Non Fiction November: Can I? Should I? Will I?
Non Fiction November kicks off tomorrow. A month-long celebration of the art of memoirs; travelogs; essays and historical; scientific; technical; political and economic writing.
I joined in last year for the first time. Now I’m in a quandary whether to repeat that experience.
Part of my brain says NO WAY. I already feel over stretched with fictional reading commitments for the next month. Plus I promised myself after failing with #20booksofsummer that I wouldn’t embark on any more projects that involved making a list of books to read. I’m clearly not cut out for such projects.
But another part of my brain is saying YES. Non Fiction November would be a good way to kick me into reading the books that I often buy but seldom seem to read.
I have plenty of choices. At the last count my TBR includes 27 books in the non fiction category. There’s One Woman Walks Wales by Ursula Martin which I started reading back in about February but haven’t picked up for ages. The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell, owner of Scotland’s second largest second-hand bookshop is another that I started but haven’t finished.
Then there are at least 2 books on Roman history, 3 on Greek and Roman myths, a couple of biographies and a few books on language and reading. Maybe this will be the year I finally get around to The World is Flat, the book on globalisation by Thomas Friedman or Rachel Carson’s landmark work on the environmental impact of chemical pollution, Silent Spring.
I’m really really tempted. Mainly I suppose because Non Fiction November is simply about reading more non fiction, it’s about discussing non fiction. A new topic each week from “your favourite non fiction book of the year” to ” pairing up non fiction with fiction.”
I see a number of bloggers are already making lists of books to read for this themed month. That way madness lies for me so if I do decide to join in, I’ll take the unplanned approach and read whatever takes my fancy.
NonFiction November starts tomorrow so I don’t have too much time to make up my mind. Watch this space as it were.
37 thoughts on “Non Fiction November: Can I? Should I? Will I?”
I’m focused on literary fiction, but this has caught my eye (even though I’m state-side…not sure this is going on across the pond here). Maybe I can at least commit to reading the non-fiction books I’ve recently placed on the tbr table, including The Uncommon Reader: A Life of Edward Garnett by Helen Smith and The Art of Burning Bridges: A Life of John O’Hara by Geoffrey Wolff. This at least gives me a reason to make the effort!
This is definitely happening in your corner of the world. There are participants from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA. just about everywhere really 🙂
I just try to play it cool with Nonfiction November. The weeks I like the theme, I participate. The weeks I don’t, I don’t. If I want to read nonfiction, I do, but if I’m burnt out on it, I go to fiction. And most important, if a nonfiction doesn’t grab me, I quit! Good luck.
What a healthy relaxed attitude.
Yes. that’s my attitude too, Susie – I do it my way! I make to plans, but just discuss the non-fiction books I happen to read. I don’t think you HAVE to read non-fiction in November, but the idea is you talk about non-fiction. At least, that’s how I read it!!
that’s my interpretation too Sue based on what I’m seeing from other people who are participating
For once I’m on time so I say DO IT! My post goes up tomorrow. Just read what you can, don’t make it stressful.
I’ve seen a number of other bloggers indicate that they don’t necessarily read more fiction during the month,must that they talk about it more. I can do that so I’m in…..
😂😂😂 Book problems!! I’m going to participate as much as possible, focusing on books I’ve read this year….I look forward to adding titles from other bloggers to my TBR mountain. I never read enough nonfiction …..but on the other hand. I read a substantial amount of histfic….some of which is dense in history….so I always feel like I’ve read more NF than I actually have! From my perspective, NF November is a way to celebrate NF and shine a spotlight on a few titles…I try not to stress over it and just do what I can do! I enjoy participating but I don’t enjoy feeling pressure…… it’s fun to read all the posts. Thanks for your honesty! 👍
I don’t really read any more nonfiction during this event than I normally would. I just use it to discuss and to find new titles I might like to read sometime in the future. I say hop in the fun and read as you normally do. 😊
That’s reassuring Monika. I e seen similar comments from others which have helped me decide to join in.
Thanks for alerting me to this. Like you, I have a non-fiction tbr and these books beckon, but don’t tempt me enough. My list includes several books I’ve started to read, until I got distracted by yet more fiction. Some were specially bought or ordered from the library, and still didn’t I get down to reading them yet. Books by Mary Beard, Margaret Macmillan, also Claire Tomalin – you can see my bias is history and biography, though not exclusively.
If I can make one recommendation – and this book I DID read – it would be ‘All that Remains’ by Sue Black.
I’m looking forward to seeing how you get on with NF Nov.
Mary Beard is on my shelf too (twice). I like the soundof All that Remains’ Jenny – decades ago I read some fascinating books from the pathologists called in for the most challenging of cases. It will be interesting to see how far the science ha s now progressed
I hope you are able to join in Karen, but then I am biased because I am taking part 😉
I’ll look out for your posts Jessica
I say yay! But I’m so over committed for November I could be going a little crazy!! As you rightly point out though, non-fiction Nov is more about the discussion & the year in review than trying to read oodles of books.
If it involved reading oodles of books I wouldn’t even be thinking about it. I might manage one though 🙂
I read quite a lot of non-fiction already so don’t really need to read more, and the themed weeks seem too much work to think of another blog post and fit it in. So I’m a no, but will continue reading the usual mix! Have fun, whatever you decide to do.
Completely understand Liz. I may not do all the posts just to take some pressure off me
I’m not committing to anything but I’ve got two NF books on the go at the moment so….
You read far more non fiction than I do …
Reading Challenges are not for me. But I do enjoy reading the posts from participants, and gleaning ideas for future bookhunts/reading.
I keep trying t participate in these reading challenges. Coming up with lists and every year is a fail, but I keep trying.
My thought is if you have to ask, you’ve already answered your question; which for me is always ‘No’. But if you decide to do it read one or both of the books you started earlier in the year. I have also started to include LOTS of options on these types of TBRs just because I know I’m not going to want read something. And it’s nice to have something to fall back on and not feel obligated or pressured to read what you put on your TBR.
Lately I have been reading a lot of non fiction. I am always torn as to whether to read more fiction or non fiction. There is so much of both to read. Whatever you choose, happy reading in the upcoming month.
Okay, this might be cheating but…. I don’t go out of my way to read nonfiction all month. Instead, I take part in the posts that have me reflecting on the NF I’ve read this year or in the past.
I hope you decide to join in! No long reading lists for me… I’m there for the weekly posts and the book recommendations. If I manage to knock a nonfiction title or two off my tbr list, I’ll be happy.
glad to find someone else who doesn’t like long reading lists….
I’m going to join, but only by writing some posts as my brain is also screaming NOOOO!!!
that’s what appeals to me – you can join without reading a single extra book!
It’s such a busy time of year, isn’t it! But happy to have you however you participate 🙂 Even if it’s just some posts about favorites, the last year, etc. I can never make lists and stick to them so I’m completely with you there. Hope you’ll decide to join in in some capacity!
I’ve already added a book to my list from your post here so I definitely think you should join in. I’m not a “make a list to read for an event” type of reader either. But I do get really excited at the prospect of reading only nonfiction for an entire month. And getting to talk about it with other readers is such a bonus!
Which one did you add to your list?
Diary of a Bookseller!
If you enjoy that one he’s just published a second book called I think Confessions of a Bookseller.
I’m usually of the opinion that if you need to ask the question, I suspect you know the answer and it’s usually negative – or maybe that’s just me! Good luck whatever you decide.
Good luck if you do! I’m circling several challenges, though I certainly won’t commit to one type of reading for the month! 😀
No way can I commit to those kinds of reading projects. I admire people who are so single focused but my brain is far too much like a butterfly for that