Nonfiction November Week 1: My Year in Nonfiction

 

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?  

Having made a list of the nonfiction I’ve read over the last 12 months I realised I had actually managed to meet my goal of reading at least 2 nonfiction titles a month. Go me! It’s still a bit less than I’d like given my very long WTR list that grows exponentially (especially every November!), but it’s a small victory.

 

CLICK HERE TO BROWSE REVIEWS FOR THE TITLES BELOW

 

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There are a couple of contenders for a favourite nonfiction read this year, but I’m going to select

 The Whale in the Living Room by John Ruthven.

 

 

Not something I’d usually choose, I read it to fulfil the Oceanography category for the 2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge. It’s authored by television producer, John Ruthven, who is in part responsible for the extraordinary footage seen in almost fifty ocean life documentaries, including the groundbreaking series’, Blue Planet and Blue Planet II narrated by David Attenborough. I found Ruthven’s stories to be fascinating, related in a personable tone with flashes of humour. He provides insights not only into the complex logistics of filming, but also the subjects themselves, from cuttlefish to blue whales. Reading the book prompted me to binge on the Blue Planet series with a new appreciation for the superb imagery. A well-written, informative book, I’d recommend it to anyone interested in marine life and ecology, travel, environmental issues, ocean diving, wildlife photography/videography, or television production. The Whale in the Living Room is fascinating reading.

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The nonfiction title that I feel compelled to recommend is very different

Men Who Hate Women: From Incels to Pickup Artists: The Truth about Extreme Misogyny and How It Affects Us All by Laura Bates.

It’s attracted its fair share of controversy, particularly from the #NotAllMen crowd, but I feel it is an important and informative expose of these types of online groups, how they recruit members, what they believe, and how their rhetoric spills into the real world, inspiring everything from wordless intimidation to mass murders, and even influencing politics. This is a book that will disturb, infuriate, and challenge you, but will hopefully inspire change for the better.

***

As usual, true crime dominated my nonfiction reading, with Written in Bone by Sue Black, Autopsy by Ryan Blumenthal, and The Schoolgirl Strangler by Katherine Kovacic my favourites. I also read three books with quite unique subjects – two memoirs written by strippers, Sunshine by Samantha C Ross and One Last Dance by Emma Jane Holmes; and a biography of a child spy, With My Little Eye by Sandra Hogan.

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I had endeavoured to keep my fiction review schedule for November as clear as possible in anticipation of this event, but I was only semi-successful. I still plan to read as much nonfiction as I can though. I’m hoping to complete my goal for the 2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge, I have five books on that list:

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I also have a handful of nonfiction books I received for review during the past year that I need to cross off my schedule.

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I have no doubt I’ll be adding even more titles to my WTR list over the course of Nonfiction November, and I hope to squeeze a few of those in too.

I’m looking forward to visiting all the participants in Nonfiction November! Feel free to drop your links in the comments.

33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol
    Nov 03, 2021 @ 04:25:33

    Wow! Some interesting titles here!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Liz Dexter
    Nov 03, 2021 @ 05:09:58

    Some great titles here. I know I should read the Laura Bates but I can’t bring myself to! My first week post is here https://librofulltime.wordpress.com/2021/11/02/nonfiction-november-week-1-your-year-in-nonfiction-2/

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz
    Nov 03, 2021 @ 05:18:26

    You have done well this year! I also hope to read a couple more books for the Nonfiction Challenge. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Susan
    Nov 03, 2021 @ 07:59:24

    The whale book looks good. Also the female doctors in Women to the Front … must have seen awful injuries during WWI. Yikes, brutal. You read a lot of nonfiction this year which is not easy considering the books usually take twice as long.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Lisa notes...
    Nov 03, 2021 @ 08:17:34

    I’m excited just seeing your variety of nonfiction books! Definitely my fave. 🙂 I’m adding “Men Who Hate Women” to my list now.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. MaryR
    Nov 03, 2021 @ 11:37:10

    I’m intrigued by Enid (I’ve been wanting to read something Australia-related) and look forward to your review!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. WendyW
    Nov 03, 2021 @ 12:03:27

    You have done so well with the non fiction books. I might try a challenge for next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. Helen Murdoch
    Nov 03, 2021 @ 15:02:53

    An impressive nonfiction list and goals. I look forward to reading your reviews so that I can add to my TBR list.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Stephanie - Bookfever
    Nov 03, 2021 @ 23:07:03

    I remember you posting about The Whale in the Living Room and I still wanna read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. The Paperback Princess
    Nov 04, 2021 @ 02:07:22

    OK wow, I feel like so many of your books are going on my TBR. Schoolgirl Strangler, Men Who Hate Women (in the right frame of mind though), Women To the Front, The Woman They Couldn’t Silence (loved Radium Girls) and How to Fake Being Tidy are all calling my name! Your nonfiction tastes really align with my own so I will definitely be back for more.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. cleemckenzie
    Nov 04, 2021 @ 02:45:10

    I’m up for reading The Whale in the Living Room. Just knowing that David Attenborough is narrating attracts me, but the topic is also of great interest to me. Thanks for selecting it as one of your featured non-fiction books.

    Like

    Reply

  12. Lauren Becker
    Nov 04, 2021 @ 03:00:33

    I have Stuff You Should Know that I really hope to read soon. I’m hoping to get a couple nonfiction books in this month!

    Lauren @ http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Like

    Reply

  13. Jaymi @TheOCBookGirl
    Nov 04, 2021 @ 08:10:49

    There are so many interesting sounding titles here! Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. maphead
    Nov 04, 2021 @ 08:54:45

    I so wanna read Autopsy!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  15. gulfsidemusing
    Nov 04, 2021 @ 10:29:10

    You have a great variety of nonfiction reads here! Are you planning to have a Nonfiction Challenge next year? That’s something I should look into.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. Lory
    Nov 04, 2021 @ 20:02:52

    “Men Who Hate Women” made me think of Reading Lolita in Tehran, which was a thought-provoking read for me this year that also contained so much evidence of toxic misogyny. It’s so bizarre, like a rebellion against one’s very biology. Do men not want to be born? How can they hate the source of life? It’s a puzzle.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. louloureads
    Nov 04, 2021 @ 20:02:57

    I loved The Radium Girls and I had no idea Kate Moore had another book out, so I’m definitely tempted by that.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  18. Katie | Doing Dewey ❤️ (@DoingDewey)
    Nov 05, 2021 @ 01:16:01

    Wow, you’ve read some fascinating books on pathology/crime scene investigation/etc! I’m not sure why that topic interests me so much, but I want to add all of those books to my to-read list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. Erin @ Cracker Crumb Life
    Nov 05, 2021 @ 23:12:05

    These all look so good! You always have great nonfiction books. You’ve Got to be Kidding is definitely going on my list!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. silverbuttonbooks
    Nov 07, 2021 @ 01:12:04

    This is a truly impressive collection of books! There are so many I want to have right now but I definitely need to read How to Fake Being Tidy and The World of Critical Role.

    Have a great NFN!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  21. Lesley in OR
    Nov 07, 2021 @ 05:56:23

    Dancing with the Octopus sounds intriguing. My book group read The Soul of an Octopus (Sy Montgomery) a few years ago and I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  22. WordsAndPeace
    Nov 07, 2021 @ 11:08:21

    wow, amazing list, and congrats for reading 2/month.
    I’m curious about the one on autopsy and people in libraries, as I worked for 6 years in one. Especially people who come when it’s the full moon, I swear!
    My post is here https://wordsandpeace.com/2021/11/05/nonfiction-november-my-year-2021-in-nonfiction/

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  23. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  24. JaneGS
    Nov 08, 2021 @ 05:46:35

    I absolutely love David Attenborough’s voice! I think I would really like The Whale in the Living Room–sounds like a nice slow read to calm me down when life gets hectic.

    Two nonfictions a month is a great goal–congrats on achieving it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  25. Harry Katz
    Nov 08, 2021 @ 09:55:22

    The Whale in the Living Room looks really interesting. Thanks for nominating that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  26. stargazer
    Nov 08, 2021 @ 11:33:37

    The Whale in the Living Room sounds amazing! It must be a fascinating job to film life in the oceans.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  27. Jen at Introverted Reader
    Nov 09, 2021 @ 10:44:37

    My biggest goal for Nonfiction November is to actually review some of the great nonfiction books I’ve read this year.

    The Whale in the Living Room and Men Who Hate Women both caught my eye as I scrolled through your list, so I’m glad to know they’re good choices. I’m adding them to my TBR.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  28. Christopher | Plucked from the Stacks
    Nov 18, 2021 @ 06:55:17

    This post has been a highlight of Nonfiction November for me … I mean, seriously. Every book looks better than the next and I’ve read hardly any of them! You’ve Got to be Kidding and The Whale in the Living Room are definitely going on my TBR pile.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  29. whatsnonfiction
    Nov 20, 2021 @ 23:25:33

    What a fantastic reading year you’ve had!! SO many interesting titles! Dancing with the Octopus sounds interesting, I’ll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that one. You might like the memoir I Will Find You, by Joanna Connors. She’s a reporter who investigated the life of the man who raped her. It was so incredibly well done and very moving, it seemed both cathartic for her in dealing with the lingering traumas as well as a important social analysis.

    I love the themes you had going this year! I’m adding Men Who Hate Women, was a bit apprehensive about that one but it does seem so important.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  30. Trackback: Nonfiction November 2021 (Week 5): New to my TBR | The Paperback Princess

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