Nonfiction November Week 4: New to My TBR

Yet again, Nonfiction November flies by and here we are in the last week already. It’s been such a bright spot for me this year, and I hope for everyone who participated too!

Our host this week is Katie @ Doing Dewey, and here’s the prompt:

New to My TBR : It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!

I’ve done an even worse job of blog-hopping this year than usual and haven’t gotten around to half of the posts I’d hoped to, so I expect this list will grow further. But here are mine for now:

Dear Life: A Doctor’s Story of Love and Loss, by Rachel Clarke (Shelly @ Book’d Out) – This is the year I’ve become braver about reading medical nonfiction and medical memoirs, something that, surprisingly, has helped me immensely. This memoir from a palliative care doctor sounds poignant and meaningful.

Corrupt Bodies: Death and Dirty Dealing in a London Morgue (Shelly @ Book’d Out) – I mean, the title alone.

Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life – (Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books) – Kristin always finds the best nature books! This one, which also blends biography, memoir, and biology, is also blurbed by Susan Orlean and Mary Roach, so, YES.

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, by Ed Yong (Lory @ Emerald City Book Review) This is very relevant to my interests right now. I’ve also seen the author quoted here and there in pandemic-related media so I’m interested to read his own work.

Surfacing, by Kathleen Jamie (Claire @ Word by Word) – Described as lyrical nature writing essays on, among other things, “the natural world, lost cultures, and the passage of time”.

Into the Raging Sea: Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm, and the Sinking of El Faro, by Rachel Slade (Sarah @ Celebration of Books) – I heard endless good things about this book when it came out last year but it just never felt like a priority. Sarah’s take on it is very convincing.

The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall, by Mary Elise Sarotte and After the Wall: Confessions from an East German Childhood and the Life that Came Next, by Jana Hensel (Jaymi @ The OC BookGirl) – Have you been following Jaymi’s Nonfiction November posts? She put us all to shame. Jaymi covered so many different topics, genres, and spotlighted tons of titles that I haven’t encountered elsewhere. Berlin Wall history is an endlessly fascinating period to me, and Jaymi listed these two, a history and a memoir, that I’d never heard of.

Roadside Religion: In Search of the Sacred, the Strange, and the Substance of Faith by Timothy Beal (Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks) Speaking of spotlighting unique titles, Christopher is THE ONE for finding nonfiction that I never see mentioned elsewhere. I owe so many fantastic reading recommendations to him. Like this one, detailing an American road trip to investigate weird religious-based roadside attractions. Yes please.

The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South by John T. Edge (Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks) Another of Christopher’s specialty areas is foodie nonfiction. I loved the parts of Michael Twitty’s The Cooking Gene that focused on Southern cooking and culture, so I’d like to learn more in this area.

A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (And Some Bears) by Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling (Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks) Christopher also introduced me to this funny, bizarre story, and I’ve felt nervously intrigued by what’s going on with Libertarians after reading Dark Money.

Shadow City: A Woman Walks Kabul by Taran N. Khan (Shelly @ Book’d Out) I’m interested in any stories from women in Afghanistan and within the Middle East, and narratives about walking have been appealing lately too.

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, And Body In The Healing Of Trauma, by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. (Lory @ Emerald City Book Review) – This appeared in several people’s posts this month but I first noticed it from Lory. I’ve been on the fence about whether I wanted to read this — it just seems like it’ll be tough material to sit with — but it got so much praise and seems helpful, even necessary.

An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales, by Oliver Sacks (Lory @ Emerald City Book Review) A lot of Oliver Sacks came up this month, and I’ve somehow made it this far in life without having read anything of his! I’m rightfully embarrassed. This one sounded great, although Liz @ Librofulltime recommended the classic The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat as a good starting place among his books.

Daughter of Family G: A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate, by Ami McKay (Eva @ The Paperback Princess) Hidden Valley Road and others have drawn me more to genetics histories and narratives, and this one seems like a must-read.

God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican, by Gerald Posner (Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks) Again, having just finished/been horrified by Dark Money, as well as a few other follow-the-money books this year, I’m interested in this topic as it applies to the Vatican. Doesn’t sound like good news!

Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine, by Paul A. Offit (Hanna @ Booking in Heels) Hanna had a fantastic list of medical history books for Expert Week, and speaking of naughty doings around religion, this one combining that with medical history makes it an immediate must-read for me.

Have you read any of these? What Nonfiction November find are you most excited about?

40 thoughts on “Nonfiction November Week 4: New to My TBR

Add yours

  1. Thanks for the excellent list. Can’t read ’em all but I’m thinking of friends and family members who will be interested in varying titles, read them, and then fill me in. Divide and conquer approach. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Life and Surfacing are going on my to-read pile too! I’ve definitely also found this event to be a bright spot in my year. I’m so glad so many people joined us. 2020 has been the worst and this really helped me get through the home stretch – only December to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad we had this bright spot πŸ™‚ It was so much needed! And I think those two sound so interesting. Maybe the kind of gentle, reflective reading that would be good notes to end the year on πŸ™‚


  3. I’m seeing a lot of Dear Life and An Anthropologist on Mars on all NFN TBR piles! And I think I like Roadside Religion too. My TBR pile groan-thanks you! Happy NFN, and thanks for hosting this incredible meme. I learnt so many interesting things from it, across the board, including the patterns of my own thinking πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve posted an interesting list about life and health issues – Why Fish Don’t Exist sounds fascinating. I was also interested in the books that Lory wrote about on Emerald City Book Reviews. Enjoy your nonfiction reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am adding the God’s Banker book to my list, also the Offit one – I notice he has written lots, including one about the anti-vaxxer movement, which I feel is a must read right now. I have friends who appear to be fairly sane who tell me they will not have the Covid vaccine as it has been rushed through….!!!!!?????? The luxury we have had in the first world for soooo long not to see our children die of smallpox or measles etc has turned our heads…sorry will climb off soapbox now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, I’ve been hearing the same here, in addition to the usual crap around vaccines. It’s just unimaginable after everything that’s happened this year that people would still be like, ehhhh I’m not sure about that. Did you hear that were pockets of measles outbreaks again the US in the last few years due to the anti-vaxxers? And there was an outbreak of something in a premature baby ward thanks to unvaccinated nurses. The selfishness of people thanks to reading something on the internet and becoming an expert in vaccine science is truly staggering.

      Must look up the other Offit ones, I didn’t even notice he’d written more along those lines!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: