A Look at My Non-Fiction Reads This Year

cork-w-books-300x300Non-Fiction November is hosted by Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness), Katie (Doing Dewey), Leslie (Regular Rumination), and Becca (I’m Lost in Books), and the topic for the first week is “My Year in Non-Fiction.”

I’ve read only six non-fiction books so far this year, which is not a great number but about average for me. They are:

  1. Found Meals of the Lost Generation: Recipes and Anecdotes from 1920’s Paris by Suzanne Rodriguez-Hunter (my review)
  2. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (my review)
  3. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (my review)
  4. A Card from Angela Carter by Susannah Clapp (my review)
  5. An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage
  6. The Republic of Imagination by Azar Nafisi (my review)

What was your favorite non-fiction read of the year?
Of the six books listed above, my two favorites are Unbroken and In the Garden of Beasts. Both Laura Hillenbrand and Erik Larson are successful non-fiction writers, so I don’t think I have to convince you to read their books.

What non-fiction book have you recommended the most?
The three books I’ve recommended most are actually ones I’ve read in 2013: Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, and Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman (my review).

What is one topic or type of non-fiction you haven’t read enough of yet?
When it comes to non-fiction, I try to read very widely and I would have a hard time narrowing down the field to one topic. But judging by the unread books on my shelves, it seems like I am looking to read more biographies.

What are you hoping to get out of participating in Non-Fiction November?
I’m hoping to get introduced to books I haven’t yet heard about. It’s not like I need more books on my TBR pile, but I have no problem adding to my list.



  1. I’m putting the Azar Nafisi book on my to read list. Always intrigued by the true Iranian perspective, I very much enjoyed reading, and rereading Shirin Ebadi’s autobiographical ‘Iran Awakening’.

  2. Erik Larson is one my favorite authors these days, and I try to read everything he writes. I found In the Garden of Beasts so compelling. Glad you liked it too. Looking forward to Nonfiction November and finding new books for 2015.

  3. It looks like you’ve gotten to some interesting nonfiction already this year! I haven’t read anything by Erik Larson, but I’ve been planning on it for a while. The Republic of Imagination is also on my to-read pile 🙂

  4. I’m so close to finishing the audio book for Unbroken, it’s had me on the edge of my seat for the past few days. Such an amazing story! All of the books you listed sound so intriguing, but I’m really drawn to the books about food. 🙂

  5. The Azar Nafisi has such a beautiful cover! I don’t know how I disliked In The Garden of Beasts so much – everyone else seems to love it, or at least like it! I did really enjoy the Henrietta Lacks book though. Happy reading!

    • Sorry you didn’t like The Garden of Beasts. I liked the part that dealt with the ambassador better than the one that dealt with his daughter. And you are right, the Nafisi cover is beautiful!

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I’m so glad to have found a fellow book blogger that also reads sports books (a rarity!). I also loved Unbroken and Born to Run – and you should love Boys in the Boat if you loved Unbroken. Different authors, but similar feels. I also liked Henrietta Lacks and In the Garden of Beasts (love Erik Larson and he has a new one called Dead Wake coming out in 2015).
    Look forward to following your NN.

  7. I really liked Unbroken as well–In the Garden of Beasts wasn’t my favorite by Larsen but still a great listen. Henrietta Lacks is definitely my go-to recommendation as well. Hope you have a great month!

  8. The only one here that I’ve read is Unbroken, which I liked. All of these sound good, though. There are so many great non-fiction books out there that I often wish I was more of a non-fiction reader, but I’m just not. I usually like them when I read them, but to pick one up instead of fiction doesn’t happen very often. I will just watch everyone else read them, and put the very best ones on my list! Happy Reading!

    • Look on the bright side… there are a whole bunch of books that will not blow up your TBR pile. 🙂 Just thinking of history, a good fiction book can bring a historical event to life just as much as a well-written non-fiction book. I hope that maybe one or two non-fiction titles will catch your eye this month, even if it is not your preferred type of book.

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