Nonfiction November: It’s ON!

It’s Nonfiction November, my friends! 
And that thought is happy enough, I almost don’t mind the looming November chill as we begin our descent into winter. 
First, thanks to Julie of JulzReads, who brought this lovely event to my attention. She’s one of our co-hosts this month, along with Katie at Doing Dewey Decimal, Lory at Emerald City Book Review, Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves, and Rachel at Hibernator’s Library. 
If you’re a nonfiction reader, please come along for the fun!
goes like this…
Your Year in Nonfiction: Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
Nonfiction is my natural happy place. I love narrative nonfiction so much it almost loves me back.
Here’s a list of the nonfiction books I’ve finished so far this year:
  1. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  2. Spark Joy by Marie Kondo
  3. Getting Things Done by David Allen (read twice)
  4. What I Talk about When I Talk about Running by Haruki Murakami
  5. My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places by Mary Roach
  6. Being Nixon by Evan Thomas
  7. It’s a Long Story: My Life by Willie Nelson
  8. Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch
  9. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
  10. Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg
  11. Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage by Molly Wizenberg
  12. Frost on My Moustache: The Arctic Exploits of a Lord and a Loafer by Tim Moore
  13. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  14. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
  15. Speed Kings: The 1932 Winter Olympics and the Fastest Men in the World by Andy Bull
  16. Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer
  17. Dream Home: The Property Brothers’ Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House by Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott
  18. Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower
  19. Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian by Anthony Ervin and Constantine Markides
  20. First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower
  21. Work Simply by Carson Tate
  22. The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough
  23. Mess: One Man’s Struggle to Clean up His House and His Act by Barry Yourgrau
  24. Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration: Lessons from the Second City by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton
  25. Black Hawk: An Autobiography by Black Hawk
  26. This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick
  27. The Mighty Queens of Freeville by Amy Dickinson
  28. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  29. My Life in France by Julia Child
  30. Hidden America: From Coal Miners to Cowboys, An Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work by Jeanne Marie Laskas
  31. Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland by Sarah Moss
  32. The Clancys of Queens by Tara Clancy
  33. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell
  34. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg
  35. Co. Aytch by Sam Watkins
  36. Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nation’s Leaders by Brady Carlson
  37. The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe by Anuschka Rees
  38. Getting Things Done by David Allen (re-read)
  39. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
  40. The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines
  41. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
And which one is my favorite? (such a difficult question!)
I almost cheated and gave answers to subsets of that question (most life-changing, most enjoyable, most unputdownable), but I’m going to do the right thing and pick just one. 
My favorite: Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter. In my review, I explain all the reasons why. 
The book I’ve recommended most… that’s a tie. I rave incessantly about Getting Things Done by David Allen, which is so life-changing (there! I sneaked it in!) that I read it twice this year.
But for sheer reading enjoyment, the book I rave about to people is Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian by Anthony Ervin and Constantine Markides. It knocked my socks off when I read it, and it’s one of the finest examples of “nonfiction that reads like fiction” that I’ve encountered.
As far as “What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?” … the first thing that comes to mind is: biography. I feel like I’m reawakening to the joys of reading biographies.
And… what do I hope to get out of participating in Nonfiction November? I’m looking forward to reveling in the joys of nonfiction with my fellow readers. And I can’t wait to find out what others list as their favorite nonfiction books of the year. 
So… what’s your favorite nonfiction book of the year?

16 thoughts on “Nonfiction November: It’s ON!

  1. Oh my gosh – Anthony Ervin wrote a memoir?! I'm an ex-swimmer and huge swimming fan and love swimmers' memoirs! That will be my next audio book I think!

    On that topic, have you read Dara Torres' and Amanda Beard's memoirs? Both really good. Amanda's more drama and Dara is more how to still perform athletically when you're older and I learned so much about how to work out.

  2. That's a great list of books! I love non-fiction, too, but I've only read 12 non-fiction books this year. I usually read more. Sad, isn't it? 🙂

  3. Oh man – Getting Things Done certainly sounds like a book I need in my life. I'm having a hard time picking favorites…I loved Just Mercy and Being Mortal, both so beautifully written and important too.

  4. Lory — Getting Things Done is one of my favorites ever. Your recent nonfiction choices are books I keep hearing wonderful things about… I'd like to find time to sneak them into my reading list, too.

  5. Debbie — No shame allowed! We can't all read everything. And one of the joys of the book blogging thing is that we get to learn about so many more books than we have time to actually read ourselves.

    Isn't Getting Things Done a marvelous thing? It's seriously made me more productive AND more serene.

  6. Your list of books is excellent… and I see quite a few I've enjoyed. Just Mercy is my favorite nonfiction this year. Have even convinced my book club to read it and hear the author speak in the spring. How have I not heard about Getting Things Done? Off to investigate.

  7. Hm, that 'Getting Things Done' book looks right up my alley! I recently started bullet journaling and now I've got a very busy bee in my bonnet over the whole "productivity" thing, haha.

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