You know Nonfiction November is going to be packed when it gets started before November does! The other hosts and I have so much planned for you all that we just couldn’t wait. As I said last week, I truly do love this event. It’s hard to find folks in the book blogging community who want to talk nonfiction, but in November, that all changes. It’s nonfiction’s moment and she is ready for it.
Week One: Your Year in Nonfiction
Celebrate your year of nonfiction. What books have you read? What were your favorites? Have you had a favorite topic? Is there a topic you want to read about more? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
Seeing the below mosaic of everything I’ve read since my Week One post from last November, you can get a pretty good feel for what I like to read—and review. (You can read my reviews for most of these books here or on my Goodreads.) It might seem at first like a little bit of everything, and sometimes it is. But some of the stars of my shelf this year, which I dived into for the first time, were books on police/prison abolition as well as LGBTQ+ liberation. Last year the new stars of the show were abortion rights and reproductive justice.
What constantly pulls me further into nonfiction, and specifically social justice books, are the way that everything new that I learn introduces to me several gaps in my knowledge that I didn’t know were there. (This blog post somewhat explains what I am talking about, albeit using some unverified quotes.) Everything in social justice is connected. I will never know everything there is to know, but I will enjoy learning what I can.
Nonfiction November actually plays a huge role here! Some of my favorite books I’ve read this year I discovered through all of your blogs last November. These titles include Mediocre, The Transgender Issue, Bi, and many more that are now on my shelf just waiting for me to read them. (Plus, I already see a few from Heather’s post that are going on my TBR!)
My top 5 nonfiction books this year
White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad—This has been my go-to recommendation. Hamad hits the nail on the head in terms of how white women weaponize their tears without even knowing it. If you want to read about intersectional feminism, start here.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates—I don’t usually prefer audiobooks, but I listened to this one on a road trip and was mesmerized. Coates’ voice betrays the tragedy and the beauty of his story, and of his most beloved people and places. It was the obvious choice for my favorite banned book during my organization‘s Banned Book Week celebration last month.
The Transgender Issue: Trans Justice is Justice for All by Shon Faye—The Transgender Issue was everything you could want in a book on what trans people go through and need. It too is the perfect starting place if this “issue” is something you want to learn more about. (And you should!)
Women, Race & Class by Angela Davis—This book is 42 years old and relevant as ever. As we explore modern themes in books like White Tears/Brown Scars and Hood Feminism, Women, Race & Class provides an intersectional feminist foundation with a history of the (racist) age of women’s suffrage, a spotlight on revolutionary communist women, the feminist icon that was Frederick Douglass, and more.
A People’s History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and “Low Mechanicks” by Clifford Conner—See, not everything I read is about social justice! My favorite science history is the tale of the underdog. I’ve read about non-Western discoveries, underappreciated developments during the Middle Ages, and now the vast amount of knowledge that unnamed and almost entirely unacknowledged Native knowledge holders and “white collar” workers contributed before white collars were even a thing.
What do I hope to get out of Nonfiction November?
Nonfiction November is my chance to tell so many book lovers about these books I’ve been nerding out on all year, from the popular to the obscure. More importantly, I can’t wait to learn from you and add heaps more books to my TBR! What have you been reading? Join us!