Monday, November 13, 2017


Week 3: (Nov. 13 to 17) – Kim @ Sophisticated Dorkiness 
Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert: Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).

I was able to find several themes in my nonfiction reading in 2017 so I am being the expert in recommending some great nonfiction reads around Feminist Theory 101, Biology Topics, and Black History Month.

Feminist Theory 101 
A list called 40 New Feminist Classics You Should Read from late last year informed some of my reading. The list included fiction books as well, some I've really liked, like The Woman Upstairs.  Not all of the books below are from that list.

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran - funny, memoir, and a guide to growing up female
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai - inspiring, historical
the Lumberjanes Vol 1-5 - wonderful graphic novel full of feminist references, but also fun

The Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt (audiobook) - one of several stories finally shining light on the contributions of women to space science

Shrill by Lindy West
I really enjoyed Lindy West's voice, and have since read articles by her through FB or Twitter. (see Brave Enough to Be Angry from the NYTimes) Together, the essays are also memoir-ish, but they also stand alone. I would certainly reread these again.

Biology Books
I often read science books, skewing toward physics and space, but this year I found some great biological based nonfiction. I Contain Multitudes and Lab Girl were among my favourite reads of the year. 
I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong (audiobook) - all about microbes

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren - well-written memoir of being a female scientist, but really, applicable to all working women
Crows: Encounters With the Wise Guys of the Avian World by Candace Savage - brief but enlightening look at those crazy smart crows

Complications by Atul Gawande (audiobook)
I remember long ago reading a Michael Crichton nonfictionbook about his time as an intern, Five Patients, and really liking the insider view of life in an ER room. Gawande's book reminds me of that book, and I definitely want to read more by Gawande, like Better, Being Mortal, and The Checklist Manifesto. Very readable, and informative. 

Black History Month
The March books are must reads.  I wasn't aware of a lot of this history (I am Canadian, in my defence) and the hullabaloo around John Lewis in January during the inauguration was what first brought them to my attention. 
March 1,2, and 3 by John Lewis - fabulous graphic novel about the Civil Rights fight in the 1960s. 
The Souls of Black Folk - WEB DuBois (audiobook) - hard to believe this was written over 100 years ago, not enough has changed

Between the World and Me - Ta-Nahisi Coates (audiobook)
Excellent essays regarding race relations in the United States. I saw Coates on The Daily Show and knew I wanted to listen to this book.