Thursday, November 2, 2017

Nonfiction November - A Hopeful TBR

Nonfiction November has become a bit of an annual tradition in the bookish internet.  Every November, readers are encouraged to focus a little more on the nonfiction genre than they might otherwise do.  If you read no nonfiction books at all, consider setting a goal to read just one.  If you're a fan of the genre, expand your reading a little.  It's fun because nonfiction can be really great, and alliteration is awesome.

For the third year in a row, Nonfiction November is being hosted by Booktubers Olive and Gemma.  To encourage reading, they have selected four one-word challenges during the month.  Readers can interpret these words however they choose, and then read a nonfiction book that relates to the word in some way.  This year, the challenge words are:

  1. Home
  2. Substance
  3. Love
  4. Scholarship

As I'm a casual reader of the genre, I'm going to attempt to read four nonfiction books this month - one for each challenge.  If I'm able to fit in more, then I'll try to do so.  Last year, I challenged myself to read only nonfiction books in November, and although it was a lot of fun, I don't know that I'm up for repeating that extensive of a self-imposed challenge again this year.  Partly because my life is really busy right now, and I tend to want to curl up for hours with a nonfiction book.  Partly because I'm reading a lot more poetry now, and I honestly don't think I could go an entire month without reading at least one poetry collection.  With this in mind, here are a few contenders for each of the four challenges:


Patience and Fortitude: Power, Real Estate, and The Fight to Save a Public Library by Scott Sherman - As a library lover living in a country currently being headed by a real estate tycoon, I'm particularly interested in this true story of saving a public library from developers who are only interested in turning a profit.

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson - As an amateur home cook, baker, and food-lover, I'm really interested in learning more about cooking and food traditions.  I'm hoping that this book will give me some new insights into this area.


The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo - I'm an avid tea drinker (iced in the summer and hot in the autumn/winter) and am interested in learning more about this caffeinated substance.

The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison - A very substantive collection, pulled from the author's recent lectures at Harvard University, regarding race, society, and culture.


Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living, edited by Manjula Martin - Being an author isn't necessarily the ticket to a life full of comfort and riches, as told by the contributing writers in this essay collection.  It requires that you love what you do.

Devotion: Why I Write, by Patti Smith - I absolutely love everything Patti Smith does: Art, music, writing, photography, etc.  This is her latest essay, examining why it is that she takes to the written word for expression.  I can't wait to dive into this!


Seeing Power: Art and Activism in the Twenty-First Century, by Nato Thompson - A very readable work of scholarship, exploring the place that art has in the political work in our modern era.

Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Who Taught Me How to Live for Taste, by Bianca Bosker (ebook) - An investigative journalistic book written as the result of a deep dive into the world of wine and those who love it.  I'm a bit of a wine enthusiast already, so I'm curious to see what effect this scholarship has on my appreciation of the drink.

If you're participating in Nonfiction November, I hope you've got some exciting books lined up on your TBR! 

Librorum annis,