It’s time for Nonfiction November.
To be perfectly honest, I’m a fairly bad nonfiction reader – a little noncommittal… distracted… That said, I do have a few nonfiction soft spots – genetics, pop-science, the Art Deco era, and memoirs. I really love memoirs (they count, right?).
So despite not much material to work with, I’m aiming to take part in all five weeks of Nonfiction November.
It kicks off with my ‘Year in Nonfiction’, hosted by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness. Kim has set some questions –
What was your favourite nonfiction read of the year?
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl – I had read the first part of this book many years ago (the memoir part) but it was the second part of the book, on ‘logotherapy’ that captured my attention this time. Logotherapy is Frankl’s existential theory about the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful – he states that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Man’s Search for Meaning was closely followed by Lost and Found by neurologist, Jules Montague. The book examines memory, identity and personality and considers whether conditions such as dementia and amnesia change ‘who’ we really are. It’s fascinating and the case studies are particularly interesting.
Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year?
I read a lot of memoirs (but do so every year!). Other than that, my choices have been random.
What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?
Lost and Found by Jules Montague for the insights on dementia.
Of the 13 memoirs I’ve read so far this year, I have recommended the audio recording of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run to many people. And for various reasons, I’ve pushed Bri Lee’s Eggshell Skull and Jenny Valentish’s Women of Substances into fellow readers’ hands.
What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?
Nothing stands out, although I never seem to tire of misery memoirs…
What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?
Last year, I thought the ‘book pairings’ posts were the best thing since sliced bread. Expect it will be the same this year.