Hooray, Nonfiction November is back! A mostly new team of hosts has taken on the blogging event that many of us look forward to all year. This week’s topic is hosted by Heather of Based on a True Story.
Week 1 (10/30-11/3) Your Year in Nonfiction: Celebrate your year of nonfiction. What books have you read? What were your favorites? Have you had a favorite topic? Is there a topic you want to read about more? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
My reading does tend to fall into a few favorite topics. This year, rather than exhaustively listing all my nonfiction reading, I thought I’d pick out my highlights from the year in each category. Links are to my blog post or StoryGraph review.
Psychology and self-help: No Bad Parts
A concise introduction to Internal Family Systems therapy, which has intrigued me since I first read about it in The Body Keeps the Score.
Brain Science: Dopamine Nation, Your Survival Instinct Is Killing You
Although I found both flawed for various reasons, these also included some fascinating and important information. Readjusting the relationship between our brains, minds and bodies could provide the answer to many of our modern dilemmas, and the current research is throwing up some surprising, counter-intuitive discoveries we would do well to heed.
Trauma/therapy memoir: Run Towards the Danger, Welcome to My Country, Nervous
Three beautifully written, harrowing, but ultimately hopeful memoirs by women who have endured tremendous physical and mental pain.
Reading the Theatre: Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers
A theatrical memoir like no other, from a talented woman who was born Broadway royalty (as the daughter of Richard Rodgers), but is not afraid to expose the dirt behind the glitz. Jesse Green, her amaneusis, did a fantastic job of capturing her voice.
Spirituality: The Return of the Prodigal Son
I can’t get enough of Henri Nouwen’s compassionate, heartful approach to spirituality. This, a consideration of Rembrandt’s painting and the parable of the Prodigal Son, might be his masterwork.
Spiritual memoirs: Poet Warrior, the Salt Path, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Three more amazing memoirs that I have chosen for my Spiritual Memoir challenge.
History: Forget the Alamo, Killers of the Flower Moon
Disturbing corners of American history are explored here, uncovering the injustice, racism, and lies that lurk beneath many of our cherished legends.
Literary Biography: Terry Pratchett
Rob Wilkins, Pratchett’s assistant, delivers a biography worthy of its subject — no easy task when he’s one of the most popular authors on the planet and a comic genius — that is also a moving account of their personal relationship.
Some disappointments this year: Autobiography of a Yogi; The Woman They Could Not Silence; The Prince, the Showgirl, and Me
Topics I’d like to read more about include science and non-US history. Recommendations welcome.
This month I’m looking forward to learning lots, sharing the nonfiction love, and adding more books to the TBR!
What have been your nonfiction highlights this year?