How I Choose Nonfiction #NonfictionNovember #NonfictionBookParty #bookblogger #blogger

How I Choose Nonfiction

Welcome to Week #2 of Nonfiction November 2023!

Our hosts: 

During the month of November, you will notice one nonfiction-focused post each week.

Nonfiction November (Oct 30-Dec 1, 2023) text box over a background of colorful leaves
Background Image: Canva

Weekly Topics:
(Join us?)

Week 1: (October 30-November 3) – Your Year in Nonfiction with Heather @ Based on a True Story  
Here’s “My Year in Nonfiction” post. 

Week 2: (November 6-November10) – Choosing Nonfiction with Frances @ Volatile Rune

Week 3: (November 13-17) –Book Pairings with Liz @ Adventures in reading, running and working from home

Week 4: (November 20-24) – Worldview Shapers with Rebekah @ She Seeks Nonfiction

Week 5: (November 27-December 1) — New to My TBR with Lisa @ Hopewell’s Public Library of Life

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Nonfiction November is an opportunity to reflect on the year, to celebrate and appreciate nonfiction, and to share recommendations.

What is your favorite category of nonfiction?

I love narrative nonfiction (followed closely by thought-provoking memoirs).

Narrative Nonfiction is “Nonfiction that uses novelistic devices and strategies to shape the work. That’s material that I really like.”
~Rick Moody

How I Choose Nonfiction

For this post, I am sharing how I choose nonfiction….or does it choose me?!?! As with all my reading, I look for reviews from trusted sources. I also have favorites types of nonfiction which I’ve listed here.

Today’s host is Frances @ Volitile Rune

***Book titles are Amazon affiliate links or links to my blog reviews

I am Tempted by Thoughtful Memoirs

I’m fairly selective when choosing memoirs. I look for memoirs that have more to offer than a simple recounting of one’s life. A few of my favorites include:
The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger (Holocaust survivor and psychologist)
Finding Me by Viola Davis (survive and thrive)
How Far to the Promised Land: One Black Family’s Story of Hope and Survival in the American South by Esau McCaulley (forgiveness and hard-won achievement)
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared For Anything by Chris Hadfield (application of skills)
Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (resilience)
Hillybilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance (escaping)
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (homelessness and resilience of children)
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (survival)

I Love Biographies

And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle by Jon Meacham (emancipation and civil war)
Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Kearn Goodwin (a study of leadership)
Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (unimaginable endurance)
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas (WWII)

Page-turning Narrative Nonfiction is a Favorite

(nonfiction that reads like fiction)
The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight For Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore (courage and determination)
The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9-11 by Garret M. Graff (first person accounts, New York City)
The Day the World Came to Town: 9-11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede (journalistic/narrative nonfiction, generous hospitality)
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (journalistic/narrative nonfiction)
The Girl With Seven Names: Escape From North Korea by Hyeonseo Lee (determination and survival)

Sometime I Can’t Resist Self Improvement

Not my go-to but I do have a few favorites.
Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connections and the Language of Human Experience by Brene Brown
You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why it Matters by Kate Murphy
Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting by Lisa Genova
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Women’s Untold Stories are Fascinating

(many of these stories are also told in historical fiction)
Brave the Wild River: The Untold Story of Two Women Who Mapped the Botany of the Grand Canyon by Melissa L. Sevigny


I hope this gives you an idea of how I choose nonfiction and what I look for. How do you choose nonfiction?

If you are participating in #NonficNov, please leave a link to your post in the comments.

Happy Reading Book Friends!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

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***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

All books I review are purchased by me or borrowed from the library unless explicitly stated that they are free (arcs).

Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website receives all credit for cover images and author photos.



  1. I’m a great fan of biographies and narrative nonfiction too. Also untold stories of women. I’ve seen the Kate Moore book a couple of times now and added it to my TBR. Would be good to think all this is history but it was still happening in the 20th century – Sebastian Barry’s Secret Scripture refers. Thanks so much for these inspiring lists and taking part in nonfiction November Carol.

    • I’m happy to hear our reading tastes overlap! I just remembered I need to hop over and join your link up! Thanks for commenting!

  2. That’s always nice. Though, I also like to find some completely new books, as well. Mind you, I always do, whethere we have a book in common or not. Thanks.

  3. I think most of the nonfiction reads I have read over the last few years were based on reading reviews from bloggers I trust, most from you, Carol. I also think that sometimes the book calls to me and I pick them up that way.

  4. Yes to so many of these choices!!! How much did you love The Woman They Could Not Silence? I was so inspired that I went to visit her grave in Chicago.

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