I really do want to read more nonfiction and yet I keep reading fiction!
Perhaps it will help if I have a page where I list reviews of my nonfiction reads.

At least it is worth a try! :)

As you can see, most of my nonfiction 
reads of late have been strictly memoir/biography/autobiography.
Honestly, that really needs to change. 
I totally enjoy nonfiction!
Especially learning about science, nature, history...

For 2020!
7 nonfiction books read as of May 13

The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean

Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness 
by Julie Klam

The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman and Tectonic Theater Project

I'd Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life 
by Anne Bogel

Until 2019 Nonfiction November challenge, I will just list nonfiction books as I read them throughout 2019:

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hanagarne

James Herriot's Cat Stories by James Herriot

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir 
by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Asha Bandele, Angela Davis (Foreword)

Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World by Alan Downs

Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life 
by Michael Warner

Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality by Andrew Sullivan

      Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men by Harold Schechter

Love, Lucy by Lucille Ball and Betty H. Hoffman

I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson

There's No Such Thing as a Comfortable Bra by Sara Jane Coffman

A total of 13 nonfiction books read in 2019!!

My posts:
Nonfiction November 2018
Week 1 October 29 - November 2
Week 2 November 5-9
Week 3 November 12-16
Week 4 November 19-23
Week 5 November 26-30

Update: October 2018!
Wow, in preparing a posting regarding the Nonfiction November 2018 event 
I reviewed my blog postings for the past 2-3 years.
You can certainly tell that I literally and figuratively "lost" 2017! 
I endured a couple of months of absolute agony 
and then had both knee joints replaced (one in May and one in July), 
and, predictably, spent the remainder of the year recovering 
and eventually returning to work full-time. Wow.
I guess like most of us, I just never thought such a health crisis 
would happen to me! But it did. And I survived!
And now much of my spare time is filled with exercising! This is a good thing,
but it definitely decreases my time for reading and blogging!

And I now realize that since the end of 2016 I have managed 
to read only 8 nonfiction books! Yikes!
Over half of these were autobiographical/memoirs,
which are fine, but I really love to learn, too! 
Perhaps I can fix this a bit in November by participating 
in the November Nonfiction 2018 event!

Those 8 books were:

Most recently, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore
August 2018
This is an extraordinary book! Trust me, every single one of us living in the U.S. and perhaps in many other countries around the world owe our lives to these women! Read it and find out why/how. Unbelievable! Heartwarming and poignant, and I am so grateful for their determination and persistence to obtain justice!

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
May 2018
I was privileged and honored to have the opportunity to meet and speak with Ms. Mailhot, her husband and her youngest son. Again, at my favorite used bookstore! A very small group of us readers were able to speak with them at length. It was fascinating, as is her memoir. Her prose is rather sparse, but dense. Her writing style felt similar to that of Sandra Cisneros in The House on Mango Street, though a bit more poetic. Again, this woman has had to overcome sexual abuse. That perpetrated upon her as a child by a family member she should have been able to trust above all others... I never cease to be amazed at the females who manage to persevere and thrive despite abusive pasts. Good for them!! Let us hope that number decreases to the point that no female must endure such treatment!

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
December 2017
I liked Vance's writing style--this book flowed well for me. However, I definitely have mixed emotions about it. I have read/heard Vance has political motivations and this is one reason he wrote this book. Just looking at the Wikipedia entries linked to both the title and his name, that seems apparent. That or he is just an excellent self-marketer, which may well be true given the fact that he is a "venture capitalist." Admittedly, that is a title that makes me shiver in anticipation...and not of good things! In no way do I wish to diminish the fact that this man applied himself and worked extremely hard to advance himself, but Vance would have gotten nowhere without the aid of multiple social safety net programs, as he documents in this autobiography. However, in the end he seems to dismiss those self-same programs...and to what end? Simply to say he doesn't believe in them? Or they shouldn't be there? Or...??? In my opinion, he fits right in with what I consider to be a typical Republican in 2018--destroy all the social programs that help those in need but never offer or plan for any alternatives. So what? Just allow people to die young and don't lift a finger to help them? No healthcare? No housing? I don't understand the lack of caring, kindness, and generosity exemplified by such beliefs. Nor do I want to. 

Mama Makes Up Her Mind and Other Dangers of Southern Living by Bailey White
September 2017
A delightful collection of stories. I had forgotten that she also has read these on NPR. I must remember to listen to these on my commute back and forth to work! I rarely read short story collections, but I was still struggling to overcome the symptoms of withdrawals from the Percocet (poison for me!) I had taken for four weeks following my second knee surgery and was unable to concentrate for long periods of time, so short stories were just right! :) 

Hunger: A Memior of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
September 2017
I guess it's rather obvious I adore this woman's writing! In addition, I was spurred on to read her books by the fact that she made two appearances at my favorite used book store! I love listening to her darn near as much as I love reading what she writes! This is an amazing story...sexual abuse and all. Christine Blasey Ford's attack by her schoolmates didn't even come close to the abuse Roxane endured by her schoolmates and at a much younger age. Heartbreaking...

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
July 2017
This was so very interesting! Ansari and his research team designed and implemented a research project regarding modern-day romance in several worldwide cultures. The insights contained herein are amazing, especially across cultures!

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
May 2017
Quite simply one of the best books I've ever read! My chiropractor and good friend was absolutely correct in recommending it as such. This is packed full of detailed information regarding the intricacies of rowing, as well as this team and its members. I had no idea how taxing rowing was! And this book has it all! Brown does an excellent job of characterization and building tension all within a true story!

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay 
January 2017
A collection of essays regarding feminism and "what it's like to move through the world as a woman"..."it's about humanity and empathy."

And one that I really don't count since it is one of the very few books that I totally DNF'd: 
How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly's Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life by Heather Havrilesky.
December 2016 
My Goodreads review:
Thank you to the publisher for a free copy as part of the Keep Turning Pages Goodreads discussion group. Though I have read some truly remarkable books as part of this group, this one is not for me. Honestly, too little reading time to waste on finishing this one. I think this might be a generational thing. Although no prude when it comes to "bad" language, this woman's constant use of the word fuck becomes distracting. And...although I'm sure I have not yet, nor will I ever, learn all life's valuable lessons, she is not the writer to whom I will look for such direction. Perhaps she is trying for "shock value," but that strategy is usually lost on me--just be sensible and rational. Much of what I did read, I already knew from life experience. Time to move on...
I refuse to waste any more time reviewing it further than that. :)

Jen @ The Introverted Reader is hosting a Nonfiction Reading Challenge to last throughout 2016: January 1-December 31! 
You can register here!
The rules are pretty simple:
Read any non-fiction books you please, adult or young adult.

Achievement levels

          Dilettante          1-5 books
          Explorer            6-10 books
          Seeker              11-5 books
          Master              16-20 books

You can register at any time throughout the year. 

I love this image!
Wonder what they'll have for 2016?
I will plan to participate in Nonfiction November this year, now that I know it exists. 
I discovered it too late last November to participate. 
I linked to Hibernator's Library posting from this past November. I couldn't believe one-fourth of her 2015 reading had been nonfiction! Impressive! 
I'm sure I won't be anywhere close to that, but I hope to read at least 10 this year with at least 5 of those not being a memoir/biography/autobiography.

I just feel the need to diversify my reading beyond fiction somewhat.

Here is a listing of nonfiction reads recommended for summer!

I wasn't familiar with one title on this listing,
but many of them sound intriguing!

Nonfiction Books Read

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness 
by Michelle Alexander
August 2016
Heartbreaking. Unbelievable just how unfair our "justice" system is...

West With the Night by Beryl Markham
August 2016
What a life this woman led! 
So many female firsts!
Absolutely fascinating...and I loved the writing!

The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo by Paula Huntley
June 2016
(blog post under construction)
An inspiring example of using your unique skills to connect with others, 
even in a totally unknown society/culture.

The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City
by Laura Tillman
June 2016
Oh, my, some of this really hit home, especially given my experiences 
working in the mental health field as an advocate.
Love her writing!

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
(blog post/posts to come)
May 2016
What a heartbreaking but so very necessary book! And his writing just flows...

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
(blog post to come)
April 2016
To say I was underwhelmed is an understatement...

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
(blog post to come)
March 2016
Gentle and inspirational...

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem 
March 2016
This was such an informative and interesting book. She is an amazing woman!

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
March 2016

Before 2016:

 The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

Lady Parts by Andrea Martin

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for making me remember Bailey White! I used to love hearing her on NPR. I try to read more nonfiction, too, though I'm not as drawn to it as fiction.