Thursday, November 3, 2022

NONFICTION NOVEMBER: Summary of 2022 Reads

Nonfiction November gives me a chance to look back on the nonfiction reads since last November. Including December 2021, I've read 16 nonfiction books since last year. The most common type of NF would be memoir and true crime. Here with a short summary of the books I liked best:

Blood in the Water - Silver Donald Cameron

True Canadian crime, this was a crazy read of small town murder in a fairly local community, within the Maritimes. I was engrossed, and looked up some podcasts related to the incident, and found a documentary as well. How do you deal with a a*hole in the community when he never quites goes too far for the law, but he goes too far for people to put up with him? (one of the last books I read in 2021)

The Feather Thief
- Kirk Wallace Johnson 🎧

Another great true crime book, which combined some historical accounts of some scientists besides Darwin who looked at evolution. This was quite a crazy tale and I would recommend this one as a good nonfiction book with a great story.

These Precious Days - Ann Patchett

I am having an Ann Patchett year, and this book of essays was varied and very readable. Nothing controversial, just a good author writing about writing and her life. Memoir-ish.

Freezing Order - Bill Browder

I've seen Browder on CNN talking about the Magnitsky Act, a way for other countries to deal with the rogue state of Russia and Putin as they launder money and deal with their political opponents. Browder is a pretty brave guy and is working hard to bring awareness to Russia. 


One Good Reason - Sean McCann

I've a huge Great Big Sea fan and Sean McCann was a big part of their history until he left the band. His memoir of what lead to him leaving, mostly due to heavy drinking brought on by some youth trauma certainly has two sides about the actual leaving, which didn't go well as you'd like from a bunch of lads that you like. But he did what he had to for his family. His wife plays a big part of the story, as how they dealt with life was based on both of their life experiences. Good read, good people.

The Vanishing Triangle: The Murdered Women Ireland Forgot
(ebook)- Clare McGowen
True crime in Ireland, looking at how the death of young women is not looked at seriously enough for a myriad of reasons. There may have been a serial killer or two, many domestic violence situations, and nobody looking very hard in the nineties. There were a lot of names to keep track of, it's real life so it doesn't wrap up easily or neatly, but there is no doubt the author did her research, and made some pointed comments on how Irish society dealt with the crimes.

And a summary of the rest of them: 

Vanderbilt - Anderson Cooper 🎧

Historical account of Cooper's famous family. I've enjoyed other books by Anderson Cooper more, but the Vanderbilts lived a wild life.

Before My Time - Ami McKay  🎧

Memoir of a Canadian author and her family's dangerous cancer marker and how they have been studied. 

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times - Katherine May 🎧

Self-help type book, I liked it at the time, but can't remember a lot of it now as I read it in January. I shouldn't really read self-help books. 

Untamed - Glennon Doyle 🎧

Self-help books can sometimes get me angry as I argue with the author in my head all the time. Doyle got a brainful from me. But there were sections I did like, when she focused more on the feminism stuff, but her enlightenment reminded me of the motivational speakers who live their life a certain way, then see the light and feel the need to let everyone know this new way of living. More infuriating, Doyle wrote previous self-help books on her past life, and then writes new ones on her new life. How do I know you won't find another new life philosophy and this one will be passe? 

Taste: My Life Through Food - Stanley Tucci 🎧
I've been super enjoying Tucci's CNN series Italy and this memoir is kind of related, but not quite as good. He's a nice guy, into food a lot, perhaps a bit snobbish about it (I've stopped cutting my spaghetti, lol after a comment in the book that adults should not be cutting their spaghetti!). He has had some rough times in his life as his first wife died, but he keeps a good attitude.

The Wake: The Deadly Legacy of a Newfoundland Tsunami - Linden MacIntyre 🎧
MacIntryre wrote one of my favourite books, Causeway, his memoir/historical book about Cape Breton, so I had high expectations. Maybe too high? This was still good and but more on the historical and very little memoir. It was an interesting premise to explain how Newfoundland has had to struggle in so many ways as a 'have-not' province, and he traces it back to a tsuanmi in the early 1900s.

Do You Mind if I Cancel? - Gary Janetti 🎧
Snarky, funny, and unmemorable comments by the Hollywood writer. 

Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for her American Dream - Julissa Arce 🎧
This was a YA Sync free audiobook and was a good story of one young girl and the challenges she faced. Nothing new here, perfectly fine, but unmemorable.

Secret Soldiers: How the US Twenty-third Troops Fooled the Nazis - Paul B Janeczko 🎧
Another YA Sync read which was an interesting part of the United States part in WW2 in Europe. However, the prologue really gave me enough of the story that the rest of the book was just filling in details about what the prologue completely explained! Listen to the prologue to get the main idea, unless you love all the details, but I felt I got the gist of the story.

As Fast As Her - Kendall Coyne 🎧
YA Sync memoir from the US women's hockey team, I liked Coyne's story of her life growing up and loving hockey. This Canadian reader loved the hockey stuff, but hearing the US-Canadian women's hockey rivalry from the American point of view was a little hard for me, lol. 

And since November would be a great month to read some nonfiction, here are some books I have on hand that I hope to get through, including finishing up some YA Sync audiobook reads.

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage - Ann Patchett
Black Lion: Teachings from the Wilderness
Crescendo: The True Story of a Musical Genius Who Forever Changed a Small Town
The Real Herge: The Inspiration behind Tintin
Singled Out: The True Story of Glen Burke
A Time of Fear: America in the Era of Red Scares and Cold War