My Year in Nonfiction

I am so glad that Nonfiction November is back and I am incredibly grateful to our hosts (Leann @ Shelf Aware. Katie @ Doing Dewey, Julie @ Julz Reads and Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction) who have put so much work into organizing this year’s prompts.

The first week’s discussion has us looking back on our year of nonfiction, which was a bit painful for me because I know that I have not read as much nonfiction in 2020 as I have in past years. This was the kick in pants that I needed because I have already read two nonfiction titles so far in November!

What was your favourite nonfiction read of the year?


Quiet made me understand myself in a new way. Before picking up Quiet, I had never looked at my introversion as a positive thing. It was really an eyeopening experience for me and I have since embraced that side of my personality. It is a book that I recommend to every introvert or those looking to have a better understanding of the introverts in their lives. It was a powerful experience for me and a book I am sure I will read again in the future!

Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?

As is typical for me, most of the nonfiction I have read this year are memoirs. There is something so compelling about reading someone’s life story in their own worlds. I have completely fallen in love with memoirs on audio, only if the author themselves is the narrator. It feels like we are having a one-on-one conversation and I am able to connect to the author in a different way. There are four standout memoirs that I have read so far in 2020- In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya, and All Boy’s Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson.

I have also been loving essay collections, whether they are written by one author or a group of authors. It is nice to be able to read one or two essays every night before bed. That is what I did with The Groom Will Keep His Name by Matt Ortile, and I felt like I was able to reflect more on each essay by reading them this way.

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?


I am actually surprised by just how often I find myself recommending Shoe Dog. I think it is one of those books that many people can get something from and would enjoy. I mean, we have all heard of Nike, right!? I was surprised by how great a writer Phil Knight actually is, and it is so interesting to read about what goes on behind the scenes of a successful company and how it all began. It is not a perfect book, as Phil Knight is obviously bias and barely touches on some of the criticisms that Nike has faced in the past, but it is an interesting read nonetheless. Shoe Dog has become one of my go-to recommendations!

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

I am hoping that Nonfiction November reminds me why I love nonfiction so much. I have gotten out of the habit of reading it, and that may be because 2020 has had me looking for more escapist reads. However, I know that I can get that same feeling from nonfiction- I just have to find the right books. I am so looking forward to seeing everyone’s nonfiction recommendations all month long!

I can already feel my love for nonfiction being reignited. So far in November, I have read Why Fish Don’t Exist by Lulu Miller and a collection of essays called What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About: Fifteen Writers Break the Silence, which was edited by Michele Filgate. I wouldn’t say either were escapist reads, but I did talk a lot away from them both and would recommend them.

Are you are nonfiction reader? What has been the best nonfiction book you have read so far this year?

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20 thoughts on “My Year in Nonfiction

  1. I find it difficult to read non-fiction at the moment. I’m doing my masters and I read so much non-fic there I have no motivation outside of it! I guess that means I do read non-fiction though? Just not whole books lol

  2. I had the same experience with “Quiet”. I’d always assumed that being introverted was a bad thing and I’d never really thought to question why. I’m glad you found it helpful too.

  3. Never heard of Non-fiction November, but it sounds like an amazing month, as I like reading Non-fiction books and always happy when I find new ones at the library. Good luck this month I hope it is filled with some great non-fictions to read.

  4. One of my friends has been urging me to read Shoe Dog. Glad to see your endorsement. For many years, I only read non-fiction but recently have taken to reading more fiction. If you like history, I highly recommend anything written by Candice Miller. The storyline of Destiny of the Republic is as good as any piece of fiction you’re likely to come across.

  5. Quiet was the first book I ever read about introverts (and yes, just like you, it helped me understand – and be kinder to – myself). Have you also seen the TED Talk?

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