Monday, October 31, 2016

Nonfiction November!

blogging event, nonfiction, Doing Dewey

I'm so looking forward to participating with Nonfiction November this year. This event is hosted by the 5 lovely bloggers listed above. I'll be posting every week in November about a different nonfiction topic. I can't wait to get lots of new reading ideas throughout the month. Here we go with week one, hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey.

Your Year in Nonfiction: Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions:

What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? 

This is ridiculously hard to answer. If I have to say just one book, then it's A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back by Kevin Hazzard.

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? 

I finally got around to reading Ruth Reichl this year! Her book Garlic and Sapphires is by far the nonfiction book I've most frequently recommended to anyone who will listen.

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

I'm wanting to read more science nonfiction this year, as well as more history. When it comes to nonfiction, I tend to read mostly memoirs, and I'd like to branch out.

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

I'm hoping to continue to foster my love of great nonfiction, discover some fellow nonfiction bloggers,  and get some ideas of what other folks like me are loving to read. 


Friday, October 28, 2016

Books By Theme: Quit Your Job! Travel Instead!

travel nonfiction book list

The Lost Girls book cover by Jennifer Baggett
The Lost Girls
by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett, and Amanda Pressner
Harper Perennial (2011)

If you're a 20-something working and living in New York City, you're living the dream -- right? Not if you're Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett, or Amanda Pressner. The trio of friends -- wondering if the paths they were on were the right ones -- left their apartments, jobs, and boyfriends to embark on a year-long adventure around the world, visiting more than ten countries on four continents, including Peru, Vietnam, India, and Australia. Though there are difficulties (could you hang out with your two besties for a year without getting on each other's nerves?), there are also a lot of amazing experiences, such as traveling down the Amazon and volunteering at a girls' orphanage in Kenya.

nonfiction memoir Susan Spencer-Wendel book coverUntil I Say Goodbye
by Susan Spencer-Wendel with Bret Witter
Harper (2014)

This isn't your typical travelogue. Until I Say Good-Bye unsentimentally chronicles the final year of a 45-year-old journalist and mother with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, an irreversible condition that progressively destroys nerves that control muscles. Once she was diagnosed, it wasn't long before Spencer-Wendel decided to quit her job (though she loved it) and use some of her remaining days traveling to such places as the Yukon, Hungary, the Bahamas, and Cyprus with friends and family, including individual trips with each of her three children. Readers joining her on her poignant, powerful journey will be inspired to find joy in their own situations.

Educating Alice by Alice Steinbach book cover nonfiction memoir
Educating Alice
by Alice Steinbach
Random House (2005)

In Without Reservations, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Alice Steinbach chronicled taking a leave of absence from the Baltimore Sun to travel and learn about herself. Several years later, she completely quit her job and set off again. In Educating Alice, she enrolls in a French cooking class in Paris, attends border collie training in Scotland, learns traditional Japanese arts in Kyoto, studies art and architecture in Havana, and more, while meeting a wide range of interesting people along the way. With vividly depicted settings and keen observations and insights, this memoir is a charming delight.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Kid Lit Pick of the Week: Wish

Wish by barbara o'conner book cover children's fiction chapter bookWish
by Barbara O'Connor
Farar, Strauss, and Giroux (Aug. 30, 2016)
Fiction chapter book


A story about a girl who, with the help of the dog of her dreams, discovers that family doesn't always have to be related--they are simply people who love you for who you are.

Why You'll Love It:

  • At school, at home, and in the community, the characters and settings are well drawn, but it’s the narrator’s convincing, compelling voice that will draw readers into the novel and keep them there until her wish finally comes true.
  • Poignant and genuine, this is a tale that will resonate with readers long after they finish it and have them cheering for the underdogs-both of the two-legged and four-legged varieties.
  • In this first-person narrative, Charlie’s emotions are as evident as the events she records and her occasional misreading of other people’s lives and intentions. 

Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 4-6...and here's the reader's guide.

What Else You Should Read:


Saturday, October 22, 2016

I'm Baaack!


I apologize for the long absence. 

I'm just going to jump right back in and let you know my favorite books of the year so far! I've leaned more towards non-fiction than in past years, with a ratio of 45% nonfiction, 55% fiction. Here are my perfect, 5 star reads so far.

by Jennifer Haigh

A non-sensationalized novel about an inherently sensational event—the abuse of an 8-year-old boy by a priest.

Destiny of the Republic
by Candice Millard

A brilliantly written account of the tragic time when James Garfield, Civil War hero, pioneering congressman and 20th president, was mowed down by a madman as his administration began.

Garlic and Sapphires
by Ruth Reichl

Tasty revelations of Gourmet magazine editor Reichl's undercover antics as the former food critic at the New York Times.

Circus Mirandus
by Cassie Beasley
Juvenile Fiction

A poignant debut novel in which young Micah discovers magic is real at the same time his grandfather begins to fail.

We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
Young Adult Fiction

Candace Sinclair Eastman attempts to piece together the cause of an accident that has left her with no memory of it.

Die Again
by Tess Gerritsen

A not-for-the-squeamish murder mystery set in both Boston and Botswana.

A Thousand Naked Strangers
by Kevin Hazzard

A former EMT details his action-packed tenure in the field.

Secrets of Midwives
by Sally Hepworth

A warmhearted and engaging novel that follows three generations of midwives as they deal with family secrets.

Jane Steele 
by Lyndsay Faye

Jane Steele seeks retribution and redemption in Faye's latest novel, an homage to Jane Eyre.

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