#NonficNov – NonFiction Favourites


Week four’s host is Leann from Shelf Aware

[We’ve talked about how you pick nonfiction books in previous years, but this week I’m excited to talk about what makes a book you’ve read one of your favorites. Is the topic pretty much all that matters? Are there particular ways a story can be told or particular writing styles that you love? Do you look for a light, humorous approach or do you prefer a more serious tone? Let us know what qualities make you add a nonfiction book to your list of favourites.]

I’ve been giving this week’s topic a lot of thought, and I’ve found it surprisingly difficult to formulate a response. Unlike my fiction reading, which is heavily scheduled due to review commitments, generally I can choose non fiction on a whim. This usually involves simply browsing until a title and/or description catches my eye.

Looking at the titles I add to my TBR, it’s clear I have a strong preference for non fiction presented as a narrative. I also like non fiction that utilises plenty of anecdotes, or in the case of memoirs, are a series of anecdotes. So it seems a personal touch is important to me.

There are five qualities I enjoy in non-fiction, and it’s generally a combination of two or more that will ensure a rewarding reading experience, but here are some examples of each quality that I gave five stars:


Funny: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Laugh out loud funny, poignant and a little crazy, read this and make yourself #FuriouslyHappy


Thought provoking: Unbelievable by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong

As an examination and exposé of law enforcement’s enduring failures to investigate reports of rape properly, you will find yourself thinking of this story often.


Informative: The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg

Investigative journalist Nordberg, attempts to explain the complex role of a ‘bacha posh’ in Afghan society by sharing the moving stories of women’s experiences.


Relatable: The Land Before Avocado by Richard Glover

So much of what Glover writes in this collection of essays evokes memories of my childhood in Australia circa the late 1970’s /early 1980’s.


Unusual: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

I sometimes like to deliberately chose a topic to read about that I would consider out of my comfort zone. The risk doesn’t always pay off, but it did with this book, I found it absolutely fascinating.


My Nonfiction November so far…

Nonfiction Books Read: 8/15


#NonficNov – Your Year In NonFiction

Review: Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

Review: Bush Doctors by Annabelle Brayley

#NonficNov – Book Pairings

Review: Unmentionable by Therese Oneill

Review: They Walk Among Us by Benjamin and Rosanna Fitton

#NonficNov – Become the Expert

Review: Killer Instinct: Having a Mind for Murder by Donald Grant

Review: The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective by Susannah Stapleton

Review: Nobody’s Victim: Fighting Psycho’s, Stalkers, Pervs and Trolls by Carrie Goldberg

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Erin @ Cracker Crumb Life
    Nov 22, 2019 @ 07:37:27

    Oh I remember when you posted about Soul of an Octopus! I thought it looked really good and put it on my list. I better get to it!

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Carol
    Nov 22, 2019 @ 08:01:02

    I agree with all these qualities! 🙌😍 Thanks for the examples!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Helen Murdoch
    Nov 22, 2019 @ 08:54:00

    Great job explaining what you like in nonfiction. I also like narrative nonfiction and a personal aspect really helps me as well.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz
    Nov 22, 2019 @ 10:43:17

    I like all of the things you listed. It was difficult for me to figure out why I like the nonfiction I like, too.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. hopewellslibraryoflife
    Nov 23, 2019 @ 01:00:57

    Land Before Avocado sounds good!

    Liked by 1 person


  6. hopewellslibraryoflife
    Nov 23, 2019 @ 01:03:38

    Wow! My library has Land Before Avocado as an e-book, so I’ve borrowed it!

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Aj @ Read All The Things!
    Nov 23, 2019 @ 01:41:25

    I love Furiously Happy! The quote about being furiously happy out of spite has helped me get through a few challenging work days.

    Liked by 1 person


  8. Katherine Nabity
    Nov 23, 2019 @ 04:50:58

    Re: comfort zones
    I should have said in my post that topic doesn’t always make a favorite because I really enjoy the feeling of “Oh, I didn’t know I wanted to know about that!” The Soul of an Octopus has been on my TBR for a while now.

    Liked by 1 person


  9. Liz Dexter
    Nov 23, 2019 @ 06:29:51

    I had a bit of trouble working out what to put for this one, too, hence my comparison post. I think you’ve got some great reasons – and reads – here.



  10. The Paperback Princess
    Nov 23, 2019 @ 07:25:38

    I’m definitely the same – I love lots of anecdotes in nonfiction.
    Reading Furiously Happy was such a great reading experience. I laughed so hard which is kind of amazing when you think about how it’s a memoir about dealing with some heavy mental health issues!

    Liked by 1 person


  11. stargazer
    Nov 24, 2019 @ 02:05:47

    I agree with all your five categories, although I probably don’t read much in the ‘unusual’ group. A lot of my reads could be classified as informative or thought provoking. Just looking at the cover for Furiously Happy, makes me happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  12. Lisa notes...
    Nov 24, 2019 @ 06:24:43

    I enjoyed seeing your recommendations! I’m not familiar with those, so it’s good to meet some new books. It was hard for me too to articulate why I love nonfiction. I’m much more apt to pick a nonfiction book on a whim than a fiction book. Although I have TONS more nonfiction books on my TBR list.

    Liked by 1 person


  13. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  14. Trackback: #NonficNov- New To My TBR + Wrap Up | book'd out

I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s