Ok, enough of my silliness. Since I’m lazy, I’m going engage in a bit of self plagiarism and use my 2015 Nonfiction November post as a template for this year’s post. It feels like cheating but who cares.
What was your favorite nonfiction read(s) of the year?
Again, just as in past years this is a tough question. Interestingly enough, even though I’ve read some pretty good nonfiction in 2017, this year feels like a bit of a down year, nonfiction-wise, when compared to previous years. But keep in mind, last year some of the best nonfiction I read all year I read in November and December. As of right now, my three favorite nonfiction books of 2017 would be:
- Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret MacMillan
- SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
- The People and the Books: 18 Classics of Jewish Literature by Adam Kirsch
However, there’s three nonfiction books I’ve yet to finish and each of them has the potential for making my year-end Best Nonfiction List. They are:
- October: The Story of the Russian Revolution by China Miéville
- The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark
- The Anti-Communist Manifestos: Four Books That Shaped the Cold War by John V. Fleming
What nonfiction book(s) have you recommended the most?
Again, another tough question. The book I’ve probably recommended the most this year would be Jane Mayer’s Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. If had to designate a runner-up I would nominate Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal. In addition to those two outstanding works of nonfiction I’ve probably recommended at least once this year each of the following books:
- Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II by Keith Lowe
- Europe: A History by Norman Davies
- Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky
- Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder
- Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum
- 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann
- The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
- The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan by Rick Perlstein
What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?
Ouch, probably the toughest question of all. Right off the top of my head I can probably think of three reading goals. One, I want to read as much 20th century history as possible, with an emphasis on the period roughly 1970 to 1990. Two, because you really can’t understand the first half of the 20th century without reading up on the last half of the 19th century I’m hoping to read stuff like Pankaj Mishra’s Age of Anger: A History of the Present. Three, some of you might remember in one of my earlier posts I mentioned Tara Isabella Burton’s article in The Atlantic “Study Theology, Even If You Don’t Believe in God” and why theological studies are so important as a field of study regardless of a person’s religious outlook. Inspired by her words I plan on reading more books dealing with religion.
What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
My purpose is three-fold. One, I wanna see what kind of nonfiction books other book bloggers have enjoyed and in the process add some great books to my always expanding to be read list (TBR). Two, I’d love to discover at least a few new book blogs and get in a habit of reading them on a regular basis. Three, by participating in this year’s Nonfiction November I’d like to give my blog a little more exposure and if I’m lucky pick up a new subscriber or two.