#NonfictionNovember 2017 Week 1: My Year In Nonfiction #NonFicNov

My Year In Nonfiction On Novels And Nonfiction

It’s #Nonfiction November guys! And as you can tell by my blog name and by the kinds of reviews I post around here, I read my fare share of nonfiction. Actually, I used to read mostly nonfiction by proportion, and it’s book blogging that has helped me venture much more out into the world of contemporary fiction – whether reading historical fiction novels, thrillers or even a little sci fi.

Nonfiction will always be a big part of my reading, however. Since the beginning of 2017, I’ve read a total of 93 books to date, and 43 of these were nonfiction. I’ve listed them all out below (with links to my reviews when available), as well as naming my favorite nonfiction read for the year and the nonfiction title I’ve found myself recommending the most. Towards the bottom of the post you’ll find some titles from a nonfiction topic I want to read more about, as well as my plans for the upcoming weeks of #NonfictionNovember. Excited to see everyone’s posts!

PS: If you’re an LA-based book blogger, join my new group on facebook to get to know other book blogger in Los Angeles!

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Nonfiction Reads On Novels And Nonfiction

History

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari (5 stars)
Killers Of The Flower Moon by David Grann (5 stars)
The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck (4 stars)
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (2 stars)
Dead Wake by Erik Larson (2 stars)
In The Garden Of Beasts by Erik Larson (review pending)
The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman (review pending)
The Girls Of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan (review pending)
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, and John and Elizabeth Sherill (review pending)
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (review pending)

Memoir

Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (5 stars)
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton (5 stars)
Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton (4 stars)
Disaster Falls by Stephane Gerson (2 stars)
A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf (review pending)
Born A Crime by Trevor Noah (review pending)

Feminism

How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran (4 stars)
Shrill by Lindy West (4 stars)
Big Girls Don’t Cry by Rebecca Traister (3 stars)
Daring To Drive by Manal Al-Sharif (review pending)
Headscarves And Hymens by Mona Eltahawy (review pending)
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb (review pending)

Political

Thirty Ways Of Looking At Hillary by Susan Morrison (4 stars)
Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari (3 stars)
Who Thought This Was A Good Idea? By Alyssa Mastromonaco (3 stars)
Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev (review pending)
Unbelievable by Katy Tur (review pending)
Trump Revealed by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher (review pending)

True Crime

Manson by Jeff Guinn (5 stars)
Adnan’s Story by Rabia Chaudry (4 stars)
Avery by Ken Kratz (3 stars)
American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin (2 stars)
We Have Your Daughter by Paula Woodward (review pending)

Biography

A Woman In Charge by Carl Bernstein (4 stars)
Diana: Her True Story In Her Own Words by Andrew Morton (4 stars)
Elizabeth: The Queen by Sally Bedell Smith (4 stars)

Scientology

Blown For Good by Marc Headley (4 stars)
Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman (3 stars)
Ruthless by Ron Miscavige (3 stars)

Other

Cannibalism by Bill Schutt (5 stars)
Worth It by Amanda Steinberg (4 stars)
What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan (4 stars)
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero (no review)

My Favorite Nonfiction Read Of The Year

Cannibalism By Bill Schutt On Novels And Nonfiction

Cannibalism by Bill Schutt (5 stars)

I’m sure after reading the list of all the nonfiction titles I’ve read this year, you thought that I’d go with a more obvious choice like The Hiding Place or Unbroken. I’m a sucker for scientific nonfiction, though, and it’s actually weird that I didn’t read more of it in 2017 (I guess that’s also a topic I want to read more of next year).

Cannibalism was a completely unexpected and extremely well-executed work of scientific nonfiction that taught me so much about the history of different species around the world that engage in cannibalism and the biological imperatives behind their impetus to eat their own kind. It’s definitely not for the squeamish, but I’ve never been easily grossed out. It was an easy 5 stars for me.

The Nonfiction Book I Have Recommended Most This Year

What Happened By Hillary Rodham Clinton On Novels And Nonfiction

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton (5 stars)

Some of us love her (like me), some of us love to hate her, but either way Hillary Clinton played a historic and hugely significant role in the extremely controversial and consequential election we all had to suffer through last year.

There’s no reason not to want to hear a direct version of events from one of the two major players in such an important historical event. I found her account very logical, well-researched and moving at times. In this memoir, she comes off as much more relatable, open and uncompromising than in her prior books.

For all of these reasons I’ve been telling friends and anyone who’ll ask that I think What Happened is a definite must-read this year.

One Nonfiction Topic I Haven't Read Enough About Yet

Books On Russia On Novels And Nonfiction

Ahhh Russia. It’s hard these days to hide from talk of America’s longtime frenemy, and regardless of whether you think Trump’s campaign willingly cooperated with the Russians in trying to throw the election, it’s clear Russia itself is far from innocent.

My reading of Russian history has mostly been focused on the tsarist epoch, and I’ve been wanting to delve deeper especially into the country’s recent history, and the character of Putin. You’ll see that earlier in 2017 I read a book called Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev, which focuses on the corruption of the Russian television industry, and the dissolution of both rich and poor people within the country who are struggling to survive. I’m planning on including it as well as some of the books listed below (links are to their Goodreads pages) in a Russia Book List sometime next year.

All The Kremlin’s Men by Mikhail Zygar
The New Tsar by Steven Lee Myers
Fragile Empire by Ben Judah
Lenin’s Tomb by Remnick
The Oligarchs by David Hoffman
The Future Is History by Masha Gessen
Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich
The Cold War by Odd Arne Westad

My Plans For Nonfiction November

Week 2 – Nonfiction To Fiction Book Pairing

A will be posting a book pairing of two books set during Apartheid, memoir Born A Crime by Trevor Noah and novel Hum If You Don’t Know The Words by Bianca Marais.

I’m also planning an individual book review of Evicted by Matthew Desmond.

Week 3 – Be The Expert

I will be posting a book list of historical nonfiction books on World War II, including several of the titles listed above that I read throughout 2017 but haven’t reviewed yet.

Week 4 – Nonfiction Favorites

I’m going to put together a post on my Top Ten Nonfiction Titles, which should be a really hard one to put together, since there are so many I love and on such different topics.

Week 5 – New To My TBR

I’ll be sharing books that I discovered while browsing other bloggers’ Nonfiction November posts and that I’ve added to my (ever expanding) TBR list.

LineHave you read any of these nonfiction titles? What was your favorite nonfiction read this year? Let me know in the comments!

Other posts on the blog this week include a Halloween-themed Top Ten Tuesday book list on Books I Want To Read Featuring Witches and my usual monthly post on November 2017 Release I’m Looking Forward To.

If you’d like to keep up to date with posts on Novels And Nonfiction, make sure to follow me on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository (free delivery worldwide).

  38 comments for “#NonfictionNovember 2017 Week 1: My Year In Nonfiction #NonFicNov

  1. November 3, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Russia nonfiction is my all-time favorite. I read Nothing is True and Everything is Possible a few years ago and loved it, I can’t wait to read your review of it! Lenin’s Tomb is also fantastic. Looking forward to your other Nonfiction November posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 3, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      Good to know about Lenin’s Tomb. I wasn’t so sure about it, nice to get a recommendation for it 🙂 thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • November 3, 2017 at 2:03 pm

        I think it’s one of the best books for understanding what’s going on in Russia and how/why it all came about. It kind of bridges the transition from the Soviet Union into new Russia. He wrote a second part, I think it was called Resurrection (?), it’s also really good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • November 3, 2017 at 2:06 pm

        Good to know! Thanks 🙂

        Like

  2. Susie | Novel Visits
    November 3, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I’m so impressed with the amount and variety of nonfiction you read. Your entire list is going to be my go to place when I’m looking for a nonfiction read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 3, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you Susie! It kind of fits my blog name because I read about half nonfiction and half novels this year without even setting out to do so specifically lol

      Like

  3. November 3, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    I used to read much more non-fiction than I do now, though I have gotten better this year, making a concerted effort. I love your non-fiction reviews and I have quite a few on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. November 3, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    I am the exact same way when it comes to reading about Russia! And I’ve been wanting to read more about their more recent history – so thanks for this list! I have a biography of Stalin’s daughter that I’ve been meaning to read for YEARS (no joke) so maybe this month I will finally get to it.

    You always have such a great non-fiction recommendations. I’ve already added more titles to my TBR because of you. Can’t tell if I should thank you or scream at you 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. November 3, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I haven’t read very much NF this year, unfortunately, but my favorite by far was The Great Dissent about how the Supreme Court, or rather one of its justices, changed his outlook on the freedom of speech. I hope to post about it this month.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. November 3, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    I read very little non-fiction, but I’m impressed by how comprehensive your list is. I recently read, “The Boys in the Boat” about the U.S. Olympic team who beat the Germans in rowing in the 1930’s. I highly recommend it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 4, 2017 at 3:21 am

      The Boys In The Boat is excellent! I read it last year, but it’ll be included in my WWII book list later this month!

      Like

  7. November 3, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    I’m not sure how to pick a “favorite” this year. I read several books that were difficult but important, like Dark Money, and I do think everyone should read that book. For enjoyment and inspiration, I’d probably pick The Book of Joy — it helped to keep me going through the tough times. I would like to read more science next year, as I completely neglected that topic this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 4, 2017 at 3:21 am

      Dark Money has been on my TBR for a while. I’ll try to get to it sooner rather than later hearing your recommendation of it. I’ll also check out The Book Of Joy – sounds like the kind of uplifting tool I might need on some days 🙂

      Like

  8. November 3, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    As I look at the snowy, cold day outside, I feel like Russian non-fiction would be perfect to read! lol. I love all of what you’ve read and how you’ve categorized everything. I’ve added lots to my library list! Have fun this month! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. November 4, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    You’ve had an excellent year in nonfiction! I see many books I enjoyed, but many, many more I want to read… especially appreciate your Russia list.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. November 5, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Wow! You have so many good books on your list. I’m just going to bookmark this post so I can come back to it periodically for ideas!

    Like

  11. November 7, 2017 at 4:28 am

    Oh my gosh, you’ve read a lot of non-fiction this year! Thirteen of your books are on my TBR, and I’m glad to see you gave several of them high marks! I really want to read “Cannibalism” and “Daring to Drive,” and I just brought home “Killers of the Flower Moon” from work today!

    “Unbroken” is one of my all-time favorite books; hope you loved it too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 7, 2017 at 6:08 pm

      Wow 13?!? You must have some good taste in nonfiction 😉 lol All three of the books you mentioned are so worthwhile. I did really like Unbroken. I listened to it on Audiobook and talk about a really gripping story. I felt some parts of it were a bit slow though and overall it felt longer than warranted. I still gave it 5 stars though, because how could you not!

      Like

  12. Heather Hicks
    November 10, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    That’s a lot of reads, well done! I am reading Non Fiction just this month, I have too many other genres that I love too much to just read one would be hard for me! I have started with Charles Denyer’s book Number One Observatory Circle. It’s been such a cool read, I had no idea about where the VP’s of the US lived, never thought about it. But now I realize what a cool place it is in history.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 11, 2017 at 12:25 am

      That sounds like a really interesting read! I try to balance between nonfiction and fiction, I’m almost half and half 🙂

      Like

  13. November 11, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Interesting! I considered picking up Cannibalism and was a little put off by the topic, but your review made me think I should give it a chance and picking a book as your favorite of the year is high praise. I may have to pick this up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 12, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      It doesn’t focus as much as you’d think on human cannibalism. I’d say it’s maybe a fourth of the book.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. November 15, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    This is an amazing kick-off post– I love seeing all the books you’ve read this year. That’s mind-blowing! How long did it take to put this post together?! I also appreciate the time you took to break your books down by subject. I’m all about feminism, so I’ll be checking out those books first. It helps me filter for my TBR. 😀 In fact… the only books I’ve read from your list here are under the feminism category. Looking back, it seems like I haven’t read much non-fiction this year compared to other years…

    I’m really looking forward to the rest of your posts this month. You have such a wide breadth of knowledge when it comes to non-fiction. I cannot wait to see how you apply that knowledge and help us (me!) learn more about the genre.

    Liked by 1 person

    • November 15, 2017 at 10:49 pm

      Thanks Jackie! It did take me quite a while to compile the list so it’s good to know it’s appreciated 🙂 typically simple one book reviews take me one or two hours, but more complex posts like this one are around the 3 to 4 hour (or sometimes more) mark.

      Liked by 1 person

      • November 17, 2017 at 10:14 pm

        I can completely relate to that. I’m about to hit my two year blogging mark and I can more quickly identify difficult posts to publish. It’s certainly obvious when people put a lot of time and effort into thier posts. Keep up the great work!

        Liked by 1 person

      • November 17, 2017 at 10:34 pm

        Thanks Jackie 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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