Nonfiction November week one is hosted by Leann of Shelf Aware. This week, we’re taking a look back at our year of nonfiction and reflecting on the following questions:
What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?
This is always a tough question, but I’m going to have to say Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, a memoir about growing up undocumented in the United States. I didn’t end up formally reviewing it because I had so many feelings after reading it, everything in my head was a jumbled mess. It’s a tough, heartbreaking, often frustrating read (frustrating in a way that only bureaucracy can achieve). But Castillo’s writing is absolutely dazzling and there is joy, too. Other reviewers have said, “Read this instead of American Dirt” and yes, 100% yes, please do this.
Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?
When I look at my genre breakdown on The StoryGraph, I see that memoir is what I was most attracted to this year. That LGBTQIA+ category includes both fiction and nonfiction, but the titles that are memoir are included in both categories. I love memoir, and I read a lot of books by trans and nonbinary authors, so this doesn’t surprise me at all.
What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
Oh, definitely Jennifer Finney Boylan’s latest memoir, Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs, because it has the most wholesome, relatable premise: the way we mark our lives through the pets we’ve had, and reflect upon how their presence changed us. Boylan focuses on dogs, but anyone who appreciates the love and companionship of their pets, no matter the species, will be able to relate. (Plus, Matt the Mutt is hilarious!)
What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
Book recommendations! I want all the book recommendations! Specifically, I’m hoping for audiobook suggestions, especially of the pop science variety, because I now have a loooong commute to my church job thanks to
Skanska Hurricane Sally, and it looks like the bridge won’t be fixed for quite some time.