Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction



Have you noticed that I’m super excited for this event to start? A huge thanks to Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness), Leslie (Regular Rumination), Katie (Doing Dewey) and Rebecca (I’m Lost In Books) for hosting this great month of nonfiction reading.

So far this year, Katha Pollitt’s Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights was hands down the best piece of nonfiction I read. More like devoured. It’s smart and challenging and made me want to put the book down to get active. Isn’t that nonfiction at its best? I also adored Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist and Dr. Mütter’s Marvels by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz.

Much like previous years, the book I recommended the most was Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar. I can’t get through a week without talking about this on my blog. It’s a favorite and I’ll talk about it again, I promise.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that one of my goals was to start reading more nonfiction by women, which prompted me to stack my Nonfiction November reading pile with female authors. I’m really looking forward to digging into new books and finding a ton of new titles that will make my TBR a mile high, much like last year. I love that this event highlights books that can get lost in the shuffle and a genre that some people think can’t be fun or interesting…time to prove them wrong! Here’s all the fun I had in last year’s event:

Week 1: Favorite Nonfiction 

Week 2: Be the Expert (Modern American History)

Week 3: Book Pairing

Week 4: New to My TBR


  • Ooohh that book by Katha Pollit sounds really interesting. Putting it on my list now. I have an essay collection by her that I’ve somehow still not finished, and so haven’t actually read anything by her. Happy reading!

  • Aghhh I neeeeed to read Pro! Picador agreed to send me a copy a few weeks ago, but I haven’t gotten it yet. It’s killing me. (I realize how spoiled that sounds.)

  • I need to get a copy of Bad Feminist, I keep meaning to read it and never get around to do so!

  • Pro is firmly at the top of my wishlist thanks to your recommendations.

    I’m glad you’re always talking about Tiny Beautiful Things. It’s a GEM that everyone needs to read.

  • You know you already have Pro on my TBR, Bad Feminist, and now On Declaration, too. I’m probably forgetting something… :)

  • I going to be checking up on you to see if Cheryl Strayed figures into all of your non fiction November posts.

  • Bookmammal

    Pro and Dr Mutter’s Marvels are both on my TBR list. I keep hearing about Tiny Beautiful Things and I think it needs to be added to my TBR!

  • Since you recommended Tiny Beautiful Things to me, I see it mentioned everywhere. I think I’m going to have to read it sooner rather than later! Bad Feminist was definitely one of the best nonfiction books I read this year.

  • Okie dokie, Tiny Beautiful Things is now on my list. ;)

    • Get your tissues, girl! (oh, and since you’re an audiobook person, I’ve heard Cheryl Strayed narrates and it’s excellent)

  • Words for Worms

    I’m going to do it! I just bought a copy of Tiny Beautiful Things. This will be happening!

  • guiltlessreading

    I’m here to check out Tiny Beautiful Things ;) You got me at TWEET!

    • It’s one you can read in small doses or in a giant gulp. I’ve bought no less than five or six copies for friends and as gifts…it’s just a fantastic book.

  • Jess – A Book Hoarder

    Fine, I’m convinced, I’m officially all in for Tiny Beautiful Things. But oh crap I just read your audiobook comment and now I kind of want to go that route…decisions…

    • I’m not much of an audiobook person, so I can’t really help, but the book is great for highlighting!

      • Jess – A Book Hoarder

        That’s true. I don’t want to miss a good opportunity to mark-up a book.

  • If you liked “Pro” I would definitely recommend “The Birth of the Pill: How 4 Crusaders Reinvented Sex & Launched a Revolution” by Jonathan Eig. It’s an interesting mix of science, history and politics. As with any good non-fiction, it reads more like a novel at times than a non-fiction book!

    • I actually read it right before reading Pro, and you’re totally right that it’s a great read-alike!

      • Kim Ukura

        I’m glad I saw this comment. I want to read both of those books!

  • JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing

    Tiny Beautiful Things has just been moved to the top of my wish list – thanks!

  • olduvai

    Tiny Beautiful Things! OK so I said in my post that I don’t usually recommend nonfiction but your post jogged my memory. I have indeed bought/pushed TBT onto friends!

  • I just got Pro in the mail last week. Haven’t had a chance to dip into it yet, but I’m really looking forward to it.

    • I get so excited when I hear that other people are reading it, so I can’t wait for you to pick it up. Have your highlighter/tabs/preferred marking material ready!

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  • Even though I liked Wild, I did not seek out Tiny Beautiful Things…I think the minimalist cover and advice-column connection put me off. Now I know how wrong I was. Will read ASAP!

    • I had no interest in the advice column format when I first heard about it, but it’s more like an essay collection. I just adore it.

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  • You’ve read some really great nonfiction this year! After reading your review of Pro, I definitely want to pick it up.

  • lulu_bella

    I’ve loved your enthusiasm this week for both Nonfiction November AND Tiny Beautiful Things. I loved Tiny Beautiful Things and Wild when I read them last year and I’m sad there’s not a new Cheryl Strayed book for me to read this year!!