Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
My favorite nonfiction read of the year:
Ryszard Kapuscinski’s book The Shadow of the Sun. Kapuscinski worked as a news correspondent for a Poland paper for over 40 years. This book is a collection of essays where he shares his observations from several of the African countries he visited. I learnt more about Africa, its climate, politics, history, culture, economy and people from this book than in any other book I’ve read. I also enjoyed Kupuscincki’s writing and hope to read more of his books in the future.
The book I quote most often:
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancerby Siddhartha Mukherjee. This book is the book I mention most often in conversation. It is incredibly comprehensive and discusses many different cancers, treatments, causes and related diseases. I can’t help but be reminded of it when these topics come up in conversation.
The book that gave me biggest aha moment:
Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfectionby Debora Spar. While reading this book I realized how my life was influenced by those perfume commercials of the 70’s that led me to believe women (I) could have it all.
The book that was the most therapeutic:
Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendshipby Gail Caldwell which I wrote about here.
Undress Me in the Temple of Heavenby Susan Jane Gilman was my biggest page-turner. In this honest memoir Gilman writes about her 1986 backpacking trip to China with former college classmate Claire. Her experience in pre-Tiananmen Square massacre China along with Claire’s story and the people they encounter is fascinating. It is interesting to note she and Claire for the most part were treated with incredible kindness and hospitality by the Chinese people while they acted like spoiled brats, were rude and at times down-right mean.
My favorite nonfiction books are those that help me better understand the world or books where I am motivated to pull out my notebook and begin taking copious notes. To be honest, I haven’t read many of these types of books lately and hope to discover a few new titles to add to my reading list this month. I’m also looking forward to participating in the read-a-longs and book discussions.
What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
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