Since today is November 1st, the annual Nonfiction November initiative, hosted by A Book Olive, kicks off today. I’ve participated in the event the previous two years, and I enjoy having an excuse to read a bit more nonfiction (which is what the month event is about). This is a low-key, no-pressure readalong that encourages folks to read “some more” nonfiction. If you normally read none, try one title that sounds interesting. (FWIW, Olive has many good recommendations in her Nonfiction November video – even for folks who swear they don’t enjoy reading nonfiction.) If you read nonfiction on a regular basis, try to pick up an extra title or two this month. She also includes some very broad general prompts if you are the type of reader who needs some guidance to help pick a title.
I really enjoy nonfiction – not all the subgenres of it perhaps, but I do read a fair amount, so I decided I would put 4 nonfiction books for each of the prompts on my list to try to read in November (knowing that I will likely not get through all of these, so there may be some carry-over into December on them).
Prompt #1: Record. This might be a book about a journalist or journalism (“on the record”), a book about the music industry, or a memoir/discussion of past events. I’m planning to buddy-read Erik Larson’s Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitiania. I have several of this author’s books on my TBR, but my husband just finished reading this one and enjoyed it so I’d like to read it so we can discuss. (We rarely have overlapping book tastes.)
Prompt #2: Element. I’m going with an easy one for this, although you might look for books involving STEM, the weather/climate change, or a book that is inside or outside of your comfort zone. For this prompt, I’m going to read The Radium Girls by Kate Moore, which examines the lives of the young woman who were exposed to radium during their factory work in the first decades of the 20th century.
Prompt #3: Border. Another easy one for this, and one I’ve on my TBR for quite a while, Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road by Kate Harris. This is a travelogue and political science book about the author’s journey via bicycle through the many countries that were on the ancient trade route and her discoveries of the land and people she rode through. (Other options might include a memoir about the immigrant experience, borders in art or print-making, as well as self-help books about setting boundaries.)
Prompt #4: Secret. This might include a book that’s a guilty pleasure, or a book with the word in the title or subtitle. I’m going with The Girls of the Atomic City by Denise Kiernan. This book focuses on the work done by women at the “other” national lab in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in the years of WW II.
Do you enjoy a good nonfiction title? If so, do you have a favorite type of nonfiction read? As you’ve probably guessed if you’ve looked at any of my book reviews, I tend to like history, mostly social and/or women’s history, although I will read an occasional military-focused one. I’m not a huge fan of true crime unless it is pre-20th century, but I know that subgenre has a LOT of fans!