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