NonFic November 2020, Wk 1

Your Year in Nonfiction

NonFiction November! The only good part of October ending…

Leann @ Shelf Aware kicks off week one with:

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? Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

My nonfiction ratio is a little low this year, thus far (only 25%), but it’s been full of gems. Unsurprisingly, one of my favorites has been Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. It’s been highly recommended now for years and hits on my fascination with deception. More surprisingly, I really enjoyed The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini by Joe Posnanski. Houdini is not my favorite guy, but because I love magic history I’ve read more about him that I really want to. It was pleasant for an author to have a newer take on Houdini. Along with a basic biography, Posnanski asks, “Why Houdini? Why is he the cultural touchstone that he is?”

I’ve read a few books this year about writing and the writer’s life. I started last December rereading all of Helene Hanff’s books, mostly as comfort reading, but hers is a writing life I envy. I also read Take Off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker, Take Joy by Jane Yolan, and Draft No. 4 by John McPhee.

I haven’t recommended much this year because I’ve been a little more insular than usual. I don’t know why that would be… So, I’m looking forward to chatting about nonfiction and getting recommendations as well as giving them. From this year’s reading, I want to recommend The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini and the other John McPhee book I read, Levels of the Game, bios (sort of) of Arthur Ashe and Clark Graebner as they play first US Open tennis match.

NonFiction November TBR

Here’s what I’d like to read this month:

  • Edison’s Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life by Gaby Wood
  • The Tale of Terror: A Study of the Gothic Romance by Edith Birkhead
  • Strange Cures by Rob Zabrecky
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

11 thoughts on “NonFic November 2020, Wk 1

  1. DoingDewey

    I don’t feel like I’ve done much recommending this year either, but Bad Blood was still the main book that came to mind. I’m glad you ended up enjoying it too. It really was a fascinating story!

    Reply
  2. Elyse LeMieux

    In Cold Blood is so chilling! Right up there with Helter Skelter. I enjoyed both as audiobooks. I tend to listen to a lot of nonfiction vs reading it. I’m more engaged when listening, especially when they’re memoirs narrated by the author.

    Reply
  3. Athira

    Agree with Elyse that In Cold Blood is so chilling. I listened to the audiobook so that was creepier than reading the book. Hope you like it. Such good books here!

    Reply

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