Looking Back and Looking Forward at Nonfiction

I didn’t read that much non-fiction this year, but now it’s full speed ahead! With each passing year, I feel like I’m drawn more and more to non-fiction – I hope this isn’t a sign that I’m getting bored of magic! (Non-fiction is magical in its own way though, isn’t it?) So it’s Nonfiction November (#nonficnov) again, the month that makes me doubt my spelling/hyphenation of “non-fiction”, the month when I get to read more books off of my to-read pile, and the month when I go crazy trying to juggle two genres at once ahhhhh.

Our co-hosts, LeslieKim, Becca, and Katie have added some new discussion topics this time, so I’m excited to discuss non-traditional nonfiction and participate in book pairings (if I can think of one)! My nonfiction favorites of 2015 so far are NurtureShockBossypants, and How to Raise the Perfect Dog. There are still two months left though, so I’m anticipating more fun reads coming up. 😀


What I want to read more of: Memoirs! I’ve recently gained a new appreciation for them, despite having started with some that I didn’t really like. In the past, I wasn’t a big fan of the first-person narrative because that required putting myself in someone else’s shoes, and I just couldn’t relate.

My non-fiction reading pile for this month is one that includes books for yet another reading challenge, as well as books that’s been on my to-read list for wayyy too long. If you can make out the titles and have read any of these already, let me know if you liked them or not!

Here's #whereiread tagged by @maraiazoo! And a big stack of books to fall asleep to...

A post shared by Sophie (@papersophie) on

What nonfiction books are you looking forward to reading this month?


21 thoughts on “Looking Back and Looking Forward at Nonfiction

  1. I admire your dedication to non-fiction. I have a hard time convincing myself to read it, even if I find the topic interesting. I hate slowing down my reading pace. Most of my favorites are Holocaust literature (let me know if you want any Holocaust memoir recs!), but not all. I’ve only read two non-fictions this year, and that probably won’t change before January. I’d like to read Bossypants at some point, though.

    • I totally understand about having to slow down your reading pace! My reading strategy for non-fiction books is usually reading a few pages at a time (like during commutes or lunch breaks) so that I don’t get bored because of the pacing, haha. I actually listened to Bossypants in chunks too, which I think made me like it more. 😛

      Yes, I’d love some Holocaust memoir recs! I can count the number of memoirs I’ve read in my life on one hand, and I’ve never read a Holocaust memoir before, sadly.

      • That’s a good idea. I might try that…after I finish my massive German book, haha. Both of the non-fiction books I read this year were audiobooks, actually. I wish there were more available, because I’m much less picky about what I listen to.

        Let’s see…Primo Levi is my favorite – both Survival in Auschwitz and The Reawakening are amazing. As are the graphic novels Maus I and II. Elie Wiesel’s Night is also a classic. There’s another one called The Painted Bird that I didn’t like but was so disturbing to the point of being captivating. There’s actually a lot of contention over whether or not it’s a fabrication (which would make it even more disturbing). I’d be curious to know what you think about it but not enough to recommend reading it, especially if you’re still recovering from Vicious.

        • Ooh, thanks for the recommendations! I’ll never understand the fabricated non-fiction book agenda… I know sometimes our memories of certain events aren’t really accurate, but to write something fictional and call it non-fiction on purpose? Sigh…

          I think there are a lot of audiobooks out there, no? But I agree, I’m also less picky about audiobooks… I try to choose funny ones though, since I need the entertainment when I’m on the treadmill, haha.

          • Especially when it’s a subject so serious as the Holocaust. It’s insulting to the people who actually did have those experiences.

            Haha, there are tons, but I’m restricted to my library’s OverDrive/Hoopla selections, and you have to plan in advance, because apparently audiobooks are really popular right now. Which is great, but sometimes I end up listening to some really crappy books while waiting for others to become available. 🙂 Have you listened to either of Mindy Kaling’s books? I listened to her first one earlier this year, and it was pretty funny.

            • Ahh, gotcha. I’m actually listening to Amy Poehler’s audiobook now (but you probably know from GR statuses!), and reading Mindy Kaling’s book. I feel like audiobooks by comedians is so much more enjoyable than reading the physical books, but I thought I’d give it a try. Needless to say, I’m liking the Poehler audiobook more than the Kaling book, but I haven’t gotten very far in either yet, so we’ll see if that changes.

              • I did see that you were listening to Yes Please. I’m glad to hear it’s going well, I definitely want to listen to it at some point. I think Mindy Kaling’s narration certainly helped my enjoyment of the book – I’m not sure I could have read the physical book. BUT it is short, so at least there’s that. 🙂

  2. For some reason, I didn’t add NurtureShock to my to-read pile after your review, but I’m glad you highlighted it again, because it sounds fascinating! Books about psychology are some of my favorites 🙂

    • Do it!!! 😀 I’m pretty biased about it though, since I haven’t read too many parenting or developmental psychology books in general. (The Marshmallow Test is another one in that category that I want to read.)

    • Yes, I actually reread it this year, and it was just as good as when I first read it a few years back! Hope you get a chance to read this one, Kim. 🙂

  3. NurtureShock sounds really interesting! I’m always really interested in child psychology, and how kids form identities (probs not in the scope of NurtureShock but still)! As Maraia pointed out, I admire your dedication to non-fiction! I feel like I got my full in university but now you’ve gotten me curious all over again. I particularly liked Bauman, Zizek, Marcuse, and the occasional Naomi Klein – I never finished The Shock Doctrine, but I think I should!

    • I’m really interested in child psychology too! It’s up there with personality psychology and memory and learning, haha. Funny you mention Naomi Klein – I have her book, This Changes Everything , and was wondering if I could get to it this year or not. (Probably not. Too many books!)

      • Oh yes, personality psychology! Do you read many Sociology books? I’m more inclined to read those for pleasure than Psychology, even though I love Psych.

        Ooh I haven’t read that one! But I like her ideas and books. Maybe we could buddy read This Changes Everything one day! c:

    • Ooh, I have Wild both as a book and audiobook! Just need to figure out which one to read/listen to. I haven’t heard to The Year of Magical Thinking, but will definitely look into it. Thanks for the recommendations, Lu! 🙂

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