you've been reading book blogs this week, then you are likely to have
seen a least a couple of nonfiction reading lists because (as I mentioned on Monday) Nonfiction November is up and running. Here are just some of the true stories that are awaiting my attention.
About this list: I restricted myself to books published this fall and chose only a few titles in three broad categories. In addition I decided to feature books I own. The backlist is brimming over with fabulous nonficiton titles, and I hardly own even a small percentage of the frontlist. Consider this list a good jumping-off place, and be sure to visit the official Nonfiction November post to learn how you can participate and to discover more recommended nonfiction books.
Memoirs come in many forms from inspirational to autobiography to humor. My picks today have a literary foundation and are written by three novelists and the daughter of a publisher.
- The Fortress by Danielle Trussoni (Dey Street Books): The author of Angelology writes about her ex-marriage to a Bulgarian writer and their isolated life in France that she eventually needed to leave.
- North of Crazy by Neltje (St. Martin's Press): The daughter of publishing great Nelson Doubleday takes us inside the life of privilege to reveal its less glamorous side and her decision to take a different, independent path.
- The Pigeon Tunnel by John le Carre (Viking Books): The best-selling author opens up about his work for British intelligence during the cold war, his travels around the world, and the people and events that influenced his work and his life.
- Marrow by Elizabeth Lesser (Harper Wave): The author of Broken Open talks about her love for her sister, her decision to donate bone marrow to her, and their life together.
Oh I bet you're really surprised that food writing would appear on my list of recommended nonfiction titles. I had a hard time narrowing down my choices, but here is a mix of science, history, and cultural perspectives.
- Modified by Caitlin Shetterly (Putnam): When she learned that her son was allergic to genetically modified corn, this journalist set out to investigate the prevalence of GMOs from the cornfield to the food manufactures to the home kitchen.
- Butter by Elaine Khosrova (Algonquin): The fascinating history of butter from early herders to modern-day artisans, told by an award-winning food writer and pastry chef.
- Treyf by Elissa Altman (NAL): A memoir of food, family, cultural traditions, and adapting to modern life from the 1940s to modern times. (Note: also good for Jewish Book Month.)
- Grape Olive Pig by Matt Goulding (Harper Wave): Part travelogue, part culinary guide, part love story to a country, a well-known food writer takes us on an unforgettable journey through Spain, his adoptive home.
Women in History
From a very young age, I've rated biography among my very favorite books. Today I feature books that introduce us to a variety of fascinating women: authors, mathematicians, trailblazers, and ordinary women in extraordinary circumstances.
- Not Just Jane by Shelley DeWees (Harper Perennial): Meet seven other women--besides Austen and the Bronte sisters--who were writing and publishing books in Brittan from the mid-eighteenth century on.
- Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba (St. Martin's Press): A well-researched examination of how the Nazi occupation of Paris affected the lives of the city's women.
- Wonder Women by Sam Maggs (Quirk Books): The stories of twenty-five real-life women heroes, who were "innovators, inventors, and trailblazers who changed history."
- Hidden Figures by Margo Lee Shetterly (William Morrow): A NASA historian tells the world about the five African American women mathematicians who helped lay the foundations of the U.S. space program. (Book to movie alert!)