Nonfiction November Week One


It’s Nonfiction November! This is an event hosted by Lost in BooksSophisticated DorkinessRegular Rumination, and Doing Dewey.

It was a bit of a last-minute decision to join in on my part. But here’s my answers to the first week’s questions!


Your Year in 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?


As I was going through my list of books read so far, I discovered that I’ve read far more nonfiction than I thought. Mostly because a lot of these were graphic novel/memoirs or whatever the right term is for those.

Here’s what I’ve read so far (and links to those I reviewed):

A time to keep silence – Patrick Leigh Fermor
Bury my heart at Wounded Knee: an Indian history of the America West- Dee Brown
How to be a woman – Caitlin Moran
Heads in beds: a reckless memoir of hotels, hustles, and so-called hospitality – Jacob Tomsky
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity – Katherine Boo
The Tea Reader: Living life one cup at a time Katrina Avila Munichiello (ed)
Oaxaca Journal – Oliver Sacks
China Witness – Xinran
Stealing Buddha’s Dinner  – Bich Minh Nguyen
Sous chef – Michael Gibney

Graphic novel/memoirs
Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City – Guy Delisle
March Book One – John Robert Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
A game for swallows: to die, to leave, to return – Zeina Abirached
Nylon Road: a graphic memoir of coming of age in Iran – Parsua Bashi
Epileptic – David B
Woman rebel: the Margaret Sanger story – Peter Bagge
The initiates: a comic artist and a wine artisan exchange jobs – Etienne Davodeau
The photographer – Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre, Fréderic Lemercier
Heartbreak Diet – Thorina Rose


Picking just one is hard! So I’ll have to say it’s between Etienne Davodeau’s The initiates: a comic artist and a wine artisan exchange jobs and The photographer by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre, Fréderic Lemercier.

Yes, I realize they are both graphic novel/memoirs and by Frenchmen. But they were such different – and interesting – reads. Here’s my review of The Initiates. The Photographer was a very moving combination of graphic art and photographs, tracing one reporter’s journey through Afghanistan with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).


What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

Actually I don’t think I recommend much, if any, nonfiction….


What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?

Probably more history! So I ought to get my hands on Cleopatra: A Life which is one of two readalongs happening this month!

What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?


To add more books to my non-fiction reading list! And to attempt to make a dent in it, although I suspect that is highly unlikely, since it’ll just be getting longer. It doesn’t help that I’m currently reading Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward, which is not on my list. Oh and French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Lee Billon

I am however, hoping to read:


A crack in the edge of the world: America and the great California earthquake of 1906 – Simon Winchester


A vist to Don Otavio – Sybille Bedford

I’m quite sure I won’t be able to read them all but maybe one!



  1. Love how varied the nonfiction is that you’ve read so far this year! Several of them are ones I’ve been wanting to read, and now I suspect I’ll have to look into all the ones I haven’t heard of before. 🙂


  2. Oh! Oh! Oh! Men We Reaped *just* missed being on my best of list for so far this year. I hope you are really enjoying it! And now I’m off to check out your nonfiction reading list, though I suspect it will be veeeeerrryyyy dangerous for my wish list 🙂


  3. I read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee a looong time ago; I think I liked it. And I have A Crack in the Edge of the World… somewhere. I read about 20 pages of it a year or two ago and put it down for something more shiny and forgot about it. What I read was good though; I need to find it again. His The Professor and the Madman was good too. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Men We Reaped- I look forward to what you have to say on it!


  4. I read Bury My Knee many many years ago, but when I saw that Timothy Egan had written a book about Edward Curtis (the man whose photograph is on the front cover of Wounded Knee) I knew I had to have it.

    I haven’t read any Simon Winchester for years, but I did enjoy his first two books immensely. I also heard lots of good things about Beautiful Forevers and the Caitlin Moran – I’ll watch out for your reviews?


    1. Thanks for your comment Brona. I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to put up reviews of Beautiful FOrevers and Caitlin Moran! It’s been a while since I’ve read them!!


    1. It had some interesting aspects about the hotel industry that well, none of us non-hotel people would ever know about. It was a quick easy read.


  5. I’m so glad that you mentioned all of these great graphic memoirs! I’m hoping to read several this month and now my list is running over with suggestions! Hoping my library has a copy of The Photographer.


  6. Epileptic is on my wishlist and has been for ages, and I’ve been wanting to read Jerusalem for a while too. What did you think of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee? I had it on my wishlist for ages but then took it off because I wasn’t sure… I’m hosting a nonfiction book swap to tie in with this month if you’re interested in joining 🙂


  7. Ooh, The Initiates sounds so interesting! I read A Game for Swallows last year and really loved it. Thank you for joining in Nonfiction November! I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on Men We Reaped. It’s a book I’ve been meaning to read.


Comments are closed.