#NonFicNov: Your Year in Nonfiction

Hello nonfiction readers! It’s always a pleasure to get to share these lists. Please visit Nonfiction November host Doing Dewey this week for more.

Counting from last year’s Nonfiction November, here’s what I consider my outstanding discoveries of the year:

Have you read any of these? Did you love them too?

As you can see from my complete list below, memoir and biography is my top category overall, and memoir was woven into some of the other books listed as well — combining personal experience with reportage or commentary is a popular and successful trend in nonfiction these days. I don’t mind, because I learn best through stories, and I also appreciate knowing something about the writer of the book I’m reading. Some authors can become self-indulgent and overly preoccupied with their own perspective, but when that is kept under control I’m a fan of such hybrid books.

I also read quite a lot of health-related books — as I’ve been trying to get my own health under control. Fascinating as that subject is, next year I hope to be able to focus on something else!

What were your favorite nonfiction books this year? Please link your post in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out.

My complete list by category, with links to blog post or Goodreads review:

Biography and Memoir

Reading the Theatre

Spirituality and Religion

Cultural Commentary


Science and Nature


Literature and Criticism

*=Read in November or December 2021

20 thoughts on “#NonFicNov: Your Year in Nonfiction

  1. Thanks for sharing all these books! Can’t wait to try surprised by joy. I hope you are doing well, it’s been a long time since we talked together.

  2. I need to read Braiding Sweetgrass but I know that already as I have had it recommended by a few folk. You’ve got a great selection there. I had to do a top few as couldn’t pick just one!

  3. The only one I’ve read of these (so far) is Educated, and I did love it! I have Braiding Sweetgrass on my list. It would probably be good for me to reread Surprised By Joy myself. It’s been a LOT of years since I last read it. I love seeing your list, Lory. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  4. I have already seen Educated before but never read it. I’ve read the Bible, so we have at least one book in common. And I will certainly look into the migraine book since I’ve suffered from them all my life.

    But your other books all sound very interesting, as well.

    My Non-fiction November Week 1.

    1. Educated is a real page-turner if you ever get to it. “The Bible” on my list is not the actual Bible, but a book by Karen Armstrong about the history of the Bible.

      Migraines — I’ve learned a lot this year. It’s worth reading the diet book if you have not yet tried that. But it wasn’t enough for me. Healing childhood trauma seems to be the key, but it’s not easy to find exactly how. Sorry to hear you are a sufferer too and I hope you find relief one day.

  5. What a selection you have here! I love seeing what everyone has read for nonfiction this year. It is inspiring me to want to pick up more on the topics I’m interested in in 2023…

  6. I’m excited Nonfiction November is here! But I’m already behind on posting, sigh. I loved Lacey, and you have a lot of books I want to read. Braiding Sweetgrass has been highly recommended by my co-workers. Some favorites for me this year were Being Heumann, Quiet, Inheritance, and We’re Going to Need More Wine.

    1. oops I actually meant to put Inheritance on the list. Eleven is an awkward number, though, for the image gallery, I suppose that’s why it got omitted, but it would be up there with the others too. Quiet keeps coming up for me, why do I not read it? Someday…

  7. Books that are memoir plus something else is a trend I’m on board with too! It can be done well or it can be done badly, but the good versions of this are some of my favorite books. I actually haven’t read any of the books on your favorites list, but I’d very much like to get to Braiding Sweetgrass and A Libertarian Walks into a Bear.

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