Year End Review #4: Non-Fiction

My last NF read of 2018

This isn’t going to be a long post, as I’ve talked about a lot of my non-fiction reading this year recently during Non Fiction November (see here), but since that post, I’ve added several more books to that list, making my non-fiction total 31 in 2018 as of today.  That’s just about 22% which is an achievement (last year I read 20 books – 15%).

One of my bookish resolutions was to read more non-fiction – so I’ve succeeded!  Being on Rebecca’s shadow panel for the Wellcome Book Prize helped early on in the year, and as I am very drawn to books with a medical theme, I’d love to take part again this year.

Medical books and memoirs have dominated my NF reading this year, so in 2019, I’m going to look for some other genres within NF to read more widely – so perhaps fewer medical memoirs, and more travel, arts and culture in general and essays perhaps, even history? (I do struggle with NF history – any recommendations?)

How did your year in NF go?

21 thoughts on “Year End Review #4: Non-Fiction

  1. Laura says:

    I don’t read a lot of history for fun, but I loved Thomas Dixon’s Weeping Britannia and Carl Watkins’s The Undiscovered Country.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Having looked both of those up, I really like the sound of the Carl Watkins book. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Calmgrove says:

    Precious little, I’m afraid. Even my avid weekly reading of the Saturday Guardian mayn’t count as one day’s ‘facts’ often turn out to be next day’s fiction! I think I can list my non-fiction reading for 2018 on the fingers of one hand and the pinky of the other (an essay on masculinity by Grayson Perry, collected essays and articles by A C Grayling, a guide to a miniature railway, a dictionary on art and literature, a monograph on the holy grail and a paper on Tolkien and Wales). So, that’s grail, Grayling, railway, males and Wales: spot any linkage? 🙂

  3. Cathy746books says:

    I read a good bi of non-fiction too, although I realised this year that most of the non-fiction I read tends to be true crime! I very much enjoyed Slouching Towards Bethlehem recently, a collection of Joan Didion’s essays.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Blimey Cathy! True crime isn’t a genre I read really – I’ve been meaning to read In Cold Blood for yonks but never got to it, despite reading gory thrillers. Essays are something I enjoy occasionally though, and I’ll add Didion to my list to look out for.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      This year has been a particularly strong year for NF – I hope it’s a trend that more accessible NF is being published. As a bookseller do you see this?

      • Elle says:

        Perhaps I’m just paying more attention now, but it seems so. Most of the proofs I was most excited about two or three months ago, for instance, were NF!

  4. Grab the Lapels says:

    I read 3 anthropology texts, 2 memoirs with zero insight, 4 humor memoirs, 2 celebrity memoirs, 1 book of essays about college in prison, 4 non-Western memoirs, 1 memoir about a trans woman, and 1 collection “journalism” (I use that term loosely).

      • Grab the Lapels says:

        Detroit Hustle by Amy Haimerl was about this white woman who bought a house in Detroit that she ended up putting almost half a million dollars into. She was so worried that she was part of gentrification — and she clearly is — but was trying to convince herself she isn’t. It was almost like she wrote a book just to defend herself.

        The second was Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence. Have you ever cared what books a stranger loved, a stranger who won’t talk back or care about the books you read? Me neither.

  5. Kaggsysbookishramblings says:

    I’ve read quite a bit of non fiction this hear, although I do tend to be drawn to it anyway. And I can’t see that 2019 will be any different!

  6. Liz Dexter says:

    I’ve read slightly more non-fiction than fiction this year which is a little different from usual, although it’s still usually about 40% non-fic. And on my TBR there are only a few fiction books, though I think my Kindle might be more weighted that way, I’m not sure. One highlight ws “The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap” and I think my end of year best of will be half non-fiction at least.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Gosh! I don’t think I’ll ever aim for such a high % of NF – the amount I read this year feels just right, but well done you. 🙂

      • Liz Dexter says:

        I really love biography/memoir, social history, travel writing and books about running, so that tilts the reading to the NF side. But whatever feels right is right, of course, and I read more NF than most people I know.

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