • With each new chapter in Fathoms, I wondered how the author would find a different perspective/ topic associated with whales and yet she did, over and over. So impressive (and yeah, I’d read a book about eels too!).

  2. Memoirs are probably my favorite subgenre of nonfiction, too. With that said, Fathoms sounds like a great book, especially since I live on the Oregon coast and am fortunate to see gray whales pass by as they head down to Baja and on their return to the northern seas. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. I don’t read as many memoirs as you, but this year I’ve only read two, though my next review will also be a memoir.

    I ‘d love to read Fathoms and Witness.

    I find book pairings fun, and have just finished drafting mine to post on Wednesday.

  4. I really liked Fathoms when I read it last year. And the Matthew McConaughey book sounds very amusing, I’d heard it was great! I’m thinking about Stray, I’ve just gotten a bit away from memoirs recently after picking some that weren’t quite for me. I love the quotes you shared from it though.

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