Nonfiction November: Week 3


It’s non-fic November round-up time again! This week our lovely event is hosted by the fabulous Rebecca over at I’m Lost in Books, who poses:

Nonfiction comes in many forms  There are the traditional hardcover or paperback print books, of course, but then you also have e-books, audiobooks, illustrated and graphic nonfiction, oversized folios, miniatures, internet publishing, nonfiction short stories, and enhanced books (book itself includes artifacts, audio, historical documents, images, etc.) So many choices! Do you find yourself drawn to or away from nontraditional nonfiction? Do you enjoy some nontraditional formats, but not others?

I split my reading between traditional print books and e-reading (via my desktop, phone, and Kindle), but I don’t spend much time reading non-traditional formats. I will spool up an audio for hiking (my poor restless mind), but I tend to favor listening to music when I’m doing chores or running. I sneak in so much reading time during the rest of the day that my brain just wants a break! So, normally this question wouldn’t be the best suited for me, but! as it runs out, one of the books I read this week was non-traditional non-fiction.

Let’s pick up where we left off last week, shall we?

6. Sisters in Law: Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the Friendship That Changed Everything, by Linda Hirshman. (Harper, 2015, 320 pgs.) I loved the stuffing out of this book! I was already a huge fan of the Notorious RBG, but now I might have passed into “rabid” territory in my fandom. I can only hope my girls will be half as smart, half as steadfast, half as loyal – to themselves, their dreams, and their beliefs – and half as memorable as these leading ladies of the Supremes. Now, Hollywood: give me a movie starring Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. It’s a must. (And someone please buy this for me when it hits paperback – I borrowed an e-copy from the library.) 5 of 5 stars.

7. Falling into the Fire: A Psychiatrist’s Encounters with the Mind in Crisis, by Christine Montross. (Penguin, 2013, 256 pgs., used book) This was a good (and thoroughly disturbing) read about abnormal psych and how far we can fall off the deep-end without losing any of our humanity. Montross is careful to treat each case with grace and dignity while still revealing enough to satisfy even the most morbidly curious reader. There wasn’t anything that just jumped off the page, but you don’t always need that. If psychology is your thing, you’ll want to read this. 3 of 5 stars.

8. Meet the Writers: The Steinbeck Project 1978-2002, by William Peterson.  (Harbor Electronic, 2002, 216 pgs, used book) If you like books about books and reading and the hidden world behind it all, you’ll like this. It was a microcosm about creating a community – a book fair, a writing room, a place to come together – for the readerly and writerly crowd of the East Side. Learning so much about John Steinbeck’s widow (and a bit about Steinbeck himself) was a bonus. 3 of 5 stars.

9. History Decoded: The Ten Greatest Conspiracies of All Time, by Brad Meltzer. (Workman Publishing Company, 2013, 152 pgs.) And here we have my non-traditional format book! Not only that, but it’s not the sort of book I’d normally read. Conspiracies? Whatever! But I didn’t have anything else to read, so I picked it up. Each conspiracy has a pocket of “evidence” you can examine, as if that would be somehow better than having the author write that up, as well. I found that part to be a bit gimmicky, but then, I didn’t give the book that much weight either. It did make me wonder whether John Wilkes Booth was really assassinated, but other than that, I found it a bit boring. Maybe geared more towards the mature readers of the kids’ crowd. Or conspiracy nuts. Either way. 2 of 5 stars.

10. The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam, by G. Willow Wilson. (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010, 320 pgs., e-book) You guys. You guys. I was so tired of listening to small-minded people this week. Governors closing their borders, as if the refugees were to blame for the terrorist attacks on Paris. Pilots questioning every little thing, wondering how we were supposed to tell what religion a passenger was, and why we couldn’t just ask. As if that held answers! (I don’t know – is terrorism a religion? Or radicalized political thought? And is it compelled to honesty?) I happened across a venty tweet by the lovely Andi, wishing everyone could be forced to read this book. It’s been on my TBR and I immediately knew it was the right time. Boy, was it – I sucked it down in a single day. And I agree with Andi: everyone should read it. 4 of 5 stars.

So there you have it. Right now I’m still sipping on King’s Bazaar of Bad Dreams (the downside of short story collections is that I’m never compelled to keep reading to see what happens) and I’ve started The Wilderness of Ruin about a 12-year-old serial killer who terrorized Boston during the late 1800s. I’m sure they’ll be in my updates next week!


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One Response to “Nonfiction November: Week 3”

  1. Becca Lostinbooks Says:

    The Butterfly Mosque sounds amazing. Terrorism has no religion. Terrorists hijack religion in order to terrorize people of that religion.

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