Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction


The first prompt in Nonfiction November is to relay my year in nonfiction. Well, there it is, above. Those are all the nonfiction books I completed since last Nonfiction November. Of those, my top 3, in no particular order are: Half the Sky, by Sheryl DuWunn; Men We Reaped, by Jesmyn Ward; and Wild Swans by Jung Chang.



Half the Sky is about the world-wide struggles of women for equality. We learn about human trafficking, poor healthcare during childbirth, and inequality in education. The authors educate us on what we can do to help the situation and why such help is needed. 

Men We Reaped is a memoir about several black men in Jesmyn Ward’s life (including her brother) who died too young. It describes the difficulties of living as a minority in a lower socioeconomic class and how these difficulties can lead to premature death and destruction of families. 

Wild Swans is a biography / memoir about three generations of women in Jung Chang’s family and how they survived the war and uprising of Communism in China. 

Interestingly, all three of my favorite books are on social awareness topics. I’m learning something about myself as I type this. 🙂 The two topics that I wish I had read more of last year are politics and medicine. 

What are your favorite nonfiction books of last year? 

29 thoughts on “Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction

  1. These look to be some great books.

    I want to read Half the sky soon.

    Social issues are so relevant to the world. There are endless things to say about these topics. Thus many of us are interested in reading books like these.

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  2. Most of those are audiobooks, though. I'm not as good at reading nonfiction in “real” format. I'm going to make a goal of reading more next year, since my audiobook listening time has decreased dramatically after I switched jobs.

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  3. I just finished Just Mercy for my book club. I think we'll have a great discussion from that!

    We read Devil in the Grove a year or two ago and that's been remarkably helpful in understanding the current environment. The sons and grandsons and great-grandsons of the people who managed that justice system are alive today — are they in the justice system? What has changed through the generations? Has enough changed?

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  4. I just purchased the ebook of Wild Swans last week for $1.99… would love to get the audio, too, and make it a read/listen combo. Half the Sky has been on my wish its for a long time.

    My nonfiction favorites since last November: Just Mercy, When Breath Becomes Air, and The Philadelphia Chromosome.

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  5. I'm quite fascinated right now with the history of China, so I may pick up Wild Swans. Thanks for the recommendation.

    My non-fiction reading this year has been very fluffy – mostly about food.

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  6. What a superb list. I have just added Unfair, Just Mercy and The First Christmas to my wish list on Audible. Devil in the Grove and others look interesting too.
    This year my nonfiction was: Buster: The Military Dog, The Ethical Coach Leader and Unbroken (and two educational resources from my own publishing house). Maybe I could increase my nonfiction reading next year.

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  7. So many of the books that are mentioned when discussing nonfiction are completely new to me. I really must pay more attention to the genre. I too wish to read more to do with politics, particularly tell alls. It is the behind the scenes sort of stuff that I am mostly interested in, as well as anything to do with First Ladies.

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  8. I read too much about politics via the news to really be interested in reading books about it but the current state of Britain has got me thinking I'd like to read more on economics.

    One of my favourite non fic books of last year was Do No Harm by Henry Marsh about his life as an NHS neurosurgeon.

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