This is my second time (sort of) participating in this event. Last year, I did the Intro post but life and baby changed my plans right after. (Fun fact: I totally forgot that I even did the Intro post last year so after drafting this up, I did a quick search through my blog and was pleasantly surprised to find that old post. Interestingly, a lot of my answers are the same, though some have changed.)
When I started blogging, nonfiction wasn't even a reading option for me. Other than graphic memoirs and very few engaging narrative nonfiction titles, I had been staying away from this genre. Over time, I added a few more nonfiction titles to my read list but it wasn't until three years ago, when I added audiobooks to my reading that I "read" a lot of nonfiction. Although I started off listening to narrative fiction, I have since added several non-storied nonfiction to the list as well.
What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
This would be a tie between Ten Days in a Mad-House and The Emperor of All Maladies. Both very different kinds of books too. Ten Days in a Mad-House is more of a memoir, has a very conversational tone, a very controversial subject, and is short. The Emperor of all Maladies is more of a textbook, is not at all conversational, is about a disease, and is huge (21 hours on audio or 571 pages). To me, they represent the two ends of my interest. I enjoy listening to conversational or narrative nonfiction but find textbook-kind nonfiction books very challenging, in that I struggle to keep my attention on the book, no matter how familiar or interesting I find the topic.
What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
This is where I confess that I don't recommend nonfiction as often as I would like. They don't occupy the same WOW space in my brain. Also, I process fiction and nonfiction differently. I tend to view fiction as something to enjoy and hence recommend. While, nonfiction offers me an opportunity to learn new things and hence only recommend if we are talking about one of those "things". However, there are two books that regularly show up in this space whenever I talk about any nonfiction title. Both, interestingly, are by the same author - Jon Krakauer. His Into Thin Air and Missoula are among my top favorites.
What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?
I always intend to read more subject-focused books, like The Emperor of all Maladies, but as I wrote above, I find it hard to last through those books. I find that reading nonfiction as ebooks helps greatly in that respect. I don't get bothered by the (usually) tiny font and tight line spacing. I also don't see the size of the book. Plus reading on my phone means I am more willing to read in bite-sizes.
What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
As always, recommendations and maybe new blogs to follow! My TBR and Feedly both exploded last year. I am sure this year will be no different.
Check back at Katie's blog to see more Nonfiction November posts.