I am a huge fan of nonfiction, so am ridiculously excited about Nonfiction November! The event is being hosted by Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness), Leslie (Regular Rumination), Katie (Doing Dewey), and Rebecca (I’m Lost In Books). The opening meme is being hosted by Kim – go on over and participate!
While I read a variety of types of books, nonfiction usually makes up between 30-40% by year-end. Right now it’s sitting at around 36% of my reading for the year so far. I’ve read 56 nonfiction books so far this year. Of those: 16 male authors, 44 female authors, 2 with trans or genderqueer authors (some were anthologies which contained multiple authors). 15 were by authors of color, another 9 were international (outside of US or Canada), and 14 included LGBTQ authors and topics. Without really trying, mainly due to my interest in sociology and social justice, my reading tends to fall to at least 25% non-white authors and GLBTQ authors and topics.
New this year, 8 of the nonfiction titles I read were cookbooks or craftbooks. In the past I’ve not read many of these types of books. (Unsurprisingly, they skewed toward female authors, but white and het- cis- authors.) This has been due to my increased time for cooking and crafting. Another 7 could be classified as memoir – most of which I wasn’t a huge fan of (more on this later this month, I’m sure). Three were graphic novels.
Overall, quite a variety. You can see the full list of what I’ve read here.
What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
I am having a hard time trying to pick just one or even just a couple. I want to list over a dozen here… But let me try to at least keep it only to a dozen! Here they are in order read:
- The Traveler, The Tower, and the Worm: The Reader as Metaphor by Alberto Manguel
- Do Muslim Women Need Saving? by Lila Abu-Lughod
- Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by bell hooks
- Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work by Melissa Gira Grant
- Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies, Lessons & Love Affairs by Pearl Cleage
- Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All-American Town by Mirta Ojito
- The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age by Martha C Nussbaum
- Palestine by Joe Sacco
- Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag
- The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail by Oscar Martinez
- Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow: The Green Man’s Guide to Living & Eating Sustainably All Year Round by Randy Shore
- Against Equality: Queer Revolution Not Mere Inclusion edited by Ryan Conrad
What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
As has Kim, I’ve recommended The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison many times! I’ve also recommended A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory From a Prairie Landscape by Candace Savage and Israel / Palestine and the Queer International by Sarah Schulman to various friends.
(I cheated by taking these off of my favourites list and moving them here – they are all also very high on my favourite reads of the year list!)
What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?
Hmmm… to be honest, I think I’ve read fairly widely so far this year. I hope I can just continue that trend!
What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
I’m mainly excited to see more bloggers talking about nonfiction – it just doesn’t get nearly enough love! I’m also hoping to help ease myself back into blogging with it.