It’s the last week of Nonfiction November, so it’s time to talk about all the great books I have encountered on people’s blogs this month.
The Periodic Table (NancyElin) – This essay/memoir collection by chemist and writer Primo Levi sounds very difficult to read (Levi was a Holocaust survivor), but also beautiful, and funny in many places according to reviews. It sounds like it is more a series of vignettes than a cohesive memoir, taking the Periodic Table to inform its structure – I’m fascinated by this idea and definitely want to see how he managed it.
Dorothy and Jack: The Transforming Friendship of Dorothy L Sayers and CS Lewis (A Pilgrim in Narnia) – This wasn’t technically a Nonfiction November post, but it is about a nonfiction book and it was posted in November, so that counts, right? DL Sayers and CS Lewis are two of my very favourite writers. I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that they were friends, since Sayers was such an outspoken feminist and Lewis was… well, whatever you may think about his views on women, I don’t think you can reasonably call him a feminist (though I know people have tried). I have one of Gina Dalfonzo’s books on my shelf already, so I will probably read that before I pick this up, but it sounds very promising!
One More Croissant for the Road (What’s Nonfiction?) – This had vaguely crossed my radar before, but I had forgotten about it until seeing it on Rennie’s blog and was grateful for the reminder. I love Felicity Cloake’s “How to make the perfect…” cookery series for the Guardian, so I already know I like her writing style (though columns don’t always translate to full-length books). I’m planning to read this in January, as I think it will be perfect to brighten up the cold and dark days once all the Christmas lights come down.
The One-Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Up the Organisation by Robert Townsend – these were suggestions from FictionFan and Whispering Gums in response to my request for recommendations on management (thank you), as that is gradually becoming part of my job.
The Code Breaker (Doing Dewey) – This is another one that I was very excited about when I first heard of it, but then it dropped off my radar, so I was pleased to be reminded when Katie picked it as one of her worldview changers! It’s a biography of Nobel-winning geneticist Jennifer Doudna, just the type of thing I like to read. I haven’t read much science nonfiction this year, and I miss it, so I’m looking forward to this.
Lots of great new-to-me books this month! Thanks to everyone I got a recommendation from – I’m excited about all these books – and to everyone who participates every year, because it’s really one of my favourite events in the blogging calendar.
I didn’t know that Sayers and Lewis were friends. That does seem like an unexpected combo and yet it made me think about how many people Lewis was friends with. He does seem to have valued friendship, which also makes sense along with his writings.
Lewis really had so many friends from so many different walks of life, and I think he corresponded with a lot of people as well. I think “Dorothy and Jack” is likely to be one of the first books on this list that I read!
I seem to be in a non-fiction slump at the moment and not even Non-Fic-Nov has inspired me this year despite all the great reviews around the blogosphere, but I’m glad you found several to add to your list. Hope they all live up to your expectations!
I always acquire more books on my wishlist during November – now to see if I actually manage to read any of them by next year…
That’s lovely that you’re planning to read One More Croissant for the Road when all the holiday cheer is packed up in boxes. I don’t know anything about this book but support the advice in the title!
The author is a food writer who went cycling around France! I believe the title was her general approach to things while she was there.
I loved The Code Breaker so much and I think you’re likely too as well! Thanks so much for joining us for Nonfiction Nov 🙂