Nonfiction November Week 1: My Year in Nonfiction

November is always a busy time in the book blogging world and one of the many reading events taking place this month is Nonfiction November. Non-fiction doesn’t form a large part of my reading, but I find that taking part in this event helps me to focus on the non-fiction I’ve read and would like to read, so it’s still worthwhile for me. Each week throughout November, one of the challenge hosts will post a different topic for participants to discuss. I probably won’t have time to join in with all of them, but this week’s topic is an easy one:

Week 1: (November 1-5) – Your Year in Nonfiction with Rennie at What’s Nonfiction: Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – 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?

So far this year I have read the following six non-fiction books, a mixture of history, science, biography and self-help:

The Light Ages by Seb Falk – a look at the progress of science, philosophy and invention in the medieval period

The Fall of the House of Byron by Emily Brand – a biography of the ancestors of the poet Lord Byron.

The Killer of the Princes in the Tower by MJ Trow – a new solution to one of history’s greatest unsolved mysteries.

The Haunting of Alma Fielding by Kate Summerscale – the story of a woman who claims to be experiencing paranormal events in her London home.

Live Alone and Like It by Marjorie Hillis – a 1930s guide for single women who live alone.

Myself When Young by Daphne du Maurier – the memoir of one of my favourite authors.

Of these, I think the book I enjoyed most was probably Live Alone and Like It. For a book published in 1936, a lot of the advice is still surprisingly relevant today!

This month, although I do have several other non-fiction books on my TBR, I’m going to concentrate on finishing a very long book I started a few weeks ago – Powers and Thrones by Dan Jones.

Are you taking part in Nonfiction November this year?

17 thoughts on “Nonfiction November Week 1: My Year in Nonfiction

  1. Claire 'Word by Word' says:

    I might have to look back too now you mention it, I’m not officially participating, but knowing others are makes me look on the shelf to see what I have. I did just read two books of Deborah Levy’s Living Autobiography Things I Don’t Want to Know and The Cost of Living, so I’ll read the third one in November (novella length).

    I also have a collection of essays by Cathy Park Hong, Minor Feelings I’m keen to read.

    Happy Reading!

    • Helen says:

      I’ve never been a big reader of non-fiction, but I do still like to participate in this event and usually finish the month with lots of interesting titles added to my TBR! I hope you enjoy the Deborah Levy novella and the essay collection.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, Live Alone and Like It was a fun read! I enjoyed Myself When Young too – I’ve always loved Daphne du Maurier and it was interesting to learn more about her early life.

  2. Cyberkitten says:

    I picked up a copy of ‘The Light Ages’ recently. It looks SO much fun – and a nice ‘twist’ on the out of date idea that pretty much nothing happened then!

  3. Calmgrove says:

    I shall join in on an ad hoc basis, Helen, as I will be on all the other November reading memes (novellas and SciFiMonth for starters). I do have Something of His Art: Walking to Lübeck With J. S. Bach by Horatio Clare in mind and a choice from a couple of the titles in the Penguin Great Journey series, but that’s about it, I think. I do however remember the nonfiction reviews you did mentioned here, though I doubt I could match them in quality and quantity!

    • Helen says:

      There are too many reading events happening in November to be able to participate fully in all of them, but I do want to make time to at least finish the nonfiction book I’m currently reading. I hope you manage to join in too!

  4. hopewellslibraryoflife says:

    Good choices. The Princes book looks interesting–most of what I know is from the Josephine Tey novel lol. I have Live Single and Myself so now I’m intrigued and what to get with it and read them! Enjoy the nonfiction this month.

    • Helen says:

      The Josephine Tey novel was one of the first I read about the Princes in the Tower too, but the MJ Trow book has a very different theory about it! I hope you enjoy your nonfiction reading this month.

  5. Lory says:

    I read Myself When Young this year as well and it was an interesting glimpse into Du Maurier’s life and writing inspiration. It wasn’t my favorite memoir though — there were some others that stood out more for me (listed in my post).

    Interesting that Live Alone and Like it is still so applicable today! I suppose at the time the living-alone lifestyle needed more defending, but in essence it’s still the same.

    • Helen says:

      I have read better memoirs than du Maurier’s too, but as she’s one of my favourite authors I still found it interesting. And yes, living alone was viewed quite differently in the 1930s, but some advice never goes out of date!

  6. jessicabookworm says:

    As you know I managed to take part for this week, but like you have been very busy and poorly since to try any other topics. However I am hoping to try out the new topic of Stranger Than Fiction this coming week. 🤞

    So far this month, I have also read the short non-fiction The Crusades by Mark Black and I am currently reading a biography of Lillie Langtry as well. 🙂

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