The topic for Week 4 of Nonfiction November is Nonfiction Favorites, and the hosting blog is Doing Dewey. Instead of answering the provided questions, I decided to put together a list of my Top Ten Favorite Nonfiction Books to date.
The ten titles I selected easily fit into four overarching categories or types of nonfiction: Sweeping Histories, Atypical Memoirs, Memorable Royal Women and Medical Investigations. I reflected further on why I was drawn to each category and title below. In doing so, I realized that the elements I always look for in nonfiction are:
- Either a book that effectively summarizes a really long span of time, or one that focuses on a really weird and unique experience
- Highly personal writing in either case that always ties back the narrative to individual experience
- Conciseness in the writing – no droning on aimlessly
- To feel that I am learning something new.
Today is also the first official day of the #ThanksgivingReadathon ! If you haven’t published a Sign-Up post yet or posted your reading intentions on social media, make sure to do so today!
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Summer 2017 was a bit stop and go for me as far as book blogging is concerned, but I’m still happy with the volume of reviews I put out. You can find the full list below divided by category and organized by the rating I gave to each title.
For the Fall, what I’m hoping is that I’m able to post review/release content consistently about twice a week, and add a Links I Loved This Week post to the mix as well if I have time. I’m planning on starting a new feature called Book Pairings in which I will review one fiction and one nonfiction pick that have some kind of connection to each other. I already have 2 specific topics planned.
I ended up reading a total of 26 books in Summer 2017 and reviewed 29 books (11 Nonfiction, 11 Contemporary Fiction, 6 Historical Fiction and 1 Classic). The discrepancy between read books and reviewed books comes both from titles I read before the start of Summer 2017 that I reviewed during the summer, and titles that I read during Summer 2017 but that I haven’t reviewed yet.
Books I read towards the end of Summer 2017 and that I plan to review soon include: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan and Elizabeth: The Queen by Sally Bedell Smith.
You can see my full Books Read and TBR lists on my Goodreads page!
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Winter 2017 was my second full season blogging on Novels And Nonfiction. I was going really strong until I was lucky enough to get an awesome brand new job, which understandably slowed my momentum slightly. I feel ready to pick back up now that I’ve adjusted to the new position though.
I ended up reading a total of 34 books in Winter 2017 (16 Nonfiction, 13 Contemporary Fiction, 4 Historical Fiction and 1 Classic). It was a little short of my goal of 40 books, but I’m very happy with the result.
I reviewed a total of 38 books in Winter 2017 (19 Nonfiction, 15 Contemporary Fiction, 3 Historical Fiction and 1 Classic). The discrepancy in the numbers between what I read and reviewed is due to the fact that I reviewed several books for my True Crime and Hillary Clinton Book Lists and Liane Moriarty Author Spotlight that I read in the past few years.
There are also a few books I read in Winter 2017 that I have yet to review, including: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, Worth It by Amanda Steinberg, Before The Rains by Dinah Jefferies and Cannibalism by Bill Schutt. Reviews for all of these are coming in the next few weeks.
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Another month, another list of a dozen books I hope to find time to read someday! The FOMO is strong with these ones, but I’m trying to be realistic about how fast I can get through books and how fast I can also post about them. I may only read half of these at some point in the next few months, but I found all of these titles deserving of mention.
I hope you’ll find something in my list that’ll catch your eye and luckily enough, most of these titles are currently available for request on Net Galley (a resource for book bloggers and reviewers to get access to ebook versions of books for free in return for honest reviews), so I encourage you to look them up and request them if you’re interested.
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I think by now I’ve made my love for medical nonfiction abundantly clear on this blog. You can refer to my book list of my favorite scientific nonfiction books here for proof, as many of them are medical nonfiction titles.
When I heard about Working Stiff, I knew that it was going to be exactly my kind of ideal mix between instructive and gory. I read Mary Roach’s Stiff a few years ago and I therefore knew I didn’t have a problem reading about what happens to the body after death. I’m not really squeamish in that way, and to be honest post-death physical changes, rituals and techniques actually fascinate me rather than gross me out.
While in Stiff, Mary Roach explores the different ways in which your body can be used or disposed of after death, in Working Stiff, Dr. Melinek (in collaboration with her husband) discusses her life as a forensic pathologist and more specifically how autopsies are carried out when necessary to determine cause of death for legal or insurance purposes. If you’re like me and reading about decomposition sounds like a great way to spend a few hours, make sure to check out both.
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