I haven’t had the best nonfiction year. I’ve only read 8 nonfiction books out of the 80 I’m up to so far- which doesn’t make sense. When nonfiction is done well, its not uncommon for the book to end up on my favorites list. However, for some reason, I read far fewer non fiction books than fiction. When I saw that a group of bloggers were doing dedicated posts about nonfiction for the entire month of November, I wanted to participate! This week we’re taking a look back at our year in nonfiction so far.
Week 1 (Oct. 29 to Nov. 2)
Your Year in Nonfiction So Far (Hosted by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness)
Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
My favorite nonfiction for the year was I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. The book itself is incredible, but I also had a really unique experience while reading it that solidified its spot on my favorites list. I’m into true crime, but I had previously been unfamiliar with EARONS- the East Area Rapist/ the Original Night Stalker. He is a serial killer and rapist that terrorized parts of Northern California in the 70s and 80s. For 30+ years, the case had been unsolved. Michelle McNamera, the author of I’ll Be Gone In the Dark, dubbed EARONS the Golden State Killer. She ran a very popular true crime blog and was obsessed with the case, pulled police records, conducted interviews on those involved, and made connections that had previously been unmade. Sadly, she died suddenly before the book was published, but her book kept the story in the public eye. What made reading experience so powerful was that while I was reading the book, the Golden State Killer was caught. Thanks to updated DNA technology, law enforcement was able to identify the criminal and tie him to the murders and rapes. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is incredibly well researched and absolutely chilling- I would I would definitely recommend this to fans of the genre. It’s got to be such a different reading experience reading it after his identity was uncovered, to see how much of what McNamara hypothesized was correct. Full review here.
When thinking about this post, I took a look at the books I’ve read so far this year. Of the 80 books I’ve read so far, only 8 were non fiction. Only 10%!! And crazily enough, all of the books I read I rated at least a 3.75. I also had four 5 stars! I clearly enjoy the genre, but for whatever reason, I don’t come around to reading it nearly as often as I’d like.
Lately, the two topics that are catching my eye the most are true crime and contemporary memoirs by authors of color. True crime has always been something that I’m interested in, but I think my interest in memoirs by authors of color has grown. It’s so important to read widely and listen to different people’s stories. The white perspective is the default, but there are so many more human stories out there. With everything that goes on day to day in the US and in the world, it feels especially important to pay attention to this.
The nonfiction recommendation that I would make to everyone is Just Mercy. It’s a memoir from Bryan Stevenson, an activist lawyer who worked to create the Equal Justice Initiative. EJI is an organization that is dedicated to racial justice and challenging wrongful convictions. There are many stories told throughout Just Mercy, but the case of Walter McMillian serves as a through line to illustrate the flaws in the US criminal justice system. Despite having a house full of people who served as McMillian’s alibi, he was still charged with killing a white woman in their community. Stevenson’s book brings faces to the wrongfully convicted and serves as an example as to the difference one extraordinary person can make.
All in all, I wanted to participate in Nonfiction November so I can finally get around to crossing off some of the non fiction books that have been on my to read list and to see what stories other people are recommending. I’m also always interested in connecting with new book bloggers.
What’s your favorite non fiction? Is there one you would recommend to everyone?
Find me here,