Thursday, October 31, 2019

Discussion: What I’m Reading For Nonfiction November

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Nonfiction November starts soon! Don’t panic. There’s still time to speed to the library and snatch a few nonfiction books off the shelves. I’ve already got my reading list planned. Here’s what I’ll (hopefully) be reading in the next few weeks.

What is Nonfiction November? It's a month long reading challenge where you attempt to read as many nonfiction books as possible. Check it out on Twitter for more details.

What I’m Reading For Nonfiction November

Vincent And Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman

The deep and enduring friendship between Vincent and Theo Van Gogh shaped both brothers' lives. Confidant, champion, sympathizer, friend, Theo supported Vincent as he struggled to find his path in life. They shared everything, swapping stories of lovers and friends, successes and disappointments, dreams and ambitions.

A Time To Dance, A Time To Die: The Extraordinary Story Of The Dancing Plague Of 1518 by John Waller

The true story of a wild dancing epidemic that brought death and fear to a 16th-century city, and the terrifying supernatural beliefs from which it arose. In July 1518 a terrifying and mysterious plague struck the medieval city of Strasbourg. Hundreds of men and women danced wildly, day after day, in the punishing summer heat. They did not want to dance, but could not stop. 

Throughout August and early September more and more were seized by the same terrible compulsion. By the time the epidemic subsided, heat and exhaustion had claimed an untold number of lives, leaving thousands bewildered and bereaved, and an enduring enigma for future generations. Drawing on fresh evidence, John Waller's account of the bizarre events of 1518 explains why Strasbourg's dancing plague took place. In doing so it leads us into a largely vanished world, evoking the sights, sounds, aromas, diseases and hardships, the fervent supernaturalism, and the desperate hedonism of the late medieval world. At the same time, the extraordinary story this book tells offers rich insights into how people behave when driven beyond the limits of endurance.

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, And Other Confusions Of Our Time by Michael Shermer

In this age of supposed scientific enlightenment, many people still believe in mind reading, past-life regression theory, New Age hokum, and alien abduction. A no-holds-barred assault on popular superstitions and prejudices, with more than 80,000 copies in print, Why People Believe Weird Things debunks these nonsensical claims and explores the very human reasons people find otherworldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing.

Shermer, science historian and true crusader, also reveals the more dangerous side of such illogical thinking, including Holocaust denial, the recovered-memory movement, the satanic ritual abuse scare, and other modern crazes. Why People Believe Weird Things is an eye-opening resource for the most gullible among us and those who want to protect them.

Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir by Maggie Thrash

Maggie Thrash has spent basically every summer of her fifteen-year-old life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She’s from Atlanta, she’s never kissed a guy, she’s into Backstreet Boys in a really deep way, and her long summer days are full of a pleasant, peaceful nothing . . . until one confounding moment. A split-second of innocent physical contact pulls Maggie into a gut-twisting love for an older, wiser, and most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor named Erin. But Camp Bellflower is an impossible place for a girl to fall in love with another girl, and Maggie’s savant-like proficiency at the camp’s rifle range is the only thing keeping her heart from exploding. When it seems as if Erin maybe feels the same way about Maggie, it’s too much for both Maggie and Camp Bellflower to handle, let alone to understand.

Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah is one of the comedy world’s brightest new voices, a light-footed but sharp-minded observer of the absurdities of politics, race, and identity, sharing jokes and insights drawn from the wealth of experience acquired in his relatively young life. As host of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, he provides viewers in America and around the globe with their nightly dose of biting satire, but here Noah turns his focus inward, giving readers a deeply personal, heartfelt, and humorous look at the world that shaped him.

Noah was born a crime, the son of a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the first years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, take him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Quackery: A Brief History Of The Worst Ways To Cure Everything by Lydia Kang & Nate Pedersen

Discover 67 shocking-but-true medical misfires that run the gamut from bizarre to deadly. Like when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When snorting skull moss was a cure for a bloody nose. When consuming mail-order tapeworms was a latter-day fad diet. Or when snake oil salesmen peddled strychnine (used in rat poison) as an aphrodisiac in the '60s. Seamlessly combining macabre humor with hard science and compelling storytelling, Quackery is a visually rich and information-packed exploration of history's most outlandish cures, experiments, and scams.

Fear: Trump In The White House by Bob Woodward

With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence.

Are you going to read any nonfiction in November?


  1. I've never heard of The Dancing Plague and it sounds absolutely bizarre. I'm intrigued enough to go Google that now. So strange.

  2. You've got some great titles here... you'll probably end up convincing me to give one or two of them a try. Born a Crime was excellent on audio!

  3. Good luck with non-fiction November. Honor Girl was one I out, but have yet to read. I hope you enjoy them all.

  4. I have several nonfiction books lined up for this month, including Vincent & Theo! Enjoy all of these!

  5. I really enjoyed Trevor Noah's memoir - hope you do, too!
    I want to read the dancing plague book. It's on my Goodreads list, but I think it got buried down over the months and I forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. I never understood the reasoning behind Trevor Noah's memoir's title, but now I do -- thank you. I need to read this book I think.

  7. Yes I'm doing the challenge too! I'm reading a prison diary, army memoir, news presenter's memoirs, shark attack book and a behind the scenes of Game of Thrones!

  8. These all look good! I own Trevor Noah's book as well but I only reach for non-fiction when I relaxed, so, I don't read much non-fiction.

    I hope you'll enjoy them all!

  9. I have the Trevor Noah book on my tbr list and A Time to Dance, A Time to Die sounds like something I would pick up. I look forward to your thoughts on these!

  10. Enjoy! I've wanted to read Vincent and Theo for a while now.

  11. Vincent and Theo would be oen of the rare non fiction that I could read as Vincent Van Gogh was a fascinating painter and character!

  12. Honor Girl looks so good and I've heard good things about Born a Crime.
    Good luck with Non-fiction November!
    I hope you'll end up liking all or at least most of the books you picked.

  13. I NEED to read Born a Crime. I love me some Trevor Noah. I also really like the sound of Honor Girl! And I'd not heard of them, but I kind of need Quackery and Weird Things in my life. I still haven't read that Plague book from last year that I really need to read and might have gotten last Christmas on your recommendation! I half want to read Fear and then half am afraid I'd just keep throwing it in rage and never sleep again, so. I'll wait to see what you think!

  14. I enjoyed Born a Crime, so I hope you do too! And I really want to read Honor Girl one of these days. Good luck with Nonfiction November!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  15. Some interesting - and new to me - titles here. I've not read it myself (it is on my wishlist from last Nonfiction November), but I've heard many good things about Born a Crime. Happy reading this November!

  16. I have 15 on my list, which is a bit can see it at Book’d Out
    I just added Time to Dance, time to Die to my WTR list :)

  17. I've read Honor Girl and I really liked it. I have a lot of nonfiction books at my house (and on my wish list) so hopefully I can get some read this month.


  18. I was hoping to find Quakery in the bookstore yesterday while we were there, but no such luck. Our library doesn't carry system doesn't carry it. A Time to Dance, A Time to Die sounds really interesting. I may have to check that book out too. I hope you enjoy Nonfiction November and read many wonderful books!

  19. I just got Vincent and Theo from the library today. I had forgotten about Born a Crime, but I've added it to my TBR.

  20. I'd seen the cover around for Fear but I had no idea it was a nonfiction or what it was about. I quite liked Born a Crime and will be curious to see what you make of it! I love nonfiction but often forget to pick up nonfiction reads... that needs to change. Hope all this reading goes well for you x

  21. Honor Girl looks great! šŸ‘✨

    I have had the audio of Born a Crime forever. I need to read it. šŸ˜Æ

    Thanks for the list. šŸ˜Š