My Year in Nonfiction #NonFicNov

I’m a little late to this week’s prompt for Nonfiction November, which is hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey Decimal.

It’s a chance to look back on the nonfiction I’ve read over the past year and also a chance to be confronted with the fact that I really don’t read a lot of nonfiction!

Out of almost 120 books, I’ve only read 17 nonfiction books since 1st November 2021. that’s just over a tenth of my overall reading, which is not a good tally at all.

Here are the books I’ve read with links to either my review or the book description on Goodreads:

The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy

Crapalachia by Scott McClenahan

Hiroshima by John Hersey

The Witches: Salem, 1962 by Stacy Schiff

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

Poetry, Memory and the Party by Thomas McCarthy

The Stasi Poetry Circle by Philip Oltermann

The Dublin Railway Murder by Thomas Morris

In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom

Constructing a Nervous System by Margo Jefferson

The Missing by Andrew O’Hagan

I Live a Life Like Your by Jan Grue

It’s Not Yet Dark by Simon Fitzmaurice

Party Monster by James St James

The Devil in White City by Erik Larsen

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold

Jan Morris: Life from Both Sides by Paul Clements

Most of my nonfiction reading is True Crime, with five of my books coming from that genre. Five were autobiography and two were memoirs from writers living with disabilities. Surprisingly, two books centred on poetry and two were about historical tragedies.

Of all of these books, my favourite was The Five by Hallie Rubenhold, closely followed by Simon Fitzmaurice’s very affecting memoir about living with Motor Neurone Disease. I also very much enjoyed The Devil in White City which was a fantastic blend of historical writing and true crime set during the World Fair in Chicago in 1893.

It’s very clear that I when it comes to choosing what to read, my preference is fiction, so over the coming year, I’ll try and seek some more nonfiction from the 746 and see if I can at least read 20 titles! I’ll be following everyone’s Nonfiction November’s posts with interest to get some inspiration for the coming year.

How has your year in nonfiction been? I’ll be taking a break from posting tomorrow as it is my birthday, but will be back on Tuesday for Novellas in November, when we will be celebrating Novellas in Translation.


Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

31 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I don’t tend to turn to non-fiction as I have to read so much for work, but I just checked out what I have read this year and it looks like I’ve read 20 non-fiction books. I mostly gravitate towards memoir and nature-writing. My favourite non-fiction read so far this year was definitely Suzanne Simard’s Finding The Mother Tree, which managed to seamlessly combine both!
    I’ve not read any of your picks except The Five, which I liked but had some historical misgivings about. It’s Not Yet Dark sounds up my street – I love medical/illness memoir.


  2. Happy birthday for tomorrow!

    This is one of the reading memes I’m aware of but don’t actively participate in. Your post made me look at my own stats, though. I only managed four non-fiction titles in the past 12 months, which is very low for me. I have peaks and troughs, depending on whether I’m reading to escape or not. Although, as most of my non-fiction reading is biography and memoir or history, I’m also willing to escape the present through someone else’s life or the past!


  3. That’s a nice variety of nonfiction and more than a lot of people read! I’m interested to know what you’ve got in the 746, maybe you should post a pile and we can all recommend choices!


  4. I shall have to give The Devil in White City another go. I bought it in desperation because I was just about to catch a flight home from USA. It was the best of a very limited option – started it on the flight but didn’t get very far.

    So glad to hear The Five is a favourite of the year – it’s a superb book, one I would be keen to read again

    Oh and happy birthday in advance of the big day


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