Fresh from the #Readothon and into a new challenge. Hosted by the lovely ladies at A Book Olive and Non Fic Books, November is the month dedicated to upping your nonfiction count. If you’ve always been meaning to read some factual works, but kept procrastinating, here’s your chance to catch up. I read nonfiction rather regularly, so instead of picking four books to match the four categories, I am going to try and beat my monthly average by reading 8 nonfiction works! That is quite ambitious, even by my standards. I am also going to list some of my personal favourites for each category to aid anyone looking for suggestions.
For this category you can read a newly published book, or a book with the author or a subject new to you, however you choose to interpret the challenge. I am going to cover both and pick You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson as my new release and The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era by Craig Nelson for a topic I don’t know anything about. Phoebe Robinson’s essay collection deals with issues of race, gender, and pop culture, and has already been featured on my blog among most anticipated new releases. The Age of Radiance on the other hand will be an interesting foray into 20th century history of atomic physics, politics, and environment.
Recommendation: Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson
I had a hard time choosing books to fit this category, because every nonfiction title on my TBR is fascinating to me, and there are hundreds. Finally I narrowed this extensive list to the following two. First up is Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel by Tom Wainwright, which is a curious study of how crime rings borrow business techniques from such successful corporations as McDonald’s and Walmart. My second pick is relatively new to me, but I just had to grab it the moment I read the blurb – Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar. This is an attempt to investigate and explain the mysterious deaths of a group of young hikers lost in the remote region in Russia. Over the years the incident had multiple theories ranging from secret weaponry testing to alien abductions.
Recommendation: The Idiot Brain: A Neuroscientist Explains What Your Head is Really Up To by Dean Burnett
Not necessarily controversial in your own opinion, these are the titles that might stir up some uncomfortable emotions among conservative crowds. These books must deal with the topics that you think are important to be talked about, even if the society at large might still prefer not to think about it. I immediately plucked out my new copy of ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic by Alan Schwarz, which deals with public’s increasing distrust with pharmaceutical corporations and their prioritization of profit over ethics. My second choice fell on Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer, which has been on my TBR for much too long. This work looks at rape culture, victim blaming, and internal politics within educational institution.
Recommendation: 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
These were easy picks, since I’ve been meaning to read them in the near future anyway. The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria by Janine Di Giovanni is a harrowing portrait of the current events in Syria, which is undeniably important to read for everyone concerned with the modern refugee crisis, social responsibility, or xenophobia. Another book that immediately came to my mind to fit this category was Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky, which looks thoroughly at the state of current politics and provides insights into motivations and often contradicting actions of world’s most powerful nations.
Recommendation: Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives
by Gary Younge