Nonfiction November is finally here! I love Nonfiction November because I get to share my love of nonfiction with the rest of the book blogging community and somehow end up with even more books on my never-ending to-read and to-buy lists.
Week One Prompt
Week 1 kicks off the month with the following prompt hosted by Katie of Doing Dewey:
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?
Even though I only read nonfiction, I didn’t get through as many books this year as I’d hoped. Life really got in the way, but I’m planning on sharing a post on all the books I didn’t finish next month, so stay tuned.
Here is the complete list of books I read since last November:
What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
It was much easier for me to choose a favorite last year. Sasha Sagan’s For Small Creatures Such as We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World remains the reigning favorite. This year, all of my five-star-rated rated reads ranked pretty close.
The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy’s Vanishing Explorers by Emily M. Levesque is a super fun book that I lovingly call an astronomemoir. (And that’s canon.) It was so entrancing to see what daily life is really like for astronomers.
The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade by Ann Fessler is the book on this list that will really make you cry. It’s essentially full of stories of mothers whose children were ripped away from them. Read it.
Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Kristin Kobes Du Mez explains just how strangely predictable Trump’s 2016 win was after 75 years of his evangelical voting block was groomed to want a “masculine,” politically incorrect tough guy as a leader.
Carl Sagan: A Life by Keay Davidson, while detailed and scientifically jargon-y at times, beautifully and appropriately tells the story of Carl Sagan’s life. I cried at the end, for obvious reasons.
Reproductive Justice: An Introduction by Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger is a self-explanatory must-read for anyone who still thinks that reproductive rights only mean the right to an abortion, or that Roe v. Wade was enough.
Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe by Simon Singh tells the story of every scientific achievement that built off the last to get us to our almost-certainty that the Big Bang is the most accurate way to describe the story of the Universe. The book is in no way overly scientific; rather, we meet all of the characters who brought this beautiful theory to life—and those who tried to stop them.
PTL: The Rise and Fall of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Evangelical Empire by John H. Wigger is the most in-depth and fascinating look into the Bakker/PTL/Heritage USA empire I’ve found anywhere. It’s perfect for anyone intrigued by the televangelist scandals and frauds of the 80s. I don’t have a dedicated book review for this book and the next, because they’re included in a mega-post all about Tammy, Jim, Jessica Hahn, and more.
Tammy: Telling It My Way by Tammy Faye Messner is technically the same story as the last, but it’s Tammy’s memoir from her quirky and scatterbrained point of view. Anyone who enjoyed her recent biopic, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, will love finding out what actually happened.
God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science by James Hannam debunks the common myth in the atheist community (which I’m a part of) that the Middle Ages were the “Dark Ages” because of the Church.
Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?
I’ve rounded out my collections of the topics I started getting into last year, such as antiracism and feminism. The biggest new addition to my shelf has been a great new section on reproductive justice and abortion rights.
And that’s not even mentioning the books I haven’t bought yet.
What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
There are so many, but I would have to say How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. I’ll get a lot deeper into this question in Week 4, Worldview Changers, which I’m hosting!
What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
For some reason I keep getting this question mixed up with Jaymi’s Day 1 photo challenge prompt on Instagram of sharing your November TBR. I know I won’t finish all these books this month, but here’s what I have planned. (I’m reading The Turnaway Study now.)
As far as Nonfiction November itself goes, I’m just so thrilled to see everyone talking about nonfiction and recommending great books. I’ve already added so many new books to my draft for Week 5: New to My TBR! It’s been a blast to see everyone’s posts in the linkup, and I already can’t wait to see what everyone shares next week for Book Pairing with Rennie from What’s Nonfiction!
20 thoughts on “Nonfiction November 2022: Your Year in Nonfiction”
A very interesting selection, I’m particularly intrigued by some of your titles relating to reproductive rights.
So many great books! Both Jesus and John Wayne and American Crusade are on my TBR after hearing those authors interviewed on a few of my favorite podcasts. I’ve owned a copy of God’s Philosophers for over five years and I so need to finally read it. The Girls Who Went Away is Outstanding. Enjoy! and I’m looking forward to the rest of your posts especially next week’s!
All good choices! God’s Philosohers was such a fun read!
I agree with Maphead…so many interesting non-fiction books…I’m overwhelmed and want to investigate all of them! I know Rennie ( What’s nonfiction?) only reads NF..and now I learn you do the same. I’m seriously considering reading only NF in 2023.
I want to sun all my books 2022…and ask myself if how many fiction books did I really like?
Thanks for sharing your NF books with us all!
Great selections, and I love how we read around similar antiracism stuff etc but have read different books. I have How to be an Antiracist but only got it recently – I loved How to Raise an Antiracist, though. I’ve been concentrating more on UK experiences as that’s where I am. So many good books out there. And it’s been brilliant to meet more nonfiction readers through NonFicNov, too.
I’ve been wanting to read the 1619 project for a while, maybe I’ll read it with you 🙂
I’ll tell you when I start it! 😁
Nice! Radium Girls is fascinating, but also so depressing!
My post: https://wordsandpeace.com/2022/11/02/nonfiction-november-my-year-2022-in-nonfiction/
Going off to check your review of For Small Creatures Such as We. I’m always interested in how people incorporate ritual into their lives, whatever their beliefs or background.
It’s so good. I listen to the audiobook when I’m down 😊
Jesus and John Wayne sounds like a book I’d like to read. I have read The Girls Who Went Away. Very rough to read.
Tammy Faye!! I love a good cultish-religion story, don’t you? Girls Who Went Away was too emotional (I’m a Mom by adoption) but oh the pain in that book–so real. I didn’t finish it as it was too much for me.
The Fundie Friday YouTube videos about Tammy made me really fall in love with her. She’s so fascinating, even though she’s said some pretty shitty things. I totally understand about Girls Who Went Away. I’m just glad that it sounds adoption has become a lot better and more consensual in the decades since.
I’m not sure I’d found your blog yet when you reviewed For Small Creatures Such as We, so I’ll have to go back and check that out. I really like the idea of having meaningful rituals and traditions, even without religion in my life.
I’m also really excited to just to have so many people talking about nonfiction this month. It’s the best 🙂
The last nonfiction I read was Somewhere Girls, about identical twins born in Vietnam who were adopted by different families, one in the U.S. and the other in Vietnam. It details their lives and their eventual reunion as teens. Interestingly enough, the adoptive American family were missionaries. https://bookdilettante.blogspot.com/2022/10/book-tour-somewhere-sisters-by-erika.html
Oh my – so many new-to-me titles! Thanks for this in-depth and thoughtful post.
The Carl Sagan biography sounds good, I’ve noted it down for later reading. Given my name, perhaps I should also have a look at The Last Stargazers 😉 Great list, glad to see another reader interested in popular science books.
Yes! I have so many to read. And I think you’d love The Last Stargazers 😊✨
A stunning collection of Nonfiction. I am reading the Women They Could Not Silence this month and it is so good and horribly infuriating. To not even have control over your person at all! I need to add so many of your books – the abortion collection calls to me.
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