Nonfiction November (Prompt 5)

Sadly, my busy season this year prevented me from taking part in most of the Nonfiction November prompts during the weeks they were going on (I might still participate late), but I couldn’t miss out on the final week now that I’m back! This week’s topic is from Rennie: New Nonfiction on My TBR (focusing on titles we’ve found through Nonfic Nov posts).

This is really the perfect prompt for me after my recent blogging/reading interruption, as I’m going back through the posts I’ve missed and adding plenty of recommendations from other bloggers to my TBR! A disclaimer: I’m not completely caught up yet, so I’ll still be checking out more lists and adding to my TBR after posting this, but I wanted to get to this prompt before the end of the week in case anyone else wants to join in before the end of the month.

And to share the love, I’ll be linking back to the posts I’ve gotten recommendations from so that if you’re looking for more nonfiction (or even just great bloggers to follow) you can find those here as well!

Let’s jump into the list.

68783. sy475 Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Posted by: Diana @ Thoughts on Papyrus. She’s written an excellent post about nonfiction books dealing with the mind and mental illness!

I first heard about this book in high school, but I had forgotten all about it in recent years until seeing it again in Diana’s post! It’s about a young woman’s experience at a psychiatric hospital; in her account, “she draws attention to the absurdity of the rules and to the embedded sexism.” (Diana’s words.)

40121993The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang

Posted by: Hannah @ I Have Thoughts on Books.

I had seen this one when it was released but then hadn’t really heard much about it after the initial buzz of excitement faded. Hannah’s review makes it sound like essential reading from an important perspective, and very well-written as well! In fact, both of the nonfiction reviews in Hannah’s recent post sounded so good that I added the second one she talks about there to my TBR also:

40046084 Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden

(Also posted by Hannah)

This is a memoir “about coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager” (words from the synopsis). It’s also a story about family, loss, and forgiveness. All of that sounds good of course, but what sold me was Hannah’s insisting that the structure of the book is excellent, with a surprising and impactful ending.

32076678. sy475 The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Posted by: Portia @ The Owlery Reader (and others)

I had never heard of this one before, but it’s appeared on several nonfiction favorites posts this month, and it sounds excellent! It looks like the author, who was at the time against he death penalty, signed up for a summer job helping to (legally) defend men accused of murder, only to discover a man she does not want to live in the wake of his crime. As she digs into his case, she also delves into her own past, and realizes crime and its consequences are not as black-and-white as she had imagined.

43231095. sy475 American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Marueen Callahan

Posted by: Sarah @ Sarah Ames-Foley

I actually talked to Sarah about this one as a spooky read back in October, but was excited to see it appear on her nonfiction favorites list! I was getting a bit burned out with serial killer true crime earlier this year, but Sarah says this one is particularly haunting and the killer surprisingly unknown, and I’m looking forward to checking it out! It focuses on Israel Keyes, who  committed numerous murders completely undetected for over ten years.

38362811 The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West

Posted by: Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction?

I just added this one to my TBR today, after finding the link to Ren’s review in Sarah’s nonfic TBR post! This one had been on my radar but I was hesitant to add it since I’d never gotten around to West’s Shrill. After looking closer however, I think this one might be a better fit for me! At least to start with. It’s a humorous (and passionate) critical look at current issues and politics, which sounds right up my alley based on my recent nonfiction interests!

43726557 The Seine: The River That Made Paris by Elaine Sciolino

Posted by: Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction?

Much to my own surprise, I also added this one to my TBR today after seeing Ren’s review. (Seriously, are you followed Ren yet? Even- especially- if you think nonfiction isn’t your thing, her reviews are so detailed and interesting that you’re bound to discover you’re interested in more topics than you thought!) I don’t read a lot about nature or specific places (travel books), but the way Sciolino uses the Seine to explore history, culture, architecture, etc. sounds so intriguing, and provides the human connection I tend to need in the books I read.

25019 The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

Posted by: Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books

I’ve got to admit, it was the Oxford English Dictionary detail tacked on to the end of the title that really drew my curiosity here. It looks like when the men who put together the OED were recognized afterward, it came out that one of them had been an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane. I’m so intrigued.

Know My Name Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Posted by: Rachel @ Pace Amore Libri, Karissa @ Karissa Reads Books (and others)

This one was already on my radar (though I realized a week or so ago that I’d forgotten to add it to my TBR), but I’m so excited about it and recently picked up a copy so I had to include it with links to a couple of great reviews! Chanel Miller is Emily Doe, whose witness statement against Brock Turner in a sexual assault case was all over the internet a few years back. Here she shares not only her identity, but reveals a flawed system and examines the aftermath of a trauma. I’ll be reading this one very soon.

Are any of these titles on your TBR, or books you’ve read? What did you think? Help me decide what to prioritize, please!


The Literary Elephant


19 thoughts on “Nonfiction November (Prompt 5)”

    1. Thanks! Even though I’ve been paying more attention to nonfiction this year I feel like there’s a lot being posted this month that I wasn’t aware of or just haven’t made time for yet! I’m really looking forward to Know My Name, I just picked up a copy over the weekend and it’s been so hard to resist! I’ll definitely pick it up soon, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts when you get to it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many true crime books out there these days, but this is the only one I’ve encountered that involves a dictionary!

      I’m glad you enjoyed American Predator, I’m really looking forward to that one!


  1. I’m so glad I could give you those recommendations, and oh my goodness, thank you SO much for those kind words! I’m thrilled we connected here and always have so much to talk about. I get so many great ideas from you and love reading your reviews too!

    And I can second those recommendations for American Predator, although it was the scariest book I’ve read in awhile (it was strictly a weekend morning kind of read, if you know what I mean) and The Fact of a Body, which is just stunning. I’m curious about The Professor and the Madman, I’ve heard a lot of people recommend it. Will be looking forward to your reviews, and I’m really happy you got to participate in Nonfiction November with the timing working out just right 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome, I’ve loved finding so many quality nonfic recommendations from your posts and chatting with you about all of them! 😊

      I’m getting so intrigued to pick up American Predator…. during the day, with the lights on! 😅 I can’t believe I hadn’t even heard of The Fact of a Body when it seems to be so popular and sounds right up my alley- I’m glad Nonfic November put it on my radar! And I’ll definitely keep an eye out for whenever you might pick up The Professor and the Madman, I’m keen to see your thoughts on that one!

      The prompt for this week really could not have been a more perfect fit for where I’m at with blogging, thanks for choosing a good one!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember Fact of a Body was really popular around the time it came out a few years ago but I haven’t seen much on it since. I’m glad you could find it!

        And so happy the prompt fit for you this week and you got to take part!! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You should definitely read Know My Name! The only other one here I’ve read is The Professor and the Madman which is excellent but a little slower. The Witches are Coming sounds really interesting though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m planning to get to Know My Name next week or so- really looking forward to it!
      And I’m glad to hear that The Professor and the Madman is excellent, I hadn’t heard from anyone who’s read it yet! The premise sounds fantastic, so I’m glad it lives up.
      I’m also very intrigued by the Lindy West! It sounds very timely, so I’m hoping to get to it sooner rather than later.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thanks Sarah! I am leaning toward trying out more of the prompts, if I can find time to fit them in between reviews I’m behind on and end-of-the-year posts!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I want to read Miller’s book…..but I don’t think I’m ready. I’ve been reading some emotionally complicated books lately, and I just don’t feel prepared yet. However, I did follow some new bloggers thanks to the links you included! Also, I did read Girl, Interrupted years ago (and who hasn’t seen the movie? It’s excellent).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I’m glad you found some great blogs through this post! 🙂

      Unbelievable/A False Report is a powerful book, but it’s definitely a good idea to be emotionally prepared going in. It does a great job of laying out the facts without sensationalizing, but there are some really disturbing details included because of the subject matter. Don’t rush into it, but I hope you can find a good time for it eventually!

      And the answer to your question is: me. I have not seen the Girl, Interrupted film yet. (It seems I’m always so far behind on films!) I’m glad to hear it’s excellent though, I’ll definitely want to watch after reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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