nonfiction november

I wasn’t planning on doing anything for November, but I’ve been reading quite a lot of nonfiction recently, and decided to keep on going! You can see all the details here.

What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year?

  • Hunger by Roxane Gay
  • The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Haldol and Hyacinths by Melody Moezzi

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

Almost definitely Haldol and Hyacinths – this is just such an under-appreciated book!

What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?

I don’t read a lot of scientific nonfiction, mainly because I find it difficult to maintain interest.

What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

Other than catching up on my TBR, I hope to learn more about different people’s experiences – the main reason why I read!

So, these are the books that I’m going to try and read during November – ‘try’ being the operative word! (I am so ridiculously bad at keeping to TBRs!)

Secrets for the Mad35407312-1.jpg

When I feel like I’m going mad I write.

A lot of my worst fears have come true; fears that felt so big I could barely hold them in my head. I was convinced that when they’d happen, the world would end.

But the world didn’t end. In fact, it pushed on and demanded to keep spinning through all sorts of mayhem, and I got through it. And because I persisted, I learned lessons about how to be a stronger, kinder, better human – lessons you can only learn by going through these sorts of things.

This is for the people with minds that just don’t stop; for those who feel everything seemingly a thousand times more than the people around them.

Here are some words I wrote.

Hit Lit


What do Michael Corleone, Jack Ryan, and Scout Finch have in common? Creative writing professor and thriller writer James W. Hall knows. Now, in this entertaining, revelatory book, he reveals how bestsellers work, using twelve twentieth-century blockbusters as case studies—including The Godfather, Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Jaws. From tempting glimpses inside secret societies, such as submariners in The Hunt for Red October, and Opus Dei in The Da Vinci Code, to vivid representations of the American Dream and its opposite—the American Nightmare—in novels like The Firm and The Dead Zone,Hall identifies the common features of mega-bestsellers. Including fascinating and little-known facts about some of the most beloved books of the last century, Hit Lit is a must-read for fiction lovers and aspiring writers alike, and makes us think anew about why we love the books we love.

The Secret Lore of London


The Secret Lore of London is a guide to the legends, including a discussion of their importance as part of the oral tradition of Britain, combining Prehistoric, Celtic, Arthurian, Roman, Saxon and Norman levels – each of which has contributed to the many-layered life of the city.

The first part contains a unique selection of essays (some printed here for the first time) by experts in their fields, each of whom possesses a unique interest in the legends of these islands, and who have written widely on associated themes.

The second part of the book will consist of a Gazetteer of the sites mentioned which are still in existence, together with various other sites of associated interest, compiled by the Editor, the contributors, and members of the London Earth Mysteries Group. This part will be fully updated and extended to include many more sites.

Containing essays and writings by key figures from the world of mythology and a foreword by Peter Ackroyd, this book explores the secrets of the city.

Girls Will be Girls23699151.jpg

Emer O’Toole once caused a media sensation by growing her body hair and singing ‘Get Your Pits Out For The Lads’ on national TV. You might think she’s crazy – but she has lessons for us all. Protesting against the ‘makey-uppy-bulls**t’ of gender conditioning, Emer takes us on a hilarious, honest and probing journey through her life – from cross-dressing and head shaving, to pube growing and full-body waxing – exploring the performance of femininity to which we are confined.

Funny, provocative and underpinned with rigorous academic intelligence, this book shows us why and how we should all begin gently to break out of gender stereotypes. Read this book, open up your mind and, hopefully, free your body. GIRLS WILL BE GIRLS is a must-read wake-up call for all young women (and men).

Are you participating in nonfiction November? Let me know what you’re going to be reading!


14 thoughts on “nonfiction november

  1. Sarah says:

    Oooh I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on these, particularly Girls Will Be Girls. I also just added Haldol and Hyacinths to my TBR — I can’t believe it wasn’t on there already!


  2. The Paperback Princess says:

    Hunger was such an incredible memoir. I read it for book club and it ended up being a really great discussion. I’ve been meaning to read The Good Immigrant all year! I really need to step up my efforts to find a copy.

    I’ve added the Hit List to my TBR. That sounds so interesting! And Girls Will Be Girls really does sound like it’s in my wheelhouse!


  3. colorfulbookreviews says:

    This is a good idea. I have a little bit more reading time than expected this semester and have been trying to really power through some of the more academic nonfiction on my holds list. Plus I shall have some extra time off for Thanksgiving weekend… *ambles off to write a post about this*

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lydia Tewkesbury says:

    Girls will be Girls sounds super interesting. I hope it’s balanced though. I find it uncomfortable when women shame other women for wearing makeup or whatever. Isn’t the point that we have a choice whether we do it or not?

    Also totally not on topic: have you watched the new Twin Peaks? I’ve watched the first couple episodes but I don’t know if I have the energy to get through the whole thing… Is it worth it?


    • whatthelog says:

      I’m fairly sure that it will be balanced – I’m wondering whether the author will go into more nuanced gender theory. I’m hoping so!

      I watched the first couple of episodes too and just could not get through it – I’ll probably try to watch more of it over Christmas but I totally get why you’re having a hard time.

      Liked by 1 person

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