Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Nonfiction November, Week #1: My Year in Nonfiction



Nonfiction November is here! This annual event, an entire month of bookish topics devoted entirely to nonfiction, is always a favorite. Our hosts this year are:

Katie at Doing Dewey
Julz at JulzReads
Rennie at What's Nonfiction
Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves
Leann of Shelf Aware


MY YEAR IN NONFICTION

2019 has been another year of change for my family. We sold our lake home in upstate NY and moved to an island on Florida's gulf coast. Earlier this week I changed my blog name to reflect our new location and am now Gulfside Musing!

With the move, my overall reading numbers are down, but the proportion of nonfiction is at an all-time high. In 2019, 42% of my reading has been nonfiction!

Preferred format//
I read nonfiction of course, but I also love listening to it. Having both  the audiobook and a print copy is ideal. That way, I never miss out on photographs, maps, charts, etc. With a read/listen combination, I listen on my morning walk, then read outside in the late afternoon or curl up in my favorite reading chair in the evening.

Topics of interest//
I've read on a wide variety of subjects this year, most notably...

THE SUPREME COURT


FOOD



MEMOIR/PERSONAL ESSAYS



I've also read about the opioid crisis, moving, and psychotherapy.






MY NONFICTION FAVORITE OF 2019


by Dani Shapiro, narrated by the author
(along with Devotion, also by Dani Shapiro)


Runners up


by Lori Gottlieb
narrated by Brittany Pressley




by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams
narrated by Linda Lavin



My goal for Nonfiction November//
 It's simple. I want to hear about all the great nonfiction you have been reading this year...and, ideally, I'd like to read them all before next year's event. My best recommendations always come from book bloggers!



For links to other "My Year in Nonfiction" posts, visit Julz at Julz Reads.

62 comments:

  1. Wow, that is a very high percentage of nonfiction! I really need to read a book on RBG!

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    1. Angela - I think Notorious RBG would be the perfect place to start!

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  2. I've been reading a lot about the opioid crisis too. I've made note of several of the titles you've read.

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    1. Kathy - It's a heartbreaking crisis. I'll probably be reading more about it, too.

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  3. Wow, that’s a big move. I hope you enjoy your nonfiction next month!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. Love your header! I enjoyed Inheritance also.

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    1. Vicki - I think you'd enjoy Devotion, too.

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  5. Moving house is a major life change
    that demands much of your 'reading time'
    to get prepared! It is in the same category of a 'hip replacement'!
    My reading stats plummeted in October!
    RBG I do want to read about this Supreme Court justice...
    I will investigate your favorite "Inheritance"

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    1. Nancy - I'm glad to hear your recovery is progressing. Don't worry about October reading stats... there's no way such a big surgery and reading happen in the same month!

      My RBG reading has been so interesting, but I'm especially glad to have read the John Roberts bio since he'll be presiding over the impeachment trial in the senate if it gets that far.

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  6. I haven't gotten around to the RBG book but I'm thinking I need to listen to the audiobook.

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    1. Monika - Audio is definitely the way to go with the RBG book. Linda Lavin does an amazing job. Even so, it does drag in parts, but overall an excellent book.

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  7. I also read Inheritance and wow, what a story! Come see my list and happy reading!

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    1. Jaymi - I'm glad to have discovered Dani Shapiro this year. Her memoirs are so good!!

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  8. I've seen several others mention Inheritance, but I am not sure that I would be interested. What can you tell me about it that might "sell me" on it? 🙂

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    1. Bryan - Hmm, that's tough. First, I couldn't imagine how her father turned out not to be her father when there was no infidelity involved. Second, so much of Shapiro's identity was tied to her father's Jewish heritage...the core of who she is had changed. I couldn't turn away as she tried to come to terms with this... at the same time she was searching for her biological father. I'm not sure you listen to audiobooks, but hearing Shapiro read her own words made the whole thing even more moving.

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  9. I added the Dani Shapiro books to my TBR.

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    1. The Intrepid Angeleno - Hope you love it as much as I did. I especially recommend the audio version.

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  10. This was interesting -- I heard a geat lecture yesterday by a longtime justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and she was explaining that in Canada the justices aren't celebrities -- she said people never recognize them on the street, but they do recognize the American justices! I am taking notes of all your books about RBG to add to my list.

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    1. Audrey - I think our Justices, RBG in particular, have only recently achieved celebrity status. The spectacle of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing has made it hard for him to keep a low profile. I'm sure there have always been Supreme Court 'junkies', but think most Americans today could not list them all.

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  11. Hi JoAnn,
    And I've certainly enjoyed your year in nonfiction, especially having read three on your list this year myself.
    I can't wait to see what you'll read this November.
    I'm currently reading Home Work: My Years in Hollywood by Julie Andrews. I'm really enjoying it--definitely recommend it.

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    1. Judith - I've been eyeing the Julie Andrews book. Celebrity memoirs aren't generally my thing, but I may read a few in the coming year - Elton John, Springsteen, The Kennedy Heirs...

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    2. If I may be so bold, Bruce Springsteen's memoir is a masterwork. So incisively introspective, so revealing, so well-written, so lyrical, it was an unforgettable experience listening to it. I responded on so many deep and very personal levels. And back in the day, I was not a Springsteen fan, although I came to appreciate his work after 2000.
      And guess what--I bought the Elton John memoir on Audible the same day as Julie Andrews's.

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    3. Judith - I'm wrestling with my next audio selection tonight. The plan was to begin The Only Plane in the Sky, but I'm increasingly drawn to Elton John's memoir. Your remarks about Springsteen have further clouded the picture! I remember seeing him at the RPI fieldhouse in Troy before I was a fan (1979 or 80).... what's a reader/listener to do???

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  12. I've seen Inheritance on so many lists. Yours seals it for me. I really must read it. I'm reading maybe You Should Talk to Someone right now and at about a quarter of the way through, I'm losing interest. I feel bad quitting, but it's just not grabbing me.

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    1. Susie - Since this is your second try with Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, it may just not be a book for you. If you decide to try Inheritance, be sure to listen... the audio is amazing!

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  13. I agree with you on Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. It's one of those wonderful nonfiction books that is not only enjoyable to read, but that also changes your behavior.

    I added Inheritance to my list again. I have been meaning to read it, but I've gotten distracted.

    Your Gulfside Musing label is going to take a while to sink in with me. I like it though. I hope all is going well with your move.

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    1. Deb - It's going to take me some time to get used to the new name, too, lol! Have you found any books similar to Maybe You Should Talk to Someone? I'd love to read more like that.

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  14. I have been loving all of your nonfiction reading this year, and getting ideas! I still want to read Inheritance, it looks really good. :)

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    1. Erin - I'm so glad! Inheritance was an excellent book... hope you get a chance to try it.

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  15. I noticed the blog name change - yay!

    You've read a great number of nonfiction titles this year, and varied in topic also. Inheritance has been on my radar for a while, and after hearing some people speaking highly of it in these kick off posts for Nonfiction November, I think I should probably bump it up higher on my wishlist!

    Happy reading in November!

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    1. Jade - Inheritance has been on so many lists this week. I'm definitely not Shapiro's only fan! Devotion was wonderful, too. I wonder if she's working on something else now...

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  16. What an amazing percentage of NF! I rarely get past 15%.

    I've read none of the titles on your list, although I have noted A Square Meal as a likely TBR item.

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    1. Debbie - Nonfiction probably made up 10% of my reading a decade ago. It started rising slowly, then spiked in the last three or 4 years. Not sure if there are better books out there now or if I have just become more aware of them.

      A Square Meal started out strong for me, but I got bogged down midway through. I'd recommend borrowing it from a library just in case.

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  17. Your nonfiction reading this year has been impressive! I want to read more about RBG. I always seem to drift toward memoirs, and I've been reading more in the way of letters, too.

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    1. Thanks, Monica. I've read more memoir this year. People have such interesting lives and I love it when they can write well, too!

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  18. Great NF reading! I have the RBG book on audio and am slowing making my way through it. I discovered a love of memoirs this year- including Inheritance!

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    1. Tina - Audio is definitely the way to go with the RBG book. Even listening, some parts were slow, but it was always interesting!

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  19. Good list. Have you read Dreamland about the opiate epidemic? Very good. Lisa @ https://hopewellslibraryoflife.wordpress.com/

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    1. Lisa - No, I have not read Dreamland but it's on my list. Maybe I'll get to it before next year's Nonfiction November! ;-)

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  20. What a great list! I've been reading lots of personal essays this year, too. I Miss You When I Blink really stood out for me.

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    1. Unruly Reader - I listened to I Miss You When I Blink. Authors reading their own memoir or essay collection is usually a draw for me.

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  21. I added Inheritance to my list for this month, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone Is a popular pick

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    1. Shelleyrae - I loved both of those books! My book club had an excellent discussion with Inheritance, too.

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  22. I read a good bit of nonfiction this year. Biographies of Martin Luther King and Lyndon B Johnson, memoirs, Supreme Court (Sisters In Law) and others. Right now I am slowly reading a long one that will take me months as I read a small portion most days: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West. I am learning so much about the Balkans and all the events that led to the Kosovo War in 1999.

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    1. Judy - I read Sisters in Law last year and thought it was very well done. It propelled me to continue with more Supreme reading this year. Especially glad to have read the John Roberts bio... it makes me feel somewhat better about him presiding over an eventual impeachment trial in the senate. I'd like to read an LBJ bio eventually, too.

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  23. Your new header is lovely.
    I’m going through a bit of a foodie phase again, so I’ve taken note of your two choices, though not sure that food from the depression is likely to inspire me!!

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    1. Thanks, Brona. The book about depression-era food was a good idea, but it wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped... wouldn't be in rush to read it.

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  24. A great selection. I've read a couple of these too. Good luck with upping your game this month.

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    1. Beth F - Thanks. I feel a sudden interest in celebrity memoir coming on ;-)

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  25. Wow, 42% non-fiction is amazing! Well done JoAnn and I also hope you are settling into your new home well. :-)

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    1. Jessica - That 42% is the most ever. I was surprised it was that high a percentage. We won't be actually moving into the new house until after renovations... hopefully sometime this spring.

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  26. Replies
    1. Emma - I seem to be doing read/listen combinations more and more frequently.

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  27. You've had a great year with nonfiction! You're my expert on the Supreme Court. What would you say the best opioid book is? Dope sick? I have been deep into all the staffer books from the Obama administration days. First that stenographer at the WH, then Michelle Obama's book ... and just finished Samantha Power's long memoir. Worthwhile.

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    1. Susan - Dopesick was my introduction to the opioid crisis. Next on the list is Dreamland by Sam Quinones... not sure when I'll get to it though. I'm loving Ruth Reichl's latest at the moment, so may venture back into the food world for a bit. The Obama administration books are also appealing to me.... I'll be tuned it for your reviews!

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  28. I recently read American Overdose, and want to read (already own) Dopestick. So tragic!

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    1. Rachel -American Overdose belongs on my tbr list!

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  29. I also really enjoyed Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and In My Own Words. And I'd like to get to other books you read about the Supreme Court as well. Ginsberg is such a fascinating figure and now seems like a good time to know more about the Supreme Court generally, as well.

    Congrats on the move! I hope you're enjoying settling into your new home.

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    1. Katie - The Supreme Court fascinates me. I'm especially glad to have the perspective of the John Roberts biography as it looks like we're headed toward an impeachment trial in the Senate.

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