Nonfiction November – Week 1

Holly – Amanda and I started blogging last November, which is also when I started paying attention to other book blogs. One of the first things that caught my eye was Nonfiction November, which struck me as a great idea. I wasn’t together enough to post anything, but I’ve been looking forward to Nonfiction November 2014! There are no rules or requirements, just four weeks of nonfiction related posts and discussion. You can read about the details here. Anyway, I talked Amanda into participating with me, so here we are to answer the Week One questions!


What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

Holly – I have not read a nonfiction that completely wowed me this year, like Devil in the White City or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. My favorite that I’ve read this year is a set then – I read A History of the Wife (quite enjoyed this one), All There Is (lovely stories), and Against Love (don’t read this one) and wrote a Reading about Marriage post. Totally dorky…but Jeff still married me.

Amanda – Bad Feminist which I reviewed here.  I won’t repeat myself but this was amazing and everyone should read it!

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

Holly – Tiny Beautiful Things! A thousand times yes. Cheryl Strayed’s words are amazing here. Though, to be honest, Wild didn’t really do it for me.

Amanda – Unbroken hands down.  This book was so moving and Louis Zamperini was totally inspiring.  I had such an emotional experience reading the book that I don’t think I can see the movie.   I’m also reading the Birth of the Pill right now and I have a feeling I’m going to be pushing that on everyone I know.

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

Holly – Looking at my to-read list, I have a couple books about the Borgias on there! I do have a lifelong love/obsession with Henry VIII, but watching the Showtime show about the Borgia family opened my eyes to another family with layers upon layers of drama to explore.

Amanda – This is hard for me, I don’t read a ton of nonfiction, but I try to pick one excellent book at a time and become completely obsessed with that topic.  My poor husband has to then listen to me spout off facts for the length of each book.  I would like to read more recent American history I think and I cannot get enough of the Tudors.

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

Holly – I am hoping for some good recommendations, and also for the push to read more NF in November and into 2015. Sometimes NF just doesn’t get the same love as reading novels, but I definitely enjoy reading good nonfiction just as much (if not more) than fiction!

Amanda – Same as my sister! I am always looking for more book recommendations.


  1. Both Bad Feminist and The Birth of the Pill are on my pile of books I’m hoping to read this month, so I’m excited to hear that you enjoyed one / are enjoying the other Amanda. Happy reading to both of you!

  2. I agree that nonfiction doesn’t get as much love as it should 😉 I’m glad we have this event to spark more discussions about it!

    If you’re looking for a little more American history in your nonfiction reads I highly recommend The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. It’s one of the very best books I’ve ever read.

    Happy NonFicNov!

  3. You think you can’t get enough of the Tudors…but you just might hit that saturation point. I think I’m there. But then there are the Yorks to fall back on.

    If you liked The Devil in the White City, have you read In the Garden of Beasts??? Amazing.

    If you’re looking for a challenge, one of the best non fiction books I’ve ever read is Far From the Tree: Children, Parents and the Search for Identity. I cannot recommend this enough.

    I really need to read Unbroken. I guess November is as good a time as any! And I really want to read The Birth of the Pill too.

  4. I literally JUST hit “purchase” on Tiny Beautiful Things before I visited here. Can’t wait for my copy to arrive!

    Henrietta Lacks, Unbroken, and Devil are three of my favorites. Another true crime is The Suspcions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale–it’s kind of in the same vein as Devin in the White City.

    Have a great week! My list is already overflowing with suggestions from others!

  5. Even though Tiny Beautiful Things is one of my absolute favorites, I’m with you on Wild…I fell much more in the like camp on that one.

    As for awesome history, I’m going to throw up a recent fave…The Skies Belong to Us by Brendan Koerner. It’s about the crazy influx of skyjacking in the 1960’s and I adored it.

  6. I really enjoyed Bad Feminist and Unbroken, but Wild didn’t do for me either. So many people recommended Tiny Beautiful Things and The Devil in the White City that I ordered both this morning! I have also been interested in the Borgias. What books do you recommend?

  7. Yay! New(ish) bloggers who are new to Nonfiction November! I’m glad it has brought me to your blog. It’s so pretty! And I love that you’re sisters blogging together. I hope you find some great nonfiction books to read this month. Thanks for joining us!

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